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806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Oliver Lake & OGJB Quartet

Jazz Poetry Month

Oliver Lake & OGJB Quartet

September 19th & 20th
7:00 pm

Two unique concerts will feature Jazz Poetry founding artist Oliver Lake with his rarely seen supergroup OGJB (Oliver Lake, Graham Haynes, Joe Fonda, and Barry Altschul), a “leaderless” quartet of jazz innovators who find freedom in ecstatic rhythms and purely democratic improvisation. Each night celebrates radically different music and ideas with poets Alicia Ostriker and Justin Philip Reed among others.

Alicia Ostriker

Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 pm

Lake and his OGJB quartet perform a sweeping composition, “Follow the Sound” with poet, activist, and critic, Alicia Ostriker. Ostriker has received fellowships and awards from the NEA and the Guggenheim. In 2015 she was elected as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Poets Takako Arai, Easther Chigama, Efe Duyan, and City of Asylum Exiled Writer-In-Residence, Osama Alomar, will also perform.

OGJB

Friday, September 20 at 7:00 pm

Lake and the OGJB quartet return to the Alphabet City stage to perform their prescient jazz epic “Justice” alongside poet Justin Phillip Reed. Reed’s full-length collection, Indecency (Coffee House Press, 2018), was the winner of the National Book Award. Takako Arai, Easther Chigama, Efe Duyan and City of Asylum Exiled Writer-in-Residence, Tuhin Das will also perform.

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Portuguese Vocalist-Composer Leads Sextet with 3 Vocalists & Multimedia

City of Asylum (2018)

JAZZ POETRY

Sara Serpa (Portugal) & Emmanuel Iduma (Nigeria)

Saturday, September 14th
7:00 pm

This program of Jazz Poetry is among the most unique we have ever presented – an adaptation of a travelogue that sings and speaks to a longtime concern of City of Asylum: What is home? Intimate Strangers – in song, text and imagery – explores “an atlas of a borderless world.”

Jazz Poetry Performance

This concert is Sara Serpa’s Pittsburgh debut. She has performed world-wide, singing at international festivals such as Festa do Jazz, the Panama Jazz Festival, Festival de Jazz de Montevideo, Wangaratta Jazz Festival and Adelaide Festival, Sopot Jazz Festival … and venues like Bimhuis, Casa da Música, Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, The Stone, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Kennedy Center for the Arts.

Emmanuel Iduma is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Born and raised in Nigeria, he has contributed essays and stories to journals, magazines, artists’ books, and exhibition catalogues. He is the author of The Sound of Things to Come and most recently A Stranger’s Pose. He received a 2017 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant in arts writing, for his blog A Sum of Encounters. He is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and was associate curator of the Nigerian pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

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Discounted Tickets for Northsiders: Urban Impact Live

Urban Impact Live

Presented by Urban Impact
August 2-4

Enjoy a night of inspiration featuring The Urban Impact Singers, Jazz Band and Dance Team. These students will blow you away as they take you on a musical journey of dance, instrumental and vocal music filled with breathtaking melodies, harmonies and movement while incorporating their uplifting, heartfelt personal stories. From a capella to pop, ballet to modern, jazz to gospel, you’re sure to be enraptured by the musical talents of these young students. This is a weekend where you can take a break from the busyness of life and be invigorated by a dynamic, family-friendly performance – you won’t want to miss it!

You’re Invited

Northside residents enjoy $8 general admission. Enter the access code below after selecting performance date and a Northside ticket will appear in the list.

801UNIONAVE

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Celebrate a Jazzy Pre-Independence Day with Yoko Suzuki

City of Asylum (2018)

Yoko Suzuki Trio

Wednesday, July 3rd
7:00 pm

What better way to kick off the July 4th holiday than with crowd favorite Yoko Suzuki Trio?

Yoko Suzuki Trio

A musician known both locally and nationally, and an ethnomusicologist, Yoko’s playing is deeply informed by jazz across the globe, especially Japan where she trained. Yoko’s concerts are not only a musical treat but also deeply informed by her rich historical knowledge.

Featured Musicians

Yoko Suzuki: Alto saxophone
Cliff Barnes: Organ/piano
James Johnson III: Drums

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Cowboys & Frenchman Post-Bop Jazz

City of Asylum (2018)

Cowboys & Frenchmen

Sunday, December 2nd
6:00 pm

NYC-based quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen returns to Alphabet City to present their unusual take on instrumentation, orchestration, and composition for the jazz quintet. Their front line of two alto saxophones plays loose with the role of horns, in an inclusive post-bop style that seamlessly crosses the classic American song book with blues and improvisation.

“jazz that is fresh and defies easy categorizing, and offers rewarding listening” — Cadence Magazine

Cowboys & Frenchmen

The band is comprised of five adventurous musicians: Owen Broder on alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, Ethan Helm on alto sax, flute and clarinet, Chris Ziemba on piano, Ethan O’Reilly on bass, and Matt Honor on drums.

The inspiration for the band’s quirky name is a short Western by David Lynch called “The Cowboy and The Frenchmen.” Like the film, this quintet’s music has one foot firmly planted in a genre, while the other foot is busy trying to kick down the genre’s door.

 

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Stravinsky to Nirvana

City of Asylum (2018)

Adam Hopkins:
Crickets

Wednesday, November 28th
7:00 pm

New York composer-bassist Adam Hopkins and his sextet celebrate the release of their new album, Crickets! This is a special treat for us–how often do we get to hear a sextet on tour?!

Adam Hopkins

“…compelling and unconventional jazz compositions juxtaposed with blowouts. This is a singular release and hopefully the first of many from Hopkins.” – Avant Music News

Crickets is a head-on collision of the various musical worlds influenced by Tim Berne, Henry Threadgill, Michael Formanek, and Igor Stravinsky. Crickets takes classic and jazz traditions with the bands of Adam’s youth like Nirvana, Pavement, and Fugazi.

Adam will be joined by Anna Webber (tenor saxophone), Ed Rosenberg (tenor saxophone), Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone/bass clarinet), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Devin Gray (drums) for this album release event.

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With Dwayne Dolphin, It’s All About that Bass!

City of Asylum (2018)

Dwayne Dolphin

Thursday, August 30th
8:00 pm

Join Dwayne Dolphin for Indigenous: his latest album release! Spanning smooth funk, jazz, world, Brazilian and many other styles, Dwayne’s new release brings “something for everyone” to the table.

Dwayne is a mainstay standout in the jazz scene, working with Pittsburgh greats such as Roger Humphries, Pete Henderson and Carl Arter. Throughout his career, Dolphin has also had the opportunity to play and record with the “Who’s Who” of national musicians, such as Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Fred Wesley, Abby Lincoln, soul saxophonist Maceo Parker and hard bopper Stanley Turrentine.

Dwayne Dolphin

Dwayne is regarded as a master instrumentalist, no matter whether he is playing upright, electric or even the “piccolo” bass. For this concert, he will be joined by Brett Williams (piano), Tony Watson (sax), Jevon Rushton (drums).

Dwayne’s prior concert at COA @ Alphabet City was a sellout, so make your reservations soon.  This release party makes a great entree to Jazz Poetry Month.

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The Sultry Sounds of Brazilian Songstress Kenia Ashby

City of Asylum (2018)

City of Asylum’s Vocalist Series Presents

Kenia Ashby

Tuesday, June 5th
8:00 pm

Kenia Ashby‘s voice embodies the best of the Brazilian sound – deep and sultry, richly diverse, unexpectedly explosive. Born in Nova Iguaçu (a suburb of Rio de Janeiro), she is renowned for her ability to translate the complex rhythms of her Brazilian homeland into jazzy creations.

Kenia Ashby

“Kenia is a Brazilian original, building a bridge to the next generation of Brazilian music fans… her voice can suspend time, and it can lead you to think about nothing at all, even if just for a few minuts, and in this day that’s nothing short of miraculous.”
iHeartMedia

From local clubs, to international performances, to her ongoing innovation in recording sizzling Brazilian beats, Kenia creates her own unique blend of Brazilian pop, samba, bossa nova and choro with great stage presence and a gift for engaging the audience.

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Celebrate the Legacy of Pittsburgh-born Jazz Singer Maxine Sullivan

City of Asylum (2018)

Jessica Lee

Thursday, May 17th
8:00 pm

Acclaimed jazz & blues vocalist, songwriter and recording artist Jessica Lee will debut her new special tribute show The Return of the Pint-Sized Songstress to remember and honor the musical contributions of Pittsburgh-born Jazz singer Maxine Sullivan. Considered one of the best jazz vocalists of the 1930s, Maxine Sullivan would influence generations of singers to come, including Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Jessica Lee

“[In] smoke-filled clubs here and across the country, Lee is …. known for her soulful and skilled handling of gospel, blues, jazz and soul classics.”
Pittsburgh Magazine

Jessica will be joined by local guitar guru Mark Strickland. Jessica and Mark have played and recorded as a jazz duo both regionally and nationally for years. Don’t miss this chance to catch the debut of their latest collaboration here at Alphabet City!

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A Spontaneous Creation of Words, Jazz and Dance

City of Asylum (2018)

The Ellipses Condition Presents

Completely Out of Context

Saturday, April 28th
8:00 pm

Completely Out of Context is a site-specific performance created by The Ellipses Condition. Writers and poets will share original works accompanied by improvisational jazz musicians and dancers. Readers will also lend fresh meaning to books grabbed from the stacks around them, intoning their readings with intent inspired by the musicians and the dancers.

The Ellipses Condition

The Ellipses Condition is the partnered artistry of Pearlann Porter and John Lambert, sharing a commitment to the authentic translation of their inner thoughts and emotions into dance, music and words. Their improvisational performances blur the dynamics between movement, musicality and poetry, embodying the philosophy of ‘jazz as a verb’ lived in every aspect of being. Collaboratively they cultivate new audio/physical relationships, lending living bodies to intangible conversations.

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