AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 31 YEARS
CITY OF ASYLUM/PITTSBURGH PRESENTS
ITS 8TH ANNUAL FREE JAZZ POETRY CONCERT
The Oliver Lake Steel Quartet with Meshell Ndegeocello
& 4-time slam champ, Patricia Smith
Jazz-Poetry is a great concert and a unique event that has begun to attract international attention. The Concert brings poets and writers to Pittsburgh from many countries. Poets perform in their native language with simulcast translations on a large overhead screen. Collaborations with the musicians are 4-6 minutes in length and created at a special rehearsal on the evening before Jazz Poetry. The venue for Jazz Poetry Concert is unique: it is the site of City of Asylum/ Pittsburgh’s “House Publication” project-- a public street lined by houses with text-based artwork on the house facades and occupied by exiled writers.
The musicians also perform a full concert of avant-garde jazz. The Concert has been reviewed as “#1 Jazz Concert of the Year” and “best jazz concert in years.” 2011’s was also one of the most memorable evenings yet: On a scale of 1 to 5, Jazz Poetry 2011 was rated near-perfect, a 4.7 (out of 5) by the audience in post-event surveys.
The event and the audience and the setting on Sampsonia Way have been called “the model of the way Pittsburgh can and should be a demonstration project for the future.”
Oliver Lake, Jazz Poetry Concert’s musical curator and host since 2005, will be bringing his Steel Quartet, featuring steel drum virtuoso Lyndon Achee. The Steel Quartet shows a bit of Oliver Lake’s funk-oriented side.
“Visionary jazz….For those whose major impression of Lake involves the sort of brash, arpeggiated solos that do much to define free jazz and post bop, the Oliver Lake Steel Quartet will come as a revelation. Rooted more firmly in classic bop than free jazz, the Quartet operates as a groove collective….Achee’s steel drum prowess adds a certain Caribbean flavor to the music, but it’s unquestionably Lakean Jazz—far-reaching, liberally seasoned and deliciously unpredictable. “ (alibi.com)
As a special guest, we are pleased to feature the 9-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello. Meshell was the first female “bassist of the year” chosen by Bass Player Magazine. She is also a popular and electrifying singer and song-writer, who has worked with everyone from Prince, the Rolling Stones, and Madonna to Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, and Steve Coleman. She knows how to groove and how to jam equally well.
Earlier that day, workshops will be conducted by Lyndon Achee and Oliver Lake for youth in the YMWAHA Steel Pan Academy and COL Jazz.
About City of Asylum/Pittsburgh
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh creates a thriving community for writers, readers, and neighbors. We provide sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that the writers can continue to write and their voices are not silenced. And we offer a broad range of literary programs in a community setting to encourage cross-cultural exchange. We anchor neighborhood economic development by transforming blighted properties into homes for these programs and energizing public spaces through public art with text-based components.