Jazz Harpists: the music of Alice Coltrane

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

This event is sold out. You can still join us by watching online via our virtual channel. 

The second of three concerts created by Yoko Suzuki exploring the history of female jazz harpists and composers and the rarely heard contributions they made to the jazz scene. This month spotlightsAlice Coltrane whose talents as a composer, singer, pianist, and harpist led her to create a distinctive style combining elements of gospel, classical, and jazz music.

Kente All-Stars I. Presented by Kente Arts Alliance

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Kente Arts Alliance presents two more blockbuster concerts in its Kente Summer Madness Series. For this concert, Kente has assembled an all-star band of renowned jazz musicians who all hail from states within the tri-state area. This formation will present a rare opportunity for them to play together as the Kente All-Stars I. Each member of the band has spent time leading his own series of groups, and each has a keenly individual sound.

Off Minor Jazz Series: Jimmy Heath

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Jimmy Heath is one of the great talents of jazz: a world-class saxophonist, composer, and arranger. In August, the Off Minor Jazz series offers an evening of Master Heath’s music, drawing on all parts of his long career. 
This concert features a quintet with a trumpet and alto saxophone frontline playing arrangements by Lynn Speakman. Discussions related to Jimmy Heath’s autobiography, I Walked with Giants, sprinkle in throughout the set.

Story Club PGH Story Slam: Heat of the Moment

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Join City of Asylum and Story Club Pittsburgh for a new monthly nonfiction storytelling series, mixing the spontaneity of an open mic with the experience of live theater. Organized and hosted by the former producers of The Moth Pittsburgh. 
Every show has both spontaneous tellers and featured performers, all taking the stage to share stories based on a theme.

Kente All-Stars II. Presented by Kente Arts Alliance

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

This event is sold out but you can still tune in for the livestream.  

Kente All-Stars II rounds out Kente’s Summer Madness Series and its spotlight on renowned jazz musicians from the region. This all-star formation includes three of Pittsburgh’s most recognized and favored artists: Dwayne Dolphin, bass; Tom Wendt, drums; and Alton Merrill, piano. Joining them as their special guest is alto saxophonist Antonio Hart.

Actors Talk August Presented by August Wilson House: Jonathan Berry and Chuck Timbers

City of Asylum @ Home

These two Pittsburgh actors are featured in “Jitney,” playing into September, 2022, in the theater in the back of August Wilson House in the Hill District. The interview is a stimulating, smart discussion, especially of the father-son emotions of Booster (Berry) and Doub (Timbers), as well as in the many other August Wilson plays they have done for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras & Elaine Castillo

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

A grandfather who was said to move clouds with his mind…his daughter who lost her memory in a childhood accident and began to see and hear the dead…and his daugter’s daughter, Ingrid, who lost her memory in an accident at twenty-three and unlike her mother, returned with no supernatural gifts…  NY Times best selling author Ingrid Rojas Contreras dives into her own family history in her new memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds, and explores the meaning of inheritance, healing, and the power of story.
Joined in conversation by Elaine Castillo, whose new collection of essays, How to Read Now, delves into the politics and ethics of reading and insists that we are capable of something better: a more engaged relationship not just with our fiction and our art, but with our buried and entangled histories. 

Bunker Projects Panel: Home/Making

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Art is often characterized as a “labor of love”—working artists are often challenged with professional precarity yet expected to commit entirely to their craft. Grants, residencies, galleries, and museums support such cultural workers but often overlook the unique needs of and demands faced by one important group: parent artists. 
In this panel, Alisha B. Wormsley and Lenka Clayton, two Pittsburgh-based mothers and working artists, address the unique needs of parent artists in different ways. Moderated by Bunker Projects’ board member Tara Fay Coleman, an artist and mother herself, Wormsley and Clayton discuss how they navigate these roles in their studios, homes, and the residency programs they run.


Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Errata is a contemporary jazz trio that moves between highly formalized composition and intuitive improvisation. Formed in 2017 in Chicago by guitarist, cellist, and composer Ishmael Ali and rounded out by close friends Eli Namay and Bill Harris, the trio combines elements of jazz, 20th-century classical music, and improvised music with rhythmic language influenced by Steve Lehman and Henry Threadgill. Their music exists between discernibility and noise, regularity and irregularity. A listening experience for all styles of jazz fans. 

Maud Newton & Geeta Kothari: Writing About Family

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Maud Newton’s ancestors have vexed and fascinated her since she was a girl. Her mother’s father, who came of age in Texas during the Great Depression, was said to have married thirteen times and been shot by one of his wives. Her mother’s grandfather killed a man with a hay hook and died in an institution. An ancestor was accused of being a witch in Puritan-era Massachusetts. In her debut book, Ancestor Trouble, Newton uses genealogy—a once-niche hobby that has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry—to expose the secrets and contradictions of her own family and to argue for the transformational possibilities of reclaiming and reckoning with our ancestors. 
In conversation with Geeta Kothari.

Jonathan Presented by ReelQ Film Festival

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan spends his days caring for his father, Burghardt, who is terminally ill. Burghardt’s outlook is bleak until an old friend, Ron, shows up, and Jonathan learns that his father and Ron were perhaps more than just friends. Can Jonathan come to terms with his father’s sexuality? Will newly revealed truths bring a father and son together or tear them apart? Released in 2017, Jonathan is a beautifully shot German film that was awarded the Audience Award (Best Gay Film) at the Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival as well as the Jury Prize (First Feature) at the San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival.

Midnight’s Children’s Children: Writers on Salman Rushdie

Alphabet City 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

Join City of Asylum and fiction writers Amitava Kumar, Kiran Desai, and Suketu Mehta to reflect on Salman’s legacy from his imaginative use of language and joyousness in his fiction, to his belief that writing allows us to cross borders and learn from one another, to his commitment to promoting literature that allows our society to safely grapple with social injustices.
This program is a celebration of Salman Rushdie, the legacy of his literary work and advocacy, and a commitment to the power and necessity of the written word.