The fourth night of Jazz Poetry presents a refreshing and lively collection of performances. Brazilian-American singer-songwriter Alexia Bomtempo, literary trailblazer Eileen Myles, groundbreaking poet Hiromi Itō, Chicana poet and activist Rachelle Escamilla, and City of Asylum writer-in-residence Olena Boryshpolets supply a night of emphatic verse and sound. These artists bring a kinetic energy to the Alphabet City stage—not relying on standards set before them, but pioneering a beat that is entirely their own.
About the Musician:
Alexia Bomtempo (she/her) was raised in the beach culture of Rio de Janeiro, while traveling to America frequently over the years. She grew up listening to Brazilian popular music and bossa nova, as well as rock, folk, and jazz. Since relocating back to New York City, Alexia has fully embraced, challenged, and redefined the Northern half of her American artistic roots. She is an artist of multiple worlds, with a sound that is individual and confidently feminine, navigating genres ranging from classic American song to exploratory Tropicália. In 2008, she toured throughout Brazil, Europe, Japan, and the U.S in support of her debut release, Astrolábio. Alexia is currently working with Grammy-nominated pianist Orrin Evans on a Brazilian inspired jazz ensemble entitled Terreno Comum, featuring acclaimed modern jazz musicians Clarence Penn (drums), Luques Curtis (bass), and Leandro Pellegrino (guitar). Most recently, Alexia brings her trademark sultry Brazilian sounds to fans with a stunning new album, Doce Carnaval, released last summer.
Alexia Bomtempo: vocals
Jake Owen: guitar
Eduardo Belo: bass
Stéphane San Juan: drums
Simone Giuliani: piano
About the Poets:
Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books, including A “Working Life,” For Now, Evolution, Afterglow (a dog memoir), Chelsea Girls, and I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems 1974–2014. Eileen’s many honors include four Lambda Literary Awards, the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Creative Capital’s Literature Award as well as their Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. Eileen lives in Marfa, Texas and New York City.
Hiromi Itō came to national attention in Japan in the 1980s for her groundbreaking poetry about pregnancy, childbirth, and female sexuality. After relocating to the U.S. in the 1990s, she began to write about the immigrant experience and biculturalism. In recent years, she has focused on the ways that dying and death shape human experience. English translations include Killing Kanoko and Wild Grass on the Riverbank.
Olena Boryshpolets is from Odesa, Ukraine. It is said that you can leave Odesa, but Odesa will never leave you. As such, Olena has carried Odesa with her upon her arrival in Pittsburgh, and is ready to share the incredible city with us all. She is a poet, writer, journalist, actress, culture manager, and laureate of the Konstantin Paustovsky Municipal Literary Prize for the collection of poems “Blue Star.” Olena is also a member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and a co-founder of the public organization Creation Without Borders. After the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine in February 2022, she went to Poland and banded together with other Ukrainian women to tell the European audience about the war and its consequences through the Polish-Ukrainian play “Life in the Event of War.” She has been in residence as part of City of Asylum’s Fellowship for Ukrainian Writers since 2023.
Rachelle Escamilla is a Chicana poet from the Central Coast of California. She has three collections of poetry, Imaginary Animal, Me Drawing a Picture of Me[n], and Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace. Her award-winning first collection has been re-released with a foreword written by Chicano poet Manuel Paul López. Escamilla is the founder of a number of poetry programs in the U.S. and China, was the producer and host of the longest running poetry radio show in the US, and was a visiting scholar at the Library of Congress, Hispanic Division where her poetry was recorded for the library’s audio archive. Her article “Searching for my Family,” about her grandfather’s testimony to Congress in 1969, was published by the Library of Congress. Rachelle has managed social media and marketing for a number of organizations including Philip Glass Days and Nights Festival, is an activist in the decriminalization of psilocybin movement, and she teaches, models, performs, and acts wherever she is called to do so.
About Your Visit:
Remember you can dine at the in-house restaurant 40 North before, during, or after the show. Please visit Open Table or call 412-435-1111 to make a reservation.
There will be a “Jazzy Hour” at the in-house bar from 6-7pm.
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