Jazz Poetry Month: Oliver Lake & Jump Up plus Mark Doty and Featured Poets

Saturday, September 16, 2017 @ 9 p.m.
Free RSVP Watch Online 2017-09-16 9 p.m. 2017-09-16 America/New_York Jazz Poetry Month: Oliver Lake & Jump Up plus Mark Doty and Featured Poets 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for a special reunion concert with Oliver Lake & Jump Up! Between sets, these musicians will also collaborate with writers Kimiko Hahn, Ariana Brown  and Mark Doty for a jazz and poetry interlude. 

Featured Musicians:
(Oliver Lake, Jerome Harris, Brandon Ross, Billy Grant, Pheeroan akLaff )

olake press photoSaxophonist, poet and composer Oliver Lake‘s artistic vision remains daring, unique and uncompromising, helping him maintain his place as one of the preeminent saxophonists in the progressive jazz scene, a position he has long held during his long and storied career. Oliver continues to work with several brilliant and creative minds, such as his Organ Quartet and Big Band groups, the World Saxophone Quartet, Tarbaby and notable collaborators such as Flux String Quartet, Myra Melford, Roscoe Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Geri Allen, Meshell Ndegeocello and many others.Oliver has curated and participated in the City Of Asylum’s Jazz Poetry concerts for more than ten years. Lake has been a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, has received commissions from the Library of Congress, and in 2006, was honored to receive the Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award at the Kennedy Center. Most notably, Oliver was recently selected to receive the prestigious 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. As such, the coming years promise to be exciting and filled with bold new artistic endeavors.

Photo credit: Enid Farber

Photo credit: Enid Farber

Guitarist Jerome Harris was raised in BrooklynNew York, where he experienced a broad range of traditional and popular American music genres, including blues, folk and gospel.  After majoring in psychology and social relations at Harvard University, Harris became an honors student in jazz guitar at New England Conservatory of Music.  He has recorded and/or toured with Sonny Rollins, Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Marty Ehrlich, and Julius Hemphill, among many others; his international touring includes trips to south Asia and eastern Africa under the auspices of the U.S. State Department’s “Jazz Ambassadors” program.  Harris appears on over fifty recordings; his albums as leader include Rendezvous (Stereophile) and Hidden In Plain View (New World).  His essay “Jazz on the Global Stage,” published in The African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (Ingrid Monson, editor; Garland, 2000), explores the history, present state, and future implications of the spread of jazz to locales far from its African American birthplace.

image1 (2)Brandon Ross is a New York City-based guitarist/composer/singer/songwriter. As a performing and recording artist Ross has collaborated with many innovative voices in modern music such as Cassandra Wilson, Henry Threadgill, Jewel, Wadada Leo Smith, Tony Williams, Lizz Wright, Arto Lindsay, The Lounge Lizards, Leroy Jenkins, Oliver Lake, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Bill Frisell, Me’Shell N’degeocello, Moreno Veloso, Arrested Development, Archie Shepp, Muhal Richard Abrams, Don Byron, Ron Miles and many others, crafting a personal approach to guitar and improvisation which has taken him all over the world.


Billy Grant began his musical training on the piano at the age of  5 1/2 years old. He soon followed that up with voice training and lessons on drums, clarinet and all the saxophones. At age ten years old, Billy started playing his signature instrument, the bass guitar with his siblings in The Brothers Band, a group which played throughout the Northeast. As a college student, he joined alto sax virtuoso, Oliver Lake of the renowned World Saxophone Quartet, in his jazz fusion/reggae group, Jump Up. After his stint with the group, Billy compiled credits with Stanley Turrentine, Phylis Hyman, Vesta Williams, Miki Howard, Chaka Khan, Living Colour, Melba Moore, Kid Rock and many others.From the late 90’s until the present day, Billy and keyboardist Lenny Underwood have been mainstays of The Slam Clinic whose headquarters were the center of the Greenwich Village music scene Cafe Wha. The Slam Clinic later moved their Funknite sold out shows to the Village Underground. Billy spent several years off and on with the Swiss R&B/Funk group Brand New Rhythm. He also reconnected with Oliver Lake’s new Steel Band.Billy also records and performs with Peter Fish, as well as Chicago’s drummer Danny Seraphine’s East Coast Allstars, and Grammy-nominated Sophie B. Hawkins. Presently Billy leads his own band. The Jam Syndicate. Because of his musicianship and encyclopedic knowledge of songs, his peers often refer  to him as “The Human i-Pod”.

American drum-set master, and dedicated teacher Pheeroan akLaff has an approach to music that is centered in ritual and imagination. As a band leader he has performed at international festivals, and is an avid workshop leader. As an author and contributor to a Jazz milieu of the mid-1970’s Avant Garde, he made numerous recordings with vanguard artists in New York and Internationally. Pheeroan has presented his music ensembles at the Willisau festival of Switzerland, the Sju festival of the Netherlands, the Montsalvat festival of Australia, the Moers, and the Nurnberg festivals of Germany. He also led the Double Duo ensemble with two saxophonists; Mixashawn and Ravi Coltrane, and with two drummers; akLaff and his mentor Rashied Ali.


Featured Poets: 

photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poems, including: Brain Fever (W.W. Norton, 2014) and Toxic Flora (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior (WWN, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. As part of her service to the CUNY community, she initiated a Chapbook Festival that became an annual event co-sponsored by major literary organizations. Since then, she has added chapbooks to her publication list: Ragged Evidence, A Field Guide to the Intractable, Boxes with RespectThe Cryptic Chamber, and Resplendent Slug.


Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (April 2015)Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award, and My Alexandria, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He is also the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog Years, Firebird, and Heaven’s Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.


Ariana Brown is an Afromexicana poet from San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh. Follow her work online at www.arianabrown.com.



Event Details

September 16, 2017 @ 9 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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