Oliver Lake OGJB Quartet ft. Justin Phillip Reed

Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
SOLD OUT 2019-09-20 7 p.m. 2019-09-20 8:30 p.m. America/New_York Oliver Lake OGJB Quartet ft. Justin Phillip Reed 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for an installment of our monthlong Jazz Poetry Festival!

As part of our fifteenth annual Jazz Poetry Festival, this will be an evening of jazz and poetry collaborations. Oliver Lake and his band OGJB will be the featured jazz musicians performing their original composition “Justice.” Poets Justin Phillip Reed, Arai Takako, Batsirai Easther Chigama, Efe Duyan, and Tuhin Das will perform.

olake press photo

Saxophonist, 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.

Featured Musicians:

  • Oliver Lake (sax)
  • Joe Fonda (bass)
  • Barry Altschul (drums)
  • Graham Haynes (trumpet)

Featured Writers

Justin Phillip Reed is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry for Indecency (Coffee House Press, 2018), which Library Journal called, “one of a kind brilliant.” The National Book Award poetry jury celebrated the book as “political and personal, tender, daring, and insightful,” and Vox praised it as “an unflinching exploration of power, race, sexuality, gender, the personal and the political.”  Reed is also the author of the chapbook A History of Flamboyance (YesYes Books, 2016). His poetry appears in African American Review, Best American Essays, Callaloo, The Kenyon Review, Obsidian, and elsewhere. Born and raised in South Carolina, Reed was a three-time high school expellee and an ex-college dropout. He went on to receive his BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and his MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as Junior Writer-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Conversation Literary Festival, and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. He currently lives and works in St. Louis.

Tuhin Das is a Bengali poet, activist, political columnist, short story writer and essayist, broadly published in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.. He is the author of eight poetry books in his native language. His full-length, unpublished manuscript Exile Poems focuses on his life as an exiled writer. Das’ work appeared in or is forthcoming from The Logue Project’s Home Language, Words without Borders, The Bare Life Review, and “Where Am i From?” The WAiF project.


Batsirai Easther Chigama (Zimbabwe) is a performer, poet, literary activist, and social commentator. She uses her work to highlight the struggles of women and marginalized people and shines a light on what needs to be done to bring equilibrium to the social fabric of Zimbabwe. “Surprising, shocking, and skillfully deliberate work.” “A breathtaking embodiment of grief.” Chigama’s submission was the top poetry sample from the region.


Efe Duyan (Turkey) A poet and poetry festival organizer, Efe has published three books of poetry and his poems have been translated into 29 languages. He is a passionate advocate for creative expression and the power of literature to bring people together. His sample was transporting, employing covert forms, repetition, and specificity. With a light touch, Efe builds whole worlds with few words.


Takako Arai (Japan) A prolific writer who edits an important Japanese poetry journal, Arai’s work is considered a microcosm for the current movement in Japanese poetry: exciting, diverse, socially-conscious – defying boundaries and expectations. Through her poetry, Arai gives texture to contemporary Japan like few others have before her, and her work has circulated widely outside of Japan.

Event Details

September 20, 2019 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212
Concerts, Readings

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