Viewer's Choice Winner: "Tallahatchie LullaBye, Baby" ft. Poet Doug Kearney

Monday, December 21, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Register Here! 2020-12-21 7:00 PM 2020-12-21 8:30 PM America/New_York Viewer's Choice Winner: "Tallahatchie LullaBye, Baby" ft. Poet Doug Kearney 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (run-time 90 minutes)

This year has been a great challenge. We miss being with you in person. As we look back on 2020, it is clear now that streaming our programs has created a new way to gather as a community and advance our mission. We’ve asked for your help in selecting your favorite program for a rebroadcast to end the year with a bang.

You’ve selected Tallahatchie LullaBye, Baby” ft. Poet Doug Kearney 

A riveting, vital poem—a lullaby to Emmett Till with four national jazz greats creating new pieces in response. Read by author Douglas Kearney, compositions and performances by Pheeroan akLaffDee Alexander, Orrin Evans, and Nicole Mitchell. Co-curated by MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes.

This concert features multiple interpretations and multiple hearings of one piece, created in response to longstanding issues of systemic social injustice and racial inequality.

DOUGLAS KEARNEYhas published six collections, including Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.


Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning flutist, composer, conceptualist, bandleader, and educator. Her research centers on the powerful legacy of contemporary African American culture, its ongoing expression of resistance and resilience, its intriguing dialogue within the African diaspora and its transformational impact on culture throughout the globe. She has been a repeated recipient of the “Top Jazz Flutist” awards from Jazz Journalists Association and Downbeat Magazine from 2010-2019. Professor Nicole Mitchell is the William S. Dietrich II Chair for Jazz Studies, where she works to continue the visionary legacies of her predecessors Geri Allen and Nathan Davis.

Pheeroan akLaff reflects music centered in ritual and imagination. He is most noted for his performances and recordings with a milieu of music pioneers. He maintains collaborations with a wide range of composers and multidisciplinary artists. In 2000 he was awarded a NYFA composer grant, and in 2018 a New Music USA project grant. akLaff is also an Advisory Board Member at City Of Asylum, Pittsburgh, and a teacher of drums at Wesleyan University. The release of akLaff’s new album Hana Dharma with Aska Maret is marked for release in Winter 2021. 


Dee Alexanderis one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected female vocalist/songwriters. Her talents span every music genre, from Gospel to R&B, from Blues to Neo-Soul. Yet her true heart and soul are experienced in their purest form through her performance of Jazz music. Dee has also formed the Evolution Ensemble which is an acoustic group that consists of string instruments and percussion with a strong emphasis on original compositions.
Terrance Hayes’s most recent publications include American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin 2018) and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave, 2018). Hayes is a Professor of English at New York University.

Orrin Evans is an American jazz pianist. He signed with Criss Cross Jazz in 1997, recording prolifically with the label. He was awarded a 2010 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. Evans was recently named the new pianist in The Bad Plus. Through 25 albums as a leader and co-leader, including his neo-soul/acid jazz ensemble Luv Park and the bracing collective trio Tarbaby, Evans has always followed a vigorously individual path.

Event Details

December 21, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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