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Stephan Crump’s Rhombal, Part of a National Tour

City of Asylum (2018)

Stephan Crump’s
Rhombal

Sunday, April 22nd
7:00 pm

City of Asylum welcomes back Grammy-nominated bassist/composer Stephan Crump. He played here in 2017 with his group Rosetta and earlier with Vijay Iyer Trio. Rhombal will be playing a special jazz concert elegy composed for Stephan’s late brother.

Stephan Crump's Rhombal

“Crump’s compositions impart concise and easily expandable storylines, along with his associates who fluently operate through numerous jazz-based modalities.”
All About Jazz

Stephan is known for the elegance and purposeful groove of his acoustic and electric bass playing, and for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity with magnetic pull. A longtime collaborator with adventurous jazz composers, he is a singular voice. His music can be heard in numerous films and on his twelve critically acclaimed albums as leader.

In addition to Stephan, Rhombal features veteran Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, a brilliant young trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, and extraordinary drummer Kassa Overall.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Time-Travelling Jazz that Fuses Past with Future

City of Asylum (2018)

Kevin Sun Trio

Sunday, April 15th
6:00 pm

Brooklyn-based saxophonist Kevin Sun comes to Alphabet City in celebration of his adventurous new album Trio, his debut as a bandleader.

Kevin’s style is as genre-bending as it is time-hopping. As The New York Times describes, his sound incorporates “the shoulder-hugging maneuvers of Mark Turner, the snaky melodicism of Chris Potter, the susurrating quiet of Chris Speed. But Mr. Sun reaches back farther. Sometimes you’ll hear a smoldering kernel of Albert Ayler; when he picks up the clarinet, the tonal gamesmanship of Jimmy Giuffre looms in.”

Trio Album Cover

“[Kevin Sun is] a player who sees the big picture and his evolving place within it…”
The New York City Jazz Record

With Walter Stinson (bass) and Matt Honor (drums), Trio is an exploration of the differing epochs and trends in jazz history, merging the contemporary and the traditional in satisfying ways. These era-spanning compositions are as propulsive and swinging as they are intricate and challenging.

Together, this trio cultivates something wholly new from the seeds of the past.

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Jazz Pianist Cat Toren Returns!

City of Asylum (2018)

TMT Trio

Thursday, January 18th
8:00 pm

JUNO award-winning pianist Cat Toren‘s concert at Alphabet City last May was a sell-out and a big hit with the audience. She returns to Pittsburgh and Alphabet City – but with a different group – for another evening of cutting-edge, full-hearted jazz.

TMT Trio

The New York-based TMT Trio — a collaboration of Cat Toren (piano), Angela Morris (saxophone) and Anthony Taddeo (drums) — will play both original compositions and collaborative improvisations. TMT’s bass-free instrumentation showcases the multifaceted chamber music character of the piano and explores the extension of the roles of all three instruments.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Fall Jazz Series: Jeff Bush Showcases His New Ensemble Creations

City of Asylum (2017)

Jeff Bush Presents

4 & 7: Music for Quartet and Septet

Tuesday, October 29th
6:00 pm

Pittsburgh-based international jazz trombonist Jeff Bush presents his own take on the contemporary jazz ensemble.

4 & 7: Music for Quartet and Septet will feature Jeff’s own compositions, played by a jazz ensemble in different configurations. Jeff has played with other bands at Alphabet City to great acclaim from the audience.
Jeff Bush
Jeff’s music has taken him around the world. He has toured with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and the big band of superstar Harry Connick Jr., played in the pit of countless Broadway shows and made a number of network television appearances including special performances for the NBA All-Star Game and for Pope Benedict XVI. Now an instructor at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh is fortunate to have such a seasoned performer in our midst!

Jeff (on trombone) will be joined by Kent Englehardt (clarinet), Mike Tomaro (bass clarinet), Shanyse Strickland (french horn), Gavin Horning (guitar), Paul Thompson (bass) and Thomas Wendt (drums).

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

“One of the most spell-binding … documentaries ever made.”

City of Asylum (2017)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

I Called Him Morgan

Monday, October 16th
7:00 pm

On a snowy night in February 1972, the 33-year-old jazz trumpet star Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts the people who knew the Morgans. Helen served time for the crime and, following her release, retreated into obscurity.

Lee Morgan

“The movie has the perfect soundtrack for swirling. It’s mesmerizing, too vivid to be evanescent, too precious to hold.” – Vulture

Over 20 years later, a chance encounter led her to give a remarkable interview. Helen’s revealing audio “testimony” acts as a refrain throughout the film, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, notable figures and incredible jazz music to tell the ill-fated pair’s story.

Part true-crime tale, part love story, and an all-out musical treat, I Called Him Morgan is a stirring tribute to two unique personalities and the music that brought them together.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

May 9th: Pittsburgh’s Legendary Chanteuse, Etta Cox

City of Asylum (2017)

Etta Cox

Sunday, May 9th
8:00 pm

Etta CoxPowerhouse jazz/cabaret singer Etta Cox has been voted “Best Jazz Vocalist” in Pittsburgh for 8 consecutive years – and if you have ever seen her in concert, this should come as no surprise! Etta thrills audiences with her intoxicating, smooth vocals reminiscent of a bygone era.

Etta has opened for such legends as Ray Charles, Doc Severinson, and Debbie Reynolds. She has appeared on Broadway, on television and in films, co-hosted the television talk show Citylife and performed in many local theater productions at the City Theater and Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Etta is one of Pittsburgh’s “living treasures”. Don’t miss this chance to be at her City of Asylum @ Alphabet City debut!

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

Jazz Poetry Month: Final Three Concerts this Weekend

Jazz Poetry Month 2016

Final Three Concerts of Jazz Poetry Month


Mary Halvorson

Mary Halvorson (solo)

October 7th

Free Tickets


Tomas Fujiwara

Tomas Fujiwara

October 8th

Free Tickets


Thumbscrew

Thumbscrew

October 9th

Free Tickets

Last year, Thumbscrew – a trio made up of Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Michael Formanek (double bass) – created and recorded their new album Convallaria here at City of Asylum during their BNY Mellon Jazz Residency.

This year, to close out Jazz Poetry Month, these powerhouse performers return to Pittsburgh for a three-day showcase of talent not to be missed!

On Friday, October 7th, join guitarist Mary Halvorson for a solo concert. This NPR-featured performer has been deemed “a bridge between the jazz of the past and the jazz of the future” by the trendsetting review site Pitchfork. If you have heard her jazz interludes or Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR, now is the time to catch this nationally-acclaimed musician in person!

On Saturday, October 8th, catch a concert with Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up. Tomas and his band are at the front lines of today’s jazz and have been called “prominent representatives of new directions in jazz and improvisation.” Get a taste of the cutting-edge New York jazz right here in Pittsburgh!

Finally, on Sunday, October 9th, Thumbscrew reunites on the Alphabet City stage. This band has been dubbed “One of the most exciting bands currently playing,” and we could not be more thrilled to welcome them back to City of Asylum!

We cannot think of a better way to close out Jazz Poetry Month.

Get Your Free Tickets to a Concert with “Guitarist of the Year” Mary Halvorson!

Jazz Poetry Month 2016

Jazz Journalists Association 2016 “Guitarist of the Year”

Mary Halvorson
solo concert

Friday, October 7th
8:00 pm

This will be a Concert of the Year in Pittsburgh. Mary Halvorson is rated one of the most exciting and listenable jazz artists alive today and this album is rated one of the albums of the year, just about everywhere. Put on your ears and come tonight, you will be very, very happy you did.

Before the concert, Mary will be presented 2016 Jazz Guitarist of the Year. We are honored that the Jazz Journalists Association has chosen City of Asylum to present the award.

– Henry Reese

About Mary Halvorson

Mary Halvorson“My favorite guitarist on the planet.“ — The Free Jazz Collective

“One of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz or otherwise.” — The Wall Street Journal

“A glowing critical consensus has formed around the guitarist Mary Halvorson…a credible vision of jazz’s near future.” — Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Halvorson is the real thing…She pretty much has it all…adventurous but also accessible.” — Chris May, All About Jazz

“Halvorson has done more than anyone for jazz guitar in the last ten years.“ — AMN Reviews

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Jazz Poetry Month: Week Four @ City of Asylum

City of Asylum (2016)

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City Presents

Jazz Poetry Month:
Week Four

October 7th – October 9th
8:00 pm
40 W North Avenue

All events are FREE


Our annual Jazz Poetry Concert is now Jazz Poetry Month

Week Four features both solo and group performances from jazz phenoms! All of them have received great acclaimed from press nationwide. Each performer is a master of the craft, and it is a special and unique treat to have these artists play for us together or separately in a three-night showcase of these up-and-coming powerhouse performers.

Mary Halvorson, an NPR-featured performer, has been called “a bridge between the jazz of the past and the jazz of the future” by the trendsetting review site Pitchfork.

Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up have been praised by the New York Times for their “insightful, invigorating” performances. Tomas Fujiwara’s style has been described as “forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint.

Thumbscrew itself – a trio made up of Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Michael Formanek (double bass)- has been dubbed “One of the most exciting bands currently playing.”

Thumbscrew created and recorded their new album Convallaria during their BNY Mellon Jazz Residency at City of Asylum last year. Their album artwork features shots from the renovation of the Masonic Building, now the home for City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, as well as a few pictures from Randyland just around the corner!


We are excited to welcome these world-class performers back to Pittsburgh for a three-day exposition of talent that is not to be missed.

View Upcoming Events

Get Your FREE Tickets to the U.S. Premiere of Alexey Kruglov & Jaak Sooäär Trio

Jazz Poetry Month 2016
Direct from Russia & Estonia

ALEXEY KRUGLOV
&
JAAK SOOÄÄR TRIO

8:00 pm on both Friday, September 30th & Saturday, October 1st

2 Completely Different Concerts + 2 Different Sets of Poets

The Jaak Sooäär Trio with Alexey Kruglov is the first international jazz group ever invited to perform during Jazz Poetry Month Their performances in Pittsburgh will be their first U.S. performances ever, and they are coming directly to Pittsburgh from Estonia and Russia just for Jazz Poetry.

When I first heard Alexey Kruglov and the Jaak Sooäär Trio performing as “The Mighty Five,” I had never heard anything like it. The invisible fifth member of the group is actually a panoply of classical Russian composers who they have translated into jazz. I can’t describe the sheer exhilaration of what they do to “The Great Gates of Kiev” and how it lifts you into a euphoria.

I then began to listen to their other work and discovered just how versatile they were. They play in an entirely different register in recordings like “Military Spaces,” which has an extraterrestrial feel. So when we invited them, we asked them to play for several nights in each of these styles.

– Henry Reese

Reserve tickets for both nights and hear 2 different concerts.

Friday, September 30 Saturday, October 1