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Pop Filter Event of the Week: City of Asylum Jazz Poetry

September 12, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Sampsonia Way, near the Mattress Factory, North Side

This week—from a South Side square to a North Side alley—it's all about block parties. Where else can you hear voices from Iraq and India, enjoy music from jazz masters and celebrate free expression all along a cozy city alley? One of September's most-anticipated events, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's Jazz Poetry Concert, is set to transform one of the 'burgh's narrowest streets into a thriving outdoor venue for world-class jazz and poetry.

Marking the event's 5th birthday, the 2009 installment features the first-ever Pittsburgh performance by pianist Geri Allen and Trio 3. Dubbed "one of the best small groups performing," by All About Jazz, the collective—composed of Oliver Lake on saxophone and flute, bassist Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille behind the drum kit—is known for its gifted ability to "talk together musically with uncanny communication." In addition to playing a rare full set together, the musicians will perform unique duets with featured poets Irakli Kakabadze (Republic of Georgia), Miloš Djurdjevic (Croatia), Meena Kandasamy (India), Khet Mar (Burma), and Soheil Najm (Iraq). Taking jazz's collaborative, solo, structured and improvisational methods as inspiration, the innovative program embodies a cross section between COA's unique mission and one of America's greatest musical inventions.

For the first time, the WiFi-friendly concert will be webcast live on USTREAM TV. Come hungry and grab a pre-concert meal at the Mattress Factory's BoxSpring Café, open from 5 to 7 p.m. While on Samsponia, check out COA/Pgh's House Publication, which features public art on the facades of houses occupied by exiled writers-in-residence. Next up for the program is a new online magazine called Sampsonia Way. To learn more about Saturday's Jazz Poetry performers, go here.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, the concert will occur at nearby New Hazlett Theater.  

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