By Alexandria Stryker
In honor of its grand opening, the City of Asylum @ Alphabet City arts venue will host a free concert series this fall in the form of a Jazz Poetry Month. The program is an expansion on the organization’s Jazz Poetry Concert and will be held in the new Alphabet City building, also the Masonic Building, 40 W. North Avenue.
Alphabet City Center provides a permanent, all-weather venue for programming, a marked change from hosting events in various “catch-as-catch can” places, according to a City of Asylum press release.
This series will include performances by musicians and poets from around the world, including saxophonist and one of the program founders Oliver Lake and Eastern European jazz group Alexey Kruglov & Jaak Sooäär Quartet. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from September 15 to October 9, a new artist will be featured at Alphabet City Center. Concerts are free and open to the public.
The Grand Opening Ceremonies of Alphabet City will take place on September 10 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and also feature Nobel Prize winner and investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich.
As stated in City of Asylum’s press release, “a building is empty of purpose…if it is not filled with programs and people,” and this month of arts and festivities will showcase the new center’s potential.
Thursday, September 15th: Oliver Lake (Solo Jazz Poetry)
Experience the legendary jazz and poetry of Oliver Lake.
Friday, September 16th: Hamiett Bliuett & Roger Humphries
Jazz greats Hamiet Bluiett and Roger Humphries perform an evening of jazz poetry collaboration with Israel Centeno.
Saturday, September 17th: World Saxophone Quartet
Join the World Saxophone Quartet for an evening of international jazz poetry collaboration featuring Adriana E. Ramírez and Osama Alomar.
Thursday, September 22nd: Richard Dawes & Tuhin Das
Join us for an evening of local jazz with international jazz poetry collaboration featuring Kwame Dawes and Tuhin Das.
Friday, September 23rd: Richard Blanco
Join us for an evening of local jazz with jazz poetry collaboration featuring Richard Blanco.
Thursday, September 29th: Fiction Reading with Sjón
Join us for a fiction reading with Icelandic writer Sjón.
Friday, September 30th: Alexey Kruglov & Jack Sooäär Quartet
Join us for an evening of international jazz with the Jack Sooäär Quartet featuring poetry collaboration with Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez and Rita Malikonyte Mockus .
Saturday, October 1st: Alexey Kruglov & Jaak Sooäär Quartet
Join us for an evening of international jazz with the Jack Sooäär Quartet featuring poetry collaboration with Anis Mojgani.
Friday, October 7th: Mary Halvorson (Solo)
Join us for an evening of avant-garde solo jazz with Mary Halvorson.
Saturday, October 8th: Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
Join us for an evening of avant-garde jazz with Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up.
Sunday, October 9th: Thumbscrew
Join us for an evening of avant-garde jazz with Thumbscrew.