James Brandon Lewis, Chris Hoffman and Poets for Jazz Poetry Month – In person or online


Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and cellist Chris Hoffman present an evening of duets, featuring original compositions and live improvisations.

James Brandon Lewis, also a poet, will read his work and collaborate with poets Mr. Soledad Caballero, Joel Dias-Porter and Allegheny County Youth Poet Laureate Danielle Obisie-Orlu.

Featured Poets

Joël Dias-Porter (aka DJ Renegade) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was a former nightclub DJ. He was 5 times individual finalist at the National Poetry Slam and Haiku Slam champion 1998 and 1999. In 1995 he received the Furious Flower “Emerging Poet Award”. Performances include the Today Show, SlamNation, on BET and the movie Slam. A member of Cave Canem, he has a book “Ideas for Improvisation” to be published by Thread Makes Blanket Press in Spring 2022.

Danielle Obisie-Orlu is a Nigerian-American student, actress and poet who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a qualified speaker, receiving accolades in speech, theater and debate. She attends the University of Pittsburgh and has a double major in International and Regional Studies and Political Science, with minors in Sociology and French. She is dedicated to promoting environments of intersectional community, belonging and empowerment. She is passionate about migration, belonging and international human rights law; partners with ARSYE to empower young migrants and refugee voices; and is a student leader on her campus.

Mr. Soledad Caballero is Professor of English and Co-Chair of the Gender and Women’s Sexuality Studies Program at Allegheny College. Her scholarship focuses on British Romanticism, Travel Writing and Interdisciplinarity. She is a Macondo Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, has been nominated for three Pushcart Awards and won the Joy Harjo 2019 Poetry Competition sponsored by Cut-throat: A Journal of the Arts. Her debut collection, I Was a Bell, won the 2019 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Prize and will be published by Red Hen Press in 2021.

There are two ways to watch the program: in person at Alphabet City or live online. If you come live, you can also dine at the hotel restaurant 40 North.

Please scroll down to view the Covid-19 Safety Policies for Indoor Programs @ Alphabet City, including the proof of vaccination required.

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