City of Asylum Jazz/Poetry: Peck Allmond

by Sampsonia Way    /  August 7, 2011  / No comments


On September 10, 2011 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh will celebrate its seventh annual Jazz/Poetry event in Pittsburgh’s Northside.

The featured jazz musicians this year are Oliver Lake and guest trio Tarbaby, who recently, as part of a jazz festival featuring 55 other groups in New York, “played the set to go home remembering,” according to the New York Times’s reviewer Ben Ratliff.

Last year, the Jazz/Poetry event featured music from Oliver Lake’s Big Band improvising behind the spoken words of writers Yusef Komunyakaa, Maryia Martysevich, Hinemoana Baker, Khet Mar, and Horacio Castellanos Moya.

As part of that event Sampsonia Way interviewed each of the members of Oliver Lake’s Big Band to get a glimpse of the personalities of the musicians that backed 2010′s readers.


Video production and editing by Glen Wood

Peck Allmond is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from San Francisco, currently based in New York City. Among other instruments he plays the trumpet, flute, tenor sax, and an African thumb-piano known as the kalimba. Allmond is also an in-demand sideman on various woodwind instruments and has played with the likes of James Brown, Lenny Kravitz, Sean Lennon, Don Cherry, Ray Lamontagne, and O.J. Ekemode’s Nigerian All-stars.

Currently he is a member of Me’Shell NdegeOcello’s Spirit Music Sextet, the Oliver Lake Quartet (and Big Band), Peter Apfelbaum’s NY Hieroglyphics, and heads up the Peck Allmond Group.

His advice to burgeoning musicians is simple: “Listen to music and practice… You have to love [music] to the point where you’re listening to it and practicing all the time.”

In this interview Allmond discusses the dynamic of playing trumpet in a 17 piece jazz band, which instrument sounds the most like a human voice, and the amount of rehearsal time needed to prepare for the Jazz/Poetry Concert.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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