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soulBlog: Jazz Poetry Month at COA, McCoo/Davis Jr. Performance and Interview, Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival schedule (starts tonight!)

Annual Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum (last night)

This is the fifteenth year of Jazz Poetry Month, and Oliver Lake has been featured at every one.  City of Asylum, particularly in the context of POC, continues to be a Pittsburgh Best-Kept Secret (along w/ Sembene: The Film & Arts Festival – Pittsburgh, PA)…relevant, free, on the bus route. Find the entire schedule in the Concert Calendar section of

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Palace Theatre performance, interview)

The best-known members of California soul group The Fifth Dimension visited The Palace Theatre (Greensburg) in August. Billy killed a Sam Cooke cover, and Marilyn killed everything she sang. On the heels of my interviewing Dionne Warwick, McCoo and Davis gave twenty minutes of their time for a fantastic conversation. Some of the highlights: (1) because The Fifth Dimension was formed during the burgeoning “Songwriter Era,” the group was actually discouraged from penning their own material (2) before fame came, Billy opened a club in his hometown of St. Louis to learn how to really perform.

Here are the two interview segments that aired on The Soul Show (WYEP) on 8/10/19. Enjoy.

McCoo/Davis, Part 1
McCoo/Davis, Part 2

Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Here’s the schedule for the 2nd annual Blues & Heritage Festival. It starts today. Lyndsey Smith returns from the Big Easy to perform with Steeltown Horns at the Taste of Blues Party.

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