PITTONKATONK: Changing How We Experience Live Music

Pittonkatonk/ FB

Horns, drums, bbq, and completely immersive musical chaos have been coming to Schenley Park once a year since May 3, 2014. A date which marked the first annual Pittonkatonk.

The brass music festival meets potluck meets May Day BBQ is a place where all styles of brass music converge to inspire the coming together of individuals within a community. New Orleans Jazz, Balkan, Symphonic and musicians playing every style in between join forces at Pittonkatonk as the free event draws folks of all ages and all walks of life to be part of this lively musical tradition.

Over 700 attendees each year have turned this event into much more than a music festival. Pittonkatonk believes in eliminating the economic affiliations between performance and audience. Instead they welcome everyone to create and experience in one shared space free of pretension.

Local Event Producer and prominent DJ, Pete Spynda (Pandemic Pete), worked with CMU professor Rich Randall to create Pittonkatonk after Randall had the idea to create something which would highlight the kinship between music and labor; a sweaty festival full of food, drinks, and just enough pandemonium to lift people off their feet and into the midst of a musical rumpus.

Pittonkatonk/ FB
Pittonkatonk/ FB

True to its origins, Pittonkatonk has been made possible because of the laborious efforts of their small team. Everything from housing musicians to planning the BBQ has been the work of only 10 team members who start planning months in advance to collect the appropriate permits and to find talented brass musicians all over the country.

Pittonkatonk has included dozens of musicians including Beauty Slap, Detroit Party Marching Band, New York’s Pitchblak Brass Band, high school marching bands from the Pittsburgh area, and What Cheer? Brigade; an ensemble that served as inspiration for Pittonkatonk’s communal approach to live music.

The Pittonkatonk crew continually strive to use the festival as a means of creating activism within the community. To find out more about how this immersive event is helping to change the role of both musician and audience visit them at pittonkatonk.com