Vietnam Veterans Pavilion, Schenley Park

May 2
3 p.m.

Honk, stomp and cheer your way into Spring at the authentically Pittsburgh first-of-its-kind Pittonkatonk Brass Festival. Quickly garnering “coolest event of 2014″ praise among local music lovers after its debut in May of 2014, the highly anticipated second edition of this free family-friendly celebration will bring feel-good vibes to Schenley Park’s outdoor pavilion.


Nationally touring acts headlining Pittonk this year include Providence, RI-based 18-piece brass punk band What Cheer? Brigade, NYC’s Pitchblak Brass Band, prolific Balkan brass ensemble Black Bear Combo from Chicagoland and the funky 27-member Detroit Party Marching Band. Rounding out the roster are local ensembles Beauty Slap, May Day Marching Band, Colonel Eagleburger’s Goodtime Highstepping Band, Slide Worldwide Brass Band and more.

New this year is the addition of two local high school marching bands and a unique educational partnership and collaborative performance featuring students from the UPrep High School Band, based in the Hill District, and musicians from What Cheer? Brigade.

Last year some 700 people gathered—many with homemade sausage and Slivovitz in hand—to enjoy the electrifying brass music, celebrate May Day and International Workers’ Day and take in the park’s bucolic surroundings. Equal parts music festival and family potluck, Pittonkatonk is a labor of love presented by local DJ, promoter and event producer Pete Spynda along with Rich Randall and the Listening Spaces Project.

Adding some all-ages fun to the music will be plenty of hula hooping activities as well as hands-on art projects led by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Want to help make the event happen? Donate to the festival’s Indiegogo campaign, or email pittonkatonk@gmail.com with the word “volunteer” in the subject line.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.