Pittonkatonk May Day Celebration

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Vietnam Veterans Pavilion

Vietnam Veteran's Pavilion Driveway

Pittsburgh, PA 15207

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Event description


Balkan Brass, Cumbia, Live Hip-Hop, Activist Big Bands, Social Justice Organizers: a one of a kind musical festival, free and open to all, connecting the dots between community, organizers, and euphoric musical experiences.

An all ages community event featuring 15 bands from across the globe.


Date: Saturday May 11, 2019

Location: Vietnam Veteran’s Pavilion in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA

Time: 1pm - 11pm

Ticket Price: No admission fee


Facebook event page:¬if_id=1551748338261850

Indiegogo: link

Hotel Reservation: link

The Brass BBQ is Saturday May 11th! The lineup includes:

Los Mirlos (LIma, Peru)

Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra (Macedonia)

What Cheer Brigade (Providence, RI)

Afro Yaqui Collective (Pittsburgh, PA)

La Misa Negra (Oakland, CA)

Detroit Party Marching Band (Detroit, MI)

Rebel Diaz (NYC)

1Hood (PIttsburgh, PA)

Timbeleza (Pittsburgh, PA)

May Day Marching Band (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Blitz (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lemon Bucket Orchestra (Toronto, Canada)

Hugo Cruz & Caminos (Havana, Cuba)

Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sto Rox Marching Band (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bombici (Pittsburgh, PA)


Pittonkatonk 2018 had over 220 participating musicians & a crowd of over 5000 people.


  • Artivist Greenhouse - Commissioning world premieres of new music for justice and liberation. Written by artists in collaboration with activist organizations to build a better society.

  • 4 International performers including

    • Los Mirlos (Peru) - Considered one of the pioneers of the psychedelic Amazonian Cumbia, Los Mirlos travel the world after 45 years with pride to make known the sound of the jungle in Peru and in the world. (link)

    • Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra (Macedonia) - It is widely known that the dream of every trumpet player of the Balkan region is to win the Guća Festival. The famous “Dragacevski Sabor” in Guca, Serbia (also known as “Golden Triumpet competition”) is since the sixties the most important event of this kind in the whole region and probably in the world. At the World competition in summer of 2011, The Aguševi Orchestra received the first prize and Džambo wrote his name in the history of this famous event: both the judges and the audience appraised the Orchestra and its young leader. (link)

    • Lemon Bucket Orkestra (Canada) - (link)

    • Hugo Cruz & Caminos (Cuba) -


Pittonkatonk is a music

Pittonkatonk is a space of engagement.

Pittonkatonk is collaboration.

Pittonkatonk is political action.

Artivist greenhouse

Commissioning world premieres of new music for justice and liberation. Written by artists in collaboration with activist organizations to build a better society.

This year Pittonkatonk will commission three Pittsburgh artists to write new songs in collaboration with social justice organizers. Called the Artist Greenhouse, the project encourage artists to form deep working relationships with environmental and social justice organizations that work to clean our air and water, support immigrants, and prevent displacement. The songs will live on after their premiere at the May Day Barbecue on May 11, helping these organizations get their message out in creative ways.

Activist Greenhouse

With an expected attendance of over 5,000 people, Pittonkatonk and New Sun Rising are collaborating to represent over a dozen social justice organizations in our resource tent at this years event. Organizations included are Casa San Jose, 1Hood, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Thomas Merton Center, Breathe Project, Latin American Cultural Union, True T, Planned Parenthood, FracTracker, Fair Districts, HIAS, Repair the World, ACLU, City of Asylum, Pittsburgh United, Zero Waste, Bike Pgh, Pin Up Posters,

Pittonkatonk’s history and mission

Pittonkatonk is music without boundaries. Since 2014, Pittonkatonk is music in public spaces that belong to everyone, with no stage, no doors, and no right way to express yourself. There is no admission fee, no corporate sponsors, and nothing is for sale. It is a potluck event where people bring food, drink, music, dancing, and the desire to come together to celebrate what music and community really can be. We connect people with national and local musicians, activists, and educators in order to empower them to use their love of music to engage the world around them. Our mission is to promote music performance as a means of achieving positive personal, social, and political outcomes. To achieve this we create events that engender purposeful music making on a communal level, blurring the lines between performer and spectator, entertainment and activism. We work with adults and teens from Pittsburgh to create public performance opportunities designed to give a voice vulnerable people in our city. Our goal is create a musical space for everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, class, or religion. Pittonkatonk brings together bands ranging from Balkan brass to activist marching bands, global hip hop, Cumbia, samba, and New Orleans swing. How about a house show for the whole city? How about a family reunion with 3000 people you’ve never met? How about a neighborhood party with 90 neighborhoods? That’s what we’re about. Pittonkatonk works because we make a call to action and, for the past five years, the community has answered. This year, we want to join forces with you again to make our city more inclusive, progressive, and welcoming.

  • Using music to promote fair and just relations between people and society. #MusicAndJustice

  • Empowering people to use music to engage the world around them. #StrengthThruMusic

  • Using music to achieve positive social and political outcomes. #MusicalResistance


Just because there is no ticket price doesn't mean we don't need your support. Your monetary, potluck, and volunteer contributions will help create a festival unlike anything else in the city of Pittsburgh. What do we need? We need your help getting the word out, collecting donations, helping us bring together a gathering of folks from all over the city. So share our event page, flier, and indiegogo.

Other Pitonkatonk related events

Thursday May 9

Pretonkatonk : Lemon Bucket Orkestra

At Javor Croatian Club

805 East Street Pittsburgh, PA

7pm doors

Show at 8pm


Event link

Friday May 10

Pittonkatonk : Youth Showcase

Salem’s Event Center

6pm - 9pm


Event link

Pittonkatonk is teaming up with Remake Learning and the Grable Foundation to present a showcase of teen performances and a creative and inclusive space for youth. Featured performances and hang time with our Sto-Rox Youth, Casa San Jose’s SOY program, Big Blitz, May Day Marching Band, Afro Yaqui Music Collective, and more. This program is open to all

Support for Pittonkatonk and related programming comes from

The Heinz Endowments

The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Grable Foundation

The Opportunity Fund

Remake Learning

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Vietnam Veterans Pavilion

Vietnam Veteran's Pavilion Driveway

Pittsburgh, PA 15207

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