Pittsburgh May Day Brass BBQ


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.

Balkan Brass, Cumbia,
Hip-Hop, Big Bands &
Social Justice.


“You’re part of something bigger, something magical. You’re part of something where everyone values you for who you are. And in that moment, you can totally let loose and be free.”

Meg Fair
Pittsburgh City Paper


Pittonkatonk is more than just the annual picnic; it also does educational outreach year-round in the Sto-Rox school district and elsewhere. But the picnic is its keynote event, last year drawing a crowd estimated at about 3,000.

Bill O’Discoll
WESA 90.5 FM

The focus of Pittonkatonk is on community. It’s about bringing together people who might otherwise never convene, and blurring the line between performer and spectator.

Caralyn Green
Pittsburgh City Paper



Authentic and grassroots, Pittonkatonk erases boundaries between performers and attendees, which means there are no stages, green rooms, tickets or corporate sponsors. Sounds representing West Africa, Chicago, Providence and more will fill the pavilion and spill into the park actively engaging listeners in live performance. It’s uplifting to see, hear, and be a part of.

Jennifer Baron
NEXT Pittsburgh


PITTONKATONK 2020 is coming!











The bands!


What Cheer? Brigade
What Cheer? Brigade

What Cheer? Brigade is a brass band with approximately 18 active members from Providence, Rhode Island. They perform using exclusively brass instruments, saxophones, and drums in a variety of world styles, such as Indian Bollywood music, Balkan brass, klezmer, as well as American styles.

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Džambo Aguševi Orchestra
Džambo Aguševi Orchestra

Džambo Aguševi Orchestra is a brass band from Macedonia virtuously performing a music that might be defined as fusion of traditional Balkan, Gypsy and Turkish music influenced by swing, jazz and pop and film music, today considered as one of top Balkan brass bands.

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come visit & participate in the activist greenhouse.

A community resource tent of Social and Environmental Justice Organizations. Presented in collaboration with New Sun Rising

Pittonkatonk is commissioning new music about justice to world premiere on May 11, 2019, featuring collaborations with:

May Day Marching Band & Casa San Jose SOY

Focusing on
Immigration & Equality

Afro Yaqui Music Collective & 1Hood & Sio-Rox Marching Band

Focusing on
Water Quality

Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Sto Rox Marching Band

Focusing on
Cultural Exchange

Hugo Cruz and Caminos

Collaboration with Cuba percussionist and African American Music Institute

But, What is Pittonkatonk?


Through educational programming and community events, Pittonkatonk encourages social engagement between musicians, audiences, and community members, in ways that blur the lines between performer and spectator. We focus on supporting music education in Pittsburgh area high schools.


The annual Pittonkatonk May Day BBQ is a volunteer-supported celebration attended by more than 3,500 people. On a Saturday in May, [the Pittsburgh community] gathers at the Schenley Park Veterans Pavilion to hear performances from local, national and international activist bands, and interact with social and environmental justice organizations.


This year, three Pittsburgh artists will write new songs in collaboration with social justice organizers, The Social Impact Experience. The project encourages artists to form deep working relationships with environmental and social justice organizations that work to get their message out in creative ways.

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Pittonkatonk is supported by

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