• Pittonkatonk is music
        • Pittonkatonk is a space of engagement.
        • Pittonkatonk is collaboration.
        • Pittonkatonk is political action.

Pittonkatonk’s mission is to empower people through music in diverse practices to engage the world around them and advance fair and just relations between people and society.

Pittonkatonk focuses on community music making, youth performance opportunities, youth and adult education and workshops, and partnerships with like minded non-profit organizations.  Pittonkatonk creates spaces around the city of Pittsburgh where the audience and musicians celebrate diversity while working for a common good. With no corporate sponsors, and nothing for sale, Pittonkatonk is an effort to create musical spaces where people can come together and empower each other outside traditional musical economies.

Pittonkatonk’s two largest programs are the Pittonkatonk Education Program (PEP), connecting local teen musicians with national and local musicians and educators and the May Day Brass BBQ, an annual volunteer-support event attended by more than 3,500 people each year. Pittonkatonk also supports select events throughout the year including musician and activist roundtables, performances, lectures, and collective music- and art-action events.

Pittonkatonk is music.

200 musicians perform at Pittonkatonk each year, whose ages ranging from 12 to 75 years old. Groups from the the brass activist scene, balkan brass, and cumbia mix with local and international hip hop. The Pittonkatonk Education Program brings the artists to the classroom and the classroom to the big May Day barbeque.


Pittonkatonk is engagement.

The spirit of engagement runs through every element of Pittonkatonk: from the potluck where strangers break bread over shared dishes and drinks. To hearing musical cultures that are shared like nowhere else, when jazz bands, West African bands, Eastern European brass, and live hip hop performers brush up against each other. Musical traditions that make the marginalized audible and the oppressed empowered create a one of kind space that forms the foundation of lifelong friendships, political alliances, and healthy communities.


Pittonkatonk is collaboration.

Collaboration is the foundation of Pittonkatonk. Between social justice organizations and musicians creating change with music, Pittonkatonk encourage artists to create new music for local activist groups working in immigrant rights, environmental justice, and structural equality.


Pittonkatonk is a political action.

Political action for social justice fuels the spirit of Pittonkatonk. Organizations in our activist greenhouse work with attendees and artists to address structural inequality, racism, and environmental degradation; the power of the Pittonkaonk community ensures that lasting change emerges from the relationships built not only between the audiences and organizers, bt between organization themselves. Over the years, Pittontaonk has become increasingly aware of the need to facilitate a justice based culture.