The series debuts on Feb. 23, offering a variety of musical performances, spoken word and visual art. Joining The Uptown Woods is minimalist folk artist Angela Autumn, throwback classic-rockers Millgroves Crossing, and the experimental indie-rock band Different Places in SPACE. There will also be performances from spoken-word artists Andrew Aluise, Emma Vescio, Brittney Chantele and Tribe Eternal.
Supplant and Shafer, both juniors at Duquesne University, founded The Uptown Woods in 2015. They developed their chemistry over a series of jam sessions, with Shafer on keys and Supplant as MC and saxophonist. Jazz and hip hop are common musical sparring partners, but with The Uptown Woods, the split is pretty much 50-50. Shafer’s compositions and Supplant’s lyrics stand with equal confidence, and it’s fun watching the two go toe to toe.
Though only one date is set so far, Shafer and Supplant are intent on growing the event each month, and making sure it remains diverse and open.
“We want there to be a special feeling of family and community,” says Supplant. “We feel as if the Pittsburgh music scene in general could use a little more strength. [And there should be] a place where everyone can get together for free, appreciate art [and] listen to music. [It would] also give a platform for new artists who would like to collaborate and be part of the event in the future.”