Poetry and Jazz finds San Francisco writer Jack Hirschman joined by the Terni Jazz Orchestra Ensemble for an innovative evening of music, poetry, and politics, featuring the poet’s distinctive voice as an integral part of original music compositions. The longstanding collaboration between Hirschman and the group of Italian musicians, led by composer/arranger Marco Collazzoni and saxophonist Francesco Guzzetta, began at the International Poetry Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia, thanks to the patronage of Casa della Poesia di Salerno, and culminated with the recording of a CD presented at Teatro Valle in Rome in 2014.
Hirschman is one of the most distinctive voices of the American counterculture, known for his radical engagement with both poetry and politics. His long literary career as acclaimed poet, essayist, and translator is interlaced with artists like Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Born in 1933, he grew up in the Bronx and, as a young man, had an early brush with fame when Ernest Hemingway wrote him a letter, later published as “A Letter to a Young Writer.” Hirschman has lived in California since the 1970s. In 2002, he received the Book Award Life Achievement from the Before Columbus Foundation and in 2006 he was named Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Hirschman has published more than fifty volumes of poetry and has translated radical poets from around the world from Russian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Albanian, Yiddish, Vietnamese, and Creole.