Ever since reading this 2014 Pittsburgh City Paper article about TRAF’s diversity dearth, I’ve paid close attention to the trajectory of change. It’s been a positive one, thanks to a conscious festival committee and staff. Local foundations have played a part as well.
Big picture: catching some coffee in the cream still requires navigation and planning. The pandemic and other forces have changed logistics and scheduling, and I’ve started scribbling down what looks good for the warm season.
Oakland Pop Festival, April 23 I spotted this new one on the WYEP website. It’s time to see Jordan Montgomery for the first time, and Sierra again.
Pittonkatonk, Schenley Park, May 14
Maple House Music + Arts Festival, May 21
Summer at the Station, Wilkinsburg May 21, June 25, …
The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and Equity | Impact Center are partnering to host Summer at the Station, a series of four Saturday community gatherings at the Wilkinsburg Train Station. The series will highlight local organizations, musicians, and artists while providing a space for the community to gather, connect, and enjoy.
Free and open to the public! Each Saturday event will feature Wilkinsburg businesses and organizations, tours of the newly renovated Wilkinsburg Train Station, and performances by local artists and musicians, including:
Sierra Sellers, 5-6PM
Jazz On The Steps, Carnegie Library Homewood, (most) Wednesdays June-July
Highlights for this year: Bill Henry Band. Byron Nash. Allison Russell (of Our Native Daughters), Midnight Star (except….who’s left??). Also, Vanessa Collier (also at Flood City this summer) and Arrested Development (also at Point State Park this summer).
Make sure you look at my sneakaround map to avoid Hartwood’s traffic madness at the main gate.
Summer Fridays at the Frick,
June 17, July 22, August 19, September 2 July 22nd: Bell Family Band
August 19th: Yetu AfroPop
WYEP Summer Music Festival, Schenley Plaza June 25
Pittsburgh Reggae Festival, Homestead July 1
Southside Works Music on the Mon, every Friday through September, beginning July 1
This 2021 pop-up ended up being one of the best series of the summer. Cimafunk and some crazy funk band from Baltimore were highlights last year.
2022: Byron Nash and Jacquea Mae (July 1), The Buckle Downs (August 5), Kenny Stockard (August 26 & Sept. 9), Brittney Chantele (September 2), Geña Música, Sierra Sellers and Hugo Cruz (September 16), Driving While Black Records (September 23), Bill Henry Band (September 30).
Picklesburgh, Downtown July 15-17 Flood is a pretty drive up the country and into the bowl. Bernie Worrell, Cyril Neville, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and others have been highlights for me (plus Brownout presents Brown Sabbath and Devon Allman as bands slightly off the theme of this story). This year the organizers are excited about Vanessa Collier, and I am too.
Hill District Arts Festival, 1800 Block of Centre Ave, July 30-31
Reservoir of Jazz, Highland Park, Sundays in August
Just Summer, The Highline (South Side), August 9, 16, 23
- August 9: Alejandro Pinzon Quintet
- August 16: C Street Brass
- August 23: INEZ
Word from Chamber Music Pittsburgh: “All concerts are free! De Fer will be there selling cocktails and Sly Fox Brewery will be open!”
Harambee Ujima Black Arts Festival, Homewood, August 12-14
Soul Food Fest, Downtown, September 2-4
Pittsburgh’s Soul Food Festival-A Soulful Taste of the Burgh on Sept. 2-4 inside Downtown Market Square and on 3rd and 4th avenues… Food Vendors l Speakers l Cultural Activities l Local Artist l National Entertainment l and more
This festival now starts before Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, and bumps right into PIJF. What a busy weekend. Excited to see Wolfman and Fantastic Negrito. It moved from downtown to Highmark Stadium in 2021.
PIJF mostly moved to the south bank in 2021. The stadium setting offered a beautiful backdrop of the city skyline. This year’s must-see is Samara Joy; she was special at Cleveland’s Tri-C Jazz Festival 2021. I also need to catch Ledisi for a full show. I may have seen Nate Smith before, but in support. The August Wilson organizers are really excited about Vanisha Gould.