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An Evolving POC Planner for the 2022 Festival Season

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

Millvale Music Festival, May 20-21

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:

August 27:
Sierra Sellers, 5-6PM

Kayafest, Smallman Street May 29

Jazz On The Steps, Carnegie Library Homewood, (most) Wednesdays June-July An Evolving POC Planner for the 2022 Festival Season

Three Rivers Arts Festival, Downtown June 3-12

Allegheny County Summer Concert Series, Hartwood Acres and South Park June 3 – September 2

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.

Stars at Riverview, Riverview Park, Saturdays June 11 – August 27

Juneteenth, Downtown June 16-19

Summer Fridays at the Frick, June 17, July 22, August 19, September 2

July 22nd: Bell Family Band

August 19th: Yetu AfroPop

Tri-C Jazz Festival, Cleveland June 23-25

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 MúsicaSierra Sellers and Hugo Cruz (September 16), Driving While Black Records (September 23), Bill Henry Band (September 30).

Pittsburgh Black Music Fest, Downtown July 14-17

Deutschtown Music Festival, Northside July 22-24

Picklesburgh, Downtown July 15-17

Flood City Music Festival

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, Johnstown July 29-30

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.

Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival (Cheswick), July 30-31

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

This is a relatively new series presented by Chamber Music Pittsburgh, and is one of the city’s best-kept musical secrets. It moved to The Highline in 2021.

  • 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

Harambee Wellness Black Arts Festival, East Liberty, August 19-21

Monroeville Jazz Festival, September 3

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

Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival, Highmark Stadium September 14-15

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.

Kingfish Ingram at Highmark Blues & Heritage, 2019 (soulshowmike image)

Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, Highmark Stadium September 16-18

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.

Winston Bell, PIJF 2021 (soulshowmike image)

PIJF at its new 2021 home (soulshowmike image)



  1. Robert
    Robert February 27, 2022

    Thank you for the dates, they are very helpful for those of us who have to take vacation or make work schedule switches to attend. The earliest multiperformer outdoor PGH event, Pittonkatonk, just announced their dates but not the lineup.

  2. admin
    admin March 5, 2022

    Ah, yes! Thanks for P’Tonk reminder.

  3. Jack Day
    Jack Day April 21, 2022

    Mike, thanx for compiling the list, this info was much needed and will be very helpful to us live music fans . . .

    • admin
      admin May 4, 2022

      You’re welcome, Jack!

  4. Jon Leya
    Jon Leya May 4, 2022

    Maple House Music Feast does not belong on this list. It does not really support local music and coincides with Millvale Music Festival. Great lineup (except for the Ghost Hounds) that’s true — but look up why this show is even happening against a true Pittsburgh music festival.
    Save your money (Tom Tull and his wife don’t need anymore money) and support local music or at least bands that are in it for artistic and not monetary reasons.

    • admin
      admin May 11, 2022

      John, thanks for your feedback. I do agree that it doesn’t support local music as much as some others on the list, but that wasn’t a pre-condition that I was attempting to meet. I also understand the frustration regarding Deutschtown.

      My focus here, as stated, is to provide a good overview of the artists of color.

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