PSO's American spirit
In a bizarre Super Bowl ad last month, Bob Dylan asked viewers, "Is there anything more American than America?" That's probably a rhetorical question (or should be), but in classical music, few composers captured the American spirit better than Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin.
Led by Michael Stern, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will takes on Bernstein's "Fancy Free" ballet, Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and Gershwin's "An American in Paris" (alas, not the Paris of Appalachia), along with Griffes' "The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Kahn." The concerts may not be more American than America, but they should get pretty close.
Concerts are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $25.75-$105.75; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Carnegie turns 120
Carnegie borough will celebrate its 120th birthday with a concert by legendary jazz guitarist Joe Negri at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall tonight.
The evening will also pay tribute to lifelong Carnegie resident Marcella McGrogan, retired executive director of the Historical Society of Carnegie.
The concert will be followed by a reception featuring hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, and a chance to chat with the jazz great and Ms. McGrogan. Tickets are $30. Proceeds benefit Historical Society of Carnegie operations and seed money for Carnegie's Quasquicentennial.
It's at 7:30 p.m; www.carnegieborough.com or 412-276-7447.
Eddie Vedder said of Jake Shimabukuro: "Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can't see anybody else catching up with." That would be the ukulele, which he will hand for the sold-out Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland.
The Hawaiian musician is touring on his new record, "Grand Ukulele," which has him collaborating with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, known for his work on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," the Beatles' "Abbey Road" and his own solo project.
They brought in a 29-piece orchestra, plus drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto), session bassist Randy Tico and Kip Winger (Winger, Alice Cooper). They do originals such as "Island Fever Blues" and traditional Hawaiian song "Akaka Falls," along with Sting's "Fields of Gold" and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."
"I feel really connected to this record," the ukulele master said in a statement. "It was an honor to work with Alan and all those great musicians. It really felt like old friends coming together -- there was so much positive energy surrounding the project -- it was a magical experience that I'll never forget."
With the home show out of the way, the young ones take over the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Saturday for the Giant Eagle Kidapalooza.
The family festival features The Sports Zone, Princess Pavilion, Health Fair and a Creative Corner with crafts and indoor rides.
Captain Barnacles and Kwazii from the Octonauts will be featured on the main stage at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Attendees can also meet Phil Bourque, Iceburgh and Ice Crew members.
It runs from 10 a.m, to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10; $6 for kids 3-11; 2 and under free; www.kidapalooza.com.
You Can Dance!
USA Dance Pittsburgh present "An Evening of Elegance" featuring ballroom dancing to benefit Yes, You Can Dance!
The local nonprofit founded by Rebecca Stern strives to make dance more accessible to people with developmental challenges, senior citizens and people with Parkinson's disease. At the event, guests can take part in a silent auction, treat themselves to cookies and coffee and watch a dance showcase performed by the Yes, You Can Dance! exhibition team.
It's 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Oakland. Tickets are $35 at the door. Information: www.usadancepgh.com or www.yesyoucandance.org.
Hugh Masekela, the renowned South African trumpeter, composer, singer and activist, performs at 7 p.m. Sunday at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side.
Best known for the Grammy-nominated 1968 single "Grazing in the Grass," the trumpeter has been a musical ambassador for the nation and has performed with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Bob Marley to Paul Simon to Dave Matthews.
Tickets are $45, 1-888-718-4253; www.showclix.com.
NEED TO KNOW
• Singer-songwriter Mary Fahl, former lead singer of October Project, performs at Club Cafe, South Side, at 7 p.m. Friday. She is touring on her new album, "Love and Gravity," which includes "Exiles (The Wolves of Midwinter)," the theme song for the audiobook version of the novel by Anne Rice. www.clubcafelive.com.
• The Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty presents SUNSTAR: Tribute to Ladies of Jazz at 8 p.m. Saturday. It features vocalists Spanky Wilson, Tania Grubbs, Kenia and BeLove. Tickets are $25; $15 artists/students; $20 15206 residents; www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
• Rapper Devin Miles, who repped Pittsburgh earlier this month at SXSW, plays a hometown show on a bill with New Orleans' G-Eazy, Rookie Fresh and more. It's at 7 p.m. Saturday at Altar Bar. $18; www.thealtarbar.com.
• Anvil, the Canadian metal band featured in the indie documentary hit "The Story of Anvil," plays the 31st Street Pub in the Strip at 9 tonight with Gran Gila, Thundervest and Porno Tongue. Tickets are $15.
• Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown, features two short-form improv shows on Saturday: At 8 p.m., "Last Ham Standing" is a family-friendly show where audience suggestions are turned into comedy scenes and games. At 10, "Comedy Royale" is a competitive improv smackdown. Both shows are $10 ($5 student rush) at arcadecomedytheater.com.
• "Dorothy in Oz," Rage of the Stage Players' risque peek over the rainbow, is at Off the Wall Theater, Carnegie, 8 p.m. today and Friday and 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15; 724-292-TICS (8427). Details: www.insideoffthewall.com.