Hot List of events for the coming weekend, Sept. 22-25
September 22, 2016 12:00 AM
Jason Aldean closes out First Niagara's concert season on Saturday.
Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will perform at Mr. Smalls in Millvale Friday night.
The crossover duo Black Violin — violinist Kev Marcus and violist Wil B. — bring elements of classical music, hip-hop, rock and more to their 8 p.m. appearance at Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium, 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. The show is part of the group’s UNITY tour. $28.75-$39.85; more at www.blackviolin.net or 412-281-1026.
Civil Rights in Comics
The ToonSeum exhibition “From MLK to March: Civil Rights in Comics and Cartoons” will be on display at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Friday through Nov. 20. The exhibition in the BNY Mellon Gallery, curated by Sylvia Rhor, professor of art history at Carlow University, and Rob Rogers, ToonSeum president and Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist, covers civil rights struggles from the 1950s comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story” to selected works from “March,” a graphic novel trilogy about social activist Rep. John Lewis.
On Oct. 8, Mr. Lewis, “March” co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell will discuss “March” at the AWC, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. The discussion from 2-4 p.m. is free, but registration is required at www.eventbrite.com. For more info, call the ToonSeum at 412-232-0199.
Pittsburgh Americana duo The Grant Street Grifters will issue their debut EP, “An Hour Before Dawn,” Friday at The FunHouse at Mr. Smalls in Millvale.
The Grifters are guitarist-singer Peter Flynn, who was inspired at a young age by the music of Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt and the Rev. Gary Davis, and double bassist-singer Trish Imbrogno, who studied bass at Duquesne University and performs in the Butler Symphony Orchestra. They began as The Grifters, playing mostly obscure folk and blues covers.
During their set, they will welcome Chet Vincent, Molly Alphabet, Patrick Varine and Jill Simmons. Dave and Pappy from theCAUSE will open. It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10; http://bit.ly/GrantStreetGrifters; www.grantstreetgrifters.com.
Country hard-rocker Jason Aldean puts a wrap on the First Niagara Pavilion season, rolling in on the Six String Circus Tour, supporting his new chart-topping seventh album, “They Don’t Know.”
It’s just Mr. Aldean, who has 17 No. 1 country hits, working his core sound. Hits Daily Double said it’s “the Nashville superstar refining what he does best — muscular, guitar-heavy jams and ballads filled with yearning, both delivered with down-home directness.”
The album was advanced by the single “Lights Come On,” of which he said, “Being on stage is why I do what I do, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. This song is all about that rush you can only get from stepping on stage and listening to fans sing along to every word. It’s about throwing the biggest party from the floor to the top of the rafters for all those people who spent their paycheck to come see us.”
He’s joined by Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses at 7:30 p.m. $30.50-$70.50; www.ticketmaster.com.
R&B artist Joe performs as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Soul Sessions Series at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown, at 8 p.m. The crooner and Grammy-nominated artist will be performing songs from his new album, “Bridges.”
Tickets are $55. For information: www.trustarts.org or 412-456-6666.
Bugg and Crowe
British indie-rocker Jake Bugg, deemed by Rolling Stone to be “one of the finest new songwriters of his generation,” returns to play Mr. Smalls in Millvale on Friday, having just released a more eclectic third album, “On My One.” Show is 8:30 p.m. $25; ticketweb.com.
The soulful former frontman for the Black Crowes brings the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, touring behind fourth studio album, “Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel,” to the Rex Theater, South Side, on Friday. It begins at 10:30 p.m. $20-$25; ticketfly.com.
The MCG Jazz 30th season begins this weekend with Great American Songbook Foundation founder Michael Feinstein and his Trio performing four shows.
Over the past three decades, the jazz singer-pianist from Columbus, Ohio, has earned five Grammy Award nominations and has performed at the White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House.
“I am thrilled to be with you to celebrate the 30th anniversary of MCG Jazz. I look forward to a special weekend in Pittsburgh,” said Mr. Feinstein.
For times visit www.mcgjazz.org or call 412-322-0800.
Pipe bands, dancers, athletes and craftspeople gather to celebrate the traditions of Scotland on Saturday at the annual Ligonier Highland Games at Idlewild Park in Ligonier.
There will be a living history demonstration of the Scottish military, Scottish breed dog exhibits, a competition involving Scottish Gaelic prose, poetry, and song. Vendors display Celtic wares including pottery, jewelry, tartans, Scottish food and kilts.
On Friday, the Games will host the Open/Professional Piping Competition at 6 p.m. at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center in Greensburg.
Saturday, the Idlewild Park gates open at 8 a.m., with the Games beginning at 9 a.m. Athletic events include tossing the caber, putting the stone and weight throw, and the Scottish Highland Dancing competition features the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, the Strathspey and Highland Reel.
The Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers and the Southminster Ringers will perform along with traditional and contemporary Celtic performers. The noon welcoming ceremonies will feature performances by the Massed Bands (all competition and demonstration pipe and drum groups). The afternoon will include a Tug-of- War event, storytelling by Barra the Bard, a rugby match, a fiddle rally and a harp circle.
On the menu will be fern cakes, meat pies, Welsh griddle cookies, Empire biscuits, sausage rolls and shortbread.
Tickets are $20; $18 for seniors (55 and over); $10 kids 13-17; 12 and under free. Parking is also free. Idlewild rides and attractions are closed during the Games. www.ligonierhighlandgames.org.
Tom Waits once said of John Hammond, “John sounds like a big train coming. He chops them all down.”
Calliope launches season 40 on Saturday at Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland with the Grammy-winning acoustic blues master and Blues Hall of Fame inductee.
In his 50-plus year career, he has released more than 30 albums and shared stages or studios with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Duane Allman, The Band and John Lee Hooker, among others. In fact, one of those Hooker jams took place right here at Carnegie Music Hall in the ’80s.
The 73-year-old Hammond’s latest release, “Timeless,” was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2015 Blues Music Awards.
It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45; $20 (full-time student ID) at www.calliopehouse.org.
Graham Nash, in the midst of a falling out with David Crosby, does a solo show at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Munhall, on Saturday.
The legendary member of the Hollies and CSN and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is touring with guitarist and producer Shane Fontayne behind “This Path Tonight,” his first solo record of new music in 14 years.
“What a pleasure it was recording this album,” he said in a statement. “Shane and I had written 20 songs in a month and recorded them in eight days. The music has a different feel to my earlier albums, although I hear echoes of each one. This journey of mine was one of self-discovery, of intense creation, of absolute passion.”
The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $47-$91; ticketfly.com.
Kennywood jumps into the craft beer craze with Brews in the Park, its first-ever beer festival, on Saturday.
Visitors can enjoy more than 120 beer offerings from Southern Tier, Voodoo Brewery, Penn Brewery, Church Brew Works and more, live music from State College-based ‘80s cover band Velveeta, and merchandise vendors.
Kennywood’s signature snack offerings — including Potato Patch fries, corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes and cheese steaks — will be available, along with food trucks.
It runs from 4 to 8 p.m., and tickets include access to Kennywood from 2 to 4 p.m., when guests get all-you-can-ride time on the Jack Rabbit, Racer, Sky Rocket, Thunderbolt, Aero 360 and Merry-Go-Round. The rides will cease operation before pourings begin. Tickets are $49.99 and include a tasting glass, complimentary samples, free hot dogs and the exclusive ride time. A Brews in the Park/Phantom Fright Nights combo ticket is available for an additional $10 ($59.99); www.kennywood.com. All guests must be at least 21 years of age with a valid ID.
The 38th annual Pow Wow, with singing, drumming, dancing, arts, crafts and native foods, takes place Saturday and Sunday at the American Indian Center, 120 Charles St., Dorseyville. It runs noon to 7 p.m. (rain or shine). Donation is $6; $4 elders and children under 12. Info at 412-782-4457 or www.cotraic.org.
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