Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil will perform tonight at the Byham.
PSO meets the Beatles
Classical Mystery Tour, performing with the Pittsburgh Pops, is not a "drop-the-needle" or "name-this-symphony" game -- although either of those would be fun. It is a Beatles tribute band. This year it has an easy hook with the 50th anniversary of the legendary group. It will focus on the groundbreaking "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Shows are 7:30 tonight, 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $20; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Performing a rare show tonight at the Byham will be Gilberto Gil, the legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist known for originating the late '60s Tropicalia movement, which fused Brazilian music with rock and soul.
The former minister of culture of Brazil is touring on his 2010 album "Fe Na Festa." The New York Times describes his recent show, which included surprise guest David Byrne, as featuring accordion, triangle, zabumba drum, fiddle, bass and guitars, and featuring Gonzaga songs, "rusticated versions of his own songs" (like "Expresso 2222") and forró-tinged versions of Bob Marley songs.
It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30; 412-456-6666.
Incredible competition fuels classical music from a child auditioning for an orchestra to budding professionals participating in contests for soloists. That said, there aren't many events that pit composer against composer.
Two local contemporary music groups, Alia Musica Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, will erect a metaphorical boxing ring for bouts between five Pittsburgh-related composers. Works by Molly Joyce, David Liptak, David Stock, Sean Neukom and James Ogburn will be performed at a concert at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Kresge Theater.
One of the bigger catches on the Andy Warhol Museum's Sound Series is indie band The Magnetic Fields, playing the Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland, at 8 p.m. Friday.
The band, led by Stephin Merritt, is best-known for the 1999 Baroque pop concept album "69 Love Songs," which ranked at No. 465 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time."
The band's latest album, "Love at the Bottom of the Sea," finds it back on Merge Records, blending acoustic and synthesized instruments on songs that are all less than three minutes long.
Asked by the Riverfront Times about having female voices frequently sing his songs, Mr. Merritt said, "I often find it more pleasurable to listen to the songs that I don't sing. When it's me singing, I hear it all as little mistakes. But when it's someone else, it's easier to appreciate the song."
The Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park will celebrate A Pioneer Thanksgiving on Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The "Miller family" and friends (volunteers dressed in period attire) will prepare and display foods common to the times using the open hearth, bake oven and fire pit. Past celebrations have included dishes such as colonial game pie, roast venison and pumpkin soup. At 2:30 guests are invited to meet at the log house to learn about a typical 18th-century church service with the "Rev. John Macmillan." Historic crafts such as spinning, weaving, quilting, and blacksmith work will be demonstrated.
New York's Sequitur ensemble has been performing on the edge for years: supporting living composers and incorporating engaging, sometimes theatrical and visually artful concerts. It performs 7 p.m. Sunday with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger on the University of Pittsburgh's Music on the Edge contemporary music series.
The program, at Pitt's Bellefield Hall Auditorium, is Ravel's "Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme," Amy Williams' "Cineshape 5," Mathew Rosenblum's "Maggies," Eric Moe's "Strenuous Pleasures" and Harold Meltzer's "Variations on a Summer's Day." www.pitt.edu/tickets or 412-624-7529. $10-$20, Pitt students get in free.
NEED TO KNOW
This weekend's Zeppelin fix comes from Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, led by the son on Bonzo, who powered the surviving members at the O2 reunion shows in London. The show is at Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead in Munhall at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $35-$75; www.ticketfly.com.
• Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society welcomes The Campbell Brothers to the Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. They perform African-American gospel music with electric steel guitar and vocal. Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote, "The Campbell Brothers play music that until recently was heard only in gospel churches, with pedal steel guitar lines swooping skyward like a gospel shouter; two Campbell brothers trade off leads, carrying the songs to peak after peak." Tickets are $39; $20 student rush. Call 412-361-1915 or visit www.calliopehouse.org.
• When Music in a Great Space, the concert series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, and the Organ Artists Series team up, it adds up to one of the best pipe organ concerts in town. This year, the two organizations co-present organist Joan Lippincott, professor emerita of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton at 4 p.m. Sunday. $5-$12; 412-682-4300.
• Students from the Point Park Conservatory Dance Company collaborate with choreographers Christopher Huggins, Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Cooper Verona and Patrick Frantz in "Contemporary Choreographers," which will bring a mix of movement styles to the George Rowland White Performance Studio, Downtown. It's 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Performances also will be held at the same times Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Tickets are $18-$20 at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com or 412-392-8000.
• The Hollywood Theater in Dormont presents a special screening of "Christmas in Compton," co-produced by Pittsburghers Paula Gregg and Susan Burig, at 6 p.m Friday. The event will feature members of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, and a raffle of signed Steelers memorabilia will benefit local foundations and the Red Cross, in support of Hurricane Sandy victims. Go to www.thehollywooddormont.org
• KC & The Sunshine Band get down tonight, conveniently, at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $90; 724-836-8000.
• A sure sign that winter is on its way is the opening of the Schenley Park Skating Rink. It is now open seven days a week for skating sessions, lessons and special events. Admission is $4; $3 for seniors (60 and older) and youth (17 and younger). Skate rental is $2.50, and skate sharpening is $3.50. For more information, call 412-422-6523 or visit www.SchenleyRink.com.