Festival: Featured Music Lineup – 2018 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival




Points State Park | Gateway Center | Cultural District 
June 1-10, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA – The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a free festival celebrating music + art, returns to the beautiful Point State Park, Gateway Plaza and the Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh June 1-10, 2018. This afternoon, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, producer of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival revealed the diverse featured music lineup for this year’s festival.

This year’s lineup of free and open-to-the-public performances features American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Valerie June, world music collective, Banda Magda, and Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real. The 2018 lineup also features Everything Everything, Sidewalk Chalk, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Mavericks, and the return of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

“Embarking on our 59th year, we continue to strive to present a diversity of genres and performances, attracting world-class entertainment, all free over the 10 days. We are excited to share this year’s rich lineup of artists on the national and international stage,” states Sarah Aziz, Festival Director. “Our aim is always to curate a unique festival experience that is accessible to all.”

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival welcomes nearly 500,000 fans annually for 10 days of free public art installations, live music, theater, dance, gallery exhibitions and markets. The festival is a destination for all who share a passion for creativity and exchange of ideas.

More music is still to come, including a featured performer on June 1 and dozens of local and touring artists appearing on three stages. Dance, film, literary art, gallery exhibitions, public art, and creative activities for all ages will be announced in mid-April. The full lineup will be available at TrustArts.org/TRAF.

Saturday, June 2
Everything Everything
Across three albums, immense acclaim and intense adoration, the sound of Everything Everything has remained a volatile beast; a musical bucking bronco, their albums maximalist, frenetic, art-pop juxtapositions of R’n’B and melancholia and Afrobeat, of synths, guitars, falsetto. Critics have written of the frenzy of it, of the sheer sublime sweet sensory overload of it all.

Their fourth album, A Fever Dream, is a quite different prospect: a calibration of chaos and control, the result of a curious desire for consistency. A Fever Dream is a rare and quite remarkable achievement: an album that is charged and political, that takes the temperature of the times, that will surely stand as one of the year’s most important albums, yet on a most visceral level is arresting, beautiful, tender, and thoroughly, irresistibly danceable. It is that exceptional kind of record that demands cerebral, emotional and physical response — as singer Jonathan Higgs says: “You shouldn’t be sitting down the first time you hear it.”

Sunday, June 3
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. The Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Monday, June 4
Banda Magda

Led by Greek-born composer, orchestrator, singer and accordionist Magda Giannikou (Kronos Quartet, Louis CK), Banda Magda moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and Afro-Peruvian lando. Drawing on the band’s global background (Greece, Argentina, Japan, Colombia, USA), the group combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, sophisticated audience participation, mid-century classics and world “chansons” sung in 6 languages.

Tuesday, June 5
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
The Times They Are A-Changin’: Words and Music of Bob Dylan
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh has taken choral music to a new level with Steve Hackman’s new arrangement of choral work The Music of Bob Dylan. The work premiered in January at the popular indie-rock venue, Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale.  Conducted by Robert Page Music Director Matthew Mehaffey, The Mendelssohn Choir is known for singing classical choral works. This time, however, the Choir has channeled their inner folk musicians to sing Hackman’s arrangements of Bob Dylan favorites.  As Pittsburgh blogger Wavy Alabaster writes, “Listening to 70+ voices, with a small instrumental foundation, sing “Like a Rolling Stone” lyrics, lyrics I live by, was riveting. The power of the words was matched with a powerful physical presence…The choral bodies swayed to the rhythm like a rolling wave in open waters…There was an ease to listening inspired by the fun being had on stage. With every collective gasp, I met Dylan’s music for the first time all over again.”

Wednesday, June 6
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Since forming 10 years ago, the buzz surrounding Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real has been quietly intensifying.  During that time, the 28-year old singer/songwriter/guitarist and his bandmates have played hundreds of shows and major festivals all over the world and built a devoted underground following.  Lukas’ profile continued to rise when he contributed three songs and heavenly vocals to his dad Willie Nelson’s 2012 album, Heroes, their voices blending with potent DNA. Then two years later, life took another turn skyward when Neil Young decided to make Promise of the Real his touring and studio band. Young has guided the grateful young musicians ever since as they’ve backed the legend on tour around the world and on his two most recent albums.

These experiences were undoubtedly invaluable, but none of what has come before will prepare you for the cosmic country soul of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, the band’s new, self-titled album, a mesmerizing, emotionally genuine, endlessly rewarding work set for release on Fantasy Records. From the epic “Set Me Down on a Cloud” to the climactic “If I Started Over,” the album delivers one sublime song and inspired performance after another.

Thursday, June 7
Sidewalk Chalk

Chicago-based ensemble Sidewalk Chalk transcends genre with a wholly original sound that blends elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and R&B. As The Chicago Tribune says, “While many bands strive hard for originality, it’s unlikely that any of them could best Sidewalk Chalk.” Comprised of an MC, vocalist, drummer, bassist, keys player, trombonist and trumpeter, Sidewalk Chalk is driven by an internalized, emphatic statement of purpose, evident in the music from their 2017 release, An Orchid Is Born (Ropeadope Records). This powerhouse group has audiences and critics alike abuzz with excitement, “pushing beyond musical convention to create art that will know no shelf life” (last.fm).

Friday, June 8 (91.3 WYEP Day)
Valerie June
Since the release of her 2013 breakout Pushin’ Against A Stone, June has been patiently at work in the garden of song, nurturing seedlings with love and care into the lush bloom that is her stunning new album, The Order Of Time. As her website states, some songs grew from seeds planted more than a decade ago, others blossomed overnight when she least expected them to, but every track bears the influence of time. See, time has been on June’s mind a lot lately. It’s the only constant in life, even though it’s constantly changing. It’s the healer of all wounds, the killer of all men. It’s at once infinite and finite, ever flowing with twists and turns and brutal, churning rapids that give way to serene stretches of placid tranquility. Fight against the current and it will knock you flat on your ass. Learn to read it, to speak its language, and it will carry you exactly where you’re meant to be.

Saturday, June 9 (Bluegrass Day supported by Colcom Foundation)
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Ricky struck his first chords on a mandolin over 50 years ago, and this 15-time Grammy Award winner continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music.  With 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics behind him, all from his own Skaggs Family Records label (Bluegrass Rules! in 1998, Ancient Tonesin 1999, History of the Future in 2001, Soldier of the CrossLive at the Charleston Music Hall, and Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe in 2003, Brand New Strings in 2005, Instrumentals in 2007, Salt of the Earth with The Whites in 2008, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947 in 2009 and Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved along with Mosaic in 2010), the diverse and masterful tones made by the gifted Skaggs come from a life dedicated to playing music that is both fed by the soul and felt by the heart.

Sunday, June 10
The Mavericks
The Mavericks were founded more than 25 years ago by Malo and Deakin as a standout alternative band in a Miami rock scene dominated by hair metal and punk. Improbably, they were noticed by super-producer Tony Brown in Nashville, and when they got signed to innovative MCA Records, they upended expectations in country music. Their blend of Cuban grooves and Bakersfield-inspired twang netted them several CMA and ACM Awards plus a Grammy in 1995. They charted numerous singles and albums while earning accolades as one of the finest live bands in the business. There was some time off and re-jiggering of personnel, but they came back strong with 2013’s In Time and 2015’s Mono, albums that provided abundant material for a refreshed and unmatched stage show.

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts
The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (59th year in 2018), a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is a 10-day celebration of the arts in downtown Pittsburgh unlike any other in the nation. This world-class, multi-disciplinary festival is free to attend and open to the public. Attracting nearly 500,000 visitors annually, the Festival begins on the first Friday in June and takes place at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s famed three rivers in Point State Park, throughout picturesque Gateway Center, and in the city’s renowned Cultural District. Now in its 59th year, the Festival’s loyal visitors have enjoyed an extensive array of music, dance, theater, literary arts, public art, gallery exhibitions, technology features, and an Artist Market featuring 300+ artists from around the country.

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is the recipient of the Outstanding Green Event Award and GOLD level accreditation from the Pennsylvania Resources Council.  The Festival’s environmentally green initiatives of waste reduction, reuse and recycling throughout the Festival grounds are made possible through the generous support of the Colcom Foundation.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners.  Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization.  A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life.  Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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