Ferguson-raised jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, a first-call session musician for a slew of top-name hip-hop artists, is one of many acts slated for the festival.
Live music is coming back to St. Louis in a big way this fall, in the form of a three-day festival set to bring some 60-plus acts to six stages throughout Grand Center.
The inaugural Music at the Intersection Festival will see headliners including Roy Ayers, Gregory Porter and Lalah Hathaway joined by more than forty local acts spanning across such genres as blues, rock & roll, jazz, soul, R&B and hip-hop. Additionally, national acts including Lee Fields & The Expressions, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Ikebe Shakedown, Keyon Harrold, the Soul Rebels featuring GZA, Bettye LaVette, DāM-FunK, the Baylor Project and Don Bryant featuring the Bo-Keys will all perform as well.
The festival will take place in Grand Center from September 10 through 12, with the Fabulous Fox Theatre, the Big Top, the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Grandel Theatre, Jazz St. Louis and the Open Air tent all playing host. It's a welcome return to live music after an absolutely brutal year brought many local venues and artists to the brink of ruin.
“Our local music economy has taken a hard hit this past year, and it’s time to start healing,” Chris Hansen, executive director of Kranzberg Arts Foundation, says in a statement. “We’re excited to have venues re-opening, our arts community reuniting and fans able to safely enjoy live music again. Our current mantra is ‘mask up and get down.’ With health and safety top of mind, we’re moving forward with a truly unique celebration of St. Louis musical heritage that we hope will have a long-term economic impact for the region and its arts community.”
According to a press release, special care was put into the programming of the festival to ensure that many of its out-of-town acts have St. Louis roots — a key goal for its organizers. Lalah Hathaway, for example, is the daughter of singer Donny Hathaway, who grew up in north city. Additionally, the members of the now New York-based Baylor Project previously lived in East St. Louis; R&B rocker Nikki Hill cut her teeth on stages throughout St. Louis; and members of Gregory Porter's band are based in the St. Louis area.
“This festival is meant to tell the story of St. Louis’ imprint on the American songbook, the relationship we have with our sister cities and the genres that have been birthed and fostered here” Hansen says. “If you love this form of music, you’ll get it. This lineup is deeply representative of St. Louis’ heritage and musical future. For those who don’t go deep on these genres, we hope Music at the Intersection can serve as an immersive education on St. Louis’ incredible musical roots and impact on our culture.”
Another notable artist with St. Louis roots is jazz trumpeter and activist Keyon Harrold, who grew up in Ferguson and has since become a first-call performer who has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Beyoncè to Maxwell to D'Angelo. Harrold's inclusion in the fest comes hot on the heels of him being named creative advisor to Jazz St. Louis, one of the sponsors and participating venues for the festival, for a three-year term in which he is tasked with curating jazz performances with artists working in disciplines spanning dance, poetry, hip-hop and visual arts. His performance at the festival will mark his first in St. Louis since stepping into the new role.
"I am very excited to return to St. Louis because it is my home and I have always been a part of the Jazz St. Louis family. It is exciting to come full circle and I look forward to doing something unique and thoughtful as well as boundary pushing," Harrold said in a statement upon the announcement of his new role. “I plan on bringing a myriad of different voices — unexpected voices — to speak to the consciousness of now and to educate about where we come from musically and culturally.”
Tickets for the Music at the Intersection Festival will be sold in the form of full weekend passes or single-day affairs. Three-day passes range from $160 to $300 for VIPs, with Friday-only tickets running $55 to $90 and single-day passes for Saturday and Sunday coming in at $70 to $120 each. The three-day passes will go on sale through MetroTix on Tuesday, May 18 at 10 a.m.; the single-day passes will be available the following week at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25.
The full lineup for the festival are below. For more information, visit musicattheintersection.org
Friday, Sept 10 (6 p.m. - 1 a.m.) will feature Roy Ayers, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Ikebe Shakedown, Mike Zito, Tonina, The Mighty Pines, Brothers Lazaroff, Naked Rock Fight, Beth Bombara, Dave Grelle’s Playadors, Ben Wheeler, Brother Francis & The Soultones and Heartcave.
Saturday, Sept 11 (12 p.m. - 1 a.m.) will feature Gregory Porter, Keyon Harrold, The Soul Rebels ft. GZA, Bettye LaVette, DāM-FunK, The Baylor Project, iLLPHONiCS, Blvck Spvde, Midwest Avengers, Kenny DeShields, Sample Kulture, Mark Harris II, Katarra, Be.Be & The Neosouls, 18andCounting and TheOnlyEnsemble, Brock Seals, Janet Evra, Ryan Marquez, Scooter Brown, Kaleb Kirby, Brady Lewis and Parisian.
Sunday, Sept 12 (12 p.m. - 11 p.m.) will feature Lalah Hathaway, Booker T. Jones, Don Bryant featuring The Bo-Keys, Nikki Hill, Marquise Knox, Funky Butt Brass Band, Huntertones, Denise Thimes, Selwyn Birchwood, Anita Jackson, John Henry, One Way Traffic, Clark Terry Centennial Project, Cara Louise Band, Hillary Fitz Band, Jr. Clooney, The Scandaleros, Roland Johnson, Western States, We Are Root Mod, LoopRat and Syna So Pro.
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