Jason Mraz and The Wailers at Rock Reggae Relief; Roxian Hosts Todd Snider and Aaron Lee Tasjan; Art Festival on Walnut (Sat., 8/28/21)

1) “Hey mon, come on down to Forbes Avenue near Market Square today cause we be jammin’ for Rock Reggae and Relief 2021 with Jason Mraz, The Wailers, UpRooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, Roots of Creation, and Johnny Jensen.” The annual concert’s proceeds benefit hospitality workers and food insecurity initiatives through The Piatt Family Foundation. Beneficiaries include The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s “Community Takeout” initiative, with 412 Food Rescue. It also supports downtown Pittsburgh’s restaurants and their employees, helping their doors remain open, while also giving meals to people experiencing food insecurity. So have a blast and help out our neighbors. And if that’s not enough fun, there’s also an afterparty featuring local reggae band Ras Prophet. (R.H.)

2) Nashville-based singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan has previously headlined several Pittsburgh concerts. In July, Tasjan was the main attraction at the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series’ July 23 show at South Park Amphitheater. He has released four solo albums since 2015, most recently 2021’s Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, with a few EPs prior to that. His resumé also includes playing with Sean Lennon and he wrote a song with BP Fallon that Fallon recorded with Jack White producing and playing guitar called “I Believe In Elvis Presley.” Tasjan also did a live recording for Luck Reunion with Lilly Hiatt that was released on Jack White’s Third Man Records label. Tasjan co-founded the band Semi Precious Weapons in New York City in 2006. In 2008, he formed another band, the Madison Square Gardeners (great name). They recorded an LP and three EPs during his three-year tenure with them. He also played lead guitar for the classic proto-punk band the New York Dolls for a brief stint in 2009. Tasjan was invited to stay on, but decided to work on other projects. See our story on Tasjan and his new album. On this visit to Pittsburgh, Tasjan is the special guest for singer-songwriter Todd Snider on his First Agnostic Tour of Hope and Wonder at the Roxian Theater in McKees Rocks. 7 p.m. 425 Chartiers Ave. (C.M./R.H.)

THE ART FESTIVAL ON WALNUT STREET— August 28 – 29, Shadyside.

August is a great month for strolling the tree lined streets of Shadyside and enjoying the fine arts and crafts during the Art Festival on Walnut. (Photo: Rick Handler)

August is a great month for strolling the tree-lined streets of Shadyside and enjoying the fine arts and crafts during the Art Festival on Walnut Street. (Photo: Rick Handler)

3) “Hip”—as in “Get hip,” rather than “Get a hip replacement”—is one of the oldest American slang terms still in wide use, and Shadyside’s Walnut Street is perhaps the longest-running hip district in Pittsburgh. Incredibly, it gets even hipper during the Art Festival on Walnut Street in late August. The Festival is popular, in part, because there’s so much art. The Walnut biz district is closed to motor vehicles and packed with booths where artists and craft people display paintings, prints, ceramics, handmade jewelry, and so forth ad infinitum. In addition: Some Walnut Street merchants bring out selected goods for sidewalk sales. Exotic food vendors descend. Established restaurants, coffee shops, and night spots operate in peak mode. And, music being the food of love and other good things, musicians play on. Official hours for the art and craft booths are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. August 28 and 29, but you can bet that on Saturday the 28th, merrymaking will continue into the night. Walnut St. between S. Aiken and Ivy Streets with further activities adjacent, Shadyside. (M.V.)

Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be performing June 11 at the South Park Amphitheater for the Allegheny County Concert Summer Concert Series. (photo: Rick Handler)

Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns performing at the Shrine Center in May. (photo: Rick Handler)

4) Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be rockin’ out Rivers Casino Drum Bar this evening. Toms recently released a new album, Keep Movin’ On. See our story on the making of the album. Toms’ slightly raspy, deeply soulful voice and his guitar playing prowess combine with the drums, horns, and rest of the band to create a hot rock sound. 9 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.


5) Westmoreland Cultural Trust is holding its Greensburg Music Festival today from 12:30 to 9 p.m. The event includes 20 bands on four stages, food trucks, artists, and other vendors. Performers include Joe Grushecky (solo), Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors, Buffalo Rose, Byron Nash, Andy Davis, Kal & Moore, Essential Machine, The Bricks, and more. There is also a VIP package available involving the Palace Theatre. The stages are solar-powered and provided by Live Arts Everywhere, Zero Fossil, and Phillter Arts. Free parking is available in the Robert A. Bell Parking Garage- compliments of the city of Greensburg.

6) The Squirrel Hill Night Market returns to Murray Avenue. Food trucks, vendors, crafters. live music, and more attractions will be on hand at this pop-up street festival on Murray Ave. 6-10 p.m. Free. Murray Avenue beginning at Forbes.

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Rick Handler

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