Mavis Staples at Blues Heritage Festival; Flood City Music Festival Kicks Off (Fri., 10/1/21)

1) Mavis Staples kicks off the 2021 Blues Heritage Festival at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. An icon of not only music but also civil rights, she began her career with her family’s band, The Staple Singers. The group recorded inspiring songs, such as “Long Walk to D.C.” and a cover of “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan. (Mavis Staples later befriended Dylan, and she opened his concert at Heinz Hall in 2017.) Other artists have always been eager to collaborate with her. Some of these include Curtis Mayfield (1977’s A Piece of the Action soundtrack), Prince (1989’s Time Waits for No One and 1993’s The Voice), and Arcade Fire (2017’s “I Give You Power”). She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Her latest album is 2019’s We Get By. 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (C.M.)

Friday, October 1 – Saturday, October 2

2) Billed as “a celebration of American music,” the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, showcases blues, country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul. Almost 15 acts are scheduled. The main headlining bands are Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Maggie Rose, and Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root. Other highlights include: Midnight North, Billy Price Band, Jukebox Bombers, and Flower Child. Single-day, two-day, and VIP passes are available. The festival takes place at Peoples Natural Gas Park. Its origins hark back to a 1989 street fair that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Great Johnstown Flood. 90 Johns St., Johnstown. (C.M., R.H.)

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Rick Handler

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