Smokey Robinson Sings at The Meadows; Mr. Smalls’ All-Scene Entertainment Festival (CPs Sat., 8/2/14)
1) The one and only Smokey Robinson—the R&B star behind hits like “Cruisin’,” “Being With You” and “Just to See Her”—visits The Meadows Racetrack and Casino for an outdoor performance. Robinson’s legacy is a big one. Not only was he a founding member of the vocal group The Miracles in the 1950s, and not only did he splinter out on his own for a prolific and significant solo career in the ‘70s, but he also played an integral role in the formation of Motown Records. His Miracles were among the first artists signed to the label. In fact, as the story goes, Robinson helped convince Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. to start the highly influential record company. For his many accomplishments, Robinson was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Today the soulful 74-year-old still tours internationally and his stop at The Meadows is a chance to see how he can enthrall an audience. 8 p.m. 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington.
2) Since most consumers of pop culture don’t restrict themselves to a single genre or medium, the All-Scene Entertainment Festival at Mr. Smalls Theatre and Funhouse may be just the ticket. The All-Scene Festival is an all-day affair that offers genre-spanning works of music, art, film, and comedy. A few of the many musical acts appearing on various stages are Jessica Bitsura, LocaL, Fun Home, and Made Sacred. Comedians on the bill include Jeff Konkle, Davon Magwood, Alex Stypula, and more. Along with live performances, Mr. Smalls’ Funhouse will display works of visual art, while films and music videos will be presented in the movie room. Additionally, local crafters are encouraged to show and sell their wares, whether these are jewelry, ceramics, textiles, or some other form of handcrafted swag. If you have visited Mr. Smalls in the past but not recently, this is also a great opportunity to check out the venue’s new spaces, including the basement draft bar, courtyard, and deck. From 3-5 p.m., enjoy $3 drinks made with critically acclaimed local Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka. Doors open at 3 p.m.; live music starts at 3:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
3) MCG Jazz, a program of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, has a simple mission—“to preserve, present, and promote jazz,” the musical form which MCG curiously describes as “the physical embodiment of the Golden Rule.” Tonight at the Rivers Casino, the program’s Pittsburgh Jazz Legends Show celebrates the music of locally born artists who “stayed in Pittsburgh and have kept the hometown ‘Jazz Scene’ vibrant.” MCG Jazz has honored 20 such musicians with the title of Pittsburgh Jazz Legend, including players and vocalists like Don Aliquo, Sr., Michele Bensen, Roger Humphries, and John “Doc” Wilson. Tonight’s free show is a great opportunity for jazz novices and well-versed enthusiasts alike to become more familiar with performers who proudly represent our city. 7 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.