Schenley Plaza. Photo courtesy of WYEP.

Schenley Plaza

June 27
3 – 11 p.m.

Can we all agree that summer—now that it’s here and the rains have subsided—is all about music under the stars, in cafes and parks and gardens and on street corners and front porches? Good, then grab a blanket and your entire crew and head to Schenley Plaza for WYEP‘s 18th annual Summer Music Festival.

Martin Sexton
Martin Sexton

Headlining this year’s free festival is American singer-songwriter and producer Martin Sexton. Winner of the 1994 National Academy of Songwriters’ Artist of the Year Award, Sexton has toured with Art Garfunkel, Jackson Browne and John Hiatt. His latest album, Mixtape of the Open Road, was released in 2015 on his own label, Kitchen Table.

Acclaimed for his wide vocal range and improvisational techniques, Sexton’s expressive music blends elements of soul, gospel, country, rock, blues and R&B. One of 12 siblings from a working class Irish-American family from Syracuse, Sexton got his start busking as a street performer in Cambridge’s storied Harvard Square.

Also featured in the lineup will be Brooklyn-based The Lone Bellow, a Americana trio featuring guitars, mandolin and vocals whose latest album is Then Came the Morning, and Nashville six-piece band Kopecky, who just released their sophomore album, Drug for the Modern Age, in May 2015.

The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow

Underscoring WYEP’s commitment to pairing local and emerging talent with internationally known artists, the festival will also feature a set by Pittsburgh-based power pop quartet Brightside.

Kicking off the festival at 3 p.m. will be showcase of area teen bands Bridget McCrum, The Annajames Band and Vitamin TV, all alums of WYEP’s Reimagination CD project, which provides educational opportunities for high school students interested in performing and recording original music.

Families can also pop into Schenley Plaza’s festive tent to participate in a wide variety of hands-on art, craft and educational activities for children starting at 3 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.