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56th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

June 1, 2015

10 DAYS OF FREE music + art | JUNE 5 - 14, 2015


The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the music line-up for the 56th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The 10-day celebration of the arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is one of the nominees in the latest 10-Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. The contest is being promoted by USA TODAY and gives voters four weeks to vote for the candidate of their choice. A person can vote once a day for the run of the contest. The opportunity to vote concludes on Monday, April 13, but their is still time to cast your vote online.

The nationally recognized arts festival attracts over 400,000 visitors annually, begins on the first Friday in June and is free and open to the public. Guests can enjoy quality performing and visual art at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s famed three rivers in Point State Park, throughout picturesque Gateway Center and in the city’s world-renowned Cultural District.

Each year, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival highlight’s the Pittsburgh region’s thriving arts community and this year has extended its reach in numerous areas in an effort to include art and music from around the world.

This year, the Artist Market, Juried Art Exhibition, and Festival Special Projects will draw from a unique Festival theme of UNSEEN/ UNHEARD. This theme speaks to the idea of the exploration and vocalization of narratives that are not heard, or are marginalized. The theme is also inherently geared toward emerging artists and the artistic possibilities involved in UNSEEN/UNHEARD are endless and will be on view through the music, theater, dance, public are installations, gallery exhibitions, a renowned visual Artist Market presented by Peoples Gas, creative activities, food, and more.

Each day of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival features a renowned music headliner.

“The music lineup showcased annually at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is highly anticipated and features some of the nation’s premiere musicians within Pittsburgh’s Cultural District,” commented J. Kevin McMahon, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President & CEO. “In its 56th year, the festival is consistent in its commitment to providing art and aiming to connect that work to local and regional communities. We are grateful for the generous and faithful support of Dollar Bank as lead sponsor.”

Joseph B.Smith, Senior Vice President Marketing for Dollar Bank noted, “Dollar Bank is proud to support a festival that promotes the artistry of all people and their distinct communities. Without shareholders, Dollar Bank has been thinking differently about banking and the communities we serve for 160 years. The core value of honoring the artistry of individuals within the context of our greater community is exemplified through this year’s diverse line-up, which includes the return of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to the Dollar Bank Stage.”

“Again this year, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is really looking forward to perform as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. It will be a fantastic, music-filled evening with the Pittsburgh community at Point State Park,” said James A. Wilkinson, President/CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

All headline concerts will be performed on the Dollar Bank Stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Point State Park, with the exception of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. Opening acts will perform at 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and at 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

This year’s lineup features the return of Bluegrass Day (Saturday, June 6) and WYEP 91.3 FM Day (Sunday, June 7). An exact schedule of times, information on the Artist Market, visual arts, family programming, other performing arts and more music programming will be announced on Monday, April 20, 2015.

For more information, visit www.TrustArts.org/TRAF or call (412) 456-6666.


Friday, June 5 - Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis is a Los Angeles artist who’s album The Voyager was released last summer and was the artists’ first solo LP since 2008’s Acid Tongue. The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal, and her most musically robust. Featuring production work from Ryan Adams, Beck, as well as Lewis and her longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice, The Voyager finds Lewis at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent life with honesty and incisiveness. And then there’s her voice, which was already a force to be reckoned with, but sounds even richer, more nuanced, and more powerful. Lewis took a break from recording last spring and summer to tour with The Postal Service, for the tenth anniversary of their album, Give Up. Her most recent release, The Voyage, tells that story: the longest night of her life and the journey to finally getting some rest.

Saturday, June 6 - Railroad Earth / Elephant Revival

Railroad Earth (RRE) returned in 2014 with Last of the Outlaws , the band’s seventh full-length and one that aims to stake their claim as an alpha dog in the current Americana Folk-Pop scene. Last of the Outlaws proves to be the group’s most direct artistic statement yet and features the most adventurous and experimental piece in the RRE canon yet, a 21-minute-long suite comprised of seven movements. The origin of Outlaws is rooted in Railroad Earth’s own backyard of Sussex County in the most rural part of New Jersey. “We’ve been together for 12 years now,” states Todd Sheaffer, singer, guitarist and the band’s chief songwriter. “We started out playing a more string-oriented bluegrassy style and this album is perhaps the biggest departure we’ve had since that starting point. It’s just a natural development; it hasn’t been influenced by anything in particular. We’ve always just done our own thing. We were around when the big bluegrass craze hit, which started with O Brother Where Art Thou, and we’d make records and people would accuse us of getting in on the whole bluegrass fad. No, we were just playing the music we play. Then that came and went, and here we are still playing. Now there’s this folk-pop craze, and our music always had elements of folk-pop in it. But we’ll still be around playing Railroad Earth music after all this, because that’s what we do.” Regardless of where the next step in the evolution of this band takes them, the strong and loyal following Railroad Earth have established these twelve years, and over 1000 concerts, will remain unshakable in their assurance of keeping the group in the game for the long haul.

Elephant Revival
The members of Elephant Revival believe that music unites us in ways that no other medium can. Even when we don’t understand one another’s languages - we can be moved by a rhythm, soothed by a song. Brought together by a unified sense of purpose - the spirit of five souls working as one, in harmony, creating sounds they could never produce alone. The five souls in Elephant Revival are Bonnie Paine (washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox); Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Charlie Rose (banjo, pedal steel, guitar, horns, cello, double bass); Dango Rose (double bass, mandolin, banjo); and Daniel Rodriguez (guitar, banjo, double bass). This Nederland, Colorado quintet are quite a sound to be experienced - especially when they fall into the pocket of a groove containing elements of gypsy, Celtic, Americana, and folk. The Indie Acoustic Music Project simply labeled their sound “progressive edge.” At least, that’s the category in which it placed the band when it gave their RuffShod/Nettwerk Records release, Break in the Clouds, a best CD of 2011 award. Elephant Revival’s later These Changing Skiws (Thirty Tigers) release went on to win best CD of 2013 in the same category. Elephant Revival also shares a commitment to responsible stewardship of the planet and its inhabitants, working with organizations such as the Conscious Alliance, Calling All Crows, Trees Water & People, and other nonprofits supporting humanitarian causes. Their very name was chosen out of empathy for a pair of zoo pachyderms who, upon being separated after 16 years, died on the same day. The band related that heart-rending story during their April 2012 debut on fellow Coloradans Nick & Helen Forster’s internationally syndicated “eTown” radio show - like Elephant Revival, a blend of music and social consciousness. Elephant Revival members intend to continue carrying their music around the world, speaking one song at a time.

Sunday, June 7 - Alvvays
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a love of jingle-jangle. Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbors in Cape Brenton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shads soon entered their lives, as did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac. Convening in Toronto, the group has been making music since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit - nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass. With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O’Hanley’s songs were recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Yoko Eno studio and mixed by Graham Walsh and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile). The resultant album is loud and clear and sure. Flood your ears. The self-titled record will be released on July 21 in Europe on Transgressive Records. On July 22, the record will be released in the USA on Polyvinyl Record and Royal Mountain Records in Canada.

Monday, June 8 - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 119 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). The tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series Previn and the Pittsburgh. The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 - including 36 internations tours to Europe, the Far East and South America - the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. For more about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, visit piitsburghsymphony.org.

Tuesday, June 9 - The Felice Brothers + Hurray for the Riff Raff
The Felice Brothers kicked off in 2006. They did what any delinquent youths, lost in upstate New York with dim job prospects would do: become obsessed with traveling the world and playing extremely loud rock and roll. After settling on minor matters like who plays what (Ian Felice - vocals/guitar, James Felice - accordion/keys/vocals, Greg Farley - fiddle/vocals, Josh Rawson - bass/vocals - and recent addition David Estabrook - old friend/new drummer), the band procured instruments, cans of sardines and packed up tents and devoted their lives to studying the art of song craft, from Hoagie Carmichael to Kurt Cobain. They also began figuring out how to actually play those instruments. It was a long way to the top... After a few years their devotion and extreme lifestyle choices paid off. The band has been traveling the world for 8 years now. Their sincere and intelligent song writing is always the backbone of their live interpretations. The Felice Brothers’ new album Favorite Waitress marked the first time the band ever recorded in a proper studio. Produced by the band’s longtime producer and collaborator Jeremy Backofen, the album is their most fully realized statement yet. Favorite Waitress is about fantastic escape from the terrifying realities of modern life and is The Felice Brothers’ 5th official release (in addition to 6 mix-tapes). The album marks their first release for new label Dualtone (The Lumineers, Shovels & Rope, and Guy Clark). These 11 total releases range from the backwoods kitchen sink folk of God Bless You, Amigo, to the swamp strip-mall Space Odyssey of Celebration, Florida. The band has played in a variety of settings ranging from major festivals like Coachella to Midwestern dive bars to ancient churches in Bavarian Germany. The Felice Brothers have also appeared at Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, and toured with the Killers, Mumford and Sons, and Bright Eyes.

Hurray for the Riff Raff is Alynda Segarra, but in many ways it’s much more than that: it’s a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you’re listening to her new album, Small Town Heroes, odds are you’re part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you. “It’s grown into this bigger idea of feeling like we really associate with the underdog.” says Segarra, who came to international attention in 2012 with Look Out Mama. The album earned her rave reviews from NPR and The New York Times to Mojo and Paste, along with a breakout performance at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, which left American Songwriter “awestruck” and solidified her place at the forefront of a new generation of young musicians celebrating and reimagining American roots music. Segarra, a 26-year-old of Puerto Rican descent whose slight frame belies her commanding voice, grew up in the Bronx, where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown from the neighborhood’s longtime residents. It was downtown, though, that she first felt like she found her people, traveling to the Lower East side every Saturday for punk matinees at ABC No Rio. The Lower East Side also introduced her to travelers, and their stories of life on the road inspired her to strike out on her own at 17, first hitching her way to the west coast, and then roaming the south before ultimately settling in New Orleans. There, she fell in with a band of fellow travelers, playing washboard and singing before eventually learning to play a banjo she’d been given in North Carolina. “It wasn’t until I got to New Orleans that I realized playing music was even possible for me,” she explains. “The travelers really taught me how to play and write songs, and we’d play on the street all day to make money, which is really good practice. You have to get pretty tough to do that, and you put a lot of time into it.” Segarra mines the deep legacies and contemporizes the rich variety of musical forms of the American South for the age of Trayvon Martin and Wendy Davis. NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff’s music “sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit.”

Wednesday, June 10 - Milo Greene
Milo Greene represents an impressive evolution in many ways. What began as a collection of friends is now a four-year musical partnership about to release their second album. In 2009, Andrew Heringer, Robbie Arnett and Marlana Sheetz began making music together and added Graham Fink into the mix after moving to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. As the group made their cinimatic debut album, released in 2012, Milo Greene shifted into a fully tangible being, a force created by four distinct songwriters and musicians whose collaboration consistently remains its center. Last summer, after touring extensively and playing festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands in support of Milo Greene, the musicians came home and began writing new music. The band wrote separately, each constructing their own ideas, bringing in varied, individual influences, putting the pieces together as a collective. The four songwriters came in with a wealth of material, eventually whittling 17 songs down to the 13 that appear on Control. The title of the album represents a spectrum of ideas, reflecting the give and take of control and the shared sense of control within Milo Greene itself. Throughout the writing process Milo Greene collaborated with several mentors, including drummer Joey Waronker who worked with Beck and Thom Yorke. Control combines the haunting, cinematic expanse of their debut with new, energized elements, urging a more upbeat tone overall. Milo Greene has become something else entirely.

Thursday, June 11 - Rhiannon Giddens
It was toward the end of the T Bone Burnett-curated September 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall- a celebration of the early ’60s folk revival that had inspired the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis- when singer Rhiannon Giddens indisputably stole the show. Performing Odetta’s “Water Boy” with, as The New York Times put it, “the fervor of a spiritual, the yips of a folk holler, and the sultry insinuation of the blues,” Giddens brought the star-studded audience to its feet. She was the talk of the lobby during intermission as those attendees unfamiliar with her Grammy Award-winning work as a member of African-American folk interpreters Carolina Chocolate Drops wondered who exactly Rhiannon Giddens was, with he elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit. On her Nonesuch solo debut Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens and Burnett revisit “Water Boy,” and Giddens delivers an equally thunderous rendition, one made all the more striking when placed between a gentle, ruminative interpretation of Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” and a version of Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You,” popularized by Patsy Cline, that Giddens imbues with “an old-timey R&B vibe,” abetted by Carolina Chocolate Drops band-mate Hubby Jenkins. The breadth of musical vision on Tomorrow Is My Turn fulfills the promise of that brief but stunning star turn at Town Hall. The album incorporates gospel, jazz, blues, and country, plus a hint of proto-rock and roll, and Giddens displays an emotional range to match her dazzling vocal prowess throughout. Tomorrow Is My Turn was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players whom Burnett assembled. Among them are fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of label-mates Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown’s renowned Funk Brothers; inventive drummer and Burnett stalwart Jay Bellerose; veteran folk-blues guitarist Colin Linden; legendary backup singer Tata Vega; and Nashville session great, bassist Dennis Crouch. Tomorrow Is My Turn is a composite portrait of America, and of Giddens herself, whose turn is clearly right now.

Friday, June 12 - Richard Thompson
Throughout Richard Thompson’s career, acoustic concerts have been among his fans most cherished experiences. So it’s hard not to notice that there’s something largely missing from his vast recordings catalog: solo acoustic versions of the classic songs that are the heart of those performances. Until now... Thompson is releasing Acoustic Classics, all-new solo versions of songs drawn from throughout his career, definitively arresting, effecting essentials from the ’70s (“Dimming of the Day,” “I Want to See Bright Lights Tonight”) the 80’s (“Wall of Death,” “Shoot Out the Lights”) and ’90s (“Beeswing,” “I Misunderstood”) to more recent entries (“One Door Opens”). His last proper solo acoustic release was the live Small Town Romance, and that was more than 30 years ago. In the meantime, the acoustic shows have evolved from considerable additions to the work that has led the Los Angeles Times to call Thompson “the finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix,” and NPR to declare him “a folksinger who [shred] like an arena-rock star... and still writes songs that sting and storm.” Not least among these things was the Order of the British Empire being bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 2011 for service to music. He’s also in recent years received the Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting from both the Americana Music Association and the BBC, as well as the prestigious Ivor Novello Award. Those join dozens of recognitions from Gibson, Mojo and Q magazines in annual awards, not to mention him topping critics and reader polls in all the major guitar publications and Rolling Stone placing him in the Top 20 guitarists of all time. Throughout it all, his songs have attracted such figures as Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, David Byrne and Don Henley - top songwriters themselves - all of whom among others have recorded their own versions. All these recognize attributes that were already evident in his teen years as co-founder of the groundbreaking English folk-rock back Fairport Convention and have continued to grow and expan through last year’s Electric, his acclaimed album made with his current trio.

Saturday, June 13 - Neko Case
Neko Case has always been brave, but with her latest album she proves herself fearless. With her forthcoming Anti-release, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, the singer known as much for her restless musical curiosity as her clarion voice charts a powerfully personal course across the rocky landscape of childhood, love, and loss. Case’s 2009 album, Middle Cyclone, was her most ambitious to date, vaulting her to new heights of critical and commercial success and netting two Grammy nominations. But if Middle Cyclone - laced with frogs, tornados, and killer whales - was Case’s exploration of the potency of the natural world, the new album sees Case turning inward. The Worse Things Get... plunges into the wilderness of human experience, revealing ase at her most emotionally raw and yet, paradoxically, in steely control. Executive produced by Case, The Worse Things Get... was recorded by Tucker Martine in Portland, Oregon, as well as with Chris Schultz and Craig Schumacher in Tucson and with Phil Palazzolo in Brooklyn. Martine, Case, and Darryl Neudorf mixed the album, on which Case is supported by a battalion of musicians including guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, longtime backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse, Kurt Dahle, and John Convertino. Other guests include M. Ward, Carl Newman, Steve Turner, Howe Gelb, and members of My Morning Jacket, Los Lobos, and Visqueen. This far-flung set of collaborators mirrors Case’s own peripatetic path to creative maturity. Born in Virginia in 1970 and raised, for the most part, in working-class Tacoma, Washington, she’s lived and worked in Seattle, Vancouver BC, Chicago, and Tucson, before moving five years ago to a 100-acre farm in rural Vermont. The Worse Things Get..., her sixth studio album, emerges from a three-year period the artist describes as full of “grief and mourning,” in the wake of the deaths of not just both her parents, but several intimates as well. The Worse Things Get... traces an emotional arc that reveals Case in all her thorny contradictions, each track in the 40-minute song cycle its own short story. It’s Neko Case in a nut - and could well give listeners goosebumps.

Sunday. June 14 - Benjamin Booker
2014 was an epic year for New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker as he blew away both critics and fans alike with the release of his self-titled debut album and his first-ever headlining tour. 2015 promises to be just as fierce with a new North American run starting in March, as well as summer performances at Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Primavera Sound Festival, Bonnaroo and more. In his new double-length video for two songs from his debut album, the punk-influenced blues singer, Benjamin Booker, struggles with civil rights issues that we can’t seem to settle. “We’ve all got iPhones and are talking about taking people to Mars, but look at hom much we haven’t changed. The ’future,’ a time when all this violence and hatred is looked at as barbaric seemed so far away to me.” In a new extended music video featuring the tracks “Slow Coming” and “Wicked Waters,” Benjamin Booker moves through a single day multiple times on a loop. Ann Powers at NPR Music describes the short film as “a kind of mash-up of Selma and Beasts of the Southern Wild, with Booker as an unwilling time traveler drawn into an incident of racist violence recalling both the segregated Deep South and current controversial police actions.” Via NPR Music’s The Record you can watch the short film HERE and read the full Q&A between Benjamin and Ann Powers about its themes.

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a celebration of the arts in downtown Pittsburgh unlike any other in the nation. Each of its world-class, multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts attractions is free to attend and open to the public! The Festival begins on the first Friday in June and takes place at the picturesque Gateway Center, and in the city’s world-renowned Cultural District.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for art lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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