Solar Concert Series returns next week


The Saturday Light Brigade’s Solar Concert Series will return to the Northside this year with live musical performances that are amplified using the power of the sun!

The sixth annual series will take place in Buhl Community Park at Allegheny Square Wednesdays in July and August, from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.

“The free concert series reflects SLB’s mission to present innovative and engaging audio-based programming for children, youth and families, provide inter-generational audiences with the chance to take part in live music events, and bring the diverse voices of local and regional acoustic musicians to its broad audience of radio show listeners, families, educators, museum visitors, children, and youth,” wrote SLB in the press release.

Check out this year’s schedule. You’ll see some familiar Northside names, and new comers to the series!

The 6th Annual Solar Concert Series is a project of SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB), Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the New Hazlett Theater.


July 3: Tom Roberts (ragtime and jazz)

Considered one of today’s leading exponents of early jazz piano, Tom Roberts has performed throughout the US and Europe, on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and has recorded over 40 CDs.

July 10: AppalAsia (Asian-bluegrass fusion)

AppalAsia combines influences of Appalachian and Asian music traditions with original composition and inspired improvisation to create their unique musical voice. Using erhu, dulcimer, banjo, and vocals, they create a cross-cultural musical experience that draws on a collaboration of traditions with an ear toward the future.

July 17: The Wreckids (folk-rock)

The husband and wife acoustic duo of Sarah Siplak and Scott Roger Peterson, Pittsburgh-based The Wreckids combine acoustic guitar, viola, vocals, and a host of additional instruments to create an easy-going, lively and contemporary folk sound. Equal parts comical and thoughtful, the duo pairs whimsical lyrics with beautiful lilting harmonies. Anyone who’s attended a Wreckids’ show will tell you they’re as much about what happens between the songs as the tunes themselves, as Scott and Sarah enjoy telling corny jokes and playfully ribbing each other Sonny and Cher style.

July 24: The Squirrel Hillbillies (acoustic country and folk)

From within the urban forest of Pittsburgh’s East End, the Squirrel Hillbillies emerge to share their eclectic mix of folk, country and blues. The duo has been writing, arranging and performing original music since 2010, with appearances at Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, Folk Alliance International, and Calliope: Pittsburgh’s Folk Music Society. Through a collaborative, nonlinear songwriting process, duo partners Jenny Wolsk Bain and Gary Crouth draw from personal experiences, third-hand stories and vivid imaginations to craft songs that are unpredictable and quirky yet widely accessible.

July 31: Mark Dignam (original contemporary Irish and folk)

Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the Dublin suburb of Finglas, where his mother sang and filled his childhood home with song. In 1995, Mark released his acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel, named a top 10 Best Debut by Ireland’s Hot Press Magazine. Mark’s album, Box Heart Man, was selected as one of WYEP’s top picks for 2005. Mark has performed with The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, and Richard Thompson. When he isn’t touring with his band The House of Song, or at home with his family, Mark can be found in the studio preparing his highly-anticipated new album, Monumental Way, at Treelady Studios in Turtle Creek, PA.

August 7: The Josh & Gab Show (anti-bullying kid rock)

Gab Bonesso is a nationally renowned comedian, performer and comedy writer. Josh Verbanets is an award-winning songwriter, singer and musician. Together, they have developed a unique and unforgettable live anti-bullying musical comedy program for students of all ages. Josh and Gab’s performances utilize humor, original songs, interactive exercises, and energetic storytelling in a fun and heartfelt educational program. Watch for Josh and Gab at a school, community center or family-friendly event near you in 2013!

August 14: Members of Timbeleza (Brazilian batacuda drumming)

Timbeleza is a Pittsburgh-based ensemble that performs African influenced Brazilian percussive style music called batucada. Working closely with master drummers from Brazil, Timbeleza works to expand its repertoire and reach new audiences. Among its goals is exposing people to samba music invigorating the local community with its authentic music and performance style.

August 21: The Flow Band (reggae)

Pittsburgh’s premiere reggae dance band, The Flow Band has a legendary history of fusing neo-soul rhythms over tropical world beats. Formed in the 1980s, the five-piece Flow Band has opened for many acclaimed figures in reggae and African music, including Dennis Brown, Ziggy Marley, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Jimmy Buffet. They have received 15 awards, including Best Local Reggae Artist and Performance Band of the Year.

August 28: Crusic Percussion (percussion ensemble)

Crusic Percussion is a local percussion ensemble based out of Carnegie Mellon University. From 1920’s rags to 1990’s street drumming, their show has it all. They perform dynamic music with their own special twist.

For more information, please visit: In the event of rain, concerts are held inside the Museum’s Theater. Lunch is available for sale in the Museum’s Big Red Room Café and at nearby businesses on East Ohio Street. Visitors may bring a lunch to enjoy during the concerts. Outdoor seating, picnic tables and blankets are provided. Concerts are free and open to all ages.

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