ST. LOUIS — People not familiar with St. Louis’ amazing imprint in music and entertainment often leave the city out of conversations about music’s cultural significance and impact.
But the Gateway to the West should certainly be spotlighted for its rich contribution to Blues, Ragtime, Jazz, and Country music.
It helped launch and solidify the careers of national musicians and entertainers including Ike and Tina Turner, Chuck Berry, Josephine Baker, Clark Terry, Donny Hathaway, Nelly, Smino, and many more. There are also a number of local artists who perform throughout the city, and always show pride in being born and raised here or being a longtime resident.
Music lovers can enjoy the first Music At The Intersection festival presented by Kranzberg Arts Foundation and Steward Family Foundation Sept. 10-12. More than 60 national, regional and local acts with St. Louis ties will perform at six venues throughout the Grand Center Arts District over the three days.
“This festival is meant to tell the story of St. Louis’ imprint on the American songbook, the relationship we have with our sister cities and the genres that have been birthed and fostered here” Chris Hansen, executive director of The Kranzberg Arts Foundation said.
Lalah Hathaway, five-time Grammy Award-winner and daughter of the late soul singer Donny Hathway, will headline the festival with Gregory Porter and Roy Ayers.
Her father was raised by his grandmother in the Carr Square neighborhood and he graduated from Vashon High School. She was 10 years old when her father died at 33 after he jumped from the 15th-floor of New York’s Essex House Hotel.
Now, more than 40 years later since his death, she honors his memory through other people’s experiences with him. Throughout her life, she’s heard personal family stories and learned about his experiences on the road from fans.
“I meet people on the road all the time that say, ‘oh, I was at Vashon High School with your dad or I went to church where he played,’ Hathaway said.
“It's so wonderful to be able to meet folks now that he affected so long ago and they still have those memories. It is kind of a beautiful thing.”
Hathaway said her performance will be an experience that will bring them joy, laughter and even a few tears.
“They should come see it and expect a great show that will give them the ‘feels,’ laughter and maybe even some tears.” she said.
John Harrington, co-founder of the almost 30-year-old rock-rap band Midwest Avengers and a University City native is one of the local acts who will grace the stage.
He thinks the festival is necessary since LouFest is no longer around.
“LouFest was kinda the thing that everybody local wanted to get on because they were bringing national acts and putting local acts in front of them, behind them and next to them on a different stage,” Harrington said.
“I feel like this is the same thing, but better because it's run by somebody in the music industry we all know.”
Midwest Avengers will open for GZA from Wu-Tang Clan. Harrington said in earlier years his group aspired to be like the “Wu-Tang of St. Louis.”
“Midwest Avengers opening for GZA is like a bucket list dream come true,” Harrington said.
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold from Ferguson, who is nationally known, feels honored to be included in St. Louis’ phenomenal history of great musicians.
“As a young kid I dreamed about being able to go around the world, perform and share my culture of St. Louis with people,” Harrold said.
“That’s always been something that I was inspired to do.”
Friday’s lineup will be 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and features Ayers, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, The Mighty Pines, Tonina, and more.
Saturday’s lineup will be noon to 1 a.m. and showcases Porter, Harrold, The Soul Rebels ft. GZA, Brock Seals, Katarra, Be.Be & The Neosouls, Midwest Avengers, and more.
Sunday’s lineup will be noon to 11 p.m. and features Hathaway, Booker T. Jones of Booker T and the MGs, Marquise Knox, Denise Thimes, Anita Jackson, the Clark Terry Centennial Project, LoopRat, and more.
“If you love this form of music, you’ll get it. This lineup is deeply representative of St. Louis’ heritage and musical future,” Hansen said.
“For those who don’t go deep on these genres, we hope Music at the Intersection can serve as an immersive education on St. Louis’ incredible musical roots and impact on our culture.”
Advance ticket buyers can visit any of the six participating Music at the Intersection venue box offices for their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test check and festival wristband.
Walk-up ticket buyers can visit the Fox Box Office for their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test check and to purchase a daily wristband. Guests attending multiple days will need to check in at one of the box offices each day.
In addition to all-weekend ($160) and single-day passes ($55-$70), Music At The Intersection is offering a livestream ticket that will allow fans to virtually watch the 10 shows taking place at Fabulous Fox Theatre, including the festival’s headliners Roy Ayers, Gregory Porter and Lalah Hathaway.
Weekend livestream tickets can be purchased for $25, providing an affordable and accessible option to music fans in St. Louis and across the country. All tickets can be purchased directly at www.MetroTix.com or by phone at 314-534-1111.
KAF requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to access its indoor venues and ticketed performances.
Guests 12 years of age and older are required to show proof of their full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test if dining inside at KAF food and beverage venues, including Sophie's Artist Lounge, Blueprint at High Low, and The Dark Room.
Proof of vaccination or negative test is not required for KAF patio seating at KAF food and beverage venues and KAF Galleries.
As of Sept. 10, all patrons 12 Years or older are required to show proof of their full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test upon entry for all ticketed events at KAF indoor performance venues, including The Grandel, .ZACK Theatre, The Marcelle, Black Box and Studio at The Kranzberg, High Low Listening Room and The Dark Room.
With the exception of Music at the Intersection festival (Sept 10-12), proof of vaccination or negative test will not be required in KAF outdoor venues (The Big Top and Open Air Tent).
Guests will need to bring a photo ID and either their physical vaccination card or a photo of their vaccination card. Unvaccinated patrons and children under 12 must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test: either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of box office check in or an antigen test taken within 24 hours. Guests must also wear a face mask at all indoor venues.
For more information on Music at the Intersection, please visit www.MusicAtTheIntersection.org.