Great free music coming for arts fest

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the performers this week for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which runs June 6-15 at Point State Park downtown, and it’s one of the best entertainment lineups the festival ever has had.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy will open the festival with a solo show on June 6. Tweedy frequently has played solo dates in between tours with Wilco, but this is the first time one of those solo shows has played Pittsburgh, Cleveland or anywhere in between.

Other acts include Sam Bush on June 7, Trampled by Turtles on June 8, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on June 9, Kaiser Chiefs on June 10, Amos Lee on June 11, The Smithereens on June 12, Curtis Harding on June 13, Lucinda Williams on June 14 and Jake Bugg on June 15.

I’ve seen Bush, The Smithereens and Williams on multiple occasions, and all are great live acts. Bugg’s debut album was one of my favorite releases of 2013, and the Kaiser Chiefs’ debut album still is one of my favorites, and this is the first time I’m aware of the band playing a headlining show in this area.

Best of all, admission to the concerts and the arts festival is free.

Tweedy is playing Detroit the night before he comes to Pittsburgh. Tickets for that show range from $25 to $55. It will cost $22 to see the Kaiser Chiefs the following week at House of Blues. The Smithereens were $25 when the band played the Beachland Ballroom last fall, and tickets were $33.50 to $48.50 to see Amos Lee earlier this month at Lakewood Civic Auditorium.

Sounds like a bargain to me. More information can be found at

Warren native Sean Jones will perform with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra as part of its 2014-15 season. Jones, a 1996 Warren G. Harding High School grad who now leads the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, will perform with the orchestra on April 18, 2015.

Other concerts in the orchestra’s classics season will feature pianist Tomoki Sakata on Sept. 20 and the orchestra providing live accompaniment for the Charlie Chaplin silent classic “City Lights” on March 21, 2015.

The pops season hasn’t been officially announced yet, but if you do a little snooping on the DeYor Performing Arts Center ticketing website, there’s a listing for Mandy Patinkin on Oct. 18.

Patricia Syak, president of the Youngstown Symphony Society, said the pops season and the Hometown Heroes series should be announced in the next week or so.

This year’s Tony Award winner for Best Musical leads the 2014-15 KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland.

“Kinky Boots,” which won five other Tonys in addition to Best Musical is scheduled April 7-19, 2015. The season opens Oct. 3 with the jukebox show “Motown the Musical,” which features hits by the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5 and many more. It will run through Oct. 19.

“Newsies,” based on the Disney movie, runs Nov. 4-16, and “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” will spend the first two weeks of December in downtown Cleveland.

“Pippin,” which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival opens Feb. 3, 2015. “Dirty Dancing,” another musical based on a hit movie, comes to PlayhouseSquare for a three-week run March 3-22, 2015.

The season will conclude with “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” from July 21 to Aug. 2, 2015.

PlayhouseSquare has more than 29,000 season ticket holders for its Broadway series. Season tickets for the seven-show season range from $70 to $610 and can be ordered by calling 216-640-8800 or online at

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at