PITTSBURGH — For hip-hop music fans who have been around since the genre first got its start in the late 1970s, the WPA Juneteenth concert on June 19 was quite the event, according to our news partners at TribLive.
The evening saw two icons of early hip-hop — Rakim and Big Daddy Kane — taking the same Steel City stage.
“I had people coming up to me and saying that having those two onstage on the same night is kind of like having a concert with Prince and Michael Jackson,” said William Marshall, CEO at Stop the Violence PGH, one of the organizers for both the WPA Juneteenth celebration and Black Music Festival that will continue through June 27.
Marshall said the Kane and Rakim sets have been the most popular so far, drawing sizable crowds to Point State Park.
“It’s going very well,” he said of the celebration and festival. “And, this week, the music festival really turns into a greater opportunity to express different genres of music each day: we have a jazz day, a gospel day, we have B.B. King’s original blues band coming in.”
June is also National Black Music Month, “which is why we decided to have the Black Music Festival in parallel with the Juneteenth event,” Marshall said. “I’m just looking forward to more people coming together.”
Local artists will be featured on the main stage at Point State Park through Wednesday. Starting Thursday, each day of the festival — which runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — will focus on a different genre:
• June 24: Jazz Day, with Roger Humphries & RH Factor, Nicole Mitchell, Gerald Albright and Roy Ayers
• June 25: Gospel Day with Koryn Hawthorne, Lashun Pace, Tye Tribbett and DJ Mannie Fresh
• June 26: R&B Day with Kylmaxx, Rose Royce, Ruff Endz and Blackstreet
• June 27: Soul Day with Kevin Howard, The B.B. King Experience, Dwele and DJ Kid Capri