One of the most pleasant surprises of last year was the sudden birth of Music at the Intersection, a music festival that invaded Grand Center and its surrounding venues with 60+ acts across three days at a mixture of indoor and outdoor venues. The timing was perfect, with the concert industry just starting to lurch back to life after COVID cancellations and, if our Courtney Dowdall’s report is to be believed, a good time was had by all. Last year’s lineup was headlined by jazz-funk pioneer Roy Ayers, Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, and ‘90s R&B star Lalah Hathaway and featured a plethora of local acts that ran the gamut from hip-hop to jazz to rock to R&B.
This year’s MATI is trimmed to just two days, but otherwise everything looks to be even bigger and better. Saturday, September 10th is headlined by neo-soul legend Erykah Badu (whose recent stop by The Fabulous Fox was some much-needed medicine) and also features Australian funkers Hiatus Kaiyote and experimental jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington alongside local heavyweights like ska-metal legends The Urge, indie post-rock trio Foxing, and Murphy Lee and Kyjuan of local hip-hop supergroup the St. Lunatics. Sunday, September 11th is led by modern blues guitar firebrand Gary Clark Jr., who is paired with Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy, Southern soul-rockers JJ Grey & Mofro, and jazz fusion guitarist John Scofield, among others. For a full lineup, see the festival poster below.
The festival also includes a number of special showcases, including a look at “Jazz & the Birth of Hip-Hop” led by Keyon Harrold, an Albert King Alumni tribute show, a tribute to the Meters performed by George Porter Jr. and Dumpstaphunk, and a tribute to Montez Coleman, a locally beloved, supremely skilled jazz drummer from East St. Louis known for his longtime collaboration with Roy Hargrove who died in January of this year at the far-too-young age of 48.
Specific stages and showtimes have not been announced, but the website currently includes a map with festival grounds that sprawl from Delmar Blvd. to Locust St. between Theresa Ave. and Leonard Ave., while indoor venues include the Fabulous Fox (527 N. Grand Blvd.), the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Blvd.), Jazz St. Louis (3536 Washington Ave.), The Big Top (3401 Washington Ave.), and the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square). The festival grounds will include food trucks (sponsored by Sauce Magazine) and a number of merch and artist vendors. Early bird general admission tickets are available for a limited time at $69 for a daily pass or $129 for the weekend. GA Plus tickets, which include private bar access and exclusive programming at Sophie’s Artist Lounge (3333 Washington Ave.) and dedicated indoor restroom access, run $185 daily/$325 weekend. VIP tickets include the above plus access to the VIP village, dedicated viewing areas/seating, and a commemorative poster, and will run you $350 daily/$650 weekend. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 11th at 10:00am at Metrotix.com. For complete festival information, visit MusicAtTheIntersection.org. | Jason Green