Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in April
An icon comes to town, and we celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month in style.
photo courtesy MARSHALL ARTS
You do not need me to explain Cher. Cher is I-C-O-N-I-C. In the last 50 years, she has wowed her way across stages and movie screens to unmatched acclaim. And at 72, Cher remains one of the greatest mononyms in American music history, consistently dazzling audiences with implausible vocal prowess, a half dozen glittering costume changes and the ability to do a five-minute plank. It is an indisputable pop music bucket list item to see Cher perform live. In case you need further proof that Cher is a boss: once her mom told her to settle down and “marry a rich man” and Cher replied, “Mom, I am a rich man.” Icon.
UPTOWN: PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave.
I was recently asked what I find “exciting” in music these days. The answer? Something that includes any combo of: 1) female artist 2) self-aware lyrics 3) innovative production. Sitting precisely at the intersection of these three is rapper Leikeli47. Her beats have so much life that you can feel the city moving inside them, and her 2018 release “Acrylic” was a clever, touching and fierce lyrical guide to the world she grew up in. Do not sleep on this one.
SOUTH SIDE: The Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St.
If you are going to successfully move from country star to pop star, you have to have a great anchor song. Maren Morris, who rose quickly in the country music scene over the last few years, pulled off the transition with ubiquitous earworm “The Middle.” With great vocals and pop structure suited for dancing around the bar, or your kitchen, or the dressing room of an H&M, Morris is proving herself to be a star no matter what the genre.
NORTH SHORE: Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive
photo courtesy CONCORD JAZZ
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and there are a number of great opportunities to celebrate, from local shows to large touring acts — such as Jazzmeia Horn performing at the August Wilson Cultural Center on April 19 (trustarts.org). MCG Jazz is bringing the Fred Hersch Trio and Allan Harris on April 5 and hosting two nights of Latin Jazz on April 26 and 27 (mcgjazz.org). Jazz guitarist John Marcinizyn (April 6) and the Jeremy Fisher Jr. jazz duo (April 27) play free evening shows at the Backstage Bar at Theater Square (trustarts.org). And City of Asylum continues its streak of excellent programming with Miles Okazaki (April 16) and the Yoko Suzuki Trio (April 18, alphabetcity.org).