Emerge Winnetka music fest rises on the North Shore
After the COVID-19 pandemic made the annual Winnetka Music Festival nearly impossible to safely pull off, organizers conjured a new fest to take its place. Emerge Winnetka brings a full day of top-notch music to the sprawling Skokie Playfields, allowing fans a chance to spread out while still enjoying the music. Acts include Latin Grammy-winning pop trumpeter Spencer Ludwig, Grammy-nominated soul artist Allen Stone, country sister duo Walker County, jazzy rock band The Vindys, Argonaut & Wasp's indie pop, a youth hip-hop performance by Brothers on a Mission and a disco dance after-party with DJ SQUAROPOLIS. Local food and drink vendors will be on hand, and VIP areas will provide even more catering options. And to bring the community together even more, $5 from each advance ticket sale will go to your choice of 11 local charities. Find out more about Emerge Winnetka and host ValsList at emergewinnetka.com.
2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Skokie Playfields, 540 Hibbard Road, Winnetka. $60 (plus fees) general admission, $25 for ages 12 to 20, $5 for 11 and younger; VIP passes are also available at emergewinnetka.com.
Pitchfork Music Festival
The annual festival was built on bringing cutting-edge and groundbreaking alternative, indie, hip-hop and dance music to Chicago. Now in its 15th year, the festival lineup features headliners Erykah Badu, St. Vincent and Phoebe Bridgers, along with Big Thief, Animal Collective, Kim Gordon, Cat Power, Ty Segall & Freedom Band and more.
1 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Sept. 10-12, at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Three-day passes are sold out, but single-day tickets are $90 at pitchforkmusicfestival.com.
Tuned up with Black Violin
Fort Lauderdale natives Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste have been merging classical string arrangements they studied in school with the hip-hop beats they listened to outside of class since they first met in high school. Nearly two decades later, the duo has won "Showtime at the Apollo," sold out The Kennedy Center, collaborated with Alicia Keys and Wu Tang Clan, released a Grammy-nominated album (Check out "Take the Stairs" here) and worked with and played for thousands of young, low-income music students to inspire them and challenge their ideas of what music (and musicians) need to be. Experience the music firsthand when the duo appears at Ravinia with the Blind Boys of Alabama this weekend.
7:30 p.m. (gates at 5) Saturday, Sept. 11, at Ravinia Festival, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. $33-$43 for lawn, $60-$80 for reserved pavilion seats (prices increase $5 at the door); ravinia.org.
The blues at 11
Earlier this year, blues label Alligator Records produced "Sweet Home Chicago," a performance by stars Billy Branch, Shemekia Copeland, Lil' Ed Williams and Toronzo Cannon celebrating 50 years of the Chicago music label and its history with the blues. This weekend, WTTW-TV will broadcast the showcase -- filmed at Governors State University Center for the Performing Arts in University Park, Illinois -- at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12. Find more information at schedule.wttw.com.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.