Pittsburgh youth will be showcased alongside national talent at WYEP Summer Music Festival | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh youth will be showcased alongside national talent at WYEP Summer Music Festival

“There’s a lot of really great talent here.”

Showgoers might be excited to see the flashy pop of Lucius, the sharp rock of Margaret Glaspy and the folk-tinged indie of Boy & Bear, but those aren’t the only musicians performing at WYEP’s Summer Music Festival this weekend. For those who decide to stroll into Schenley Plaza this Saturday afternoon, there’s a special treat.

The Reimagination Showcase, beginning at 3 p.m., is a time to tout the efforts of young Pittsburgh artists across a range of genres who participate in this special program of the community radio station.

Reimagination is a WYEP-sponsored mentoring opportunity for teen bands. In its third year, the program connects young musicians with Pittsburgh-based music producers and industry professionals who teach them the ins and outs of making music a career. Each year, the program releases an album that features the partcipants’ self-recorded songs.

“It’s a really wonderful program,” says Elizabeth Baisley, WYEP director of marketing. “There’s a lot of really great talent here.”

The three acts featured this weekend —The Funky Fly Project, The Incandescents and HAT Co. — represent the musical diversity of groups associated with Reimagination.

The Funky Fly Project, whose members are all age 14 or younger, performs original jazz and funk that incorporate improvisation and collaboration far beyond the musicians’ years, whereas the Incandescents embody the spirit of rock ’n’ roll in both attitude and sound. 

Hope Academy Teen Theater, known as HAT Co., is another community program that aims to empower youths to see themselves as creators and artists. A program of East Liberty Presbyterian Church, HAT Co. has its own band, which will perform a mix of originals and covers for the afternoon crowd. HAT Co.’s Mimi Thomas has a song featured on the Reimagination compilation CD.  

WYEP’s Summer Music Festival is located in a highly accessible area and costs nothing to attend. As Bailey puts it, “It’s important to us as a community organization to celebrate diverse kinds of music, diverse kinds of creativity and to celebrate the creative culture in Pittsburgh.”

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