War at Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival | 980 Liberty Ave. | Funk | Pittsburgh City Paper

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War at Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

Contrary to the name, when War started in 1969, its mission was to “spread a message of brotherhood and harmony.” Speaking out against racism, hunger, gangs, crimes, and turf wars, the group's instruments and voices were their weapons, their songs their ammunition. But even though the lyrics often were politically charged, the band’s California roots shone through their music with sunny, laid-back melodies, like in the 1975 release, “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” or the hit track, “Low Rider." Melding funk, soul, Latin, jazz, and blues, War joins Patti Labelle, Charles Lloyd, and more during the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival.

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