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Expanded Music at the Intersection festival will feature new events and partnerships

Festival goers react as Sandroniia Williams, 54, of downtown St. Louis, busts a move on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, during the Music at the Intersection festival in Grand Center.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Sandroniia Williams, 54, of downtown St. Louis, breaks out his dance moves during the 2023 Music at the Intersection festival in September in Grand Center. The 2024 event will feature more events and enhanced partnerships with local music organizations.

An expanded Music at the Intersection event in September will feature pre- and post-festival concerts and enhanced partnerships with local music organizations.

Headliners for the festival, which runs Sept. 14-15, include Big Boi of Outkast, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, Black Pumas, Lettuce and Chaka Khan.

A Sept. 13 pre-festival show at the Big Top will be geared toward college-age concertgoers.

“We’ll give them a heavier dose of new, cutting-edge hip-hop, maybe some electronica, some rock ‘n' roll,” Kranzberg Arts Foundation Executive Director Chris Hansen said of the Sept. 13 concert. “Definitely just music on the edge, what they’re excited about right now. It’ll also elevate some of the local music that touches that demographic.”

Hansen declined to say how much money the Kranzberg Arts Foundation will invest in Music at the Intersection and associated events, but he said it is “a sustainable festival that we can produce generationally.”

Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, Music at the Intersection’s first artist in residence, will perform music from his new album during the festival before leading an all-star jam at the Grandel. The concerts before and after the festival will have separate admission fees.

Influential producer and rapper Mvstermind will again lead MvsterCamp, a weeklong boot camp before the festival for emerging artists to learn about the practicalities of life as a professional musician. While participants performed unannounced pop-up sets during the last two festivals, this year Mvstermind will program a two-hour program with selected graduates. They include DARKWOOD, Aide Ade and Alexia Simone.

“This is like a thank-you. This community has done so much for me, and now I’m in a spot to be able to do that for other artists as well,” Mvstermind said. “It’s a bigger platform for artists to be on the actual festival bill, alongside national artists. The artists in our city who are on the bill in small letters, they’re going to continue to graduate and jump up to the top.”

Alonzo Townsend, left, recognizes artist Mvstermind for his contributions on the local music scene on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, during the Music at the Intersection festival in Grand Center.
Jeremy Goodwin
St. Louis Public Radio
Alonzo Townsend, left, recognizes Mvstermind for his mentorship of younger artists at last year's festival. Selected graduates of his MvsterCamp boot camp will perform at Music at the Intersection in September.

Another addition is a two-hour event programmed by werQfest, the festival founded by Tre’von Griffith to showcase Black, queer artists. The werQfest Ball at Music at the Intersection will feature Bronze Avery and Kristopher Lay.

“I feel like my music is queer-related, but I want it to be something for everybody to listen to. I just want people to feel good when they hear my music,” Lay said.

The festival’s main program builds on past years with its combination of greats from the worlds of soul, blues and jazz — plus artists who’ve put that musical inheritance to innovative use.

“On Saturday you’ll hear how jazz, blues, soul, gospel and all our heritage music has informed modern music, from the '90s to currently. Then on Sunday we have a gospel brunch and give you a big, heavy day of jazz and blues. It’s that intersectionality of heritage music,” Hansen said.

Additional performers on the festival’s first day include Chingy, Lady Wray, Jordan Ward and Joe Russo’s Selcouth Quartet. On Sunday, Samara Joy, Stanley Clarke Band, Marquise Knox with the Funky Butt Brass Brand, Rhythm City featuring Ptah Williams and Robert Randolph Band will take the stage.

Jazz St. Louis will present a showcase for jazz from East St. Louis, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame has programmed gospel artists for Sunday morning including Jeremy & LaToya and pop-up choir performances.

The festival will be proceeded by a two-day conference for music industry professionals at .Zack.

Jeremy is the arts & culture reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.