The Grand Center Arts District neighborhood of St. Louis played host to the second annual Music at the Intersection Festival this past weekend. The two-day event put on by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation triumphed in drawing crowds of area residents made up of all ages and backgrounds for a lively, end-of-summer affair celebrating the local arts scene and, notably, a mix of American music.
The second-year event also featured an impressive collection of local food trucks and art vendors, giving it a vibe more similar to that of a neighborhood block party rather than a mid-sized music festival with national touring artists. The relaxed intimacy of the weekend’s performances along with the feel-good energy shared amongst attendees created a reassuring feeling of unity in the crowd.
Halfway through the festival’s first day on Saturday, September 10th, it became obvious the underlying theme of the event’s musical programming was celebrating American music—an appropriate theme, given St. Louis’ location in the heart of the country and significant contributions to the nation’s culture through the years. Styles of music that are uniquely American—jazz, blues, jam bands, hip-hop, soul—were all represented by the eclectic mix of artists on the lineup, which included Buddy Guy, Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Oteil Burbridge, John Scofield, Gary Clark Jr., Kamasi Washington, Booker T. Jones, JJ Grey & Mofro, Southern Avenue, and The Motet, to name a few.
R&B, soul, hip-hop and jazz took the lead on a sunny and hot first day on Saturday. Afternoon sets from BJ the Chicago Kid and Lamar Harris’ Georgia Mae at the Field Stage were followed by inspiring jazz performances from The Bosman Twins and Peter Martin’s trio in the general admission, seated Big Top Stage tent helped ease the audience into the later hours. By sundown, attendees were evenly divided between seeing Kamasi Washington, Erykah Badu and hometown alt-rock heroes The Urge at their respective stages.
Day two on Sunday was more jazz- and jam-heavy, and the St. Louis-area Heads showed up accordingly in good numbers. A cool, dreary early afternoon heated up quickly thanks to the dependable, high-energy showmanship from Memphis blues-rockers Southern Avenue. The psychedelic Sunday continued rolling with sets from energizing and experimental performances from Tracer featuring Ptah Williams, The Motet with support from Shira Elias, two blues legends in Booker T. Jones and Buddy Guy, up-and-coming guitarist Celisse (who was making her live debut in St. Louis), and John Scofield.
By late afternoon, the morning clouds had opened to let the sun shine through in warm abundance just in time for some New Orleans funk from Dumpstaphunk and The Meters bassist George Porter Jr., who kept the energy going strong at the Washington Ave. Stage. Evening sets followed from Robert Glasper with Terrace Martin, Gary Clark Jr., and Oteil Burbridge & Friends, which on this night featured jam mainstays Eric Krasno, Melvin Seals, and father/son duo Steve and Johnny Kimock.
View a gallery of photos from Music at the Intersection 2022 below via Tom Shackleford. For more information about the event, head here.