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Robert Mahony

Music festivals in Atlanta are dominated by the big, established names — Music Midtown, Shaky Knees — and rely on corporate sponsorships and ticket sales to sustain themselves. But one smaller independent festival is celebrating its fourth year and has managed to stick to its guiding principles: Always Free, Always All-Ages, Always Accessible. We’re talking about Jortsfest.

Katie Darby/Invision/AP

Rapper Rich Homie Quan and reggae singer Shaggy will headline the second annual Passport Experience Festival in Atlanta.

Grammy-winning singer Akon returns as host of the daylong concert held at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. The festival will feature more than 20 performers representing 10 different countries including Nigeria and Virgin Islands.

Rich Fury / Invision/AP

This weekend, we have everything from hair metal to country stars coming out of exile heading to Atlanta. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at who's coming back on Mara's Music Mix.

Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP, File

The Queen of Funk and the current kings of Top 40 are descending on Atlanta this weekend. WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss to hit the highlights of this weekend's concert calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

The Beatles pose for photographers during a press conference in New York on Monday, August 23, 1966. The group wound up their current U.S. tour with a concert in New York. L-R: Ringo Starr; Paul McCartney; John Lennon; and George Harrison.
Associated Press

John Lennon, in one of his last songs, said: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

On Aug. 5, 1966, the Beatles defined the life experience – the good, the bad and the indifferent – with the release of their album “Revolver.”

At this point in the Beatles' career – just over two years past their earth-altering performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" – the band was in a state of transition.

Alex Schelldorf

Atlanta has a very active and ever-changing independent music scene, which is seeing even more flux as longtime venue the Masquerade closes down its North Avenue home this month. Immersive Atlanta's Guillermo Castro points out that as this is on the minds of the city's musicians, and with the summer festival season still going, many promoters have begun building up smaller, more diverse and inclusive music festivals such as Jortsfest and The Big Thing.

Nicholast Broussard / Wikimedia

This week in Atlanta concerts, we have an all-female supergroup, 90s rockers making a comeback, a golden-voiced singer-songwriter and more.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at "Mara's Music Mix."

John Quigley

In 1968, there was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Then, in the late 1980s, we saw the Traveling Wilburys, made up of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.

These are supergroups, short-lived musical dream teams. And today, there is case/lang/veirs, the moniker for Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs and the name of their collaborative album.

Lang, a multi-Grammy winner, suggested the supergroup several years ago, and the trio spent two and a half years writing together between touring and their own musical projects.

Robb Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP

Garbage, Gucci and one giant clown are just some of what's going on in Atlanta's concert venue's this weekend. WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the calendar.

Courtesy of Kip Winger

The band Winger and their frontman, Kip Winger, are best known for their 1988 hit “Seventeen.” But the heavy metal frontman has in recent years traded in the stacks of amplifiers for an acoustic guitar, and has turned a childhood love of ballet into a second career as a composer.

His album, "Conversations With Nijinsky," which includes music written for the San Francisco Ballet, was released this summer and quickly went to No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart.

Martin Hieslmair /

“Under Construction” is a sign you will see on Atlanta roads all summer long.  It’s also the marker you could affix to any teenager’s head.

Powerful new technologies are enabling brain researchers, healthcare professionals and educators to investigate the connections among brain function, development and behavior in adolescents. One of the interesting threads emerging from this research is the power of music as a therapeutic and pedagogical tool. 

Jeff Daly/Invision/AP

The 1990s are returning to Atlanta this weekend, or at least to its concert venues. WABE contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss discuss upcoming shows, including Drivin & Cryin's two-night stint in Midtown, the Indigo Girls at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and a packed lineup of vintage hip-hop acts taking over Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in this week's Mara's Music Mix.

Alphonso Whitfield

This month, the albums coming out of  Atlanta's independent music scene show both a willingness to collaborate and try new things as well as a keen sense of when to stick to what works.

Immersive Atlanta editor Guillermo Castro sits down with Myke Johns to discuss some of the summer's new music.

Katie Darby / Invision/AP

Atlanta is an international hub this weekend, both at the airport and in our music venues. The city is welcoming artists from South Korea and New Zealand. 

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss are joining up to bring us those and many other concert listings for this week's Mara's Music Mix.

Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

Movement, nature and simplicity all factor into Amy Leventhal's latest piece of music.

Leventhal was a violist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 2009. Now she spends her time composing.

The piece, called “Impressions of Japan,” was inspired by a trip with her son.

“We had this wonderful time together, and everywhere we went, the cherry trees were blooming,” said Leventhal. “It would be if you took a hundred dogwoods and put them in an area ... It was one of the most stunning sights I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Armando Franca / Associated Press

This Independence Day weekend, Atlanta plays host to an Eagle, a jam band celebration and a Brit-Pop survivor gone solo.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the upcoming concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Greg Allen/Invision/AP

This weekend, Atlanta clubs, concerts halls and stadiums will ring with the sounds of '80s goth rock, a hip-hop hit-maker and indie rock duos a-plenty.

Contributor Mara Davis joins WABE host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the upcoming concert calendar.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Piedmont Park will rock with the sounds of bombastic pop, elaborate harmonies and explosive electronica on Sept. 17 and 18.

Music Midtown, one of Atlanta's most anticipated festivals, announced its lineup Tuesday morning. Headlining the festival this year are The Killers, Beck, Twenty One Pilots and Deadmau5. The multigenre festival, which mixes upcoming pop artists with veterans of the music industry, will also feature the Alabama Shakes, indie pop band Chvrches and James Bay.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Pop star Christina Aguilera has released a new song, "Change," following the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

The singer posted a lyric video of the song and a statement on her website on Thursday, which said that she wants to be a part of the change the world needs, to be more inclusive.

The song features lyrics about waiting for hope and change and "waiting for the day when hate is lost and love is found." The statement says proceeds from U.S. downloads through Sept. 14 will go to the National Compassion Fund to benefit the victims and their families.

Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a music festival in a cemetery, some old-school Atlanta rock 'n' roll and the "Weird One" himself at the Fox Theatre. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for their look at the concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Allister Ann

After almost four years, songwriter John Paul White has new music.

“I started having these songs loop in my head that I couldn’t ignore and finally had to start writing,” White said. “But I did not set out to write songs, and I wasn’t sure if I would, and I was okay with that ... People say you are meant to do certain things, and I always laughed at that. I think a lot of it you choose, but this was an instance of I couldn’t not do it.”

Little Big Town and Pharrell Williams
Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

Little Big Town's new album of pop and dance songs produced by hitmaker Pharrell Williams grew out of a writing session fueled by Waffle House and a little Tennessee moonshine.

The top pop and R&B producer and artist came down to Nashville in early 2016 and ended up with eight songs for their new record, "Wanderlust," out Friday.

Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

An independent filmmaker filed a federal lawsuit against Beyonce on Wednesday alleging that ideas from his 2014 short film were used to create the trailer that accompanied her new visual album "Lemonade."

Elvis Costello
Evan Agostini / Associated Press

Elvis Costello, the late Marvin Gaye and Tom Petty are among the 2016 class of inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

An induction and awards dinner was held Thursday night at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

The class also included the songwriting team Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards and "Wild Thing" songwriter Chip Taylor.

Nick Jonas, record executive Seymour Stein and Lionel Richie earned special honors.

Andrew Burton / Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a huge country star from Down Under, a controversial R&B singer and a showcase of golden oldies. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the weekend's concert calendar.

musician Brandy Clark
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP


Brandy Clark isn't the first singer-songwriter to bring a smart feminist perspective to country music. Loretta Lynn sang defiantly about "The Pill" 40 years ago, well before her audience was ready for it. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and many others have mined small-town American life from a woman's point of view for decades. More recently, Angaleena Presley and Kacey Musgraves have added important new voices to the conversation.

But with her latest album, "Big Day In A Small Town," Clark proves herself a worthy heir to Lynn's gritty, visceral legacy.

Dolly Parton
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Dolly Parton is the latest musician to have one of her songs become a book.

Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, announced Thursday that it will release "The Coat of Many Colors" on Oct. 18. Based on her classic song about her childhood in rural Tennessee, the book will feature illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes and a downloadable song by Parton, "Making Fun Ain't Funny."

Courtesy of Little Tybee

June sees one long-awaited Atlanta album being released, along with a pair of related but stylistically divergent hip-hop records, some swamp fuzz and the everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink madness of Frosted Orange.

Immersive Atlanta's Guillermo Castro sat down with "City Lights" to talk about the local releases kicking off Atlanta's summer.

Joel Ryan / Invision/AP

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a country music legend, an 80s pop sensation gone country and one of the most beloved public radio programs around.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the upcoming concert calendar for Mara's Music Mix.

Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association

In traditional music pedagogy, a student learns to play their instrument or sing while simultaneously learning to read music. That's like learning to talk and read a book at the same time, according to 20th century violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki.