Pittsburgh and Paris, Mann and Mayor, Twitter and Tambourines

 

 

It's no secret in Pittsburgh that Mayor Bill Peduto is a big music fan. Many of us have seen him out at concerts -- sometimes in the audience, occasionally on stage, and he's even been known to drop backstage at WYEP's annual Summer Music Festival. So our own Morning Mix host Cindy Howes decided to be a facilitator, seeing if she could put the mayor together with a major artist. (It's like her Pairings feature, I guess, but instead of matching "music & menus," she's matching "music & mayors.")

 

It all started after President Trump namechecked Pittsburgh in his speech announcing he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Mayor Peduto issued multiple responses to this reference to our city, including this one:

 

 

Peduto's tweets drew reaction from a number of musicians, including retweets related to his comments by Rosanne Cash and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Also a reply from Aimee Mann:

 

 

This is where Cindy joined the story. She jumped in to make a virtual introduction between Mann and Mayor by way of a musical suggestion:

 

 

 And it turned out that Mayor Peduto was on board with this notion:

 

 

 To which Aimee Mann tweeted:

 

 

We certainly have abundant evidence of Mayor Peduto's tambourine skills. Here he is with the local group Lohio:

And Donora tweeted a pic of Peduto with them:

 

And, of course, we all likely recall what happened with Guster last year. After Guster performed in an alley by a dumpster, Peduto tweeted about it and the band tweeted back, Peduto later joined us on WYEP to announce that Guster would be performing at the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival. The next day, Guster told Peduto that he was going to perform with them, and the mayor conditionally agreed as long as they wrote a song about Pittsburgh.

 

And then it happened:

(The mayor walks on stage for his incredible spoken-word part beginning at 5:45 in.)

 

So will the mayor actually play tambourine with Aimee Mann? Time will tell. As of right now, Mann has a string of concert dates booked in June and July -- before she heads to tour Europe in the fall -- but nothing in the Pittsburgh area. We'll keep our eye on the situation and let you know if any concert opportunities emerge. Because what other major city has a mayor as musically plugged-in and as cool as ours?

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