Jam On Walnut returns for summer 2023


Image via Wikimedia Commons

A street in Shadyside.

By Abby Lipold, Staff Writer

Lauren Jewell, a sophomore education major, said Jam on Walnut was a standout from her first semester of college.

“If I could recommend one thing for Pitt freshmen to attend during their first semester, it would absolutely be Jam on Walnut,” Jewell said. 

Called “the most anticipated block party of the summer,” Shadyside’s monthly Jam on Walnut outdoor concert series hosts four different bands on four different Saturdays during the summer months. In addition, the event offers food trucks and an opportunity to shop at the local businesses along Walnut Street, and the proceeds go to support local charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Animal Friends, Inc. 

Senior neuroscience major Eliza Gillette said Jam is one of her favorite events in Pittsburgh because it’s close but not “too close” to Pitt. 

“It brings a lot of Pitt students and Pittsburgh residents together in a space that’s not in Oakland or really related to Pitt,” Gillette said. 

While Jam on Walnut is popular with Pitt students during the first weekends of the fall semester, anyone staying on campus over the summer can attend one of the other concert dates. 

This past month, Walnut hosted Dancing Queen, a self-described disco band that plays popular artists from the 70s and 80s such as ABBA, Madonna and Michael Jackson. Coming up in July is No Bad Juju who, according to Talent Network Inc., mixes R&B, rock, pop and other genres in a “high energy style.” 

Lauren Servello, a rising junior and public health major, said she enjoys Jam because of its unique “vibe.” 

“It feels like what I would think a music festival feels like,” Servello said. “It’s a gigantic crowd with so much cheering, and it’s so wholesome to watch everyone support local bands.” 

Admission to Jam on Walnut is free, and transportation is also easily accessible as Walnut Street is within walking distance of Pitt’s campus. The PRT bus system via Shadyside is an alternative for students who want to avoid the walk.

One of the added benefits of a live concert on the main street of one of Pittsburgh’s prominent neighborhoods is the opportunity for students to explore new local shops and restaurants. Jewell also noted that she enjoyed the location of the concert because it got her acclimated to a different area of the city during her first few weeks in Pittsburgh. 

“Not only is the music great and the atmosphere fun, but going to Jam is a great way to get your bearings in one of the coolests neighborhoods in Pittsburgh,” Jewell said. 

Many of the stores on Walnut Street stay open late for the concert so that attendees can stop by. Restaurants such as Shady Grove, William Penn Tavern and Steel Cactus often have specials on food and drink as well before and during the event. 

No Bad Juju performs on July 15th at 9 p.m., and Jam on Walnut’s last event features The Delaneys on August 19th for a party rock concert.