Author: Jazz Philadelphia Admin

Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project launches monthly Philly Jazz Zoom Rooms

Due to COVID, the Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project is presenting a free, monthly Philly Jazz Zoom Room to discuss books about Philly jazz, offer presentations about Philly jazz history, and musicians discussing the music. Their first Philly Jazz Zoom Room was on January 29 and featured Homer Jackson, director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project; Eric Battle, illustrator; and Dr. Diane D. Turner, curator of the Blockson Collection at Temple to discuss the book Philadelphia Jazz Stories: Illustrated.

Sumi Tonooka

Awarded a New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America in 2019, pianist/composer Sumi Tonooka found herself inspired by the root systems of trees.

The Revolutionary Spirit of Jazz on MLK Day

In past years, celebrations for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would have included live musical performances and service projects throughout Philadelphia that people could participate in shoulder to shoulder, and hand to hand. This year, the Philadelphia Jazz Project and the Museum of the American Revolution are among the partners who have looked to highlights of celebrations past to create a beautiful and moving video celebration featuring Philly jazz artists such as V. Shayne Frederick and the renowned Philadelphia graphic artist Eric Battle. While we may not be shoulder to shoulder, we can still be heart to heart. “We Shall Continue: Celebrating MLK Weekend with the Philadelphia Jazz Project” can be viewed online on demand for anyone who needs to center themselves in the spirit of the day.

Pablo Batista

Latin jazz percussionist Pablo Batista has developed a reputation as one of most versatile and hardworking players in Latin jazz, modern jazz, and in R&B and funk circles.

Immanuel Wilkins: In His Solitude

A couple of weeks ago, Immanuel Wilkins, 23, was awakened at home in Upper Darby when his mobile phone buzzed with congratulatory messages lauding the selection of his debut album, Omega, by The New York Times as the #1 Best Jazz Album of 2020.

North Philly jazz tap dancer and business owner creates a livestream tap dance and jazz concert series

Pamela Hetherington, a jazz tap dancer who owns a percussive dance space in North Philadelphia, had to keep her space locked down for 23 weeks out of 2020. She used the time to produce multiple live-stream tap dance and jazz music concerts. In September, Hetherington created a live-stream tap dance and jazz concert series called "A Month of Sundays" (4 Sundays, 4 pm) for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. "It brought together my group choreography, improvised sets and audience requests," Hetherington writes. "We were able to reach a lot of people who wouldn't have seen our work otherwise, and what I was most proud of was that I offered gigs when there weren't any."

Can Jazz Survive Without Its Clubs?

Mark Deninno, chef and owner of Chris’ Jazz Café will freely admit that the club has been struggling through the pandemic. The historic jazz spot closed its doors on March 15, 2020. “I shut down the restaurant, gas lines, everything, and spent a month trying to figure out how I was going to protect my family and myself.” With city grants to retrofit the venue, he said, “I turned the club into a full blown tv studio to start back up again. I started streams in July for a Pat Martino benefit at 25% capacity but drew viewers from 30 different countries.”

Where We Are, and Where Do We Want to Go?

The season of social unrest, ignited by the killing of George Floyd, has opened a long-closed door to substantive and much-needed conversations around race and social justice. Like the rest of society, the creative community struggles to process the brutality, protests, and riots they witness. On the heels of a pandemic that left stages dark and venues silent, artists also need platforms where their voices can be heard.

Philadelphia’s Jazz Family Grows

The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is a partner of Jazz Philadelphia and this year’s lead sponsor of the Jazz Philadelphia Summit in partnership with PECO. Jazz Philadelphia shares MAAF’s values, namely that they believe, “art is essential, that it has the power to transform individuals and communities, and that so doing helps define our society. Excellence, integrity, service, inclusion, and engagement are fundamental tenets of its commitment to the arts.”

More Art Not Less

Good afternoon members of City Council; thank you for this opportunity to offer testimony on Bill number 200307 and the proposed budget which would defund the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy. I recognize the difficult decisions you must face in balancing the needs of our city in a time of crisis. However, as a musician, arts leader, and proud lifelong Philadelphia resident, I am deeply concerned about how this defunding will impact our great city.