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."
Erica Corbo hosts a monthly concert series called Warp Factor 9 (WF9) that has been running every third Thursday since March 2019 and pivoted to live-streaming on Facebook during the pandemic.
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.”
Brazilian music favorites Orlando and Patricia Haddad are keeping the music going through virtual concerts and lessons. They raised 70% for a new album among friends and fans and are looking to raise the rest through crowd funding and pre-sales.