Category: Profile

Spotlight On: Kyle Andrews

"The experience of musical healing always reminds me that being a musician is a powerful and important job, and this inspires me to get back on stage and bring audiences an experience that is sincere and meaningful.”

Paul Giess

 “I didn't like waking up early,” he recalls, “but my mom said she'd give me a dollar allowance a week if I went to jazz band in the morning. That gave me the motivation to get out of bed.”

A Note about Women’s History Month 

"I experience first hand the lack of gender representation in academic settings. I also see how important it is to have a supportive community – not only of other girls and young women in jazz, but peers, teachers, and others who see the importance of the mission."

Black Musicians Unite

Musicians’ Protective Union Local 274, American Federation of Musicians was chartered on January 2, 1935 by Black musicians. Local 274 was one of more than fifty Black musicians’ unions established in the American Federation of Musicians. The first Black musicians’ union Local 208 was established in Chicago in 1902. In Philadelphia, Frank Thurman "Frankie" Fairfax, orchestra leader, composer and trumpeter, became a key figure in the movement to organize a musicians' union...

The Explosion of Philadelphia Jazz Clubs

By the 1920's, Black urban workers sought opportunities in the music industry as an alternative to high unemployment which plagued their community. With the continuation of Black migrations from the South to the North, there was a rise in African-American urban populations. These increases resulted in a demand for Black entertainment, which meant an increase in jobs in the music field...

Immanuel Wilkins Releases New Record, “The 7th Hand” 

Philadelphia’s own Immanuel Wilkins recently released his new record “The 7th Hand,” on Blue Note Records on January 28, 2022. Wilkins’ record displays a fabulous quartet including musicians Micah Thomas on piano, Daryl Johns on bass, and Kweku Sumbry on drums. 

Mass Unemployment, the Great Migration, and the Rise of Big Bands

By the 1920's, Black urban workers sought opportunities in the music industry as an alternative to high unemployment which plagued their community. With the continuation of Black migrations from the South to the North, there was a rise in African-American urban populations. These increases resulted in a demand for Black entertainment, which meant an increase in jobs in the music field...

The Social Stigma of the “Musician” Class

The city of Philadelphia, known as a cradle of jazz, has a rich and significant jazz history that goes back much further than most people realize. In the order to understand the emergence of jazz in the City of Philadelphia one must begin in the nineteenth century and trace black musical organization into the early twentieth century...

Norman Connors

Today, the 70-something-year-old marvels at the path his life took from living in tenement housing doors away from famed comic Bill Cosby to headlining across the globe alongside jazz, R&B, and soul music legends.