The forthcoming Love Notes Project is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based singer, musician, and teaching artist Rebecca Graham. It’s part of an arts education and advocacy program that will showcase and celebrate the rich legacy and historical significance of Black Philadelphia performing artists and cultural producers this April, during Jazz Appreciation Month.
Love Notes will hold an inaugural event on Saturday, April 23, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the historic Paul Robeson House, which is located at 4951 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. A number of Philadelphia’s fabled young artists will perform, including saxophonist Yesseh Furaha-Ali, singer Jakeyah Sanders, and DJ John Morrison. Admission will be free.
The primary activities of the project will be a series of arts workshops which will be led by Graham and various artists with backgrounds in music and poetry. In addition, the workshops will emphasize the artistry and contributions of musical legends such as John Coltrane, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Tierra Whack, as well as the renowned Philadelphia International rhythm section of Baker, Harris, and Young.
Graham sees the purpose of Love Notes as a means to expand the scope of cultural arts programs and bring them to young people in their respective communities. “I see Love Notes as a means to promote and advocate the development of artistic activities for young people,” says Graham. “Through these programs we hope to develop their knowledge and unique talents in these areas.”
Graham told Jazz Philadelphia, “The mission of Love Notes is to educate and empower Philadelphians of all ages and experiences to be lifelong learners, creators, and advocates for the recognition of the contributions of Black artists to the city’s arts and culture sector.” Graham says that it’s also a way to “contribute to the recovery and sustainability efforts in the aftermath of the Covid 19 Pandemic.”
Graham moved to Philadelphia after earning a degree in Arts and Music Education from Ithaca College in 2013. She immediately became involved with the Black Arts community working with groups like Musictopia and Phil Yo, developing and leading music and poetry workshops in city schools and community programs. Graham came up with the Love Notes concept in 2021 when the schools and community programs were still closed in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Her planning and concepts came to fruition when she received funding from the Leeway Foundation as well as through the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and their Illuminate The Arts grant.
To learn more about Love Notes, contact the project on Instagram (@lovenotes_phl) and email info@lovenotes philly.com