Why Jazz Philadelphia?

The time is now for Philadelphia to gain recognition as the world-class jazz destination it is.

Jazz is a uniquely American art form, as fearlessly innovative as the nation itself, and Philadelphia has been fertile soil for jazz for over 100 years. The city has served as a launching pad for the careers of luminaries such as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Lee Morgan, Melody Gardot, Christian McBride, Grover Washington, Jr., and Sun Ra.

A Citywide Cultural Renaissance

Philadelphia continues to be a hotbed of established talent, home to musicians such as Orrin Evans, Terell Stafford, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma. It’s also a proving ground for exciting emerging artists such as Lee Mo, Ode to Omni, Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Laurin Talese, and many, many others.

These talented musicians are part of a larger, citywide cultural renaissance in Philadelphia, and there is a resurgence of interest in jazz as an art form.

Over the last two decades, Philadelphia has garnered worldwide attention for our celebrated and locally-sourced restaurants, and our walkable, vibrant neighborhoods. Our status as a cultural powerhouse continues to grow. We boast innovative individual artists, community-based arts organizations, and thriving destinations on Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s Museum Row: Art Museum of Philadelphia, the Barnes Museum, and the Rodin Museum. The bustling Avenue of the Arts is home to the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts, The Academy of Music, The Merriam Theater, The Wilma Theater, The Clef Club of Performing Arts, along with a growing number of additional venues and presenters.

Now is the time for increased investment in Philadelphia’s world-class jazz community with the goal of honoring our deep jazz roots, and supporting our jazz musicians, presenters, and venues.  Ultimately this will position Philadelphia as the international jazz destination it is.

Jazz Philadelphia was founded in 2017 on the simple yet powerful idea that achieving that bold vision is possible when people work together toward shared goals. We believe the time is right to bring together the individuals and organizations in our region who create, present, and support jazz to build a healthy, sustainable jazz community that is recognized around the world.


Photo Above: Monette Sudler at Center City Jazz Fest.

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