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Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month includes Month-Long Celebration and Honors Benny Golson

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Benny Golson PHILADELPHIA, PA — Mayor Michael A. Nutter will officially proclaim April 2014 Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month and launch the month-long celebration during an April 3 press conference at City Hall. The event will honor Philadelphia-born jazz legend Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
and include a live performance by the Francois Zayas
Francois Zayas
Francois Zayas

percussion
Trio. Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month (Philly JAM) shines a spotlight on the city’s special place in the history of jazz, and encourages people of all ages to experience, appreciate and participate in Philadelphia’s flourishing performance scene. Organized by the Philadelphia Jazz Project, this year’s Philly JAM will feature scores of performances by the Delaware Valley’s finest jazz practitioners at venues large and small across the city, along with workshops, celebrations, events and a surprise pop up performance.

Philadelphia is home to a rich jazz legacy and a dynamic music scene,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “This April, we observe National Jazz Appreciation month and celebrate Philadelphia’s past and continued contribution to American jazz history. What better time to go out and experience Philadelphia’s vibrant jazz performance scene?”

Philadelphia Jazz Project, led by multidisciplinary artist and former WRTI host Homer Jackson, organized this year's Philly JAM with the goal of galvanizing core jazz fans, reaching new audiences and building bridges across jazz communities while collectively promoting the entire city of Philadelphia as a great, American jazz city. From the original jazz superstar, Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters
1896 - 1977
vocalist
and towering legends like John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
, Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
, Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang
1902 - 1933
guitar
, Joe Venuti
Joe Venuti
Joe Venuti
1903 - 1978
violin
and Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, to contemporary artists like Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
b.1966
trumpet
and Christian McBride
Christian McBride
Christian McBride
b.1972
bass
, Philadelphia has been home to some of jazz’s greatest musical influencers and continues to nurture a thriving jazz scene. (view more musicians)

Free Philly JAM events in April will have an educational, accessible focus, inviting new audiences to explore and experience America’s original art form. Among the myriad events, after-work “Dizzy Hours” (named for renowned jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, who acquired his famous nickname while living in Philadelphia) will invite audiences to learn about the fundamentals of jazz from local luminaries at the Gershman Y; Franklin Square Park will host Kids’ Jazz Party, a hands-on, family-friendly music and dance party celebrating jazz rhythms and melodies; and two free concerts will be held at the Free Library of Philadelphia. These events, along with scores of ticketed performances hosted by venues around the city, will make Philadelphia in April the best place to experience all that the contemporary jazz scene has to offer. [See schedule below]

“Jazz is America’s original art form, and Philadelphia has always been an integral part of shaping and molding it,” said Jackson. “There are an incredible array of musicians – from our elder statesmen to young upstarts – performing in every musical style here, playing huge concert halls and tiny clubs. We want Philly JAM to be an annual event that champions Philly’s rightful place as a great American jazz city.”

Philly JAM launches Thursday, April 3 at 11 a.m. at City Hall. Schedules of April’s free and ticketed performances around the city can be found online at philadelphia.jazznearyou.com.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

More details on these events and performances, as well as a list of events throughout the city, can be found online at philadelphia.jazznearyou.com. For more information about Philly JAM, please visit philajazzproject.org.

Thursday, April 3 at 11 a.m.

Press Conference: Mayor Michael A. Nutter Proclaims April 2014 Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month
Philadelphia City Hall, Broad and Market Streets
Honoring: Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor

Performer: Francois Zayas Trio: Francois Zayas
Francois Zayas
Francois Zayas

percussion
(percussion), Nimrod Speaks (bass), Gerald Chavis
Gerald Chavis

trumpet
(trumpet)

Monday, April 7 from 5-7 p.m.

Dizzy Hour
Guest Host: Lenora Early
Plus: comedian, jazz trivia & scavenger hunt
Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street

Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kids’ Jazz Party
Hosted by Lauren Lark
Franklin Square Park, 6th and Race Streets

Monday, April 14 from 5-7 p.m.

Dizzy Hour
Guest Host: Michael Ricci, Jazz Near You / All About Jazz
Plus: comedian, jazz trivia & scavenger hunt
Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street

Tuesday, April 15 Deadline

Travel’s Aid
A $1,000 grant issued monthly to young artists, first time travelers or older artists who have not traveled recently. Apply by midnight online, philajazzproject.org

The Philadelphia Jazz Project will provide a one-way trolley ride from the Gershman Y to the Free Library of Philadelphia for the following event. Leo Gadson and the Producer’s Guild are Co-Producers of the Free Library of Philadelphia concerts.

Monday, April 21 from 5-7 p.m.

Dizzy Hours Guest Host: Tony Williams, Mount Airy Cultural Center; Thelma Anderson, Council of Jazz Advocates
Plus: comedian, jazz trivia & scavenger hunt
Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street

Monday, April 21 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

Free Concert
Tal Shtuhl
Free Library of Philadelphia, Montgomery Auditorium, 1901 Vine Street.

Tuesday, April 22 from 6-8 p.m.

Diva-Nation
A series of monthly community gatherings to share experiences, best practices and passions
Location: TBA. Events are held at venues that provide services for women and girls.

The Philadelphia Jazz Project will provide a one-way trolley ride from the Gershman Y to the Free Library of Philadelphia for the following event. Leo Gadson and the Producer’s Guild are Co-Producers of the Free Library of Philadelphia concerts.

Monday, April 28 from 5-7 p.m.

Dizzy Hours
Guest Host: Mark Christman, Ars Nova Workshop
Plus: comedian, jazz trivia & scavenger hunt
Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street

Monday, April 28 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

Free Concert hosted by the Philadelphia Jazz Project and the Producer’s Guild
Featuring: Drummer Ronnie Burrage
Ronnie Burrage
Ronnie Burrage
b.1959
drums
, Saxophonist Rick Tate, Guitarist Alain Bradette
Alain Bradette
Alain Bradette
b.1965
saxophone
, Bassist Nimrod Speaks and Vocalist Shenel Johns.
Free Library of Philadelphia, Montgomery Auditorium, 1901 Vine Street.

FREE CLASSES: Cha Cha & Swing/ Lindy Hop
Fridays, April 4-25 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
Saturdays, April 5-26 from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
West Philadelphia YMCA, 5120 Chestnut Street

TICKETED EVENT

Tuesday, April 29 at 8 p.m.

Who Got The Jazz? Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron
1949 - 2011
vocalist
with Nimrod Speaks
Special Guests: Dirk Quinn and Robert Kenyatta
Nimrod Speaks, Music Director/House Band: Khary Shaheed and Luke Carlos O'Reilly
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
$10/$12.

ABOUT JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH

Jazz Appreciation Month is a project of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and this year marks the 13th anniversary of the national celebration. It is designed to draw more public attention to the iconic tradition of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage. The goal of JAM is to stimulate the current jazz scene and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz by studying the genre, attending concerts, listening to jazz on radio and recordings, reading books on the topic and supporting institutional jazz programs. For more information on the national program, please visit smithsonianjazz.org.

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA JAZZ PROJECT

The Philadelphia Jazz Project works to inspire a network to support, promote, archive and celebrate the diverse elements within the Philadelphia jazz community, with the larger goal of connecting to the global community. It is a sponsored project of the Painted Bride Art Center, with funding provided by the Wyncote Foundation.

ABOUT JAZZ NEAR YOU

Jazz Near You is the leading platform for jazz events on the web—supporting 250 cities worldwide. Their mission is to inform jazz fans and alert them to local concerts, resulting in improved audience attendance and fostering greater collaboration in the jazz communities it serves. The Jazz Near You platform consists of a website, a weekly events newsletter, an app, maps, feeds and widgets. It's fully integrated with All About Jazz.

ABOUT HOMER JACKSON (DIRECTOR)

As a young art student, jazz nurtured Philadelphia native, Homer Jackson’s creativity provided an outlet for self-expression. In 1980, Temple University’s jazz radio station, WRTI, recruited Jackson to host a weekly program and produce a monthly magazine, where he contributed to programming until 1988. Jackson is also known for creating performances in collaboration with artists such as the late violinist Leroy Jenkins, Twin Cities-based instrument maker and former Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians president Douglas Ewart, as well as the award-winning, Philadelphia-based hip-hop ensemble the Roots.

Jackson earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and his MFA from Temple’s Tyler School of Art. His work is presented as installation, performance art, public art, digital media, video and audio. He has been a grant recipient of the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. In 2012, Jackson launched the Philadelphia Jazz Project. The mission is broad and ambitious and aims to galvanize the base of jazz fans, reach new audiences, and support the future of jazz by building bridges between different communities.


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