DivaNation Showcases "A Sisterhood of Singers"


Sign in to view read count
By Nathea Lee

The Philadelphia Jazz Project set out to see what would happen if they brought together a diverse array of vocalists, created a nurturing environment where seasoned performers could mentor younger singers, and gave them all the opportunity to perform on one of the City's premier stages. The result is DivaNation, “a sisterhood of singers" whose jazz stylings range from feisty blues to neo-soul. The project was inspired by pianist Aaron Graves. Pianist/vocalist Dena Underwood and pianist/violinist Kendrah E. Butler are co-music directors. Vocalists include: Dena Underwood, Lotus Barron, Gretchen Elise, Liz Filantes, Ella Gahnt, Carol Harris, Barbara Montgomery, Bethlehem Roberson, and Jaye Sanders.

Over a period of six months, the talented divas met to share new work, performance techniques, and experiences. The project culminated with a series of performances at Drexel University's Mandell Theater.

These photos are from the second performance, which featured Carol Harris, Saudah Al-Akbar, Liz Falantes, Barbara Montgomery and Bethlehem Roberson. Kendrah E. Butler & Ensemble opened the set with Butler's original tune, “Instrumental Prelude-Diva Walk," which was arranged by Ella Gahnt.

The formidable ensemble included Bob Whitt (bass); Darryl Jackson (drums); Nasir Dickerson (saxophone); and Doc Gibbs (percussion).

Visit Website

Post a comment


View events near Philadelphia
Jazz Near Philadelphia
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Jazz News


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.