Major Music Programming at 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival Includes Special Performance by Pianist Vijay Iyer


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The 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival will feature its first large-scale music programming this year with three major musical presentations. Jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer whose acclaimed album Historicity topped 2009 critics' lists, will offer a special performance at Eastern State Penitentiary on Saturday, September 11 where he will play within the art installation Release, for which Iyer composed the music.

Other music acts include the artistically inclusive 12-hour Bang on a Can Marathon: Philadelphia which will showcase a wide-range of artists from the Asphalt Orchestra to Matmos and Sun Ra Arkestra, and the rock cabaret ensemble Stew and The Negro Problem with Heidi Rodewald, the band behind the hit Broadway rock musical Passing Strange. The Bang on a Can (9/12) and Stew (9/13) shows will take place at World Cafe Live.

The 16-day Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe will sweep Philadelphia from September 3㬎, 2010, making Philly the destination for the most cutting-edge work at the forefront of the international performing arts scene. In addition to the music programs, the Festival also features a full roster of original dance and theater works.

Live Arts Festival music programming at-a-glance:
Jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer will perform at Eastern State Penitentiary where he will play within the art installation Release, for which Iyer composed the music. Curated by Julie Courtney, Release is a collaboration between Iyer and filmmaker Bill Morrison who turned newly found archival footage of the 1930 release of the notorious criminal Al Capone into a 12-minute experimental film. As a separate event, Morrison's film Decasia will be screened at the Penitentiary during the Live Arts Festival. Eastern State Penitentiary, Sat. 9/11 at 8pm.

Ten hours of nonstop music at the World Café Live. Buy one ticket and come and go all day long as today's most adventurous players perform new works by modern composers. As artistically inclusive as it is audience-friendly, the Bang on a Can Marathon (official site) is a wild mix of genres, styles, innovation, and radically new sounds, delivered as one open mega-concert. Performances by Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Uri Caine, The Crossing, Free Form Funky Freqs (Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston), Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Matmos, Normal Love, Signal, So Percussion, Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra, Sun Ra Arkestra, and more. “There are other places to hear new contemporary music, but it is seldom offered with such a potent blend of intensity, authority, and abandon."—Vanity Fair. World Café Live, Sun. 9/12 at 2pm (start-time).

Stew and The Negro Problem with Heidi Rodewald is an Afro Baroque cabaret ensemble coveted for their literate precision, sly humor, and deep emotional resonance, hovering between the divergent worlds of rock and theater. They will be performing numbers from Stew's Broadway rock musical, Passing Strange, which was co-composed with Rodewald and earned Stew the 2008 Tony Award for “Best Book of a Musical." They will also play new songs from Stew and Heidi's upcoming musical. World Café Live, Mon. 9/13 at 8pm.

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