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April 26th, 2004
June Schedule of Evening Programs Packs the Museum’s Great Stair Hall with Music and Dance

An eclectic and electric mix of evening performances for all ages and interests returns to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in June 2004. On Wednesdays and Fridays until 8:45 p.m. museum visitors are invited to explore the collections, enhanced by international music and dance, all included with Museum admission. A 2003 Grammy nominee, a jazz legend now in his seventh decade of performing, and a spirited trio of young virtuosos highlight the Friday Evenings jazz lineup, while lively expressions of Japanese, French and Irish cultures flavor the Great Stair Hall on Wednesday Nights.

Organized around an imaginative theme each week, the popular Wednesday Nights series returns in June with a wide variety of cultural experiences featuring music and dance in the Great Stair Hall from 5:00 to 8:45 p.m.:

  • Arias, June 2: Pedro Ledesma performs Neapolitan songs that express love’s many moods, including popular favorites like "Santa Lucia," "Mattinata," and "Torna a Surriento." The Center City Opera Theater---originally known as The Opera Theater of Philadelphia--- presents a sneak preview of Rigoletto, the 1851 tragic opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The story, which follows the Duke of Mantua after he sets his wandering eye on the wife of Count Monterone, is filled with irony. The Opera Theater’s inaugural production is scheduled for June 11 and 12 in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
  • U.S.-Japan, 150 Years, June 9: In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity, the Philadelphia Museum of Art in cooperation with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia present four traditional Japanese music and dance performances. The group Otonowa-Kai makes its U.S. debut by playing gagaku ("elegant music"), a type of traditional music that is performed with flutes and drums made of bamboo. Preserved and protected in the imperial court for more than 1,000 years, gagaku is Japan’s oldest performing art. Isaburoh Hanayagi performs a Kabuki piece called Gidaiyu no men uri (Gidaiyu’s Mask Sale). Born in Kobe, Japan, Hanayagi made his Kabuki debut at age four under the tutelage of his father Yoshigosaburoh Hanayagi, a celebrated Kabuki artist. The leading traditional Japanese dance company in the U.S., Sachiyo Ito and Company, offers a sampling of classical Japanese dance forms such as Noh, Kabuki, Jiuta. Also, shakuhachi Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer performs traditional and contemporary music on the Japanese bamboo flute accompanied by Masayo Ishigure on the koto.
  • The Hot Club De France, June 16: Continuing the Museum’s tradition of introducing international artists, Stephane Wrembel, makes his Philadelphia debut with a performance that has all the nostalgia, joy and jangle of true gypsy music. Raised in Fontainebleau France, Wrembel was introduced to Gypsy Jazz when he was in his twenties, and a whole new world of sound was revealed to him the moment he heard the first notes. Wrembel says of gypsy music, "It is an impressionist vision of life, the atmosphere and color being more significant than the harmony and melody." He now appears annually at the Django Reinhardt Festival. Anne Watts & Boister are Baltimore-based regulars on the Paris music scene, with a sound blended from traditional blues, jazz ballads and cabaret themes. Their debut album, 1997’s "Boister," was hailed by France’s Jade magazine as "the best album of the past ten years." Their second album, 2001’s "Song of the Smoke," features lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and was called "an urgent discovery" by the French press. Their most recent release, "Pieces of Milk," is their first on an American record label.
  • School’s Out, June 23: To celebrate the end of the school year, the Museum offers a sneak peak at its Sunday Family Programs. Families are encouraged to find the artist within by drawing in the Museum galleries. A hands-on workshop offers kids a chance to make a sampling of crafts from different cultures. Lane Neubauer will call a Family Square Dance, with The Forge Mountain Ramblers supplying old-time Appalachian music. Plus, The Give and Take Jugglers take center stage with a wacky performance that brings together unlikely combinations of objects, such as a bowling ball, a frying pan and an egg.
  • Celtic Minstrels, June 30: Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes and American guitarist Dennis Cahill possess a rare musical kinship, ranking them among the most memorable partnerships of their era. Together they have garnered international distinction for taking traditional music to the very edge of the genre, holding listeners spellbound with their slow building, fiery performances. Hayes has been an All-Ireland fiddle champion six times over and has taken home a National Entertainment Award, the Irish equivalent to the Grammy. Cahill is a master guitarist, versed as well in classical, blues, and rock as he is in traditional music. The special performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Van Pelt Auditorium. Tickets, which are free after Museum admission, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In the Great Stair Hall, harpist Ellen Tepper performs original arrangements of traditional Celtic tunes. Tepper graduated with a degree in harp performance from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts.

Wednesday Nights also features Gallery Talks led by curators, artists, and educators at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., spotlighting aspects of the Museum’s collections. Among the talks are Opera Rats: Degas’s View of the Paris Opera with Sarah Cardwell, Museum Educator (June 2); The American Discovery of Japan with Kyoko Kinoshita, Project Assistant Curator, East Asian Art (June 9); and Sporting Art in Britain: From Stubbs to Landseer with Jennifer Thompson, Project Assistant Curator, European Painting Before 1900 (June 30). Chef’s Specials including Miso grilled chicken breast (June 9), chicken liver mousse (June 16), and roast lamb leg (June 30) are available for purchase in the Great Stair Hall.

Friday Evenings continues to bring critically acclaimed jazz musicians to the Museum’s Great Stair Hall, which transforms into an intimate jazz cabaret. Performances are 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 – 8:15 p.m. Guided tours of the galleries are offered at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. A full cash bar and an à la carte menu of appetizers, light entrées and desserts is available with table service. This June, Friday Evenings presents:

  • Luciana Souza, June 4: A 2003 Grammy Award Nominee for best jazz vocal album (for "North and South"), Luciana Souza is one of Brazil’s leading singers and interpreters as well as one of the most exciting songwriters of her time. She has appeared and recorded with renowned jazz musicians Danilo Perez, Hermeto Pascoal, and John Patitucci. In her latest project, "Neruda," Souza pulls off a splendid challenge by setting several of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's pensive poems to music. This performance is made possible by a grant from the Philadelphia Music Project, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by Settlement Music School.
  • Chris Potter Quartet, June 11: One of the busiest and most respected players in modern jazz, Chris Potter has been dubbed, "easily the most compelling saxophonist of his generation" by the Detroit Free Press. His trademark sculpted solos, filled with surprising twists and turns and bursting with kinetic energy, were a true highlight of Steely Dan’s 2000 release, "Two Against Nature."
  • Ernie Andrews, June 18: Jazz singer Ernie Andrews has a style of swing, a saucy presence, and a general manner that reflects his debonair personality. A master of ballads and the blues, Andrews projects from his soul with every performance. Born in Philadelphia on Christmas Day 1927, Andrews moved to Los Angeles at age 4 and got his start on the Central Avenue jazz circuit of the 1930s and ‘40s, when big bands, afterhours clubs, gambling, bathtub gin and segregation were facts of life.
  • Time for Three, June 25: Time for Three began as a trio of young string musicians who played together for fun in their spare time. The group evolved into a successful musical phenomenon with a reputation for having no musical boundaries and limitless enthusiasm. The trio’s members are violinists Zachary DePue and Nicolas Kendall and bassist Ranaan Meyer, who came together while enrolled at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Meyer brought an understanding of jazz and swing to the trio, ingredients that greatly affected the musical tastes of the violinists. DePue is currently a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Kendall is a frequent collaborator at the Marlboro Music Festival, and Meyer is continuing his studies at Curtis and substitutes with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Support for Friday Evenings has been provided by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and by The Philadelphia Music Project, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by Settlement Music School.

To receive more information about evening programs call (215) 763-8100 or visit To receive a free brochure, call (215) 684-7506.

Closed Mondays and holidays
Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday evenings until 8:45 p.m.

$10 for adults; $7 for students with I.D., children 13-18, and senior citizens (62 and over); children 12 years old and younger are admitted free at all times.
Pay what you wish on Sundays.

Parking on the terrace level outside the Museum is free Monday through Friday.

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For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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