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A diverse and dynamic lineup of musical performances await patrons at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this winter, as leading artists in jazz and world music take the stage Friday nights for Art After 5 in the Museum’s Great Stair Hall. Each Friday evening the space is transformed into a lively concert hall, with signature cocktails, elegant appetizers, and artisan-style desserts.
Highlights of the Winter 2010 season include concerts by the renowned saxophone group PRISM Quartet on January 29, and Argentine vocalist Sofía Rei Koutsovitis on March 12. Audiences can relive their memories of young romance at the first-ever AA5 Valentine’s Day Prom on February 12th, featuring the inspired vocals of Joanna Pascale, in addition to love-themed tours of the galleries and an old-fashioned photo booth for snapshots (prom attire encouraged!). Eclectic indie-pop musician Miho Hatori, formerly of the band Cibo Matto, hosts a Japan Night on March 3, while popular drag performer Martha Graham Cracker brings her rousing cabaret act to the Great Stair Hall on March 19th. Between sets visitors have a chance to explore the Museum’s galleries and special exhibitions.
Art After 5 showcases an eclectic mix of world music and dance performers on the first Friday of each month. Recognized and emerging jazz artists perform on all other Fridays. The winter 2010 Art After 5 lineup is as follows:
January 15 - Manuel Valera
A Cuban-born pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger, Valera represents the next generation of jazz performers and composers with his fresh, inviting, and evocative sound. Blending Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Brazilian sounds with classical and contemporary jazz styles and forms, Valera brings a vitality and newness to the idioms of jazz and Latin jazz.
January 22 - Jeff Antoniuk & the Jazz Update
Antoniuk and his Washington, D.C.-based band, the Jazz Update, perform critically acclaimed original songs along with lush covers of classic Ellington, Monk, and Golson. The quartet features bassist Tom Baldwin, pianist Wade Beach, and drummer Tony Martucci.
January 29 - PRISM Quartet 25th Anniversary CD Release Concert
PRISM Quartet encompasses an impressive range of musical styles, from Middle Eastern laments to progressive rock, Highland bagpipes to Chinese folk music. To celebrate the group's twenty-fifth anniversary, PRISM will perform music from each of their five albums.
February 5 - Brooklyn Qawwali Party
This eleven-piece ensemble of New York City-based jazz musicians, was formed in honor of the legendary qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. By reworking Nusrat’s approach to Pakistani folk music and the devotional music of the Sufis, Brooklyn Qawwali Party has become one of the most exciting and dynamic groups performing today.
February 12 - Valentine’s Day Prom Featuring Joanna Pascale
Dust off your powder blue tux and your boutonnière for this special occasion - a chance to relive your high school prom in high style in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Art After 5 provides the music and the dance floor, with . love-themed tours of the galleries, and a photo booth to capture the memories, too. Prom wear encouraged!
February 19 - Gerald Veasley
Philadelphia bassist Veasley's soulful approach to jazz has garnered him a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim. He has been voted “Best Electric Bassist” by Jazziz magazine and lauded in Down Beat magazine's Critic's and Reader's Polls.
February 26 - Pedro Giraudo
A native of Argentina now based in New York City,, bassist and arranger, Giraudo has captivated listeners around the world with his masterful blending of jazz improvisation withArgentine folk songs, passionate tangos. He has recorded extensively as a sideman and released four albums as a bandleader. Having performed at such legendary venues as Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and the Blue Note, Iridium, Jazz Standard, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, Giraudo will make his first Philadelphia appearance at Art After 5.
March 5 - Japan Night!
Miho Hatori—former member of Cibo Matto, original voice of the Gorillaz member Noodle, and Handsome Boy Modeling School and Beastie Boys collaborator—fuses her eclectic musical interests with her Japanese heritage, creating a unique and organic blend of music. Elements of bossa nova, hip-hop, funk, metal, and rock all find their way into her musical styling.
March 12 - Sofía Rei Koutsovitis
Koutsovitis has been called “one of the most versatile and in-demand singers on the New York music scene” (All About Jazz). A native of Buenos Aires, this vocalist and composer elegantly fuses traditional South American rhythms with a jazz aesthetic. Whether she’s singing in Spanish, Portuguese, or English, her voice is sophisticated and seductive, and reflects her immersion in modern and progressive jazz while also responding to the pull of her musical heritage.
Supported by The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
March 19 - Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret
It has been voted “Best Drag Show in Town” (Philadelphia City Paper) and now the unrivalled queen of Philadelphia drag cabaret, Martha Graham Cracker, brings her hilariously campy cultural commentary to the Great Stair Hall for a special evening. An unabashed diva, her vocal range is matched only by her witty banter—and she takes requests! Martha will perform with her trusty and talented accompanist Victor Fiorillo.
March 26 - Alexandre Kautz
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, jazz drummer Kautz graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Based in New York City, he has performed with Tim Ries, Ingrid Jensen, Jorge Molina, and wife Magos Herrera, among others.