The Philadelphia Museum of Art is pleased to announce its Winter 2011 season for ART AFTER 5, the popular concert series that takes place Friday nights in the Great Stair Hall and presents award-winning artists performing ground-breaking jazz and world music. To complement the evening of entertainment, the Museum’s culinary team of STARR Events prepares specialty cocktails, appetizers, and small plates inspired by flavors, spices, and style of the international regions reflected on the performance lineup.
Highlights of the Winter 2011 season include a January 21st concert with rising-star vocalist Sachal Vasandani, who has been mentored by jazz greats Jon Hendricks and Chris Botti, and opened for pop sensations like Joan Osborne. On February 4th, DJ Rekha, a second-generation Indian American who Time Out New York dubbed the “queen of bhangra and hip-hop fusion music,” will spin a lively mix of Bollywood, reggae, electronic and other beats at the Bhangra Dance Party that also features live dancers, drummers, and a henna tattoo artist. Romantic sweethearts will want to swing by on February 11th for the vintage-themed Valentine’s Hot Club when 1920s-era gypsy jazz and tango melodies set the stage for performances by the sensational tap dancer Gin Minsky of The Minsky Sisters. March 4th kicks off a Japanese Night!, supported by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and organized by Me & Mars, a Japanese trio who are known for curating a diverse and genre-bending selection of music informed by space rock and punk while also paying respects to funk and reggae. The New York-based jazz drummer and composer Adam Cruz arrives on March 11th for a highly-anticipated performance that celebrates his emergence as an expressive composer and bandleader, while March 18th brings the musical talents of Korean-born Yeahwon Shin, who combines her passion for Brazilian music with stirring vocals to create a truly remarkable experience for the audience.
Following is the complete schedule of the ART AFTER 5 Winter 2011 lineup:*
(*press interviews and photos available upon request)
Electric Kulintang Featuring Susie Ibarra & Roberto Rodriguez
Susie Ibarra (composer/percussionist, vocalist) and Roberto Rodriguez (composer/percussionist, beat maker) collaborate to present a genre-defying program blending electronic, dance and Kulintang music. Named for the eight-gong instrument it features, Kulintang comes from the Philipines and has been played for centuries. The Filipina-American born Ibarra and the Cuban-born Rodriguez will perform works from their debut album, Dialects.
Canadian-born Ron Davis is a virtuoso pianist. His music is rooted in swing and post-bop, and he is active on the international jazz scene. He has played around the world and is known in his native Canada as both an entertaining musician and dazzling performer.
2010 DownBeat Magazine Rising Star poll winner, vocalist Sachal Vasandani's unique journey has yielded two exceptional albums and a wealth of touring experience. He has opened for artists ranging jazz trumpeter Chris Botti to pop singer Joan Osborne, garnering respect from a wide spectrum of audiences. Vasandani was mentored by veterans of the jazz vocal realm, sharing the stage with Jon Hendricks (who he is currently working with on a new project) and touring Japan with Sheila Jordan, who praises Vasandanis love and understanding of the jazz tradition and his ability to improvise.
Dahi Divine Featuring Jeremy Pelt
Tenor saxophonist Dahi Divine is a rising star on the jazz scene. Last year Divine was selected to perform as part of the horn section of the Dave Matthews Band for the Grammy Awards and he was awarded first place in a national competition sponsored by the NAACP for his original composition, “Choices". He will joined by critically acclaimed trumpeter Jeremy Pelt.
Bhangra Dance Party
“New York's Best DJ” (New York Magazine) presents a bhangra blowout! Bhangra music has been around for hundreds of years and originated in the Punjab, Northern India. Bands in Britain have capitalized on this 4/4 beat dance music since the '70s, but Americans have only gotten hip to the sound since the '90s-largely due to DJ Rekha, a second-generation Indian American and “queen of bhangra and hip-hop fusion music” (Time Out New York). Her monthly “Basement Bhangra” at S.O.B.'s in New York—the “best known desi party in America” (India Abroad)—attracts a growing diverse crowd. Spinning classic bhangra with Bollywood, hip-hop, reggae and electronica, DJ Rekha is an activist in the evolution of urban music. The night will also feature dancers, drummers, and a henna tattoo artist.
Valentine’s Hot Club
Kick off your Valentine's Day weekend with an evening of romantic gypsy jazz and gypsy tango melodies from the famed LES Hot Club. Prepare to dance the night away to vintage jazz and swing while taking in exciting stage performances by dancers, including tap extraordinaire Gin Minsky of The Minsky Sisters. Twinkling beauties and dapper dandies alike won’t want to miss this unforgettable Jazz Age Valentine-themed ball.
A renowned jazz guitarist in the New York area for 25 years, Monder has performed with artists including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Tim Berne, and Kenny Wheeler. He is a regular member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Motian Octet, among others. He has conducted clinics and workshops around the world, and served on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.
Jazz pianist and composer Kevin Hays has recorded over a dozen albums including three critically acclaimed recordings for Blue Note Records. His Seventh Sense was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Jazz Releases of the Year” by Musician Magazine and praised by The New York Times, while his trio recording, "Andalucia," featuring legends Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, was awarded 4 stars in DownBeat Magazine.
Celebrate an evening of contemporary Japanese culture led by Me&Mars, an innovative Japanese music trio based in New York, and supported by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. The program will include progressive beats inspired by space rock and punk as well as funk and reggae. Me&Mars were recently featured at J-CATION, an event hosted by the prestigious Japan Society of New York City.
New York-based jazz drummer and composer Adam Cruz celebrates the March release of his debut album, Milestone, to be released on Sunnyside Records. This event marks the in-demand drummer’s emergence as a dynamic composer and bandleader. Cruz currently performs with The Danilo Perez trio and has appeared at various times with The Mingus Big Band, Chick Corea, Charlie Hunter, and David Sanchez.
Yeahwon Shin Featuring Cyro Baptista
Her journey began in Uijungbu, a rural suburb of Seoul, South Korea, where her musical talents began to emerge at age five. Shin uses her deep affinity for Brazilian music and graceful, fluid vocal range to make boundary-crossing music that is both individual and expressive. She will be joined by the critically-acclaimed Brazilian composer / percussionist Cyro Baptista.
The New York Times described Evans as “a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command,” a quality undoubtedly recognized by the legendary saxophonist Bobby Watson, who engaged Orrin Evans as piano chair for his band, a position he has held for six years.