Philadelphia, PA (June 2011)— July 1 marks the summer season of Art After 5, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s lively Friday night program series. With award-winning artists and engaging events each week in the Great Stair Hall, guests are invited to experience live performance and enjoy the art in the galleries. Every Friday, the Museum’s culinary team of STARR Events also prepares specialty cocktails, appetizers, and small plates that complement the flavor of each evening and visitors can take in the Philadelphia skyline while sipping beverages on the portico of the Museum’s East Entrance.
Major debuts this summer include Oran Etkin, Venissa Santi, and Fourth Wall Arts Salon. Influenced by ancient cultures, Etkin combines the ages-old cry of Jewish prayer with the energy of the modern New York jazz scene during Israeli Night on July 8. Beloved by critics and fans, Cuban American jazz singer Santi will dazzle audiences on July 22 with songs from her signature repertoire, as well as an Afro-Cuban tribute to Billie Holliday. Fourth Wall Arts Salon brings together the artistic best of the city’s underground in a different location every month. Philadelphia’s premier avant-garde comes to the Museum on September 2 for a multi-disciplinary infusion of music, dance, theater, and poetry.
The much-anticipated returning artists are Larry McKenna, Diane Monroe, and Red Baraat. Performing on July 29, tenor-sax legend McKenna is a Philadelphia native who is well known throughout the region and has performed as a soloist with Woody Herman, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra. On August 19, violinist Diane Monroe draws from her repertoire of classical, jazz, spirituals, and rhythm and blues, as well as her own moving original compositions. Quickly gaining fans from around the world, Red Baraat takes the stage on September 30. Their riveting new sound of dhol, drumset, percussion, sousaphone, and five horns, melds the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with an array of styles from funk and go-go to Latin and jazz.
Summer celebrations abound at Art After 5. On July 15, commemorate the French national holiday at a Bastille party featuring Beau Django, a Philadelphia-based ensemble dedicated to the music of Django Reinhardt and Quintette du Hot Club de France. The celebrations continue on August 5 with a Salsa night that will have everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor. Dance instructors will assist with movement to the music and rhythm of the Johnny Cruz Latin Ensemble. On September 16’s By Your Request night, The Social Network meets Art After 5 when Facebook rules the set list. Visitors to the Museum’s Facebook page can take control of the evening by voting for their favorite jazz standards which will be performed by legendary chanteuse Denise King.
Following is the complete schedule of the ART AFTER 5 Summer 2011 lineup:*
(*press interviews and photos available upon request)
Dendê and Band
Percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist Dendê has been a professional musician since the age of 14, when he appeared in the frontline of Carlinhos Brown’s superstar percussion ensemble, Timbalada. For the past ten years, he has divided his time between New York and Bahia, and played with stars of world music including Mongo Santamaria, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, David Byrne, and Vinicius Cantuária. Tonight's show will feature Dendê with his flagship band (formerly called Hãhãhães) with whom he has made his greatest musical impact as leader and principal songwriter. Known for seamlessly blending rhythms from Brazil with others of the African diaspora, Dendê will have you up and moving! Bring your dancing shoes!
For a decade, Oran Etkin has cultivated a singular voice that is honest and effortless and infused with the constant presence of ancient influences. Resonating with reverberations from the Malian Empire and the incantation of the Jewish prayer, Etkin’s voice simultaneously conveys the energy of the modern New York jazz scene. Kelenia, his debut recording on Motéma Music, features his working group of Malian, Israeli and American musicians, along with guest appearances by vocalist Abdoulaye Diabate and Grammy Award-winning artists Lionel Loueke and John Benitez. The album’s tracks are a testament to the essence of "kelenia," the Bambara word for love between people who are different from each other.
While the French celebrate Bastille Day on the Champs-Élysées, Philadelphians are invited to commemorate the French national holiday at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, our city’s response to the great French boulevards. Festivities include dancing and performances by Beau Django, a Philadelphia-based ensemble dedicated to the music of Django Reinhardt and Quintette du Hot Club de France.
In 2009, the Cuban American jazz singer Venissa Santi beguiled critics and fans with her magnificent debut record, Bienvenida (Sunnyside Records). The collection of songs was so well-formed and mature was that it has been likened to a musical miracle rather than a “first album.” The chanteuse has now finished what is to become a stunning new record Big Stuff: Afro Cuban Holiday (working title). In addition to her own signature repertoire, Santi will be presenting an Afro-Cuban tribute to Billie Holliday, performing arrangements of favorite and obscure Holiday tunes.
A long-time Art After 5 favorite, tenor-sax legend Larry McKenna returns by popular demand. The Philadelphia native is well known throughout the region, and has performed as a soloist with jazz stars such as Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Buddy DeFranco, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Bootsie Barnes and Frank Sinatra.
Philadelphia’s summer heat is a perfect complement to Art After 5’s sizzling Salsa party. Dance instructors will have everyone moving to the music and rhythm of the Johnny Cruz Latin Ensemble, a band that hails from the barrio in the Centro de Oro or Golden Block District where Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, Inc. originated in North Philadelphia nearly 20 years ago to promote comradeship among local musicians.
A native New Yorker, this vocalist has immersed herself in the rich tapestry of Philadelphia jazz. Once a back-up singer for Roberta Flack, she has toured internationally. Her Art After 5 performance will honor legends like Flack, as well as those who have most influenced Fearrington’s style, including Phoebe Snow, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Nancy Wilson. Fearrington will be accompanied by Philadelphia's acclaimed jazz rhythm section: Victor North on tenor saxophone, Lucas Brown on organ, Wayne Smith, Jr. on drums and Jason Klinke on guitar.
A compelling soloist and chamber musician, violinist Diane Monroe is a dynamic improvisational artist and composer with a gift for charming, uplifting, and transporting all audiences. Her live performances draw from a repertoire of classical, jazz, spirituals, and rhythm and blues, as well as her own moving original compositions. Monroe presently performs as a leader and side-woman of various jazz ensembles, and also continues to pursue her career as a classical solo and chamber artist. She has played with legendary drummer Max Roach and renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and has been a featured soloist on the stages of New York City's Blue Note Jazz Club and Carnegie Hall.
Firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz, particularly the Philadelphia tradition, Joanna Pascale has not only emerged as one of the premiere vocalists on the East Coast, but has been hailed as a "rising star" by fans and critics alike. "Stunning, sophisticated, and extremely soulful," raves the Philadelphia Weekly. Her vivid interpretations are the perfect reminder that they don’t call it the Great American Songbook for nothing. Joining Pascale at Art After 5 will be special guest, trumpeter Terell Stafford.
Fourth Wall Arts Salon
In just a year, Fourth Wall Arts Salon has cultivated a significant new movement in Philadelphia. Bringing together the best of a broad range of artists and performers from the city’s underground, Fourth Wall moves to a new venue each month, creating collaborations which provide value for local artists, citizens, and institutions. Ten-minute infusions of music, dance, theater, poetry, and topical presenters weave a beautiful and often awe-inspiring salon experience, with an emphasis on audience engagement and cultural diversity. On the heels of arts salons at the National Museum of American Jewish History, The Painted Bride, and the William Way Center, Fourth Wall comes to the Museum for the first time, promising an evening of inspiration and insight into Philadelphia’s dynamic avant-garde.
Modern Rock Ensemble
With a traditional jazz configuration of vocals, vibes, bass and drums, Paul Jost and the Modern Rock Ensemble performs covers by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton and other great songwriters, exploring jazz through the music of the 1960s and 70s. The newly formed group features four top Philadelphia musicians whose individual careers have taken them around the globe. Together—Jost on vocals, Tony Miceli on vibes, Kevin Macconnell on bass, and Erik Johnson on drums—they bring a fresh and unique sound to jazz.
By Your Request
Take control of the music! Help create this evening’s Art After 5’s set list by voting on Facebook for your favorite jazz standards which will be performed by legendary chanteuse Denise King. With phrasing styles borrowed from Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra, King draws the audience into her performances with great energy, spontaneity, and style.
Jessi Teich has spent much of her young life immersed in the soulful world of jazz and blues. She started singing original songs at just six years old and at eight, began piano lessons. Interest in music of her generation such as Ani DiFranco, and Sade, combined with the prominent influence of classic vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Carole King has informed Teich’s unique and powerful voice. Her full-length debut album, Barely There, was released in 2010 and she has performed with Parliament Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell, Tia Fuller and Nikki Glaspie of the Beyoncé Band, and Philadelphia’s own G Love, as well as jazz legend Sid Simmons.
With an explosive stage performance and compelling presence, the New York City-based group Red Baraat has been quickly gaining fans from around the world. Led by dhol player Sunny Jain, the band delivers a riveting new sound comprised of dhol (double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder), drumset, percussion, sousaphone, and five horns, melding the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with an array of rhythms from funk and go-go to Latin and jazz.