Autumn is a perfect time to spend Friday nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Art After 5. With award-winning performers and engaging events each week in the Great Stair Hall, visitors experience live performance and enjoy 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 performance.
Jimmy Amadie, Sonny Fortune, and Gretchen Parlato suggest the vast range of jazz greats who perform on the Art After 5 stage. On October 14, pianist Amadie, who began his career in the 1950s and has played with Mel Tormé, Woody Herman, and Red Rodney, will be making his first public appearance in nearly 45 years. On November 25, saxophonist/flutist Sonny Fortune returns to his native Philadelphia with his New York quartet, having played with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones. Discovered by Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter and trained at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, vocalist Gretchen Parlato will make her Art After 5 debut on November 11. The Village Voice named Parlato's In a Dream the best jazz vocal album of 2009.
New to Art After 5 this season are two specially themed programs. Co-sponsored by the Turkish American Friendship Society of US and the Alliance Française de Philadelphie, Art After 5 hosts an Orient Express Party on November 4, complete with Turkish music, belly dancing, French gypsy jazz and a round of can-can! December 2’s Yoga Night offers a unique opportunity to get centered before the holidays begin, surrounded by the beauty of the museum’s collections. It will be an evening of meditative exercises, yoga postures, and breathing techniques followed by the chance to dance the night away to DJ-spun Indian bhangra music.
Art After 5 celebrates Halloween and the winter holidays beginning with the popular Halloween Dance Party. On October 28, Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra performs a special set of ghostly music while visitors have tarot cards read and take a spooky art tour. Costumes optional! The rest of the Holiday season falls in line with Holiday Klezmer on December 9, Mistletoe Hop on December 16, Holiday Jazz with Nutcracker Vignettes on December 23, and Art After 5’s New Year’s Eve Pre Party on December 30.
Following is the complete schedule of the Art After 5 Fall 2011 lineup:
In January of 2010, Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA), created a Latin Jazz Quintet under the direction of Juan “Cuco” Castellanos. The Quintet is one of AMLA’s premier ensembles which consist of the organization’s current instructors. With energetic showmanship and an elaborate display of musicianship, their Latin jazz performances blend the traditional and the contemporary, inspiring everyone in earshot to get off their seats and dance.
In his first public performance since 1967, Amadie performs in celebration of the release of his new record Something Special. Since the outset of his career in the 1950s, Amadie has accomplished what would seem like everything: from accompanying artists like Mel Tormé, Woody Herman, and Red Rodney to overcoming tendonitis in both hands and fighting lung cancer. Of Amadie’s acclaimed style, The Chicago Tribune notes, "The beauty of his tone, the clarity of his thought and the contrapuntal intricacy of some of his work are deeply appealing. Moreover, the restrictions on Amadie have enabled him to express ideas with remarkable brevity and eloquence. There isn't a wasted note here.”
East Gipsy Band
This new Hungarian and World music band’s compositions are an adventure within the traditions of Roma music, while improvisation and characteristic features of jazz are central to their performances of well-known French, German, Italian, Hungarian and Roma tunes. The East Gipsy Band was formed by József Balázs who is one of the most talented pianists of his generation, having played with Erik Truffaz, Stephane Belmondo, Bobbie Watson, Charlie Mariano, Robin Eubanks, and Steve Houben, among others. Descending from from first-rank jazz and gypsy musicians, the band consists of József Balázs on piano, Lajos Sárközi on violin, Krisztián “Toggle” Lakatos on double-bass, Vilmos Oláh on cimbalom, and Elemér Balázs on drums, with vocals by Gusztáv Balogh. Their debut album was released in May 2011 and features great jazz saxophonist Tim Ries.
Halloween Dance Party
For the haunted edition of Art After 5, Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra will be performing a special set of ghostly hot jazz and cartoon medleys from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s! Listen to music mined from the dusty crypts of a basement record collection, new arrangements of “voodoo music,” and spirited stomps from the most incredible of the late 1920s Chicago and Harlem jazz bands. Get your tarot cards read, take a spooky art tour, and wear your costume!
Orient Express Party
Cosponsors: Turkish American Friendship Society of US and the Alliance Française de Philadelphie
Celebrate Turkish and French music and dance with an extraordinary line-up of activity! Begin with a set of Turkish music and belly dancing, followed by French gypsy jazz, a French chanteuse and accordionist, and finish the evening with a round of can-can!
This versatile artist was discovered by Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter and trained at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Performing original compositions and covers, she pushes musical limits with constant innovation. Heralded as the best jazz vocal album of 2009 by The Village Voice, Parlato's In a Dream breathes new life into the genre.
Neal Leonard: Inspired by Calder and Duchamp
With compositions inspired by works of Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp in the Museum’s collection, Neil Leonard returns to perform music from his latest album Marcel's Window. As a Philadelphia native, Leonard grew up admiring Calder and Duchamp and built a repertoire that comments on their art’s unique character and presentation in the Museum. Leonard is joined by long time collaborators Tom Lawton on piano, Lee Smith on bass, and Craig McIver on drums.
With energy and passion, the great saxophonist/flutist returns home with his New York quartet, playing a mix of standards and originals. Following extended stints with the bands of Mongo Santamaria, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones, Sonny has been touring and recording as a leader since the 1970's. Catch this legend at the Museum while he's at the peak of his career.
Just Breathe: Yoga Night
Get centered before the holidays get underway. The Museum is the perfect place for inner reflection and outer connection to the beauty of the collections. Learn about the time honored practice of meditative exercises, yoga postures, and breathing techniques. After a peaceful stretch, shake it out to DJ-spun Indian bhangra music. Henna tattoos, themed tours, and specialty healthy menu items will be available throughout the night.
Supported by Bnai Zion Mid –Atlantic Region
Celebrate the Festival of Light with the magical exuberance of jazz and Latin-interpreted Klezmer music from Eastern Europe, Yiddish songs, and Israeli dances!
‘Tis the season for Art After 5 to commemorate the great rhythm and blues and doowop artists of the 1950s and 60s! Spend the evening listening to classic holiday doowop, rock 'n roll, and soul, featuring Matthew Piazzi and the Debonairs.
Holiday Jazz with Nutcracker Dance Vignettes
Escape to Toyland
Ring in the holidays Jazz-Age style with the best holiday hot jazz of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s played by Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society. Specializing in jazz and dance music of the golden 1920s and 30s, the band has been influenced by Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, James P. Johnson, Art Tatum and other jazz greats.
The holiday feast for the ears turns into a visual spectacle as dolls spring to life in Toyland with performances by the tap-dancing Minsky Sisters and Cassandra Rosebeetle of the Manhattan-based theater dance troupe, Desert Sin.
New Years Eve Pre Party
The end of 2011 is nigh and the countdown to 2012 is on at Art After 5! Drink celebratory cocktails and move to the music of a high energy band before belting out Auld Lang Syne. Festive holiday attire encouraged!