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June 8th, 2010
Art After 5 Summer Season Features Jazz Tributes and Renoir-Inspired Do-It-Yourself Art Party

From sultry to soulful, the moods of summer are evoked by a diverse lineup of musical performers in Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Leading local and international artists in jazz and world music perform in the Great Stair Hall on Friday evenings as the space becomes a lively concert hall complete with specialty cocktails, appetizers, and artisan-style desserts, and spills out to the Museum’s East Terrace, where visitors sip martinis al fresco on the elegant portico overlooking the city.

Featuring new interpretations inspired by jazz legends such as Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderly, Nat King Cole and Thelonious Monk, the summer program pays homage to greats while introducing new talent from Philadelphia and from around the world. Highlights include Philadelphia tenor-sax legend Larry McKenna, paying tribute to the warm lyrical tones of Stan Getz (July 16), Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble’s tribute to John Coltrane (August 27), and Sumi Tonooka’s interpretation of Mary Lou Williams’ music (September 17). A heady mix of international music brings eclectic vibes to the schedule, with indie songstress Eleanor Dubinsky performing in English, French, and Spanish (July 2), Cuban Jazz with Elio Villafranca (August 13 ), and Turkish-born composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu (September 3 ).

Inspired by the Museum’s upcoming exhibition Late Renoir (June 17 – September 6, 2010), a new Art After 5 program on August 6 will feature DIY Art with Dr. Sketchy, with models clad in Renoir-inspired costumes who will strike a pose for anyone who’d like to sketch.  

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. Between sets, visitors have a chance to explore the Museum’s galleries and special exhibitions.
The summer 2010 Art After 5 line up follows:

July 2: Eleanor Dubinsky

New York City-based Eleanor Dubinsky writes soulful, heartfelt songs that express her passion for a diversity of people and cultures. Drawing on the genres of singer-songwriter, world music, and jazz, her music has a mellow groove that samples French pop, new American soul and Latin rhythms to tell a story that is both personal and accessible. Dubinsky performs with a four-piece band consisting of guitar, bass, drums, percussion and cello.

July 9: The Dirt Party
An evolving performance outlet for composers interested in testing the limits of their own compositions, the Dirt Party features a rotating pool of musicians blending jazz, funk, rock and collective improvisation to create a unique series of performances. On this evening, The Dirt Party will consist of five players (including two bassists), blending styles to create  improvisational backdrops for each soloist. Headed by Carl Bahner, the Dirt Party creates original music that is memorable, challenging and ever changing.

July 16: Larry McKenna Tribute to Stan Getz
A long-time favorite at Art After 5, tenor-sax legend Larry McKenna returns by popular demand. The Philadelphia native is well known around the region, and has performed as soloist with jazz stars such as Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Buddy DeFranco, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Bootsie Barnes and Frank Sinatra. In this performance, he channels the lyrical, tone of the great Stan Getz in a program of jazz standards. McKenna, also an accomplished composer and arranger, has received the acclaim of reviewers across the United States and Canada.

July 23: Joanna Pascale Tribute to Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderly
Described as “stunning, sophisticated, and extremely soulful” (Philadelphia Weekly), Joanna Pascale has established herself in Philadelphia's jazz scene as a compelling and skilled vocalist. According to All Music Guide, “She not only has solid vocal chops; she has soul.” In this tribute to jazz songstress Nancy Wilson and alto-saxophone player Cannonball Adderly, Pascale evokes the greats while incorporating her own interpretations. Pascale is well known for her original takes on material from the Great American Songbook, and has amassed a working repertoire of more than 400 songs. She has appeared and recorded with jazz giants such as Cyrus Chestnut, Terell Stafford, Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Mickey Roker and others. On top of a busy performing schedule, Pascale is a member of the vocal faculty at Temple University.

July 30: Toni Miceli Tribute to Modern Jazz Quartet
Philadelphia-based jazz vibraphonist Tony Miceli has been performing in the United States and Europe for the last 20 years. Initially inspired by rock music, Miceli lists Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet as a major source of influence, and pays his homage in this tribute to the band. He has performed with numerous local jazz players, and has also collaborated with jazz legends including Joe Magnarelli, David Liebman, Ken Peplowski, Charles Fambrough and John Swana. Miceli currently conducts master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, is on the faculty at the University of the Arts and Rowan University, and works with many local community centers and correctional facilities.

August 6: Inspiration: Renoir! La Promenade
This Renoir-inspired program will deviate from the traditional Art After 5 lineup to feature an evening of Victorian-era ballroom dance and interactive art making inspired by the exhibition Late Renoir (June 17 – September 6, 2010). Dances of Vice invite you to a romantic Victorian summer promenade at the museum, inspired by the works of revered French Impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir. Enjoy spectacular live performances by the enchanting performance artist Ms. Tickle and ballerina Miss Lixx, an interactive introduction to Victorian ballroom dancing and parlour games by Antonia Pugliese of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, and a unique phonograph DJ experience provided by Michael Cumella, who will be playing rare music from the early century on two period disc phonographs for your dancing pleasure.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, founded by Brooklyn-based illustrator Molly Crabapple, is an endeavor that specializes in providing themed live models (coming from such diverse sources as the roller-derby, burlesque shows, and sideshow acts) to artists in order to spark creativity and provide an alternative to traditional drawing classes. The Philadelphia branch of Dr. Sketchy's will present a session on August 6 where the theme will be Renoir, with costumes influenced by Renoir’s palette and subject matter, as well as the Museum’s permanent collection. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a Brooklyn-based endeavor that specializes in providing themed live models (dressed in unusual costumes such as roller-derby uniforms, burlesque dance costumes, and sideshow outfits) to sketch clubs in order to spark creativity and provide an alternative to traditional drawing classes. The theme on August 6 will be Renoir, with costumes influenced by Renoir’s palette and subject matter, as well as the Museum’s permanent collection.

August 13: Cuban Jazz with Elio Villafranca
Born in Western Cuba, Elio Villafranca received classical training in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. Since his arrival to the U.S. in late 1995, he has played jazz and Latin jazz across the country, while continuing to be influenced by different cultures. Inspired by musical genres that developed in response to the African Diaspora, Villafranca fuses original cultural and musical references to create spirited, innovative compositions. Over the years his quartet has featured Blue Note recording artists including guitarist Pat Martino, Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett, and trumpeter Terell Stafford, among others. Based in New York City, he has performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Standard, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and other venues. He is a resident professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

August 20: Kevin Valentine Tribute to Nat King Cole
Growing up in New York City, Kevin Valentine was exposed to many musical influences. He met future bassist Mike Boone when both were early members of the Boys Choir of Harlem, and has performed everything from jazz standards to R&B covers in venues such as the Apollo, Sweetwater's, the West End and Lennox Lounge. He continues to be inspired by musical greats ranging from John Coltrane and Miles Davis to Prince and Sarah Vaughn, as well as the legendary Nat King Cole, to whom he pays tribute in this performance of jazz standards

August 27: Warren Oree tribute to John Coltrane
The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble pays tribute to bebop and hard-bop pioneer John Coltrane with an inspired and varied program. Headed by Warren Oree, an acoustic bassist, producer and composer, the 1979-founded ensemble is known for its eclectic style and adventurous programs, which often feature a wide variety of acoustic- and electric-jazz styles. On August 27, the ensemble will play a mix of Coltrane’s well-known and more obscure compositions, while paying tribute to Coltrane’s memory with anecdotes and a history of the man and his music.

September 3: Turkish Night
Born in Istanbul, award-winning composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu is well known for his ambitious symphonic works and music for film. He has composed music for many of Turkey’s top musicians, and earned a loyal international following through the release of nine albums, including the Grammy award-nominated release Istanbul in Blue (2008), which features jazz/rock fusion with traditional Turkish influences. Employing unique rhythmic, melodic and harmonic sensitivities, Atakoğlu’s music reflects his many different cultural influences, which combine to create compositions with striking originality that still play in tune with the culture of his motherland.

September 10: U Arts Big Band Mix and Remix
Power of 10, an all-star Big Band ensemble from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, will take center stage this evening, with a mixture of new music and transformed jazz and pop music classics arranged by local composer/arranger Rick Lawn for the ensemble. Lawn, a saxophonist, is Dean of the College of Performing Arts at the University of the Arts.

September 17: Sumi Tonooka Tribute to Mary Lou Williams
Philadelphia native Sumi Tonooka has been described by The New York Times as “provocative and compelling, both in straight-out swinging situations and when she is developing fresh ideas for familiar ballads.” Throughout her 20-year career, Tonooka has been surprising and delighting audiences and piling up accolades from jazz writers and her fellow musicians. Working in trios or quartets with such noted jazz stalwarts as bassist Rufus Reid and drummers Akira Tana and Lewis Nash, Tonooka's recordings characteristically blend her own compositions with highly personal readings of jazz standards. In this performance, she pays tribute to Mary Lou Williams, whose compositions and recordings featured a wide array of genres, including religious jazz, spirituals, ragtime, blues, and swing.

September 24: Warren Oree Tribute to Thelonious Monk
Headed by Warren Oree, the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble returns to pay tribute to the great improvisational musician Thelonious Monk. Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy,” “Blue Monk,” and “Straight, No Chaser,” while experimenting with dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists.


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