A re-imagined Philadelphia Annual Jazz Appreciation Month takes shape for the month of April.
Just because Bonnaroo is booking tickets, please let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that live music is back in action and back to any new normal anytime soon. Most stage showcases and live music events, save for a few summery outdoor stages at Kennett Square and June 5’s Porchfest in West Philly, are holding off. At least, until autumn for full-blown immersive concert raging. So, how then to serve and salute Philly’s longtime live and thriving jazz scene? And its voracious audiences through its usual springtime event, April’s annual Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month? At this time, we know that downtown’s Center City Jazz Festival has still not committed to a 2021 run… If so, probably or possibly for fall.
Philly’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE), or what’s left of it, has a decent idea, now, with Philly Celebrates Jazz, a re-imagined annual April City’s celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month with outdoor live performances, jazz-related film screenings, art exhibitions, discussions, and other bebop stuff happening virtually and throughout the city.
“The last year has been incredibly challenging for the creative sector. Including Philadelphia’s jazz musicians, venues, organizations, and more,” wrote Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer, in a prepared statement. “After the unfortunate cancellation of Philly Celebrates Jazz in 2020 due to COVID-19, OACCE looks forward to presenting a reimagined celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month through the support of many creative collaborations. It’s important to support local jazz musicians while providing an avenue for Philadelphians to experience the city’s jazz talent.”
While all schedules, ensembles, locations and times have yet to be assembled, the first focus of Philly’s Jazz April comes with its outdoor spaces and the free Neighborhood Jazz Performances series, seven showcases around town. At Cherry Street Pier. The Horticulture Center. And Dilworth Park City Hall. Starring, so far, Luke Carlos O’Reilly’s Quartet, Sistahs Attune, Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, Vibe-a-delphia Jazz Quartet, Tim Brey Quartet, and several jam sessions. dosage MAGAZINE and I normally wouldn’t mention sponsors, but I’m thoroughly psyched that the Philadelphia Musicians’ Union, along with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Parks, and the Center City District are part of making this happen.
Along with that live component, #PhillyCelebratesJazz on Instagram will deliver jazz-inspired artwork by local visual artists on this city’s Instagram feed. Artists are invited to share posts of their jazz-inspired artwork on Instagram for a chance to be featured by tagging @creativephl, using the hashtag #phillycelebratesjazz. There’s also Philly jazz’s Arts Access TV with fresh jazz performances, dance, poetry, exhibit tours, lectures, documentaries and more, every Wednesday and Friday from 6:00-7:00 p.m. during the month of April. Watch online or on Philadelphia’s local channel 64 (GovTV).