To celebrate Philadelphia’s rich jazz culture, the entire month of April is dedicated to the genre. Aside from performances from local jazz musicians, the city is holding numerous jazz-related events for all ages. Check out a few of our most noteworthy picks.
Be there as jazz and Philly make it official. Mayor Nutter will formally declare April 2014 Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month at a press conference on Thursday, April 3 at City Hall at 11 a.m. featuring an homage to Philadelphia-born jazz musician Benny Golson and a performance by Francois Zayas Trio, lead by Cuban composer and percussionist Francois Zayas.
On Mondays throughout the month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. attend the Gershman Y’s “Dizzy Hours,” for jazz trivia, comedy and more. Each week’s dizzy hour is hosted by an influencer in the Philadelphia jazz scene: Lenora Early (April 7), Michael Ricci (April 14), Tony Williams and Thelma Anderson (April 21) and Mark Christman (April 28).
Starting on Friday, April 4 and continuing on Fridays throughout the month, learn how to move your body to those jazz tunes you’ve come to adore at the West Philadelphia YMCA for cha cha dance classes, starting at 7:30 p.m., running until 8:45 p.m. Come back on Saturdays in April, beginning April 5 for more jazz dance instruction during the swing/lindy hop courses at 2:30 p.m.
Young ones can get their jazz appreciation too at a two-hour kids’ jazz party, held in Franklin Square Park on Saturday, April 12, starting at 11 a.m. Parents and kids can get their groove on to popular jazz and compete in friendly games to win prizes.
Following Monday, April 21 and Monday, April 28’s dizzy hours, hop on a complimentary trolley ride from the Gershman Y to the Free Library of Philadelphia for a performance by the Tal Shtuhl Trio, a local experimental jazz group and Band Burrage, another Philly jazz band with a wide variety of influences.
World Café Live holds the Tuesday, April 29 tribute to popular jazz poet Gil Scott Heron, with performances from Philadelphia musicians: bassist Nimrod Speaks, guitarist Dirk Quinn and percussionist Robert Kenyatta. This event gets underway at 8 p.m.