Friday Evenings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art reach even greater heights of creativity in 2005, with a fresh yearlong series of entertainment showcasing an irresistible mix of music and dance from around the world while continuing to present intimate concert performances by nationally renowned jazz artists.
The Museum stays open late every Friday night, presenting a program of Art After Five, with music, dance, food and drinks in the Great Stair Hall in addition to the experience of 200 galleries housing a vast collection of art from around the world.
Start the New Year with a night of modern dance on Friday, January 7. The Headlong Dance Theater has created over 35 dances, many of which are known for their witty take on contemporary culture. In the past, their smart collective gaze has lit on Star Wars, James Joyce's Ulysses, Britney Spears and suburban backyards. The Zen One Dance Collective follows with excerpts from "Breakin' vs Capoeira," pitting some of Philadelphia most powerful and dynamic breakdancers against the top students of ASCAB Capoeira. This rivalry of over 20 years in the making may be too powerful to be contained on stage.
Music and dance from around the globe will continue to be the focus of the first Friday evening of every month in 2005, as a "Brazilian Night" celebration brings the music and dance of South American paradise to center stage on Feb. 4, while the Middle Eastern ensemble Atzilut celebrates the common roots of Arabic and Jewish music during the March 4 "Israeli Night" festivities.
Kids of all ages will flock to the Great Stair Hall on Friday, January 14, as Emmy and Grammy award winning pianist/singer/songwriter Bob Dorough presents "Schoolhouse Rock and All that Jazz." Dorough is best known as the voice of the Schoolhouse Rock series that ran on ABC-TV from 1973-1985, influencing millions of children with sly, educational, three-minute spots. A disciple of modern jazz architect Charlie Parker, Dorough performs weekly at the Iridium in New York City. His concert promises great jazz with the hope of a sing-along to tunes like "I’m Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction."
This winter, a number of performers will cross the borders of traditional jazz and take listeners on a musical journey. Having recently returned from a second world tour with the Rolling Stones playing saxophone, keyboard and organ, Tim Ries brings his jazz interpretations of classic Jagger-Richards songs to the Great Stair Hall on February 11. A versatile and thoughtful saxophonist and composer, Ries has collaborated with such artists as Danilo Perez, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, and Stevie Wonder. His arrangements of Stones songs including "Satisfaction," "Honky Tonk Women," "Paint It Black," "Gimme Shelter," and "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" won the praise of guitarist Keith Richards, who called the recording "amazing."
Award winning pianist Anthony Molinaro joins harmonica whiz Howard Levy, a Grammy award winner and founding member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, for a unique duo performance on February 18. As accomplished composers, their repertoire includes exciting original pieces as well as their interpretations of timeless standards.
Trombonist Josh Roseman (March 11) has been a fixture on New York's vibrant jazz scene for over a decade, co-founding the jam bands Groove Collective and Brooklyn Funk Essentials. His sound is a blend of many influences, ranging from pre-reggae roots mysticism à la Don Drummond to Ellingtonian era lyricism to evolutionary expressionism. His 2004 CD "Treats for the Nightwalker" signaled the arrival of Roseman as one of the great young bandleaders and composers of his generation.
Returning to the Great Stair Hall on January 21 is vocalist Rebecca Parris, who has sung everything from rock to Sondheim, and performed all over the world with her own groups, as well as with some of jazz's greatest legends, including Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, and Woody Herman. Winard Harper (January 28) is one of the most celebrated drummers in jazz. "Remembrance: Live at the Village Vanguard," the Harper Brothers Quintet’s second album, reigned as number one on Billboard's Jazz Charts for six weeks in 1990. Since the breakup of the Quintet, Winard has opened new doors with a new level of jazz music with spiritual sounds of African Drums.
Raised in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, Sheila Jordan (February 25) began singing as a child in the 1930s and she hasn’t stopped. The world-renowned vocalist is a product of the rich Detroit jazz legacy. In the 1940s she worked as a typist during the week, and spent her Saturdays at jazz clubs sitting in with musicians. A meeting with the great Charlie Parker, who became a friend and mentor, helped Jordan on a career path that has spanned seven decades and countless honors. The singer celebrated her 75th birthday in 2003 by releasing "Little Song" on Highnote Records.
Friday evening performances are presented in two sets—5:45 – 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 – 8:15 p.m., with guided tours of the galleries offered at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. A full cash bar and an à la carte menu of appetizers, light entrées and desserts is available with table service in the Great Stair Hall.
To receive more information about Art After Five at the Philadelphia Museum of Art call (215) 763-8100 or visit www.philamuseum.org. To receive a free brochure, call (215) 684-7506. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays until 8:45 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission prices: $10 for adults; $7 for students with I.D., children 13-18, and senior citizens (62 and over); children 12 years old and younger are admitted free at all times. Pay what you wish on Sundays. Parking on the terrace level outside the Museum is free Monday through Friday.