The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates Art After Five every Friday night from April through June, offering an irresistible mix of programs ranging from a multimedia tribute to Salvador Dalí to a night of Indian music, dance and poetry, while continuing to present a lineup of nationally recognized jazz musicians.
In conjunction with the major exhibition Salvador Dalí, the Museum and Arts in Motion present Surreal Art in Motion: A Multimedia Tribute to Dalí on Friday, April 1. This multimedia concert performance integrates contemporary compositions in the classical tradition with visual elements of Dalí’s work, poetry by such contemporaries and friends as Federico Garcia Lorca, and audience-driven improvisation featuring interactive technology. Founded by Philadelphia composer and educator Eric Haeker, Arts in Motion utilizes multimedia performances to bring classical music to young and diverse audiences. The performance features new works by violinist Gloria Justen collaborating with electronic musician Tim Motzer. Additional works will include compositions by Haeker in collaboration with DJ Ben Camp. Surreal visuals provided by video artist Ricardo Rivera will transform the walls of the Great Stair Hall into a dynamic canvas featuring a morphing collage of Dalí's imagery.
Music and dance from around the globe are the focus of the first Friday night of every month in 2005. On Friday, May 6, the Museum presents a concert performance by Marta Topferova. Born and raised in Prague and now living in the U.S., Topferova’s love and dedication to Latin American music as well as the folklore of Czechoslovakia, makes her a unique artist who sings in both Czech and Spanish. She is known for her beautifully wrought original ballads caressed by acoustic guitar, gentle percussion, and baroque string-and-horn arrangements.
Shoba Sharma performs a classical Indian dance routine created especially for the Museum's Indian Night celebration on Friday, June 3. A top performer of the ancient southern Indian dance form of Bharata Natyam, she is well known for her artistic interpretations of India’s timeless stories as well as for her vibrant technical skills. As part of the event, Steve Gorn, Allyn Miner, and Pandit Samir Chatterjee will play Indian ragas on the bansuri bamboo flute, sitar, and tabla. Their evocative soundscape accompanies the passionate words of Sufi poet Usha Akella. Gorn's latest album, Colors of the Mind, combines devotion to classical Indian music with a contemporary sound that over recent years has prompted invitations to record from Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel bass player Tony Levin and former Miles Davis drummer Jack DeJohnette.
Traditional and cutting-edge jazz continue to fill the Great Stair Hall throughout the spring. On April 15, acclaimed bassist Gerald Veasley brings together Philadelphia-area musicians to interpret the legacy of one of the true innovators of jazz music—bassist, bandleader and composer Charles Mingus (1922-1979). The Electric Mingus Project—which includes Veasley on bass, Chris Farr on saxophone and EWI (electric wind instrument), Butch Reed on drums, John Swana on trumpet and EVI (electric valve instrument), and Tony Miceli on vibes—utilizes electric and acoustic instruments, sound effects, and narration of various topics using Mingus’s own words.
A number of exciting, young jazz artists will visit the Great Stair Hall for the first time this season. Pianist Helen Sung (June 10) has performed or recorded with jazz masters Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, and Wayne Shorter, as well as groups Diva, the Charles Mingus Big Band, and Clark Terry’s "Young Titans of Jazz" Big Band. Her debut CD, PUSH, includes imaginative arrangements of jazz standards like Thelonious Monk's "Ugly Beauty," as well as original compositions that signal the arrival of a highly original artist. Still in his mid-20s, Michael Kaeshammer (April 8) has released a series of award winning, critically acclaimed recordings while developing a large, international following through his dynamic live performances. A composer of hip, well-crafted originals, Kaeshammer seamlessly melds ragtime, stride, and Jelly Roll Morton’s early jazz stylings into funk-inspired bebop, romantic ballads, and modern jazz.
Trumpeter Jafar Barron (April 22) is the 21st-century bridge between jazz, soul, and hip-hop music. Building creatively from the foundations set forth by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane, Barron has assembled his own team of players—including brother and Wynton Marsalis protégé Farid Barron—bringing to life his fluid, original compositions. Vocalist Temika Moore (April 29) calls her style of music "so-jazz," an eclectic blend of soul and contemporary jazz. This graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts proved her talent by winning numerous vocal competitions, including first place at the legendary Apollo Theater. With her debut album Moment of Truth, Moore moves from soul to smooth jazz to a sassy swing, all very effectively.
Also on tap are some legendary statesmen of the Philadelphia jazz scene. Mickey Roker (May 27) is a renowned drummer whose career includes stints with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Herbie Hancock. Roker takes a break from his frequent performances at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus to present the lively jazz rhythms of his quartet. With each recording, Jimmy Bruno (June 24) has affirmed his status as one of the world's leading jazz guitarists. Bruno's trademark is brilliant technique coupled with a seemingly bottomless well of improvisational ideas. A native Philadelphian and lifelong resident, alto saxophonist Tony Williams (June 17) returns to the Museum with his jazz quartet.
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. Performances are presented in two sets—5:45 – 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 – 8:15 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. Admission is $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.
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.