Friday nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are a mainstay for fans of live jazz and international music, and this spring's Art After 5 line-up continues to deliver the kinds of eclectic and exciting live performances that audiences have come to expect. The Spring 2007 Art After 5 program includes emerging talents like the dazzling Aaron Goldberg (May 11), who has been hailed by the London Guardian as "a wonderful young pianist"; as well as celebrated artists such as three-time Grammy Award winner Jeff "Tain" Waits, who brings his signature drum skills and mastery of complex rhythms and time signatures to the Museum's Great Stair Hall on April 25th. The group Beau Django (June 22) carries on the tradition of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, with their Gypsy-influenced jazz and swing sound.
Israeli-born bassist/composer Avishai Cohen returns to Philadelphia on Friday, April 13, having received a deluge of critical praise for his recent recordings and live performances. Cohen has been called a "jazz visionary of global proportions" by Down Beat magazine, and was dubbed "one of the best double-bassists in the world," by Time Out London. "Continuo" is Cohen's third recording on his label Razdaz Recordz, and once again reflects the performer's life in music by combining the glorious influences of classical music and Middle Eastern music.
The first Fridays in April and May are dedicated to dance, with Philadelphia –based troupes Headlong Dance Theater and Jean Ruddy Dance sharing the stage for a Modern Dance Night on April 6th. Miro Dance Theatre, together with PRISM Quartet, perform Pitch Black, an exciting multimedia production blending video installation with choreography set to music by avant-garde Dutch composer Jacob ter Veldhuis, on May 4th.
On Friday, June 1 the Museum celebrates its annual Turkish Night, featuring the Ozan Aksoy Trio, who draw from a diverse range of musical heritages and repertoires including the Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Jewish, Arabic, and Alawite cultures, all of which have made their homes in the Anatolia region of Turkey.
Each Friday evening, the Great Stair Hall is transformed into a concert hall, complete with table service, cocktails, elegant café-style appetizers, and desserts. In between sets visitors have a chance to explore the Museum's more than 200 galleries and special exhibitions.
The Spring line-up for Art After 5
April 6: Modern Dance
Known for their witty take on contemporary culture, Headlong Dance Theater shows new dances in their signature style that mixes formalism, pop culture, and all-out physicality.
Jeanne Ruddy Dance presents a varied repertoire of A-list choreographers from the neo-classic contemporary and New York's downtown aesthetic. Their concerts consist of solos and group works by Artistic Director Jeanne Ruddy and choreographers Mark Dendy, Ann Reinking, Jane Comfort, Igal Perry, Peter Sparling, and Zvi Gotheiner.
April 13: Avishai Cohen
Israeli-born bassist/composer Avishai Cohen has been called a "jazz visionary of global proportions" by Down Beat magazine. A world-renowned musician, Cohen has received a deluge of critical praise for his recent recordings and live performances.
April 20: Greg Osby
Greg Osby, an alto and soprano saxophonist-flutist, has made an indelible mark as a bandleader and as a guest musician with such artists as Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie. He is known for his innovative approach to composition and performance.
April 27: Tessa Souter
New York-based vocalist, composer, and lyricist Tessa Souter has a unique style that infuses jazz with the soul and passion of flamenco, world, and Middle Eastern music.
May 4: PRISM Quartet with Miro Dance Theatre
PRISM and the amazing Miro Dance Theatre perform Pitch Black, a multimedia production that combines a video installation by Tobin Rothlein and choreography by Amanda Miller. Pitch Black is set to music by Dutch composer Jacob ter Veldhuis that features audio samples of Billie Holiday, "The Jerry Springer Show," death row inmates, and religious fanatics in Times Square.
May 11: Aaron Goldberg
In addition to leading his trio, jazz pianist Aaron Goldberg has been touring and recording with guitar guru Kurt Rosenwinkel. He has also toured with Madeleine Peyroux and has performed with Wynton Marsalis in his quartet as well as with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
May 18: Rachel Z
Eclectic jazz musician Rachel Z has worked with Peter Gabriel and Wayne Shorter. Her all-female trio draws youthful fans to jazz by way of the alternative rock world. Her unique sound has solidified her reputation for groundbreaking work in jazz and beyond.
May 25: Jeff "Tain" Watts
Along with performing with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, and Michael Brecker, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts has released four albums under his own name. Watts holds the distinction of being the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award–winning jazz record by both Wynton and Branford Marsalis.
June 1: Turkish Night
The blossoming of cercis trees is a moment anticipated by all residents of Istanbul, Turkey, a city that inspires people from all cultural backgrounds. The Cercis Project, which features the Ozan Aksoy Trio, aspires to form its own cercis tree with Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Jewish, Arabic, and Alawite musical heritages and repertoires forming its numerous but equally rich branches.
June 8: Kate McGarry
McGarry approaches her craft with the soul of a folksinger and the facility of a jazz instrumentalist. Her training in jazz performance with saxophonist Archie Shepp and her studies in Celtic, Brazilian, and Indian music have allowed her to evolve into a compelling vocalist and composer.
June 15: Hoenig Pilc Project
As leaders and composers, Ari Hoenig and Jean-Michel Pilc bring their sense of musical architecture and colors and their love of innovative rhythms and uncharted territories. As instrumentalists, they create sounds and flows that are always fascinating and unique.
June 22: Beau Django
Keeping the spirit of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France alive, Beau Django weaves a tapestry of beautiful acoustic guitar music.
June 29: Winard Harper
Honing his ever-expanding technique on the drum set, as well as on a multitude of other percussive instruments including the rare balafon, Harper has performed with such jazz greats as Dexter Gordon, Betty Carter, and the inimitable Billy Taylor.
About Art After 5
Art After 5 offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy evening hours exploring the Museum's 200 galleries, which house a vast collection of art from around the world. The experience is enhanced each Friday by a program of music, dance, food, and drinks in the Great Stair Hall. 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 throughout the evening. A full cash bar and à la carte menu of appetizers, light entrées and desserts is available with table service in the Great Stair Hall. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens (62 and over); $8 for students with I.D. and children 13–18; children 12 years old and younger are admitted free at all times. Parking is available on the Museum's terrace level at $4 for members and $5 for nonmembers.