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March 7th, 2012
Art After 5 Celebrates the Beats and Pulses of Spring

Philadelphia, PA (March 2012)—From dance to percussion, from a Cinco de Mayo party to a jazz festival, the beats and pulses of spring are soon upon us  as Art After 5 announces its new season of Friday night progrmas. With award-winning performers and engaging events in the Great Stair Hall, visitors can enjoy the multisensory experience as the Museum’s culinary team of STARR Events prepares specialty cocktails, appetizers, and small plates that complement each performance.

On April 20, preview the Center City Jazz Festival with saxophonist Korey Riker and pianist
George Burton Bands. Riker has played with The Roots, Esperanza Spalding, Jill Scott, and Queen Latifah and Burton has performed with Me’Shell Ndegéocello, the late Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, and Patti LaBelle. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early this May 4, with Crisol, a Latin ensemble that has been performing around Philadelphia for more than a decade.  The beat goes on with Cuban-born drummer Francisco Mela who will perform on May 18. Mela is a jazz favorite whose talents have been championed by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and McCoy Tyner. On June 1, Art After 5 spotlights some of Philadelphia’s greatest dance moves during An Evening of Dance with Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Joan Myers Brown, and Philadanco. Philadanco will perform after a conversation between Gottschild and Brown, founder of Philadanco. And for those who truly believe that “life is a cabaret,” it certainly will be on April 27 when Martha Graham Cracker, the queen of Philadelphia drag, belts and banters and again on May 11 when Karen Gross, singer and songwriter, croons from the Great American Songbook.

Following is the complete schedule of the Art After 5 Spring 2012 schedule:
(press interviews and photos available upon request)

April 6
La Dolce Vita
DisCanto is a group of Italian conservatory-trained musicians who reinterpret traditional Abruzzese and southern Italian songs through contemporary and traditional instrumentation. Sung in dialect, the songs evoke the Apennine Mountains, which have defined Abruzzo’s culture, and cover themes of celebration, mourning, and struggle. They reflect diverse influences that have informed the history of Abruzzo. DisCanto’s U.S. tour is supported by Ristorante Le Virtù.

April 13
Dominick Farinacci
According to The New York Times, jazz trumpeter Dominick Farinacci has “the ability to move through several moods, then drive an improvisation home with power.” He has performed and/or recorded with artists like Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Peter Cincotti, Warren Vaché, and Renee Rosnes.

April 20
Preview of Center City Jazz Festival: Double-Header Featuring the Korey Riker and George Burton Bands
Saxophonist Korey Riker has played with The Roots, Esperanza Spalding, Jill Scott, and Queen Latifah. Pianist George Burton has performed with such renowned artists as Me’Shell Ndegéocello, the late Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, Joe Lovano, and Patti LaBelle. His style reflects creative voicings, haunting melodies, and unrelenting rhythmic energy.

April 27
Martha Graham Cracker
The queen of Philadelphia drag cabaret brings her campy cultural commentary to the Museum’s Great Stair Hall. Martha, whose vocal range is matched only by her witty banter, will perform with accompanist Victor Fiorillo.

May 4
Cinco de Mayo Party
Crisol (Spanish for “melting pot”) has been performing in the Philadelphia area since 1997. The ensemble is dedicated to the interpretation of folk and traditional music from Latin America. Dance the night away to Puerto Rican boleros, Cuban sones, Mexican mariachi music, Colombian cumbias, and Dominican merengues. This program is supported by the Mexican Cultural Center.

May 11
Karen Gross
Backed by a stellar jazz ensemble, cabaret singer and songwriter Karen Gross performs classics from the Great American Songbook, fresh interpretations of contemporary favorites, and poignant original songs. Based in Philadelphia, she has delighted crowds at premier venues including the Kimmel Center and Lincoln Center.

May 18
Francisco Mela
Cuban-born drummer Francisco Mela is a favorite among jazz’s elite instrumentalists, including Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and McCoy Tyner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his rare talents as a composer and drummer.

May 25
Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Redd, and Nicki Parrott
Living legend guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli joins forces with Charlie Byrd’s longtime drummer and vibraphonist Chuck Redd and Australian bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott for a swinging tour of the Great American Songbook.

June 1
An Evening of Dance with Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Joan Myers Brown, and Philadanco
The Philadelphia Inquirer raves, “If you like your dance virtuosic, spiritually uplifting and socially conscious, don't miss Philadanco.” Philadanco (Philadelphia Dance Company) will perform excerpts from their repertory after a conversation between Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Joan Myers Brown. The New York Times calls Gottschild’s new book about Brown, the founder of Philadanco, “a bracing mix of scholarship and unsentimental compassion.” Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown moderates the conversation, which will be followed by a book signing.

June 8
Bobby Zankel
Saxophonist Bobby Zankel gets an orchestral sound out of his ensembles, partly by mixing instruments, partly by moving them through composition into improvisation. The effect is sprawling but precise. His music speaks equally to the legacy of the past (Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus) and to the present.

June 15
Jessi Teich
Singer-songwriter Jessi Teich has immersed herself in jazz and blues since childhood.
She started singing original songs at six years old and at eight began piano lessons. Teich’s unique and powerful voice has been influenced by classic and contemporary vocalists from Ella Fitzgerald and Carole King to Ani DiFranco and Sade. She has performed with Parliament Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell, Tia Fuller and Nikki Glaspie of the Beyoncé Band, and Philadelphia’s own G Love, as well as jazz legend Sid Simmons.

June 22
Peter Beets
Peter Beets is a Dutch pianist with impeccable technique and an incisive sense of swing. He has played with Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, John Clayton, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others.

June 29
Rale Micic Featuring Alma Micic
Serbian-born jazz guitarist and composer Rale Micic graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has developed a cult-like following with his mix of jazz and haunting melodies from the Balkans. His new release, a guitar trio record entitled 3, has garnered attention from critics and audiences alike.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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