Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
Here's one for all of the Philly party-people. Check out mix-master extraordinaire Rich Medina, as he takes his classic afrobeat dance party to another unique location for a one-of-a-kind Philly nightlife experience. Medina's JUMP N FUNK party has been around for more than a decade now, and he's notorious for bringin' the party to unlikely places. Next up—The Penn Museum in West Philly.
On Friday, October 11, you can join Medina and a thousand other afrobeat-loving Philadelphians when The Penn Museum opens its doors for the hottest dance party of the year. This edition of JUMP N FUNK is definitely going down in history—literally! The Penn Museum is known worldwide for their collection of amazing artifacts from places all across the globe, including the largest collection of African art in Philly. What could be hotter than gettin' it on the dancefloor to Fela Kuti, while stand next to a thousand year-old Egyptian Sphinx? Exactly. #nothing
So, put on your dance-all-night shoes, grab your crew, and make your way to The Penn Museum and catch Rich Medina's JUMP N FUNK like you've never seen it before.
Friday, October 11
8 p.m. - midnight
3620 South Street
Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind. It’s been over two decades since Philly icons Will Smith a.k.a. The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff penned the lyrics to everyone’s favorite summer jam, but the words are still on point today. So, get your summer started by kickin’ it with your crew at The Roots’ Philly Fourth of July Jam & Fireworks, catching the hottest R&B concerts under the stars at the Dell Music Center, or turning it up at this year's Mad Decent Block Party.
Thursday, July 4 – The Roots’ Philly Fourth of July Jam & Fireworks
It’s back! Hosted by Philly funny-man Kevin Hart, The Roots’ Philly Fourth of July Jam returns for another year of electrifying performances. Get ready, as the Parkway explodes with the sounds of Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, John Mayer, J. Cole and other show-stopping performances. We’re so hype for this one. And you know Philly is the place to be for Independence Day!
Friday, July 5 - Sunday, July 7 – Taste of Philadelphia
Feed your need for the irresistible flavors and sounds of Philly with this year’s Taste of Philadelphia celebration. A food favorite, this three-day culinary celebration brings you delicious delights from some of Philly’s top restaurants. And, since no Philly celebration is complete without the tunes, Philly’s own Marsha Ambrosius and Interscope/Will.i.am Music recording artist Cody Wise will be bringin’ their own soulful flavors to the stage.
Thursday, July 11 - Chaka Khan & Ledisi
It’s ladies night at the Dell Music Center! This month, R&B divas Chaka Khan and Ledisi will rock the stage with their powerhouse voices and feel-good soul music. Get your tickets soon, because you’ll definitely want to be front and center for this concert under the stars.
Saturday, July 20 - Lil Wayne
It’s about to go down! There’s no denying the star-power of hip-hop sensation Lil Wayne. This month, you can catch Weezy, as he is joined by T.I., for what will definitely be one of the dopest concerts of the summer. But, be warned—mics will be wrecked during this lyrical explosion.
Saturday, July 27 - Mad Decent Block Party
No summer is complete without a few classic Philly block parties, right? Well, this month, Mad Decent Block party is once again taking the summer block party to the next level—actually the next 100 levels! So, grab your crew, and head straight to this fresh-to-death summer party. Trust us, you don’t want to be the only person not there.
Jay-Z’s Made in America festival is set to return to the Parkway for another two days packed with music. And, this year the chart-topping lineup includes Beyonce, Public Enemy, Two Chainz, Miguel, Wiz Khalifa, Solange and more! Want in on the action? Enter to win a pair of tickets here.
The Roots’ camp is bringing you not one, but two days packed with events to celebrate Independence Day in Philly. Starting with “The City”, an all day music festival on July 3 at The Piazza, followed by Brothers In Arms with Questlove & D’Angelo and the return of Philly Sound Konnoisseurs (PSK)—we’ve got all of the info on what’s going down July 3-4.
Once again, Philly 360˚ took you inside the hottest show of the summer—The Roots Picnic! We’ve got exclusive interviews and a behind-the-scenes look at all of your festival favorites, including a conversation with Robert Glasper and Marsha Ambrosius; a backstage water fight with Solange; we’ve even got the legendary Charlie Mack interviewing Naughty By Nature. Check out our wrap up post and video.
Ivben Taqi is definitely one of the hardest working visual artists in Philly. You can find his work on everything from canvas to t-shirts, and even sneakers. Now, he’s turned his super fly eye to the walls of Status Shop on South Street. Check out his latest creation here.
Since the 2012 US release of her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough?, UK singer/songerwriter Lianne La Havas has been living a charmed life. Her album was named the iTunes Album of 2012, and upon hearing it megastars Stevie Wonder and Prince both reached out to connect with London's rising soul star, and personally praise her feel-good, authentic sound.
In our interview with her, La Havas readily admits that US soul artists like Erykah Badu, Lauryn HIll, of course Philly's own Jill Scott have influenced her gorgeously raw sounding music. So, it was no surprise earlier in the month when Lianne showed up in Philadelphia to play to a sold-out house at World Cafe Live. Hundreds of Philly-fans packed into the venue to hear Lianne nimbly play her guitar, while laying down track after track from her album with utter perfection and grace. The rising star was visibly moved and humbled, when her Philly audience began singing along - with the most perfect harmonies of course.
Backed by an electrifying 5-piece band, the singer every-so-skillfully moved through the songs from her album, telling tales of lovers gone wrong, her "fancy" with older men, the sweetest places of love, and everywhere in between. Grateful for the love shown by her World Cafe Live fans, La Havas paused mid-concert to take a photograph of the diverse and dedicated crowd that had packed in to see her. She even tailored song lyrics during her encore performance to dedicate a song to her Philly fans. Yeah - Lianne loved herself some Philadelphia, and we definitely loved her back.
With her refreshingly honest and soul-bearing music, beautifully-raw vocals, and looks and style to die for, Lianne La Havas' journey has only just begun. I'm sure we're not alone when we say, "we're definitely ready for the sophmoric album". Right? Philly, let's keep our eye on this rising star, and watch as she shoots straight to the top.
Philly 360°: So, you’ve received amazing accolades from an impressive list of icons, including Prince and Stevie Wonder. What is it like meeting these artists and hearing their response to your music?
Lianne: It has been amazing. I'm a big fan of all of them. I met Stevie Wonder a few months ago in Los Angeles. After the show, we spent some time together. It was amazing and kind of surreal. I don't know what I was expecting but he had a very vibrant soul that you can feel. He wished me the best of everything, then he started singing the title track to my album and added my name to the line. It was wonderful.
Prince invited me to Minneapolis a year ago now to come and meet him and jam. He just said keep being myself and carry on doing what I’m doing. He was very encouraging and supportive. I consider him a friend. I would love to work with him one day. It would be really amazing if I could.
Philly 360°: Tell us about some of the other artists or music that you draw inspiration from?
Lianne: All kinds of things, really. I just like when new music comes to you and moves you. Growing up I was listening to Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige and Michael Jackson and that kind of stuff. Love the Fugees and Ella Fitzgerald. Now I’m listening to lots of Little Dragon, Everything Everything. and Laura Marling. I just love her.
Philly 360°: Was music a big part of your childhood and family life?
Lianne: Yes, it was my dream to pursue music my whole life. I played piano when I was younger and started guitar when I was 18. It wasn’t until I was about 18 or 19 that I decided to try for real to see if I could do something with it professionally.
Philly 360°: If you had to choose one - what would be your favorite album of all time?
Lianne: That’s hard. I’m obsessed with Erykah Badu though.
Philly 360°: You’re playing Philadelphia at World Cafe Live in April. Will this be your first time performing in Philly?
Lianne: No, I played at (World Cafe Live's) Free At Noon back in November. There’s a lot of great history and music that comes out of Philadelphia, including on my favorites, Jill Scott. I’m just excited to get there and see even more of the city.
Philly 360°: Do you have any places here in Philadelphia that you’re excited to checkout?
Lianne: It’s so hard to get out much in the middle of touring, but I’m really looking forward to connecting with audiences and my fans in Philadelphia.
Philly 360°: Ok, so last but not least, have you ever had a world-famous Philly cheesesteak? (If not, it’s a must do!)
Lianne: Not yet! But I’ve heard a lot about it and can’t wait to try one some day.
This weekend, the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) kicks off, and thousands of eager creative-connoisseurs will descend upon Philly to explore moments of the past, present and future through the lens of PIFA's time travel theme. This year, over 50 cultural partners and hundreds of artists will join PIFA to present an exciting and eclectic mix of 50+ shows featuring some of the world's top talent like Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Danilo Pérez, Savion Glover and more!
Once we all get into the PIFA swing, you should definitely make a point to stop by the Kimmel Center's gorgeous Commonwealth Plaza, where you can see free live performances, hear great music, grab a snack, or even take some time to experience the Kimmel's interactive Time Machine. Yup, you've heard right. The PIFA crew has installed a giant time machine right in the lobby of the Kimmel - and it's a must see! On April 27, PIFA 2013 will culminate with their signature Street Fair, as the Kimmel Center shuts down Broad Street for an all-out creative explosion jam-packed with some of the best entertainers and cuisine Philly has to offer.
With so many amazing experience packed into one month, deciding exactly what show to go see can be a challenge, right? But, don't worry! As always, we've pulled together a list of Philly 360° PIFA Top Picks to get you started. This time traveling spectacular kicks off this weekend and runs through April 27.
You can visit pifa.org to view full festival schedule and purchase your tickets today!
Thursday, March 28
National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S. Independence Mall East
April 4, 1969 was the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr It was also the third night of Passover. At the intersection of these two events in 1969, hundreds of people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds gathered in a church in the heart of Washington, D.C. to celebrate freedom. Stop by Independence Mall, as NMAJH revisits the spirit and legacy of this historical event as part of PIFA 2013.
Saturday, March 30
Academy of Music
240 S. Broad Street
Don't miss it as international tap-sensation Savion Glover brings his best moves to Philly as part of PIFA 2013. That's right - on March 30, Glover will present the world premiere of his latest-and-greatest creation Dance Space, which explores the origins of time and space through his explosive moves, undeniable rhythms, and a cosmic and imaginative stage set.
Friday, April 5 - Wednesday, April 17
Red Room at the Society Hill Playhouse
507 South 8th Street
Take a trip through time and discover Philly's rich jazz roots, as an young Dizzy Gillespie experiments with a new form of jazz called bebop. This innovative and informative production is sure to have you swingin' into the PIFA spirit in no time at all.
Sunday, April 14
Kimmel Center - Verizon Hall
Broad and Spruce Streets
In April, Philly's world-famous Avenue of the Arts becomes a soulful centerstage for an electrifying all-star tribute to the one-and-only Stevie Wonder. As Grammy Award-winning artist Robert Glasper recreates his hit show of new work inspired by the timeless sound of Stevie Wonder, and performed by a phenomenal group of musicians that include Lalah Hathaway, Stokley of Mint Condition, Eric Roberson and The Experiment Band. Yeah - this is one show you can't afford to miss!
Wednesday, April 17 - Friday, April 19
The Kimmel Center - Innovation Studio
300 S. Broad Street
Where Heaven’s Dew Divides is a multidisciplinary exploration of the politics of religion in Philadelphia as the nation's largest populations of free blacks worked to establish themselves during the late 1700's. Where Heaven’s Dew Divides mixes dance forms, original music and song, improvised vocalization and video projection to capture the history and legacy of early black Philadelphians.
Friday, April 19 - Sunday, April 21
Kimmel Center - Perelman Theater
300 S. Broad Street
Philly's favorite dance company gets in on the time travel action and explores the origins of the universe with The Big Bang. Come out and experience the phenomenal moves and power of Philadanco in a fresh new way.
We've all heard people say, "All good things come to an end." But, truthfully all GREAT things come back again - bigger and better. That's right! Philly, the hit broadway musical FELA! is returning next week with all of its hot and seriously cool afrobeat energy.
FELA! made its Philly debut in 2012, and played every night to a theater jam-packed with eager audience members and fans. In fact, it was so successful that this fantastic production, which boast an impressive list of executive producers, like Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Philly 360° Creative Ambassador Questlove and Okayplayer, had to return for another round of afrobeat-infused Philly fun.
The big news? Glad you asked! This year, in addition to a stellar and electrifying cast of hyper-talented dancers and vocalists, FELA! stars none-other-than Destiny's Child member and R&B/Pop superstar Michelle Wiliams. Say what? Yup, the GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist will spend the next week performing on Philly's Avenue of the Arts for crowds of excited old and new fans. A big win in my book.
This exciting smash musical will only be in town for six short days, and tickets are sure to sell fast! So, make sure you get your seats now and join in the celebration of afrobeat, dance, song, art and all things FELA!.
March 12 - 17
250 S. Broad Street
"Oh, what a day. What a day. What a day." It's hard to believe it, but it's been 16 years since Erykah Badu exploded on the scene with her instant masterpiece Baduizm. The album soared straight to the top of the charts and Ms. Badu hasn't come down since. Equally rooted in blues, hip-hop, jazz, and soul, Badu's album paved the way for the neo-soul movement that put plenty of Philly artists on the map. And, that's no surprised, because since day one, Erykah has gotten mad love from Philadelphia, working with longtime Philly creatives like Philly 360° Creative Ambassadors James Poyser and The Roots to craft her signature soulful sound.
So, to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Baduizm (and her 42nd birthday) Badu came to Philly to perform Baduizm in its entirety - maybe for the first time since the album was released in 1997. And, Philly definitely came out to show our love for Badu.
In her typical "fashionably late" mannner, Badu hit the stage donning the flyests of headwraps and a ecclectic mix of fashions that she-and-only-she could make look fly. And, it was clear from the background vocalist singing "it's Badu's show" to the masses fixated on her every note and move - we were now in Badu's world. From Next Lifetime, Otherside of the Game, Apple Tree, On & On, Tyrone to a Questlove dedication of "Afro", Badu sang us down memory lane, as we relived the memories and feeling of her '97 classics.
And, if you've ever been to a Badu show before, then you knew not to be fooled by her first "thank you and good night" exit. Erykah is definitely known to comeback for an hour-long encore performance and that's exactly what she gave her fans at the Electric Factory. Hitting the stage for part deux, Badu performed hits from her other albums like Danger, Out My Mind Just In Time, Window Seat and other fan-favorites.
Erykah closed the evening with a church-like moment of self affirmation as she instructed the Philly congregation to raise their hands and "shout your own name", as she performed her extended version of Didn't Cha Know, which ended in a moving rendition of Believe In Yourself from the Wiz. Genius, sheer black musical genius.
It was clear from the start, "It's Badu's show..." and Philly wasn't even mad about it.
March 28 - April 27, 2013
Visit pifa.org for the festival schedule, times & locations.
Since its triumphant launch in 2011, Philadelphia and the rest world have been waiting patiently for the return of The Kimmel Center's explosion of all things arts and culture - The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts ( a.k.a. PIFA). Well, I'm glad to tell you that the wait is almost over.
Just last week, tickets for PIFA 2013 went on sale to the public and the full festival schedule was announced during a special press conference and preview. And, just like we expected the line-up is an amazing blend of local, national and international talent. From the Dance Space, an evening with international tap-sensation Savion Glover to the Stevie Wonder Tribute featuring Lalah Hathaway, Robert Glasper, Eric Roberson and Stokley Williams - the PIFA madness just doesn't stop!
This year, the festival will run from March 28 to April 27 and includes over 50 festival performances, 50 creative partners, and 32 new works - all exploring the festival theme "If You Had a Time Machine...". PIFA invited a diverse group of artists and partners to select a moment in time and create exciting, thought-provoking and fun interpretations that will transport audiences to a different time and place in history, or maybe even the future.
In fact,The Kimmel Center has plans to install an interactive time machine exhibit right in Commonwealth Plaza, which will serve as a cultural hub offering plenty of free activities and programs throughout the festival. And, like the 2011 festival PIFA will go out with a bang, as they welcome thousands of people onto the Avenue of the Arts to partake in tons of family fun during the PIFA Street Fair.
With a festival of this magnitude, deciding which shows to see can be a little bit daunting. But, dont worry - we've got you covered. Be on the look out for plenty of Philly 360 PIFA top picks and Insider scoops. But for now, you can visit the PIFA website to check out the full festival schedule and purchase tickets in advance. Ok, let's go!
Hey, all of you Philly do-gooders—here's your chance to pay it forward in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On January 21, well over 75,000 volunteers will take to the streets of Philadelphia and participate in the country's largest MLK service project—The 18th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
So, if you're looking for a chance to give back in a meaningful way, then make your way to Philly to honor Dr. King's impact in the most fitting way—by making the world better for those around us. You can visit the MLK Day of Service website to register andbrowse the full list of projects of over 1,300 projects and events. And, as always, I've pulled together a list of MLK Picks to get you started and on your way to giving back in a big way.
But first, I'd thought I drop a bit of MLK inspiration by sharing a video produced by Art Sanctuary with over a dozen community leaders, artists and everyday heros reading Dr. King's iconic "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", as part of their Read With Me project.
So, be sure to check out this very special Art Sanctuary MLK tribute video and our list of Philly 360° MLK Day of Service Picks below.
Monday, January 21
2101 South College Avenue
Girard College will be the host site for the MLK Day of Service for the fourth year, as thousands of volunteers descend on the campus to take part in dozens of community projects on January 21st. You can kick your day off here, pick-up your official MLK Day of service tshirts and register for projects that will take place all across the city.
Monday, January 21
222 N. 20th Street
Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at The Franklin Institute. See the "I Have A Dream" speech broadcast on the walls of Franklin Hall at the top of every hour. Visit the activity table run by Franklin Institute volunteers in Key Hallway to participate in an "African American Scientists Scavenger Hunt" and take part in creating a wall of dreams in the hands-on arts and craft "I Have a Dream" activity.
Monday, January 21
6100 Stenton Avenue
Come and celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as newly-inaugurated Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in a free community concert.
This special MLK program will bring together community groups and notable guest artists including Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra founder Philly 360 Creative Ambassador Jeri Lynne Johnson, award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alsto, violinist and Sphinx Competition winner Elena Urioste, and the Philadelphia All City Choir under the direction of Dorina Morrow.
Monday, January 21
5:30 - 8 p.m.
20 N. 2nd Street
Join the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance on MLK Day, as they partner with Arden Theatre, With Art Philadelphia, Art-Reach and First Person Arts to celebrate arts, culture and community, and launch their latest communty project GroundSwell.
Along with wine, beer and good eats, there will be a special story-sharing experience curated by First Person Arts, an open mic story cafe, interactive art-making activities presented by Mural Arts Program and other fun activities for the entire family.
Monday, January 21
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
525 Arch Street
The National Constitution Center commemorates MLK Day and the 57th Presidential Inauguration with free admission and a day jam-packed with service projects, musical and theatric performances and special craft activities. You can checkout the full program schedule onine right here.
Monday, January 21
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Make art and give back to your community with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On January 21, art that is made at the museum during this special MLK workshop will be distributed to people in need throughout Philadelphia. Enjoy a reading by illustrator E. B. Lewis, whose books share Dr King's message of love and service. Also, the museum will be offering pay-what-you-wish admission all day long in honor of Dr. King.
Saturday, January 19
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Join African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) artist-in-residence Richard J. Watson for a tour of select murals from the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection, in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Once you're done the tour stop by AAMP to enjoy free museum admission all day long.
Friday, January 18
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Broad and Spruce Streets
The Kimmel Center is hosting their annual tribute to Dr. King in the Perelman Theater. The performance brings together more than 100 participants hailing from more than 500 area high schools and middle schools. The afternoon performance will include a show from D/3, PHILADANCO’s youth ensemble, a performance from Girard Academic Music Program and many other live performances. The performance is free and open to the public.
Everyone's favorite drummer and DJ Questlove is back at it again, and this time he's bringing a few DJs with him to keep the Philly party jumpin' all night.
That's right. Tonight, Questlove and company will take over SoundGarden Hall on Del Ave for one of the dopest parties of the year. Yep, we're talking about DJ extraordinaires like DJ Ayres, SEGA, Love City DJs, Shane Sixten and more. You definitely don't want to miss it when these DJs turn it out tonight, right?
So, get your tickets online right here.
Wednesday, December 19
520 N Delaware Ave
Ok, so I'm no poet. But, as a homegrown Philadelphian, I love spending Christmas in Philly! The hustle and bustle of the city slows down just enough, so that folks from all walks of life take a moment to enjoy the lights, sounds and tastes of the holiday season. Whether it's picking up a special holiday treat from the Reading Terminal Market, visiting the Macy's Grand Court Light Show, or randomly catching a group of Christmas carolers strolling down Walnut Street - the holidays are extra special in this town.
So, for this special Philly 360 holiday post, I'm bringing you the inside scoop on my Top 5 "must-see" Holiday events. I've mixed in a few holiday classics with some fresh and new ways to get into the spirit of the season. So, hit the town, see a show, hear some music and celebrate this season as only Philly can! Ok? Let's go!
Tuesday, December 19
7 - 10 p.m.
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine Street
Don't miss Grammy Award-nominted R&B sensation Kem, as he stops through Philly and performs music off his newly-released album, What Christmas Means. Everyone who attends the performance will leave with a copy of Kem's album, and he'll be sticking around after his performance to sign CD's and take photos with his fans.
December 20 - 22
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts - Verizon Hall
300 S. Broad Street
Experience The Glorious Sounds of Christmas, as The Philadelphia Orchestra lends its lush harmonies to your favorite holiday classics during this special three nights of music on Philly's famous Avenue of the Arts. This will definitely be fun for the whole family!
Friday, December 21 & Saturday, December 22
7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. Shows
1401 S. Columbus Blvd.
Who says the holidays can't be for the grown and sexy? Certainly not Jeff Bradshaw! Jeff has been traveling the globe promoting his latest project Bon Apetite, and is set to head home for the holidays, and throw down like only Philly can.
Saturday, December 8 - Sunday, December 30
Academy of Music
240 S. Broad Street
The wonder and magic of the holidays doesn't get anymore classic than George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. This show's got it all - a princess, sugarplum fairies, not-to-mention the gorgeous costumes and set design. Come find out why this production has become a holiday tradition for millions of familiies everywhere.
Through January 6
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Ever wonder what half-a-million twinkling Christmas lights look like? Well, Longwood Garden's got the answer! They've transformed their grounds into a winter wonderland with tons of holiday lights, thousands of poinsettias, and magnificent Christmas trees everywhere you look.