Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
If you are anything like me, the moment you heard "Don't You Forget it" you were quickly trying to find out who the heck this new artist was. It didn't take long to find that Canadian-born Glenn Lewis was the man behind the vocals reminiscent of a young Stevie Wonder.
Years after his debut release World Outside My Window, Lewis is back with brand new music! In a time when fans are craving soulful lyrics and musically compelling production, it feels like Lewis has announced his return just in the nick of time.
His new project is slated to be released August 20, 2013. Lewis' latest effort will be released as a joint effort between EMI and the resurging Ruffhouse Records.
For Moment of Truth Lewis enlisted the help of a few of our Philadelphia favorites including Vidal Davis, Carvin Haggins, Ivan Barias, and upcoming production team MATRAX. The project has been overseen by Chris Schwartz, Vance DeBose, and Kahn Jamal.
Last month, Lewis gave influencers a preview of his latest single "Can't Say Love" in an exclusive event held at the Laff House. The single was written by Corey Latif Williams and produced CertiFYD Production Group.
Looking forward to the rest of the summer, Lewis reflected on his journey so far.
"It has been quite a journey over the last several years ... one that has enabled me to learn and grow. I'm so grateful to all my fans and supporters for never wavering," Lewis explains.
BMI is bringing its popular "How I Wrote That Song" panel series to Philly to take you inside the songwriting process with some of today's biggest hitmakers, as well as the legends that penned the songs that have become part of the soundtrack of our lives.
Special appearances by Radio One Chairperson and Founder Cathy Hughes; BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta Catherine Brewton; and Recording Academy Chapter President Ivan Barias.
Saturday, June 8
212 N. 12th Street
Tickets are $15. To buy tickets, click here.
The consensus at Praise 103.9’s Inspiration Music Conference seemed to be that the event was more like a “family reunion” than a music conference! Many of Gospel’s biggest and brightest stars came out not only to participate in the days workshops but also to catch up with their friends and colleagues that have been busy touring the world.
The conference started on Friday at Yesha Fellowship Hall in South Philly. Both Yolanda Adams and Coco Brother did live broadcasting with a slew of Gospel greats performing from Marvin Sapp to Jonathan Nelson and also Israel Houghton.
On Saturday, vendors lined the halls of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the hustle and bustle was in full effect by the time that we arrived. From music CDs, to back messages, there was something for everyone!
We also had the opportunity to sit in on the Best Inspirational Singer in America competition. Many hopeful singers gave their best shot in front of the panel of Gospel heavyweights including: Kurt Carr, Kerry Douglas, James Fortune and Fred Hammond. It came down to a tough battle between Maryta Fields and Angela White, both from Philadelphia, for the $5,000 cash prize and the chance to record with GRAMMY-nominated artist and producer James Fortune.
The stars and attendees alike listened in on many of the day workshops that varied from music business to lifestyle guidance.
We had the opportunity to chat with a great array of artists including James Fortune, Da Truth, Tamika Patton, Tye Tribbett, Isaac Carree, Jessica Reedy and many more!
Take a look at the video recap of this awesome “Inspirational” weekend!
This year's Roots Picnic is sure to go harder than ever. The sixth annual showcase is returning with an eclectic mix of some of the hottest artists in hip-hop, soul, jazz, blues and country. Get ready for swagged out performances by Gary Clark Jr., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Trinidad Jame$, Solange and a show-stopping set with hip-hop legends Naughty By Nature backed by The Roots. The Roots Picnic is not just a show, it’s an experience. Make it a weekend to remember with this selections of things to do, places to stay and tips on where to catch a good grub. Whether you’re stopping through or call this your home, there’s plenty do.
Friday, May 31
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
World Communications Charter School
512 S. Broad Street
If there’s one thing Philly is known for, it’s having a wide selection of murals across the city. So, it’s only right that the famous paintings highlight the city’s exceptional homegrown talent. Join The Roots crew to celebrate an all new mural created in their honor. Designed by Amber Art and Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, the mural pays tribute to the world’s most well-known hip hop band, in the place where it all started.
Friday, May 31
Theater of the Living Arts
334 South St.
Need a dose of R&B? Check out Kelly Rowland and The Dream, as they bring their crooning skills to the TLA. Ms. Rowland is sure to kick things off with a sultry set of her hits and maybe a few new joints, while the The Dream debuts more tracks off his upcoming release, IV Play. Purchase your tickets now if you want to be in the building and rock out with both artists.
Saturday, June 1
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Race: 9:00 a.m.
Harding Middle School
2000 Wakeling Street
Why not get in a quick workout before you hit up the weekend attractions? Join Black Thought of The Roots and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation for the First Annual ‘Roots, Rock, Run’ 5k community walk/run. The event supports the CHICKS health and wellness program for girls at Harding Middle School.
Saturday, June 1
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Saturday, June 1
10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
1200 Callowhill Street
Jay-Z said it best: “after the show it’s the afterparty”. Get your fix of live music at the year’s Roots Picnic then head over to Underground Arts. The night will feature DJ Phsh, Questlove and other industry friends. Get your ticket asap! Space will be limited, so be sure to arrive early.
Saturday, June 1
Saturday, June 1
Show: 8:00 p.m.
Aftershow: 12am - 2am
38th & Chestnut Streets
The Roots aren’t the only ones bringing live performances to the city. If you’re not afraid to step outside the box when it comes to your music tastes, you won’t want to miss out on Pier Entertainment’s Spring Music Fest. The showcase offers five genres in one night, bringing together the top emerging artists in R&B, Rock, Soul, Pop and Country. Enjoy an eclectic night of music including artists such as by Zeek 'The Experience', NeJcion, Modern Colour, Jaremy Isaac & The Hangover and Selina Carrera. Kick it up a notch with special VIP Passes, which include exclusive seating, catering, red carpet photos with the artists and of course a Swag Bag. Industry afterparty to follow immediately. Get your tickets here.
Sunday, June 2
2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
The Dreaming Building [618 North Front Street]
Wind down your weekend with a little retail therapy, and check out the American Dreaming Pop-Up Mall. The popular shopping experience brings together the cities newest and brightest clothing, music and art entrepreneurs. With free admission, guests can peruse through an assortment of handmade accessories, vintage clothing, one-of-a-kind handbags, and more. The event brings together a great mix of the city's young artistic crowd and makes for great networking as well.
If you plan on staying a while, check out these cool places to lay your head in style:
433 Chestnut Street
Keep the night going on Hotel Monaco’s rooftop Stratus lounge, with one the best views in the city. Enjoy the modern renovation to this historical building, and get your money’s worth as you take in the fancy design and the hotel’s famous four-star amenities.
1421 Arch Street
Artistic and chic, take in the hotels abstract art and bold black-and-white look. Guestrooms are decked out in sleek furniture, with all the modern necessities such as iPod-docking stations and flat-screen TVs.
120 S 17th Street
Historic with up-to-date feel, Hotel Sofitel is a great spot to stay in the mix while having a peaceful place to crash. Right in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, the French inspired layout and dining options, can add a splash of culture to your stay.
We’ve got your cravings covered. Stop through these local diners and cafes to get in a quick bite to eat during your down time.
Three convenient locations (in Bella Vista, Fairmount and University City), offer a tasty brunch all day, every day. Get your favs like french toast, pancakes and yummy omlettes. Switch things up with polenta fries or tofu scramble.
A healthy take of soul food favorites, Green Soul Cafe offers “the bridge to better eating”. Take advantage of the free WiFi, and enjoy delicious smoothies, burgers, salads and soups.
Nothing tops homemade buttery biscuits. Get your fix along with the diner’s creative brunch and breakfast selections all served with a side of their renowned biscuits.
Get in a good grub at this chic urban diner known for it’s rooftop seating options. Try out their popular mid-day treats, such as the bananas foster belgian waffles or a turkey club with caramelized apple mayo.
Eight years ago, a pair of go-getters formed a partnership by combining over forty years of experience in event planning, audience development, marketing and special events. AfroTaino Productions arrived on the scene in 2005 after two individuals with a shared passion for global arts and culture made the commitment to serve as agents of change in their community.
A name says it all, and AfroTaino productions is a combination of Latino roots; Afro (Rahsaan Lucas) and Taino (Marángeli Mejía Rabell) blend their music, entertainment and art experiences into 35 years of multicultural marketing.
Rahsaan and Marángeli formed AfroTaino to make sure there was a fair balance between what media corporations offer and what the community needs in terms of the Latino music scene. Their business is to think about all of the elements that make an evening out an all around experience, and make that happen for their audiences. AfroTaino Productions does this by bringing out acts that people from the region would never get the opportunity to see anywhere else. With events like “M is for Musica” (a monthly Latin showcase) to Alo Brasil (playing at the Barnes Foundation next month), AfroTaino makes sure their shows are a one-of-a-kind event.
AfroTaino has also worked with organizations such as The Recording Academy®, Taller Puertorriqueño, Semilla Arts Initiative, the Hispanic Bar Association and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and have bring artists to the Philadelphia area, such as Calle 13, La Mala Rodríguez, Chocquibtown, El Gran Combo, Bomba Estéreo, Los Amigos Invisible, Ana Tijoux, Antibalas and La Vida Bohème.
The duo has a lot of events happening through out this summer that you won’t want to skip out on. Check out their full schedule here.
This one is definitely for the Philly-foodies out there. On May 16, the sensational street food festival Philadelphia Night Market returns with an evening jam-packed with all of the best flavors of Philadelphia. This time, the neighborhood-hopping food festival lands in the Philly-fab neighborhood of Fairmount—home to world-renown cultural destinations Eastern State Penitentiary, and of course the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
This Thursday, Night Market will partner with local restaurants and food trucks to showcase the very best of Philly and Fairmount, as over 60 vendors set-up along streets of Fairmount for a culinary explosion you won't soon forget. From tacos to tots, curries and everything in between, Night Market is set to have more Philadelphia culinary treats than you can even begin to imagine in one place. The hardest part wil definitely be deciding what to eat—and when to stop!
And, since no Philly party is complete without the tunes, Night Market will also feature performances by a stellar line-up of local artists and bands.
The best part? The Food Trust has plans for three additional roving street food fairs this year. Click here for the latest information on this month's Night Market Fairmount, the West Oak Lane event on June 20, South Street on August 15, or October's Chinatown-based event.
Ok, now go and tell a friend, or three, and be sure to make your way to Night Market Fairmount to experience all of the exciting flavors Philly has to offer.
Thursday, May 16
Fairmount Avenue between 19th and 22nd streets
Philly's own Eve is back, and she's ready to blow ya mind again with her new album Lip Lock, which dropped today. The Philly born, bred, raised rapper killed it when she touched the stage at last year's Made in America festival, and Philly has been ready for E-V-E to come back since then.
"Hey @philly360! Hook me up with a signed copy of @therealeve's #liplock!"
Click here for the official contest rules.
You can get a copy of Lip Lock here. And, check out Eve's single below.
The Acoustic Soul Train is rolling back through Philly - and this time it's rockin' the sounds of two Grammy nominated soul-sensations! On May 16, you can join Philly's own MoShay LaRen, as she presents another edition of The Acoustic Soul Experience with special guests Eric Roberson and Algebra. Both of these artists are hitmakers on the top of their game, and are known for laying it down extra smooth on stage. So, grab your crew and head straight to Underground Arts for this night of incredible soul music.
You can purchase tickets online here.
Thursday, May 16
1200 Callowhill Street
Check out this recap of MoShay LaRen's Acoustic Soul featuring soulsinger Anthony David.
Hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony Magazine, the 2013 BlackStar Film Festival is set return in August for another round of fantastic films made for and about the black global experience. But, dont worry—you don't have to wait until August to jump into the Philly cinematic action!
This year, BlackStar is giving writers from all over a chance to take their work from the page straight to the silver screen. Just this week, BlackStar launched the first BlackStar Screen Play Competition, inviting writers of all genres to submit their scripts for a chance to win $2,500 to produce a short film based on that work. After all of the entries are reviewed, five finalists will be selected to have their scripts read live at this year's festival in front of an all-star panel of judges. The winner takes home the cash prize, and of course some very serious bragging rights.
BlackStar is a one of a kind festival, and it happens right here in Philly. So, don't miss out on the opportunity to be part of this innovative and groundbreaking celebration of the black cinematic tradition. Entries are due by Friday, June 7, and the festival will take place August 1-4, 2013.
Click here to apply or to learn more about the 2013 BlackStar Film Festival.
What an amazing event! I could end the story right there, but I won't. Let me explain further. CYL Creative Group in association with A Good Story, Cool Mentality and The McKenzie Estate celebrated the re-release of Reebook's Shaq Attaq sneakers back in April at the Grilled Cheese Steak Party sponsored by Reebok, Famjuice, Hot 107.9, UBIQ and Slingshox.
UBIQ was filled to the max with nothingbut dope people for a dope event. The first 50 attendees received swag bags that included limited edition SlingShox and DNTN, a Philadelphia-based apparel company, Branded band which allow recipients to customize their G-Shock watches. A live art painting by Don Scott, creative director of DNTN Brand Apparel, of Swizz Beats and The Reebok Shaq Attacks was done on site.
Hip-hop music blasting in one room, a competitive NBA 2k13 tounanament sponsored by Mitchell & Ness, in another. Both floors were fun and full of festivities and did I mention the food? Good eats were provided by Lord of the Kitchen Cupboard. Amongst other items attendees snacked on Grilled Cheese Steak bites keeping with the theme of the event. Complimentary beverages were flowing courtesy of the good folks over at Famjuice. Philly definitely showed up and showed out.