Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
Hometown music legend DJ Jazzy Jeff needs no introduction. A revered DJ and producer, Jeff has made a global impact on music, including winning the first GRAMMY in hip-hop with his partner The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith. DJ Jazzy Jeff is legit music royalty, and when it comes to making hits and impacting music culture, he has the Midas touch.
This weekend, to celebrate the opening of the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest on Penn's Landing, DJ Jazzy Jeff will spin a rollerskate friendly set of music from 9 to 11 p.m. You can catch Jeff — and show off your "Roll Bounce" moves — for RiverRink's opening weekend festivities, which kick off on Friday, May 22.
For the first time this year, the area that housed this past winter’s Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will transform into a warm-weather edition with a roller rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events throughout the season. Opening Memorial Day weekend, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest will be free and open to the public daily through the end of September.
Also, as part of the opening weekend festivities, make sure to stop by the kickoff of the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series at Spruce Street Harbor Park this Friday.
For DJ Jazzy Jeff Philly fans, the Friday night skate party will definitely be an exciting homecoming to attend. As Jeff notes, "It's the best feeling in the world to play music all over the world, but, what's like home? I don't get a chance to play at home a lot, so when you get the opportunity - especially something like this - you take it."
So, this weekend, all roads lead to the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. It's always a good look to hear a legend like Jeff spin, and trust us — It'll feel even better on skates.
Opening weekend consists of four days of fun at the waterfront. See the complete schedule here.
AFROPUNK — New York's notorious urban, multicultural, genre-defying musical fete — is taking it's coveted Battle of the Bands show and contest on the road. This year, in addition to the New York show, AFROPUNK will bring its BOTB acton to two other east coast cities, ATL and Philadelphia.
Partnering with trusted Philadelphia music brand, Veteran Freshman, the Philadelphia edition of the battle offers a chance to perform at the critically acclaimed AFROPUNK Festival, which saw over 60,000 in attendance last year alone with performances from D’Angelo, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Lianne La Havas, Body Count and many more.
AFROPUNK Battle of The Bands, while serving as a chance to perform on one of Brooklyn's biggest stages, has also been integral in kickstarting bands careers: The Skins signing to Rick Rubens label America, Unlocking the Truth signing to Sony, among others.
The next edition of Philly Loves hits us one week before the Roots Picnic. And, since this year's show includes performances by Erykah Badu and The Roots — the "Philly Loves The Soulquarians" theme of the May 23 concert is right on time.
Founded by Questlove, The Soulquarians is a music collective that includes D'Angelo, Poyser, Erykah Bady and J Dilla, to name a few. These artists came together during the height of the neosoul movement which was largely powered and inspired by artists from the Philadelphia muisc scene. The group was known for undeniable grooves, unconventional rhythms, irregular chords, and music with an infectious feel.
On Saturday May 23 all of Philadelphia is invited to Johnny Brenda's, where Dj's Mike Nyce and very special guest 9th Wonder will take the stage to pay tribute to The Roots, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Bilal, D'Angelo, Common, Dilla and James Poyser, known as the soulquarians.
The event includes live art by Ameerah K Art and a special tribute video created by Flygirrl. Get there early, doors open at 9 p.m. and early bird attendees get a a fan. We'll see you there.
After a 14 year hiatus that left fans around the globe feenin' for a follow-up to his 2000 album Voodoo, D'Angelo returned — and with a seriously soulful vengance.
Last December, the crooner dropped his latest release Black Messiah, which may very well be one of the most highly anticipated projects of this decade. The soul-laced album was released suddenly and was almost immediately hailed as an instant classic and a much-needed balm for all things missing in music right now. Black Messiah, indeed.
Now, the beloved soulster is on the road performing music from Black Messiah live for fans around the globe. On June 23, D'Angelo — accompanied by a masterful group of musicians dubbed The Vanguard — brings his Second Coming Tour to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA.
After a recent sold-out European tour and dates in New York, D’Angelo and The Vanguard received an overwhelming response from fans and media alike. Rolling Stone called the performance at NYC’s Apollo Theatre “stunning… a master class in soul,” while the New York Daily News cited that D’Angelo “emerged at the Apollo with his skills undiminished and, compared to his contemporaries, still untouchable.”
Tickets to D'Angelo's Philadelphia show are on sale now. You'll definitely want to grab your seats now. The world's most soulful voice in the world's most soulful city — 100% a can't-miss experience.
Art Sanctuary is back on the scene with the 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing—and this year, they are definitely doing it big. Along with weekly author readings, weekend workshops and the stunning photography exhibit Barkley Hendrix Presents: Oh, Snap!, CBW 2015 will also honor Kindred The Family Soul during its signature event, the Lifetime Achievement Awards at Temple Performing Arts Center.
The Recording Academy® Philadelphia is back with the next edition of their signature music conference, Grammy futureNOW. This must-attend event brings together the industry’s top artists, songwriters and executives to examine the current state and the future of the music. Confirmed speakers include Allen Kovac of Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music Group and Benjy Greenberg of indie label Rostrum Records. #GRAMMYfutureNOW
Last month, Action Bronson dropped his highly-anticipated, major-label debut Mr. Wonderful to rave reviews. Now, the rapper is on the road with a world tour supporting the record—and he’s bringing his high-energy onstage antics to South Street music hub, The TLA. Insider tip: Before or after the show, be sure to grab a “cheesesteak and a gremlin” across the street at Philly faves Ishkabibbles. You’ll be glad you did.
After a six year hiatus, Ciara is back out on the road to promote her soon-to-drop project Jackie. The 18 city US tour lands at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA on May 10. We’re so hype for Ciara’s return that we’re giving one lucky fan a pair of free tickets to the show. Enter now for your chance to win!
Party with Philly’s finest DJs as the next edition of Tastytreats hits Silk City on May 15. On deck for this party are spinmaster extraordinaires Questlove and DJ Mike Nyce. This is another can’t-miss production by Stacey “Flygirrl” Wilson, so you know this party will be nothing less than flawless. #WeInThere
After touching a double bass for the first time at the age of 15, Esperanza Spalding was hailed as a jazz prodigy. Now, an internationally-recognized artist, Spalding’s music has earned her some serious cred, including a Soul Train Music Award and multiple GRAMMYs. Her latest project Emily’s D+Evolution, which includes a summer tour centered around rekindling her childhood interest in theater, poetry and movement, hits The TLA on May 17.
The wait is almost over. Roots Picnic 2015 is about to go down—bringing another dope lineup of artists to the Philly waterfront. After partying all day with acts like The Weeknd, Erykah Badu and DJ Mustard, the party moves to Underground Arts for round two. On deck for The Roots Picnic Afterparty will be Questlove, Cosmo Baker, Matthew Law and more.
Philly, it's about to go down—again. The Roots are bringing their epic music festival back to their hometown to kick off the summer. Philly 360° landed a pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky fan. Want to be there? We know you do, so enter now to win.
There’s shortage of dope live music hitting Philadelphia stages this year. From heavyweight music veterans like Wiz Khalifa and The Roots, to shows by local and national indie music stars—we've pulled together this list of more than 20 can't-miss shows going down in Philly.
National Red Bull Freestyle champ, Mic Stew is taking over the Philly 360° Playlist with his hot single, “Black Chucks.” Undeniably, Stew is one of the dopest lyricists in Philly right now and he’s showing us exactly why he's one of the city's reigning emcees with this new track.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia just teamed up with international black art influencer Danny Simmons for their latest must-see exhibition, Badass Art Man: Original Work of Danny Simmons. Along with original work by Simmons, the show objects from his extensive collection of African and African American artwork.
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2014 Urbanworld Film Festival, this film is a fresh take on the bonds of love, friendship, and marriage in contemporary life among a group of beautiful well-heeled friends in Brooklyn.
The film's director, Nefertite Nguvu, is a graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts. With her company Hollywood Africans LLC, Nefertite has written, produced, and directed two short films, including a uniquely stylized black and white romance entitled I Want You and The End of Winter, which is an emotional meditation on loss. Both films have screened at numerous film festivals.
Amongst other web-based programming, Nefertite has also directed a ten-part series entitled The Road to U.N.I.T.Y., which chronicled the life of five aspiring female emcees hand-picked by and featuring Queen Latifah for Cover Girl and Flavor Unit Entertainment. In The Morning is her feature film debut.
In the Morning has an ensemble cast of emerging talent: Jacky Ido (Taxi Brooklyn) Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere), Numa Perrier (The Couple), Kim Hill (original lead singer of The Black Eyed Peas), De’adre Aziza (Passing Strange) Hoji Fortuna (Viva Riva) and JoNell Kennedy (Me And You And Everyone We Know). And, making their film debuts are Alzo Slade and CJ Lindsey.
Director Nefertite Nguvu and star Kim Hill will be present for a Q&A after the screening. So, get your black film fix with this Philadelphia debut. Tickets are on sale now.
There will be no shortage of dope live music rocking Philadelphia stages this year. From heavyweight music veterans like Wiz Khalifa, The Roots and Jazmine Sullivan, to shows by local and national indie music stars — we've pulled together this list of more than 20 can't-miss shows that are going down in and around Philadelphia in 2015.
You can find all of the details on these shows below, and be sure to keep an eye on the Philly 360° events page for all of the city's hottest live music concerts, fashion events and creative happenings. Let's go!
Saturday, April 11
Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea are among the most important jazz influences of our time. In a rare duo performance, jazz royalty reigns as the two legends come together for one very special concert in Philadelphia’s stunning, acoustically-pristine Academy of Music.
Thursday, April 16
Next up in the Red Bull Sound Select series is an 80s and 90s themed concert featuring the hip-hop legend Rakim at Underground Arts. This special edition is curated by Veteran Freshman and features performances from Dyme-A-Duzin and Philly’s own Chill Moody. Hosted by the incomparable scratchologist, DJ Aktive and emcee Reef the Lost Cause, this show is for the true hip-hop lovers.
Sunday, April 19
Covered from head to toe in tattoos, 24 year-old Los Angeles-based Artist Kid Ink is wrecking havoc on the streets and in cyber world. The Artist/Producer/Songwriter/ Tattoo Aficionado has over 30 Million hits on YouTube with lyrical gems like, "Tat It Up" "La La La" and "Keep It Rollin'." Kid Ink lands at The Troc on April 19.
Saturday, April 18
This April, New York hitmaker Skizzy Mars lands in Philadelphia to unleashed his latest collection of original material, The Pace. The artist's second full-length in total, the 12-track set directly follows 2013's Phases tape, and includes popular singles like "All Say," "Moments," "Numb" and "Too Ill." Opening performances by Prelow and Philly-based producer/DJ Swizzymack.
Monday, April 20
Born Thebe Kgositsile, Earl Sweatshirt is a West Coast rapper and member of the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All crew. Following in the footsteps of Eminem, Natas, and Esham, Earl would ultimately signed a deal with Columbia Records — enabling him to issue material on the major label through his own Tan Cressida imprint. After live appearances and recordings with Odd Future, he made numerous guest appearances, most notably on Frank Ocean's acclaimed debut studio album channel ORANGE and Flying Lotus' summer single "Between Friends."
Tuesday, April 21
After a releasing multiple mixtapes in 2010 through 2012, West Coast rapper and producer Iamsu hit in 2013 with the single "Let Go." His debut album entitled Sincerely Yours was released in 2014 and the lead single from the album, "Only That Real," featured guest spots from Sage the Gemini and 2 Chainz.
Saturday, April 25
Attention Philly jazz-heads: It's back! Following the success of the 2014 events, Center City Jazz Festival returns for another round of extraordinary jazz music set in incredible downtown Philly music venues. The brainchild of master musician Ernest Stuart, this year's festival will feature 16 acts performing across 4 stages — all during the course of one day.
Sunday, April 26
Philly native and powerhouse vocalist Jazmine Sullivan is out on tour in support of her latest project, Reality Show. Earlier in March, the RCA performed to a sold-out house for her hometown fans at The TLA on South Street. On April 26, Jazmine will bring The Reality Show Tour back to The TLA for another round unstoppable soul.
Tuesday, April 28
Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian’s heritage. Critics describe her genre mixing sound as "gracefully combining Ethio-Jazz, Urban-funk, Neo-Soul and R&B, with mixed undertones of black grooves" Now, Rada's journey will lead her to the World Cafe Live stage for an intimate night of world music.
Thursday, April 30
Chaz Bundick started making bedroom recordings under the name Toro y Moi in in 2001. Drawing from a wide range of influences, including Daft Punk and J Dill, Bundick's 2015 release What For? features contributions from Julian Lynch and Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson.
Thursday, April 30
Lisa Fischer is a singer who really gets around. On tour with the Rolling Stones, Sting, Chris Botti or Nine Inch Nails, her name may not be on the marquee, but it'sher glamorous-girl-next-door quality that makes fans all over the world fall in love. The public are recently re-introduced to Fischer through the acclaimed documentary, "20 Feet From Stardom."
Sunday, May 3
One of Philly's last encounters with Action Bronson, the rapper was spotted performing on stage, and on a trailer, during the 2014 Roots Picnic. Now, Bronson brings his The Mr. Wonderful Tour to South Street's The TLA in May.
Friday, May 8
As an artist who needs no introduction, Brian McKnight has earned himself a spot in contemporary music history. He has released 15 albums to date, with several going 2 and 3x platinum, and he has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Now touring with longtime collaborators Chris “big sexy” Loftlin, and guitarist, Tyrone “gutt bucket” Chase, Brian McKnight brings a solo show to The Keswick — a chance to hear the hits, b-sides and stories from their 15+ years on the road”.
Sunday, May 10
Ciara is a global superstar whose infectious tunes have resulted in multi-platinum albums, smash singles and a truckload of awards. With a new album on the horizon, Ciara comes to the Keswick on her first tour in six years.
Sunday, May 17
Hailed as a prodigy on the acoustic double bass within months of first touching the instrument as a 15-year-old, Esperanza Spalding has emerged as a fine jazz bassist, but has also distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles as well. Catch the Grammy-winner live at The TLA in May.
Saturday, May 30
The Roots are taking a break from their regular gig as the houseband for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to kickoff summer by taking over Festival Pier in Philadelphia for the 8th annual Roots Picnic. We spotted several industry heavyweights on this year's lineup, including The Weeknd, Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, DJ Mustard, Rae Sremmurd and more.
Tuesday, June 9
Where the Kuti name is mentioned, greatness follows and Femi Kuti is no exception to the rule. Son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, Femi struck out on his on long ago to continue in his father’s legacy of preserving his music while producing socially-conscious, hip-moving, funky-infused songs that move audiences all over the world. Don't miss it as Femi returns to World Café Live in June
Wednesday, June 10
In support of their latest projects, American Beauty/American Pyscho and Blacc Hollywood, Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa team up for a summer tour that is set to touch down in over 40 cities across the U.S. This tour includes opening performances by Hoodie Allen and DJ Drama.
Sunday, June 21
SWV (Sisters with Voices) was founded in 1992 in New York by three best friends, Cheryl "Coko" Clemons, Tamara "Taj" George and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons.The group's debut album, It's About Time, was a smash hit selling over 13 million copies worldwide and spawning three Billboard chart topping singles, "I'm So Into You," "Weak" and "Right Here." You can catch the Philly stop on their reuinion tour at World Cafe Live.
Thursday, June 25
Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The Godfather comes to life on the big screen with Nino Rota’s iconic and haunting score performed live by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ranked as one of the best movies of all time by the American Film Institute, The Godfather Live will leave you absolutely speechless. Catch this concert live at The Mann.
Saturday, July 4
Wawa Welcome America returns with one of the country’s largest Fourth of July celebration. With a week of free events and programs, including fireworks, Hoagie Day and the annual Philadelphia Independence Day Parade, to the city's signature Fourth of July Jam & Fireworks, which once again will be curated by Questlove of The Roots — Philly is definitely the ONLY place in the country to celebrate the holiday.
Friday, July 31
In promotion of his 2014 album, Forest Hills Drive, megastar J. Cole hits the Susquehanna Bank Center across the river in Camden, NJ. Alongside the star will be other industry notables, including Big Sean, YG and Jeremih.
Thursday, August 6
Following up on her third studio album The Pinkprint, Nicki Minaj will be embarking on the North American leg of her just announced The Pinkprint tour. The Young Money powerhouse will be heating things up on the waterfront this summer when she comes through Philly in August. And, she's packing a heavy lineup of artists who will be with her, including Philly's own Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and DeJ Loaf.
Saturday, September 5 & Sunday, September 6
It's back. For the fourth year in a row, the wildly popular Budweiser Made In America festival will hit Philadelphia with two days of genre-defying music on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The festival mastermind, Jay Z, will once again curate an epic lineup of the industry's hottest talents to deliver another round of show-stopping performances across multiple stages.
Thursday, September 24
This September, Madonna brings her “Rebel Heart” tour to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The September 24 concert will be the Material Girl’s first appearance in our area since her sold-out MDNA tour of 2012. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 16.
Last year, native Philly musician Jeff Bradshaw brought it home to the Kimmel Center with a live concert and album recording that featured Black Thought, Trombone Shorty, Take 6, Marsha Ambrosius, Kim Burrell, Najee, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Roberson, Bilal, and more.
Now, the resulting album, HOME, is set for release and Jeff and Shanachie Entertainment will celebrate its Tuesday, March 31 drop date by throwing another star-studded concert here in Philadelphia at The TLA on South Street. Holding it down on stage along with Bradshaw will be other incredibly talented acts, including Black Thought, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Roberson, Tweet — and a few surprise guests.
Can't wait for Tuesday's album release and concert? Don't worry — you're not alone! Luckily, Philly 360° has got you covered. We've landed an exclusive preview of a single from the forthcoming album. Below, you can check out to Jeff's track, "Break You Off," which also features a live performance by Roots frontman, Black Thought. Like every song these two Philly greats touch, the track has plenty of feel, undeniable soul and an infectious groove.
Jeff Bradshaw HOME Album Release Concert
Tuesday, March 31, 8 p.m. | The TLA, 334 South Street | $25 | Buy tickets here.
Each and every 3rd Friday, Art Sanctuary — Philly's premier black arts hub — presents its monthly open mic and music showcase, Sanctuary LIVE! This month's edition features can't-miss performance by Philly soul, jazz newcomer, Lee Mo.
One of the newer voices on the Philadelphia music scene, Lee Mo is taking the city by storm. Known for her killers vocals, soulful feel and impressive music sensibilities, Lee Mo has graced the stages of some of Philly's hottest venues. Lee Mo has also shared the stage with many artists in the Philly area, including Vertical Current, George "Spanky" McCurdy, Chartel, Eric Roberson and Jeff Murrell, to name a few.
Sanctuary LIVE! is hosted by Philly-based poet Safa and kicks off with an open mic from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The open mic segment is backed by rising Philly jazz vocalist and pianist, V. Shayne Frederick — a pitch perfect addition to any musical setting.
In addition to the lush vocals from the incredible lineup of musicians, attendees will get a chance to check out Art Sanctuary's latest exhibit, "Works from the Stolen Dreams Forbidden Fruit." this 20+ piece show features the stunning paintings of Philadelphia-based artists James Dupree.
Be sure to RSVP in advance, because you most definitely want to be front and center when Lee Mo and these Philly talents step on stage. Wine and light fare included.
This week, New York-based flute duo Flutronix brings a special collab with Philadelphia artist Ryan Matthews to World Cafe Live. Merging Flutronix’s unique flute sound with Matthews’ trombone-meets-electronica stylings, local creative collab, LiveConnections, has curated another can't-miss production for area music lovers.
Flutronix is comprised of musicians Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull. The duo has been hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “a unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals reminiscent of neo-R&B stars like Erykah Badu.”
And, since Philadelphia is the official birthplace of the neosoul movement that continues to redefine music around the globe, we're pretty sure Flutronix will be right at home in our every-soulful city. The duo has worked with a diverse range of classical, pop, and hip-hop artists, and now, the group will add Matthews, a Curtis Institute of Music graduate, to their list of collaborators.
Catch this one-night-only collab on March 20 at the polished University City music hotspot, World Cafe Live.
Badass Art Man: Original Artwork of Danny Simmons When: April 24 through May 31 Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street Cost: Included with admission More Info: Click here. In 2012, just in time for the…
The 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing When: May 1 - 31 Where: Various Locations Cost: See website for details. More Info: Click here. Art Sanctuary is back on the scene with The 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing…
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest Opening with DJ Jazzy Jeff When: DJ Set Friday, May 22, 9 - 11 p.m. | See the full weekend schedule here. Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard Cost: FREE More Info: Click here…