Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
Philly, another dope show is going down tonight — and you definitely can't afford to miss out on this one. That's right, tonight The Kimmel Center's monthly free music showcase and mixer, Sittin' In returns with another fresh lineup of Philly talent.
The July edition of Sittin' In features GRAMMY-nominated, highly sought-after guitarist, Ben O'Neill. A fixture on the local music scene, O'Neill has played for some of the best known names in hip-hop, pop and R&B, including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Christina Aguilera, and Tye Tribbett.
Now, Ben is turning his attention to his solo career and debut album, Ghosts & Green Shoots, a heartfelt project that showcases O'Neill's soul-laced guitar playing and songwriting skills — calling to mind the music of acts like Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors and The Flaming Lips.
So, come out, pull up a chair or hit the dancefloor, and check out new music from one of Philly's finest. As always, Sittin' In will feature resident turntabilist, Matthew Law a.k.a DJ PHSH and special guest MC Hezekiah Davis III.
This past weekend, another epic, musically-charged Independence Day celebration went down on The Parkway. Philly's favorite hometown band, The Roots starred as headliners and houseband for the popular Philly Fourth of July Jam presented by VH1, which also included performances by included Aloe Blacc, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj — and a special appearance by Philly soul singer Bilal.
But, the show's headliners weren't the only stars shining on stage!
This year, BASSic Black Entertainment recording artist Laurin Talese was in the middle of all the action, lending her soulful vocals to the band backing the show's main acts. Philly 360° teamed up with the Laurin for a @Philly360 Instagram Takeover, bringing our fans an inside look at the rehearsals and backstage scene for the Philly Fourth of July Jam.
Along with taking a few fashionable selifes with her fellow background vocalists, @nicolerhurst and @ebonyjoimusic, Laurin grabbed shots with all of the music/entertainment notables, including Questlove, Black Thought, Charlie Mack, DJ Jazz Jeff, Marlon Wayans and more.
So, whip out your iPhones and Androids and check out the Philly 360° Instagram feed to see all of the fab pics Laurin captured for her takeover. You can also scroll through the below visual gallery to check out the images.
It's time for another Philly 360° Instagram Takeover! Next up: Philly's own sultry jazz vocalist, Laurin Talese.
A Philly transplant by way of Cleveland, OH, Laurin studied music at University of the Arts, where she met her fellow Philadelphia musician, and current creative partner, Adam Blackstone — who serves as the music director for mega-talents like Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Pharrell and more.
After touring as a background vocalists for Philly soul artists, Jaguar Wright, Bilal and Vivian Green, Talese turned her attention to her own solo career, eventually signing with Blackstone's music label and production company, BASSic Black Entertainment (BBE). Through BBE, Laurin released three must-hear singles, including her latest song "This Love," which is available on iTunes. Her debut album will release this winter.
This week, when the Philly Fourth of July Jam presented by VH1 and The Roots goes down, Laurin will be on stage in the middle of it all, lending her pitch-perfect sound as part of the band backing the show's headliners, which include Aloe Blacc, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, of course Philly's own hometown heroes, The Roots.
On July 3 & 4, Laurin Talese will be taking over our @philly360 Instagram account, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals and day-of for The Roots' annual Philly Fourth of July Jam and Fireworks.
Want in on the action? Just follow us and check out Philly's biggest free concert all day and night from the perspective of the lovely @laurindarling.
Leave it to Questlove to get the party started a day early.
On July 3, the night before the Parkway-based Fourth of July festivities go down, you can catch Quest, Rich Medina, DJ Cash Money, DJ Cosmo Baker, DJ J.Rocc, and DJ Phsh aka Mathew Law, all holding down the turntables for the return of Questlove's Philadelphia Sound Konnoisseurs (PSK) at Voyuer Nightclub.
This is definitely the only way to kickstart your Independence Day celebration in Philly. Don't miss it!
The Roots have officially become the face and sound of Philly’s Independence Day celebration. Again this year, Questlove, Black Thought and the entire Roots Crew will star as the headliners and house band for one of the biggest free parties to hit our town—the Philly Fourth of July Jam featuring Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Aloe Blacc, Ariana Grand and Vicci Martinez.
Bey and Jay are on the run. Powerhouse music couple Beyoncé and Jay Z are hitting the road together for a summer stadium tour, and of course they're stopping through Philly. On Saturday, July 5, the Carters land at Citizens Bank Park with the most epic music tour in the history of ever. Grab your tickets now.
There's no word in the Philly dictionary more adored, or versatile, than "jawn." It can be applied to just about any situation, person or place, but in this case, "The Jawn" means a serious party is about to go down. Each and every Sunday, DJ Cash Money, along with Stacey "Flygirrl" Wilson and a special guest DJ, will bring you the hottest Sunday night party of the summer. You can also catch The Jawn on July 13, 20 and 27.
Veteran Freshman is back on the scene with another dope show. On Friday, July 11, VF takes over the stage at The TLA with some of Philly's freshest acts, including Motown recording artists MPrynt, soulful vocalist Guordan Banks, singer/songwriter Ganou, R&B/folk songstress Brianna Cash and hip-hop artist Bok Nero. This is definitely a can’t-miss concert for the summer.
Two words: Bruno Mars. Since the 2009 release of his debut album, the pop sensation has been on a fast track to the top—landing five songs on Billboard's Hot 100, performing during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show and selling 130 million singles worldwide. This month, see Mars as he performs at the Susquehanna Bank Center for an unstoppable, arena-rocking night of music.
Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart is back with some new music for her Philly fans. As one half of former soul duo Floetry, Stewart co-penned hits like Say Yes, Getting Late and Floetic—forever changing the sound of soul music across the globe. Stop through World Cafe Live on July 18 for a chance to get up close and personal with The Floacist.
Indisputably one of the hottest artists in the rap game right now, Philly-bred MC Meek Mill returns this month to perform a special homecoming concert for his Philly fans at The Liacouras Center. Since releasing his debut studio album Dreams and Nightmares to critical acclaim in 2012, the rapper has collaborated with the biggest names in hip-hop, including Rick Ross, Wale, Drake, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, T.I., Mary J. Blige, John Legend, K. Michelle, Future and Wiz Khalifa.
You know Philly’s all about the summer, summer, summertime—and things are definitely heating up on the Philly music scene. Whether you’re in the mood to soak up sun and sounds outdoors at The Mann Center or The Dell or take in the sights of South Street before hitting The TLA, there are plenty of shows going down in Philly this summer. Check out our guide.
Cinephiles: Hailed as “The Black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, BlackStar Film Festival returns July 31-August 3 for another round of cinematic awesomeness. The Philly-based festival highlights independent films from emerging directors, producers and writers about the global black experience. Be there. #byindiemeansnecessary
The seventh annual Roots Picnic just went down, and once again, the Legendary Roots Crew delivered an epic concert for their fans. And of course, Philly 360° was there to cover all of the behind-the-scenes action. HOT 107.9 personality Laiya St.Clair interviewed Philly creatives like Mike Zombie, Dom Streater and Chill Moody. Watch our recap video.
Though pop sensation Estelle hails from London, she's no stranger to our city. Working with Philly producers on her latest project True Romance, which drops in September, Estelle has a solid lineup of hometown "American boys" shaping her sound. Philly 360° followed along as the international star hit up a few of our favorite Old City boutiques and talked about her love for all things Philadelphia. Watch the video.
Curran J. Swint is one of the city's hottest emerging style entrepreneurs, and his blog and lifestyle brand, Kings Rule Together (K.R.T.) has received major accolades from some of today's top artists, tastemakers and celebs.
This month, Curran J brings back one of his hottest concepts back for the third year, The KRT Tees Vs. Tanks Brand Basketball Game in West Philly. On Saturday, June 21 KRT will join over 30 brands that will descend upon Parkside Evans Playground to compete for the championship trophy — and the top player from the winning team will also take home the MVK “Most Valuable King” trophy. The event will also include a three point shootout and a slam dunk contest prior to the championship game.
Always looking to give back, KRT is also inviting attendees to bring their gently used clothes, which will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania.
In addition to rooting for their favorite brands, onlooker will also have the chance to shop merchandise from each of these companies — just in time for summer. So, spread the word and get out to support the return of this classic Philly giveback.
Digital brand master and lifestyle blogger Marcus Troy has more than earned his title as an international tastemaker. Based in Montreal, Canada, but with a reach that spans the globe, Troy shares his thoughts on fashion, footwear, travel, music and gadgets through a curated digital experience — and when Marcus speaks, people definitely listen.
Always on the lookout for what's next, Troy landed in our city to speak during a Philly Tech Week event presented by Philly-based creative agency Culture Snobs. Prior to the big event, Philly 360° followed along as Marcus stopped through a few of our favorite retail locations to check out Philly's ever-evolving fashion and shopping scenes.
On his itinerary for the day was the massive, almost museum-like home-design hub Material Culture in East Falls, and two of the city's newer, South Street-based menswear boutiques, Totem and Armour. In addition to getting Troy's insights on each of these shops, we captured exclusive footage of him talking Philly music with hit-producer and Reebok brand ambassador Dilemma.
So, check out the below video for an inside look at Marcus Troy doing it up big in Philly. Make sure to follow him online via social for his latest finds, and definitely keep up with Culture Snobs as they continue to make big moves in Philly, and beyond.
Since launching in 2009, Philly 360° Creative Ambassador Seun Olubodun's British-inspired clothing line and retail shop Duke & Winston has quickly become a go-to stop for the city's most fashion men, women — and their canine friends.
Now, due to an increase in demand for his stylish, preppy-yet-casual wares, Seun has relocated his shop from its former Northern Liberties location to a spacious 2,600 square-foot space on Chestnut Street in Rittenhouse. Starting today, you can shop at Duke & Winston's new location for the entire line of D&W designs, just in time for spring.
Also, Duke & Winston fans and followers can celebrate the opening with Seun, and maybe his popular English bulldog HRH the Duke on June 11. Stay tuned for more details.
Last year, Philly became home to another first, as Philly 360° Creative Ambassaor Maori Karmael Holmes successfully launched the inaugural BlackStar Film Festival. People from around the country gathered in Philly to experience the wonder of black cinema, and Ebony even hailed the event as Philly's own "Black Sundance". #bigwin
Next month, we're hype to announce that BlackStar is returning—bigger and better than before. Philly 360° caught up with Maori for an exclusive interview, just as she and her powerhouse team are putting the finishing touches on this year's festivities. Maori gives us the inside scoop on the festival venues, can't-miss films, and her three favorite black films of all time!
You can checkout our insider interview with Maori below. Also, be sure to visit blackstarfest.org to view the full festival line-up, and purchase tickets online today!
Philly 360°: BlackStar is back for its second year, and was recently hailed as "TheBlack Sundance" by Ebony Magazine. That's amazing! How rewarding is it to create this platform for black cinema here in Philly?
Maori: Creating BlackStar was by accident, but a wondrous accident. Producing it has been amazing for me personally and professionally. I continue to meet and connect with awesome folks in Philadelphia and beyond who care deeply about promoting the work of folks of color.
Philly 360°: Well, Philly is definitely buzzing about this year's festival, and most certainly showed up in mass for last year's festival. What do you love most about presenting BlackStar here in Philly?
Maori: That's exciting to hear that there's a buzz. It feels really good. Philadelphia is the home of so many "firsts" in American history and this idea of independence and a DIY/indie aesthetic is in our bones, so in many ways there is no other place that could house a festival like ours. The ourpouring of support from community partners, sponsors, and audience is tremendous and we feel so much love and gratitude.
I am also really excited about having a niche neighborhood festival primarily in University City. You will be able to walk from City Tap House to Drexel and International House and the Sheraton and back in under 5 minutes. It is really cool to be set up in that way.
Philly 360°: Can you give us the big picture view on this year's festival? How many films are you presenting? And, are there any exciting new programs or events this year?
Maori: We have basically doubled in size. We are presenting 75 films in three venues. We have a screenplay competition with a $2,500 cash prize and we have an awards ceremony and for the first time an awards competition including audience awards. As part of our awards we are honoring the Howard University film program.
Philly 360°: Tell us about the venues for this year's festival - any exciting new places or partnerships?
Maori: International House of Philadelphia is one of the best places to see film in the city. The screen, projection, and audio, as well as their staff are top-notch and amazing to work with. They will continue to be our festival hub. We have an additional site at Drexel University through our new partnership with the Africana Studies Program, as well we are presenting a program at The Barnes Foundation and hosting an opening night reception at City Tap House.
Philly 360°: Okay, I know you and the Blackstar team have curated an amazing line-up of black films this year. If you had to give us a few highlights, or not-to-be-missed movies—what would they be?
Maori: Did I say there were 75 films?!! Some of our highlights are our evening features of course--Tey, Nairobi Halflife, Mother of George, and Question Bridge: Black Males. I am also really excited about the Arts Shorts at The Barnes and our Youth Program.
Philly 360°: The Brother From Another Planet (Re-contextualized) w/ Live Score at Johnny Brenda's sounds like an amazing experience. How did this concept come about? Who are the masterminds behind this genius production? Tell us!
Maori: King and I are friends (and in the same class of Philly 360° Creative Ambassadors). At a dinner party last year we came up with this idea to collaborate for the festival around a loose idea based on Afrofuturism. We wanted to do something at Johnny Brendas, another fantastic venue, and King came up with the remix event and enlisted his collaborators, Marlo Reynolds, Anthony Tidd, Jason Senk, and Damon Bennett.
Philly 360°: Any other special appearances this year? Notable filmmakers? Actors? Actresses?
Maori: We are excited to have lots of filmmakers this year. Notably Omari Hardwick (Things Never Said), Haile Gerima, Bradford Young (Mother of George), Andrew Dosonmu (Mother of George), Dennis Dortch (Black & Sexy TV), Numa Perrier (The Couple), Yolonda Ross (Yelling to the Sky), Tanya Wright (True Blood), Lisa Cortés (Precious), Tariq Trotter, Dorian Missick (Big Words), and Muhammida El Muhajjir (Hip Hop: The New World Order).
Philly 360°: Okay, let's end on a fun note As a filmmaker and Philly's reigning expert on black cinema name your top three black films of all time? The Wiz is a given right?Or, is that just me?
Maori: The Wiz is amazing and phenomenal in so many ways, but for me as a filmmaker, the top three black films that shaped me are--although that list could easily go on to 10 or 20. Eve's Bayou, Daughters of the Dust, and Sankofa.
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.
BlackStar Film Festival When: July 31 through Agust 3 Where: International House, 3701 Chestnut Street; See website for additional venues. Cost: $10, general admission; $125 all-festival pass More info: www.blackstarfest.org Hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, the…
Keyshia Cole: Point of No Return Tour When: Friday, August 1 | 8pm Where: The TLA | 334 South Street Cost: $28-40 More: Click here for more. Keyshia Cole is about to land in Philly! That's right, the "She"…