Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
Trombonist, and founder of Center City Jazz Festival, Ernest Stuart is treating fans to some new music with his new EP Love/Loss. From playing with other notable musicians, to starting a CC Jazz Fest, and producing his own solo projects, Stuart's creativity pushes music lovers to think outside the box. And, this week Stuart's latest project has landed him a spot on Philly 360° Playlist.
The first single “BMJ” aka Big Mamma Jamma is an expressive piece that fuses together elements of rock with a big brassy sound. The track is inspired by Stuart's childhood memories of a character his mother would assume when playfully chasing him and his sister around the house.
Love/Loss is the follow up to Stuart’s critically acclaimed LP entitled Solitary Walker which he released in 2011. After traveling extensively across the world playing with bhangra band Red Baraat, Stuart felt he had something important to express in his music. Moving outside of the constraints of genre, he just wanted to be able to tell stories through music.
Stuart’s love for music began early at the age of 12. Although he fell in love with the saxophone first, his beginner’s music class only left him the choice of tuba, baritone horn, or the trombone. Clearly settling with trombone, Stuart has been working since then to refine his craft, including obtaining a Jazz performance degree from Temple University.
Coming into his own as a solo artist and songwriter, Stuart also continues to play well with others. He has shared stages with highly-noted musicians including The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Brandford Marsalis, The O’ Jays and even The Legendary Roots crew.
The new project is available on iTunes as well as Amazon. So, make sure you grab this project — it's sure to push your musical boundaries and paletta, expanding your definition of jazz music. Check out “BMJ” below!
Philly definitely holds things down during the summer music season — giving music lovers plenty of opportunities to catch local and national artists performing one of our many popular venues. EDM, jazz, hip-hop, R&B/Soul, Indie Rock — whatever you're looking for, we've got you covered.
This weekend, XPoNential Music Festival lands in our area with an awesome assortment of alternative rock acts playing across three stages at two venues on the Delaware River waterfront in Camden on July 25 through 27.
With more than 30 acts performing over three days, the festival’s lineup is stacked with both superstars and up-and-coming indie rockers. The top-billed headliners include Ryan Adams on Saturday and Beck on Sunday, but a killer schedule of acts on both Wiggins Park and the Susquehanna Bank Center.
Verbal Connection is presented by Communication Connections World Wide, a business founded by Philly-based journalist and activist Corey Carter that focuses on relationship strengthening and community building through media and open communication.
The initial Conversation Party started as a quarterly gathering for couples and singles, but has since grown into a popular — and packed — networking platform to promote effective communication within a variety of relationships.
For this event, guests are invited to step out in style and engage in meaningful discussion around love, sex and relationships — of all types. Each guest can bring at least one question, written anonymously, and the collected questions will then be selected by the host, and discussed amongst group.
This event features an open bar, light fare, vendors and live entertainment. Check it out!
Hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival makes its return to Philly next week for a third round of cinematic awesomeness. This year the festival theme is "Music is the Weapon," and the BlackStar buzz is definitely building. The festival continues to gain attention, and accolades, from movie lovers, industry creatives, and press in Philly, around the country, and beyond.
World premieres, interviews with filmmakers, in-depth workshops, mixers and more — BlackStar 2014 has got it all. So, to get you started, we've pulled together a few of our top picks. But, seriously — with a lineup like this, you'll want, and need, to see it all.
Now, grab a friend (or three), spread the world and get out this experience this Philly treasure firsthand. #ByIndieMeansNecessary Let's go!
Arthur Jafa: In Process
12 p.m. | Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut Street | $20
Filmmaker, cinematographer, intellectual, and visual artist Arthur Jafa will talk about the creation of his latest film, Dreams Are Colder Than Death, a project that has allowed him to test his theories of optics, frame rates, motion capture and sensor resolution as technologies that can be shaped to be part of uniquely Black mode of expression.
Dreams Are Colder Than Death
6:30 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
What does it mean to be Black in America today? Director and legendary cinematographer Arthur Jafa tears at the root of this question with hypnotic imagery, lyrical grace and an epic narration by a host of artistic visionaries, thought leaders and uncommon folks, including Kara Walker, Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten,Wangechi Mutu and Melvin Gibbs.
Opening Night Reception
7 p.m. | ICA, 118 S. 36th Street | Free
Kick off your BlackStar experience with a special opening night reception at the Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. View Kara Walker's RUFFNECK CONSTRUCTIVISTS exhibit late into the evening and mix and mingle with festival goers. Mr. Sonny James of Illvibe Collective will be the sonic guide for the evening. Cocktails and light fare will be served.
Short Screenplay Competition Reading
12 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free with RSVP
Join us for a staged reading with professional actors of the Short Screenplay Competition finalists! Entrance is free, but you must RSVP. This year’s finalists will have their short screenplays read by professional actors in front of a live audience. The jurors will select a winner whose film will be produced by BlackStar and directed by award-winning director Terence Nance.
BlackStar Presents Khalil Joseph
5:30 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Kahlil Joseph is an award-winning LA based filmmaker, and In this special program, in conjunction with the Kara Walker-curated exhibit Ruffneck Constructivists at ICA Philadelphia, Joseph will screen Wildcat, Until The Quiet Comes, Black Up, andM.A.A.D., a new unreleased project featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Terence Nance & Khalil Joseph: In Conversation
7 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Join award-winning filmmakers Khali Joseph and Terence Nance, as the two artists discuss their practices, their collectives, and the source of their creative output.
Til Infinity: Souls of Mischief
8:30 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Til Infinity is a full-length documentary celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of the critically acclaimed Souls of Mischief’s album, 93 Til Infinity. With over 50 interviews with notable emcees, producers, and DJs, Til Infinity offers a retrospective, in-depth look at the famed Hieroglyphics crew’s landmark 1993 debut album.
Forever Young: Coming of Age Shorts
11:30 a.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Check out five short films exploring the lessons learned with age, including Deluge, Painted Lady, Perfect Day, Seventh Grade, and The Summer of God
Planet Rock: Hip Hop Shorts
1:40 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
BlackStar presents five short films exploriing stories centered around hip-hop, including Cakes Da Killa: No Homo, Jamaica House, Underexposed: Indie Hip-Hop in Atlanta, Words by Rakim, and Yrak de Doble Filo & Darwin de Golpe Seko (Hip Hop Cubano).
Panel: The Crossover
5 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
This panel will explore the intersection between the film and music industries from music videos, television programming, advertising, and artists/executives whose careers span both worlds. Panelists include: Sherwood Herndon (Wu-Tang manager & film executive producer), Angela Northington (Revolt TV), Jeymes Samuel (They Die By Dawn and musical artist The Bullitts), and others.
They Die by Dawn
6:50 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
They Die By Dawn is a film based on the true life African American Cowboys of the old west. With an all star cast including Giancarlo Esposito, Michael K Williams, Nate Parker, Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, Isaiah Washington, Erykah Badu, Bokeem Woodbine and Harry Lennix, the film sets out to tell the story of a showdown between the real life characters.
Half of a Yellow Sun
8:30 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. A sweeping romantic drama, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone’s heart.
Panel: Composing for Film
3 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Though we might think of film as an essentially visual experience it would be remiss to underestimate the importance of a soundtrack. This panel will focus on exploring the musical elements while providing insights on composition through professional growth and development. Panelists include Amatus, King Britt, Zakee Kuduro and Paul “DJ Spooky” Miller. Moderated by Rodney Whittenberg.
Time is Illmatic
5 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Time Is Illmatic is a feature-length documentary that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.
Closing Awards Ceremony
7:30 p.m | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | Invite / Passes Only
The BlackStar Awards will be the highly anticipated finale to the 3rd Annual BlackStar Film Festival, concluding four days of genre-defying, thought-provoking independent films. Hosted by Laiya St. Clair, the awards show will feature special guest presenters who will recognize the best of the fest. Bilal will anchor an all star bill of international, independent musical performances to include Shabazz Palaces, Zakee Kuduro, Ursula Rucker, and RadhaMUSprime backed by Luke O’Reilly and DJ Matthew Law.
It's time for another Philly 360° Rewind. Next up: The Winners Circle II. Presented by Starr Island Group, Winners Circle part deux featured some of Philly's top talents including Jeremy Isaac, Brianna Cash, Good Girl and MPrynt. Philly 360° was in the building to capture the onstage magic and provide our fans with a look at some exclusive backstage footage.
Wondering what makes these rising Philadelphia stars winners? Well, it depends on who you ask. But, it’s safe to say that The Winners Circle stage is the definitive place where hard work and talent meet, and stars shine bright. Each of these acts have been carving out their own lane and making some major moves in the industry!
Before the show, fans and supporters of the artists lined up outside of the Underground Arts, which has quickly become an go-to performance venue and incubator for Philly talent.
Quickly becoming one of the most mentioned names in the Philly music arena, Brianna Cash prides herself on defying genre. Her soulful voice, folk influences, and lyrical prowess make her stand out in the crowd ‚ along with her ability to play both piano and guitar.
As always, Good Girl and MPrynt tore down the stage. From covers to original music, the crowd could not seem to get enough. MPrynt made certain to represent in their hometown, fresh off the Friends & Lovers tour with Philly transplant Marsha Ambrosius. There is no denying the talent of these two groups as they seamlessly blended their extraordinary voices and of course had harmonies to die for.
The very smooth Jeremy Isaac closed out the show with his band The Hangover, crooning the crowd with his great tone and undeniable stage presence. Jeremy always brings his A-game — honesty in his music draws you in and his vocal ability keeps you wanting more.
This showcase is great look at what the Philly music scene has to offer, we definitely are on the lookout for the Winners Circle III. Take a look at our exclusive video below.
Did you make it out? Tell us what you thought about the show in the comments.
For this week's Philly 360° Playlist, The Philly Phatboiz hand delivered the latest single from emcee Dunson, “Broke... Dope...Rapper.” It’s easy to see why it has been posted all over the net and nearing 15,000 plays on Soundcloud! So, you know we had to show this song some special love — like only Philly can do!
Dunson took one of the biggest chances of his life when he quit his job as a financial advisor to pursue rap. But clearly, this is right where he belongs. His flows are catchy and his songwriting tells great stories.
The new single talks about the challenges and politics of pursuing a rap career and was produced by Dunson, and Allen “Bizkit” Arthur and Keith “Butta” Justice of the Philly Phatboiz. Without sounding preaching, the song pushes an important lyrical agenda — and it definitely keeps you moving. The video was also recently released and features a few familiar faces including singer/songwriter Dyshon Penn and R&B girl group Good Girl.
Dunson first began garnering attention for his mixtape series Creative Destruction. And, in July 2012 he released The Investment, which really propelled him to the forefront. The rapper has been featured in popular urban magazine XXL, and has collaborated with soul stars John Legend and Chrisette Michele, appearing as the featuring artists on Chrisette's song “Can the Cool be Loved?" off her latest album, Better.
His versatility as a multi-instrumentalist and lyricist has opened up multiple avenues in his career. Dunson also produced Yo Gotti’s “Respect That You Earn” featuring Neyo and Wale.
As his single suggests, the road ahead isn't always easy, but it doesn’t look like Dunson will be stopping anytime soon. His latest project Outliers will be released in September. So, keep your eye out for music from this talented artist. We’re pretty sure that we’ll see more Dunson tracks produced by The Phatboiz.
Let us know what you think about this week's playlist pick.
Some artists are extroverts, but some artists let their craft do the talking for them. This is what Russell Whyte (a.k.a “Rustie”) might say if you asked the fast and furious, genre-busting, electronic beatsmith how he expresses himself through music.
The Scottish musician, hailing from Glasgow, is headed our way on July 23 to the go-to Philly dance spot: The Dolphin Tavern. If you’re looking for an all-out dance party experience with music and sound coming at you from every angle, Rustie is your man.
Rustie’s music is characterized as leading the new wave of “maximalism” in electronic music—a tapestry of musical sounds that won’t sit still — but his music has serious depth and feeling despite the chaos. When you listen to his tracks, rather than just a cacophony of sounds, the devil is in the details with rich layers that can take a few spins to digest. But, trust us — his tunes are a musical feast for the ears.
Rustie is well on his way to a successful career after releasing just two singles in 2007 and 2008. With innovative tracks infused with 80s pop, new-millenium R&B, and hip-hop, Rustie’s 2011 album, “Glass Swords,” won him The Guardian’s prestigious ‘First Album Award’ just a year later. The producer signed with Warp Records for the 2010 release of his EP “Sunburst,” and continues to produce from the label.
See you out on the dance floor!
Red Bull Sound Select (RBSS) has quickly become a front-runner for top-notch entertainment events in Philadelphia, and their next feature totally attests to that.
Get hype for rapper Spank Rock, as he headlines the next edition of Red Bull Sound Select at one of the freshest performance spaces in town, Underground Arts. Joining Spank for the show are RBSS artists Prowler and Mumblr, who will be opening acts.
For those of you who don’t know, RBSS is a long-term music initiative that connects artists and fans with one another while giving love to local music scenes. Past Philly curators have been Making Time, JUMP Magazine, Veteran Freshman and Little Giant Creative.
The coolest part is that you can RSVP for an entrance fee of $3! Tickets can still be purchased at the door for $10. But, c’mon now, when will you ever get to see Spank Rock for $3 again?
Doors open at 8 p.m., and we suggest you get there on time because these events have been known to draw a large crowd very quickly. So go ahead, RSVP now!
Philly 360° loves to hook you up with contests for tickets to some of the hottest shows going down in Philadelphia — and we've got another one for you! That's right. We're hooking a few lucky fans up with tickets to see R&B songstress Keyshia Cole. #holla
The "She" singer is gearing up for her next album release and will be stopping through Philly for her Point of No Return tour, named after her upcoming project.
Cole's music has always been layered with Philly ties, including some bangers from Philly's own multiplatinum selling, GRAMMY-nominated producers - Carvin & Ivan. And we're sure she'll be resurfacing some of her Philly-infused songs during her upcoming Philly show.
Want to be there? Philly, here's your chance to see Keyshia Cole live at The TLA. Enter to win a pair of tickets below.
It's here! That's right - Philly's own R&B/soul transplant Marsha Ambrosius just blessed music lovers around the world with the release of her highly-anticipated sophomore album, Friends & Lovers, which hits stores today.
Earlier this year, Marsha hit the road to promote the now-released project with a national tour that included a fierce lineup of Philly talent, including, MPrynt, Jade Alston, DJ Aktive and Gogo Morrow. You can check out the video recap of Marsha Ambrosius' Friends & Lovers tour below for a look at our exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.
So, be sure you grab Marsha's latest project online or in stores today! We're definitely loving this feel-good, soul-laced banger from the one-and-only Marsha Ambrosius. #winning
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"…