The 2nd annual Center City Jazz Festival takes place this weekend starting Friday, May 10th at the Philadelphia Art Museum with a performance from Cuban American singer-songwriter Venissa Santi. An incredibly talented Philadelphian, Santi was a 2008 Pew Fellow in Folk and Traditional Arts and is a graduate of the University of the Arts. She will perform with saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett, with Larry Kramer and Luis Bonilla.
Also on Saturday, there are 20+ other performances at venues including Fergie’s Pub, Milkboy Philly, Chris’s Jazz Cafe, Time Restaurant (Upstairs and Downstairs). The headlining show features pianist Orrin Evans at the Arts Bank Theater at the University of The Arts. While many of the musicians are playing at the same times, we’ve put together some suggestions for sets to check out.
Conjunto Philadelphia at Milkboy Philadelphia 12:40PM – 1:40PM
Based on their energetic and passionate live performances, you can count on Conjunto’s performance being one of the most explosive and fun shows of the weekend. From Bolero to Son to Cha-Cha-Cha this band is the real deal.
Korey Riker at Time Restaurant 1:50PM-2:50PM
Chances are you’ve seen Riker perform often, but you never knew it was him. The saxophonist plays regularly with The Roots, or perhaps you’ve seen him with Jeff Bradshaw’s Brass Heaven, or John Legend. Riker fronts his own quartet that hops from traditional jazz to soulful jazz jams.
Leon Jordan, Jr. at Milkboy Philly, Saturday 3:40PM-4:40PM. Jordan is a trumpeter and composer and a graduate of the University of the Arts who blends traditional and contemporary jazz. A leader of his own band, he’s done work with The Roots, Musiq Soulchild, Bilal and others.
King Pony at Fergie’s Pub, Saturday 3:30PM-4:30PM.
Bassist Leon Boykins is a Temple grad and brings together a variety of influences including hip-hop, rock and electronic elements. This weekend he’ll be playing with a trio including Pascal Le Beouf and Jake Goldbas.
Anthony DeCarlo at Upstairs @ Time Restaurant 4:30PM-5:30PM
There’s a hint of Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny in guitarist DeCarlo’s sound, however he’s got a unique tone, meticulous control and some world music influences in his writing.
The Center City Jazz Festival is this Friday and Saturday, May 10th and 11th. Go here for a complete schedule and ticket information.