BARNES’ new single “Sun In The City” will touch your heart

BARNES | photo courtesy of artist

Barney Cortez’s life has been pretty hectic these last few years, from serving as a front-man to Philly band Nicos Gun, created in 2010, to forming LA based group The Rituals. He was also involved with Philly based bands Minka and The Rich Mystics. Eventually, Cortez returned back to his roots, Philadelphia, to reinvent himself as a solo artist, going by the name of BARNES. This allowed him to get more intimate and personal with his music, and in January, BARNES released the music video for “Dream Within A Dream” which Cortez explains “deals with the pain of losing someone, and piecing together the memories of the past.” Continue reading →


PREMIERE: BARNES ambles through a “Dream Within A Dream” in eclectic one-shot video

BARNES | photo courtesy of artist

Over the course of just a few years, Barney Cortez’s life has shifted quite dramatically. Serving as former front-man of the bold and psych-ish 2010-born Philly band, Nicos Gun, Cortez then moved to LA, formed another band called The Rituals, and called the West Coast home for three years — street performing, and joining even more projects (Minka, The Rich Mystics) along the way. But soon enough, Philly’s scene and talent beckoned Cortez back home, where he stripped his music of glam and took on a new role as a singer-songwriter. Now, Cortez is reinventing himself once more, as a more rocking, roots-y version of his solo work. So, Philly, without further ado, today we introduce you to BARNES, and his first single / video, “Dream Within A Dream.” Continue reading →


Philadelphia Jazz Project launches Satellites Are Spinning, a six-month series celebrating Sun Ra, this Friday at The Barnes


“If you ain’t crazy, then you ain’t trying to get nothing done. They called Sun Ra crazy too!” -Homer Jackson

Homer Jackson is a man on a mission. In 2011, Jackson founded The Philadelphia Jazz Project, a non-profit organization that stretches across the generational gap with a host of creative, eclectic projects and programming in the form of mixtapes, radio shows, live concerts and more. Speaking from his home in Philly, Jackson is excited about his role as PJP founder/director and his work as an advocate for the greatest art form ever produced on american soil. “I’m part curator and part instigator,” he said. “You can think of me as Johnny Appleseed and Che Guevara. Sometimes you gotta plant seeds and sometimes you gotta throw a hand grenade and blow shit up!”

Satellites Are Spinning is the latest in PJP’s effort to expand the city’s jazz culture. An ambitious 8-concert series, its goal is celebrating the musical legacy of jazz innovator and 21st century iconoclast, Sun Ra. Continue reading →


Kingsley Ibeneche will play The Barnes Foundation’s College Night

Kingsley Ibeneche | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Experimental artist Kingsley Ibeneche is set to play The Barnes Foundation’s third annual College Night, in partner with Campus Philly, on October 19th. Throughout the month of October, The Barnes will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of their move to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a series of events that reflect the Barnes Foundation’s commitment to community engagement.

Kingsley Ibeneche is no stranger to performance: he’s trained professionally in ballet from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and soon after graduation he pursued a modern dance tour through Europe. He’s appeared onstage with Kate Faust as a dancer, but as a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter, has begun performing his own material lately as well. Continue reading →


Tonight: Larry McKenna and Bootsie Barnes warm up Chris’ Jazz Cafe with their quartet

McKenna, Tony Williams, Bootsie Barnes | Photo by Jennifer Brady |
McKenna, Tony Williams, Bootsie Barnes | Photo by Jennifer Brady |

One of the most memorable moments of this month’s star-studded gala concert by the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia didn’t come from the marquee names who dropped into town for the evening, but from a trio of local treasures. Philly sax greats Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes, and Tony Williams engaged in a musical discourse over Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol’s “Perdido,” a reminder to local audiences of the jazz riches available to us on a regular basis.

Two of those three will join forces once more tonight when Barnes and McKenna co-lead their quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café. Barnes is a die-hard bopper with a husky soulful tenor tone, while McKenna is a master of melody able to summon great emotion with the most elegantly reserved of playing, as he did movingly last month at a memorial service for his old friend, pianist and educator Jimmy Amadie.

The quartet performs two sets tonight at Chris’, one at 8 and one at 10. Tickets and more information can be found here.


Pattern is Movement will perform J Dilla covers for First Friday at the Barnes on 12/6

Pattern is Movement | Photo by Rachel Barrish


You may know Pattern is Movement as the indie-rock-pop duo responsible for that catchy cover of D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel,” but what you may not know is that members Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward actually performed in a rap group together as teenagers.

This fact may help to explain Pattern is Movement’s upcoming performance at the Barnes Museum, where they will cover- and only cover- selected songs from late hip-hop pioneer and producer J Dilla. The duo’s love for hip-hip, R&B and Gospel is not entirely surprising given the subtle hints of it in their music as well as in their choice of covers, but performing solely J Dilla music is new territory, even for them.

The much-anticipated performance will take place at the Barnes on December 6th for FIRST FRIDAY! Philadelphia Artist Spotlight. The event features performances from a powerhouse of Philly artists, including local DJ legend Mr. Sonny JamesLas Gallas and more. If you’re looking to spice things up for your first Friday, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Reserve tickets for the event here. ($25, members free). Tickets get you into the event as well as gallery access and drink specials. Watch Pattern is Movement cover “How Does it Feel” below.


Interview: Bing & Ruth’s David Moore on creating an all-encompassing live show (playing The Barnes Foundation on 12/14)

“If I don’t keep myself busy, I’ll go crazy,” says David Moore, the Brooklyn-based composer and musician. “It has to be music all the time.” Depending on which day of the week it is, you can find Moore playing in one of the following bands: the Piledrivers, which he calls a “skate-punk/old-time fiddle band”; Langhorne Slim, the folk group led by Pennsylvanian Sean Scolnick; or Pepper Johnson, the folk/country project Moore recently started.

And there’s also Bing & Ruth, the 11-piece ensemble (woodwinds, strings, voice, guitar, percussion, synthesizers) that plays Moore’s ambient, classical and experimental compositions. Given the complications associated with touring such a large ensemble, it’s an extremely rare occasion that Bing & Ruth is performing at The Barnes Foundation on December 14. The group will play two sets, one focusing on new material from an upcoming album, and the other showcasing pieces from 2010’s illuminative and entrancing City Lake.

In a recent phone conversation, I spoke with Moore about Bing & Ruth, the challenges of working with a large ensemble, and creating live experiences where unpredictable things can happen. Detours in the conversation took us, naturally, to boomerangs and Jimmy Buffett. Continue reading →