By

SoFAR Philly and Amnesty International support “Give a Home” with Esperanza Spalding, Shamir and Maitland

On September 20th, Amnesty International partnered with the living room concert series SoFAR Sounds to hold a series of benefits across the world. 1,000 artists were booked to play 300 shows in 60 countries to raise money and awareness for the world’s refugees through Amnesty’s Give a Home project.

While SoFAR typically keeps their lineups under wraps, for “A Global Day of Secret Gigs,” the artists were released early, and it featured big names like Ed Sheeran in Washington, D.C. ,Hozier in Dublin, and BØRNS in Los Angeles.

On SoFAR Philly’s bill was Esperanza Spalding, Shamir and Maitland. The show was located in an ornate office building just off of Rittenhouse Square. Walking up three flights of carpeted stairs felt like walking through an antique mansion — SoFAR always chooses the coolest spots. Everyone got close and cozy as the sun set over the park and the bands began to set up. Continue reading →

By

Esperanza Spalding, Shamir, and Good Old War lined up for SoFAR Philly’s Amnesty International fundraiser

Esperanza Spalding | photo by Holly Andres | via facebook.com/EsperanzaSpalding

Remember that super secret, super cool Sofar Sounds Philly show in partnership with Amnesty International we let you know about a few weeks back? You know, the one with the winning recipe of: a heaping of community, a splash of mystery, and a million cups of good tunes. Well, friends, the lineup has been revealed, and it’s pretty dang tasty. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Sidekicks at PhilaMOCA, Esperanza Spalding at The TLA, Teenage Fanclub at World Cafe Live

The Sidekicks
The Sidekicks | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Ohio indie rockers The Sidekicks are coming up on two years of touring on their 2015 Epitaph debut, Runners in the Nerved World. The album catapulted the band’s Elvis Costello-informed power pop / punk into soaring stratospheres, and the band revisits it tonight with a headlining gig at PhilaMOCA. Joining them are Australian faves The Smith Street Band, as well as Philly newcomers No Thank You, who are well worth a listen. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

Esperanza Spalding brings a spectrum of tastes to the Keswick

Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist
Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding responded to becoming jazz’s “it girl” – she was, after all, the one artist who could nab a Best New Artist Grammy from under Justin Bieber’s tween-dream coif and win one for the jazz team – by going ambitious. On her last two albums, Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, Spalding folded all of her multifarious musical interests into two packed albums. Continue reading →

By

This Weekend: XPN Welcomes Dar Williams, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, M. Ward, Esperanza Spalding

Regina Spektor


Dar Williams performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11th, at World Cafe Live At The Queen; tickets to the all-ages show are $31-$41.

 


Regina Spektor performs with Only Son at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Tower Theatre; tickets to the all-ages show are $36-$74.

 


Ingrid Michaelson performs with Scars On 45 at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT.

 


M. Ward performs with Lee Ranaldo Band at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $22-$25.

 


Esperanza Spalding performs at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 13th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are $30.

By

Watch John Legend get into the holiday spirit with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” video

John Legend in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” | still from youtube video

There’s plenty of holiday music to go around, but the season always seems a little more festive when a new tune comes our way. John Legend recently put his own stamp on some classic holiday songs with his new album A Legendary Christmas, and just released a fun, retro-inspired video for “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The singer duets with Esperanza Spalding on the track, and the video sees both musicians decked out in their holiday best, reveling in the season’s festivities as they sing. Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: John Legend will bring his Christmas tour to The Met in December

John Legend | photo by Doug Interrante for WXPN

Singer-songwriter John Legend is infused with the holiday spirit this year, and drops his first holiday LP, A Legendary Christmas, via Columbia Records on October 26th. The album features collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding, with Raphael Saddiq executive producing, and Legend takes the album on the road starting in mid-November and stretching to the end of the year. Continue reading →

By

Philly’s first-ever Jazz Industry Day will explore how to make a living playing jazz in 2018

Jeff Bradshaw performs at Center City Jazz Fest 2018 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

In an interview with writer Bill Kopp, Tenor saxophone legend Sonny Rollins recalled a conversation with Joe Glaser, the notorious, now-deceased manager of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday:“ You know, Sonny, I have been in the boxing business, and the music business is worse.” For context, Glaser’s career in boxing involved fixing fights and an alleged connection with Al Capone’s vicious organized crime family, The Chicago Outfit. In short, the music business is rife with pitfalls, heartbreak, and outright scams. You’d be hard pressed to find a musician at any level who would disagree with the spirit of Glaser’s assessment. That being said, if the music business is hard, the business of jazz must be damn near impossible.

Over the past few decades, fundamental shifts in the pop cultural landscape have only served to further marginalize jazz and the musicians who play it. As rock emerged in the 60s as the gravitational center of American pop music, the opportunities available to make a living playing this vibrant, challenging music have been decreasing ever since. In recent years, the tide has turned back with lay-audiences developing a taste for modern players like Kamasi Washington, Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, thus re-opening doors for brilliant players young and old to do what once seemed impossible, make a living in jazz.

Taking up the mission of educating musicians, a broad coalition of area jazz organizations  — including the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Temple public radio station WRTI, and more —  will launch the first annual Jazz Industry Day on September 13th, 2018. Continue reading →