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Watch Max Swan perform an eight-minute version of “The Waters” live in WXPN studios

Max Swan | photo by Senia Lopez | senialopez.photography

Philly sax player and singer-songwriter Max Swan recently released a new EP called The Fisherman and last week recorded a Key Studio Session last week with his eight piece band.

Tonight, we present you with a bonus video from that session; an expansive performance of “The Waters” that opens on a freeflowing atmospheric jam before launching into the central portion of Swan’s lead single from the new project.
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The Week Ahead: Jessie Reyez, Max Swan, Pusha T, Killiam Shakespeare and more

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via killiamseason.bandcamp.com

Think a holiday week means there’s no live music to keep you entertained? Think again. Starting tonight with rising R&B star Jessie Reyez, carrying through an album release from Killiam Shakespeare this weekend, and a Green Room showcase with DaniLeigh on Monday, here are twelve concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Max Swan

The past few years have been a process of growth for Philadelphia sax player, composer, and producer Max Swan.

In the early 2010s, he was a recent graduate of UArts with a jazz saxophone performance degree, gigging around town. We first encountered him at Philadelphia’s Center City Jazz Fest in 2015, playing a set at Time that mixed soaring instrumental leads with electronic and hip-hop synthesizer textures. We heard more of it that autumn in his elegant single “So Much Chime,” a song driven by Swan’s R&B style vocals. As is happened, this was just the early stages of his dabbling in genre fusion; the beginning of his push to do more with his schooling than the humdrum traditional route.

This year, Swan released an album called The Fisherman, and it finds him stepping further away from jazz and into suave singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist mode.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Max Swan at MilkBoy, Rosemary Fiki Band at Bourbon and Branch, The Bul Bey at Kung Fu Necktie

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Up-and-coming Philly jazz artist, Max Swan will be hitting the stage at MilkBoy tonight alongside Ill Fated Natives and The Hollander-Crouse Duo. If you missed it, we premiered his latest single, “So Much Chime,” last month. Check him out tonight at Milkboy. Get tickets and more info on the 21+ show over at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “So Much Chime” after the jump. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Listen to producer and saxophonist Max Swan’s newest jam, “So Much Chime”

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Philly’s Max Swan is slowly building himself an impressive resume when it comes to Philly’s local jazz scene. A graduate of the University of the Arts, Swan was a featured performer in this year’s Center City Jazz Festival. Today, he is giving us a taste of what we can expect to hear in the future from the up-and-coming saxophonist and producer. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Mike Vasilikos’ all-Philly best of 2018

Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com
Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, XPN’s Mike Vasilikos recaps the best music he’s heard come out of the Philly scene this year.

More lists! Yes, it’s almost time to flip over the calendar but not before everyone gets a chance to reflect on their favorite music of the past 12 months.  I guess it’s my turn!  Last year, I altered my approach to year-end reflections.  The idea being: focus on what’s happening locally, because in all honesty Philadelphia is a special place for music.  Across all musical landscapes, the artistry in our community rivals anywhere in the country.  So that said, here’s what I was listening to in 2018. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Sidney Gish, Patti LaBelle, Rosali, Espers, and more

Rosali
Rosali | photo by Constance Mensh | courtesy of the artist

The week starts with blues rock ripper Selwyn Birchwood out in the burbs and wraps up in South Philly with the contemplative singer-songwriting of The Afterglows. In between: classic soul, immersive psych, punk rock and more. Here are 17 concerts to see in and around Philadelphia this week.
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Scenes from the Chill Moody Music Stage at this 4th of July’s Welcome America Festival

Hardwork Movement | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Over a dozen local artists and DJs spent this 4th of July in a wooded grove along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as the first-ever Chill Moody Music Stage at the Wawa Welcome America Festival celebrated the sounds of Philadelphia. Below, check out an assortment of scenes from the event — including spaced-out composer Max Swan, charismatic rappers Boogieman DelaLuke O’Brien and Shawn Smith, hip-hop live band ensemble Hardwork Movement, and rock and roll powerhouse Foxtrot and the Get Down.
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The Week Ahead: Emmylou Harris, Kimya Dawson, Strange Parts, York Street Hustle and more

strange parts
Strange Parts | photo by Adam Haney | courtesy of the band

What’s that you say? It’s a holiday week, it’s a heat wave, everybody’s going down the shore or hiding out in A.C.? Guess what, friends: the music doesn’t stop for any of that, and this week we bring you 14 shows to see in the next seven days — from the all-local Chill Moody stage at Wawa Welcome America to a heavy dose of punk to close your weekend at West Philly’s Lava Space.  Continue reading →