Philly Jazz Guide: Top picks for live jazz around town in September

Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble | photo by Chet Miles

With the onset of fall comes the beginning of new artistic seasons, and several strong line-ups will kick off over the next month or two. That includes an especially thrilling Lively Arts series at Montgomery County Community College, a run of heavy-hitters at the Kimmel and Annenberg Centers, and a typically exciting run of boundary-stretching artists from Ars Nova Workshop, including a slew of AACM-related shows in conjunction with the ICA’s must-see exhibition “The Freedom Principle.”

But whether summer travels have locals settling back at home or just sheer coincidence, September is a particularly strong month for local artists and projects with local roots. Of course there’s the 90th birthday celebrations for former Strawberry Mansion resident John Coltrane, which I’ll cover at length in a later piece, but also the following string of Philly-centric shows.

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The Philadelphia United Jazz Festival starts this Friday 9/13 through 9/22

phillyunitedjazz fest The Philadelphia United Jazz Festival takes place this Friday, September 13th through Sunday, September 22nd in Center City. Organized by jazz musician and educator Warren Oree and Graziella D’Amelio of the LifeLine Music Coalition, the festival opens this Friday, September 13th with “Energizing Jazz, Energizing People,” at the Peco Energy Building, 23rd & Market Street. A panel discussion will be moderated by Jeff Duperon of WRTI with a special performance by the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble from Noon to 2 P.M. “Jazz In The Park” performances take place on 9/17 and 9/19. The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz will host performances all day on Saturday 9/21 and Sunday, 9/22 with appearances by the Sun Ra Arkestra, Elliott Levin, Julian Pressley, the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, the Odean Pope Trio, a tribute to John Coltrane and other showcases. There will also be workshops including “The Art of Rhythm,” and “Understanding Jazz,” on the final weekend. Go here for the complete schedule of shows and activities.