Other highlights of the season include: The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts on June 19, Illstyle & Peace on June 12, Dice Raw & Company on August 7, and the series closes with a special performance from Kurt Vile. Go here for more information and the complete schedule.
City Hall Presents
In terms of personnel, instrumentation and sheer sound, Philadelphia-based traditional Brazilian ensemble Alô Brasil might be the biggest band we’ve recorded for The Key Studio Sessions. The photo above gives you a sense of just some the stuff they brought to WXPN the other night: multiple percussion instruments, including the conga, the timbau, the pandeiro and the quinto. Melodic accompaniment including guitars, cavaquinho, keys and horns. Eleven players – including band leader Alex Shaw – weaving in between the instruments to create a massive, emotional eruption of body-moving sound. The opening song below is a medley of songs in the Brazilian capoeira tradition – a mix of music and martial arts that evolved under the era of colonial slavery, and employs the sonically singular berimbau (a musical bow). Other moments dipped into samba, reggae, batucada and even carried a hint of jazzy looseness and improvisation. Listening to their set is like a cultural education, especially when Shaw explains each song’s background and significance – as he does with children in the Live Connections series at World Cafe Live. Seeing the band live is even more of a multi-sensory experience, with dancers and much pagentry. Which is to say you’ll love seeing them when they kick off the City Hall Presents series on May 29th, and you’ll love them even more at this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival. Below, download “Capoeira Medley” below, and stream the other songs – new arrangements of contemporary and classic 20th century Brazilian songs.
Powerhouse Philly singer Ali Wadsworth just released two rocking new songs from her forthcoming full-length solo album, just in time for her free show at City Hall tomorrow. The songs feature Tim Arnold of Good Old War on drums, Jaron Olevsky of Amos Lee on piano/organ, Toy Solders’ Dominic Billett on congas and percussion, as well as fellow local musicians Phil D’Agostino on bass, and Dan Schwartz and Joe Bisirri on guitar. Below, listen to Wadsworth’s new tracks and, if you like what you hear, make sure to RSVP for her City Hall Presents performance tomorrow night. The show runs from 5:30PM to 6:30PM at the Mayor’s Reception Room (City Hall, Room 202). RSVP ahead here, as seating is limited.
The free “City Hall Presents” concert series that the folks at Creative Philadelphia have been running all summer continues on Wednesday the 19th of September with a performance by singer and songwriter Ali Wadsworth. The versatile vocalist used to perform in the band Goldiebox with her sister Claire, and Unlikely Cowboy with Dan Schwartz (the “war” in Good Old War). She’s backed up Kuf Knotz, Fantasy Square Garden and Aaron Brown in Aaron and the Spell…and is also the one I challenged to cover Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” earlier today. With previous City Hall Presents shows cancelled due to weather, this one takes place indoors in Mayor Nutter’s reception room (fancy!) and runs from 5:30 to 6:30, but you have to RSVP at CreativePHL.org. Below, grab a free download of Wadsworth performing the jazz standard “Someone to Watch Over Me” from Folk You Philly’s Franks and Deans radio show.