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Remembering Dante Bucci: A unique voice in Philadelphia music

Dante Bucci
Photo by John Vettese

Nobody could make the drums sing quite like Dante Bucci. The songwriter, percussionist, creative collaborator and fixture of the Philadelphia music scene was found dead in his Roxborough home this Wednesday. He was 34 years old.

Bucci, a systems analyst at Drexel University by day, came to prominence locally and regionally as a master of the hang drum – a unique, UFO-shaped instrument with a similar sound and feel as a steel drum. It’s both percussive and melodic, which allowed Bucci to effectively be his own one-man band, writing songs and performing them with the two drums balanced in his lap. His latest album, Kinesthesia, was released in October of 2013, but he had already been developing this unique style for years, showcasing it at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2010 and releasing his debut album, Reminiscence, in 2008. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Powerhouse featuring Meek Mill at Wells Fargo Center, Kristen Sylvester at Random Tea Room, San Fermin at Boot and Saddle and more

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Meek Mill | Photo by Clay Patrick McBride | www.claypatrickmcbride.com

Philly rapper Meek Mill will bask in hometown glory as he rocks tonight’s Powerhouse event at the Wells Fargo Center. He released his highly anticipated Dreamchasers 3 mixtape on Maybach Music last month and was featured on the label’s collaborative album, Self-Made Vol. 3. The event, which also features performances from the top acts in hip-hop and R&B such as Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, and 2 Chainz, is certainly a must-see. Get tickets here and watch Meek’s video for “Levels” below.

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Unwind with “Flageolet,” a new single from Philly hang drum player Dante Bucci (playing Melodies Cafe on 10/25)

DanteIf you tune in to Helen Leicht’s show on WXPN, you’re probably familiar with Philadelphia’s premier hang-pan percussionist Dante Bucci. Playing an unusual instrument that looks like a flying saucer and sounds like a steel drum, Bucci coaxes a mix of sharp rhythms and ringing melodies for an effect that ranges from soothing to rousing. He’s getting ready to release his debut full-length, Kinesthesia, and it adds vocals to the mix too; but not on the track “Flageolet,” the track Helen has been spinning of late and the track that showed up on Soundcloud this week. You can hear the relaxing number in the player below. The CD release show for Kinesthesia is October 25th at Melodies Cafe in Ardmore; tickets and information can be found here. This spring, Bucci performed at the WXPN lunchtime buskers series at The Porch at 30th Street Station. Watch a video of him performing below, and look for more noontime busker performances at The Porch ever Wednesday this fall.

Dante Bucci busking at 30th Street Station from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Dante Bucci, Pocket, Modern Inventors

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Dante Bucci kicked off WXPN’s lunchtime busker series on Wednesday and The Key revisited the local musician’s 2008 effort Reminiscence in advance of his set at The Porch at 30th Street Station.  Bucci will perform at the Tin Angel on May 1st; tickets and information can be found here.  Stream the EP below or download it at Bandcamp.

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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Patty Griffin, Maitland and Reef The Lost Cauze) )

MIsModern Inventors performed five mostly-unreleased songs for a Key Studio Session, filmed by Out of Town Films [link]

PhilaMOCA programmer Eric Bresler previews Cinedelphia‘s Tuesday Tune-Out series for April [link]

Meet Dante Bucci, the local musician who kicked-off WXPN’s Philly Local Busker Series at The Porch at 30th Street Station this week [link]

Watch local folk duo Maitland perform “Embers” in advance of their Friday, April 5th show at The Trocadero balcony [link]

Mayer Hawthorne‘s new song “Designer Drug” was Tuesday’s My Morning Download [link]

JUMP Magazine shared their recap and photos of Plow United‘s Saturday night show at The Barbary [link]

Stream and download Burn the Wish from local duo Great Red Spots, recorded at West Philly DIY space Sprinkle Kingdom [link]

Reed The Lost Cauze is back with a debut podcast/free download called REEF RADIO, [link]

Unlocked digs into RestorationsLP2 ahead of their record release show this Friday [link]

Take a listen to Wrong World‘s “See These Streets” and see them open for Bleeding Rainbow and The Cave Singers on Thursday [link]

Patty Griffin was spotlighted on XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week with “Ohio,” featuring Robert Plant [link]

NPR Music’s First Listen is streaming Kurt Vile‘s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze before the album’s official release next week [link]

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Watch Dante Bucci perform WXPN’s lunchtime buskers series at The Porch at 30th Street

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
It was a cool and slightly windy afternoon, but Philly’s Dante Bucci still brought warm island vibes to The Porch at 30th Street Station for the first installment of WXPN’s lunctime buskers’ series. Bucci’s instrument of choice, the hang, has a sound and feel similar to a steel drum, and he played it with ease for an appreciative crowd this afternoon. Bucci’s next gig is Wednesday, May 1 at The Tin Angel. Watch video of him performing below, and look for Philly rockers The Fleeting Ends to perform at The Porch next Wednesday.

Dante Bucci busking at 30th Street Station from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Philly Local Busker Background: Dante Bucci

DanteThe WXPN Philly Local Busker’s series kicks off tomorrow at noon at The Porch at 30th Street Station, and over the coming weeks, we’ll be letting you know more about the artists who will spend their lunch hour entertaining you in the open air – or in the cavernous station halls, should there be inclement weather.

The first artist Helen Leicht has lined up is Dante Bucci, who played a mesmerizing set at last summer’s Philadelphia Folk Festival demonstrating his mastery of the Hang. Also known as the Handpan, this is a percussive / musical instrument that falls somewhere between a steel drum and a djembe, and looks somewhat like the UFO from Disney’s Flight of the Navigator. Bucci coaxes a variety of stunning rhythms and melodies out of his Hangs that fuse funk, instrumental world music and traditional pop / rock.

In addition to his gig at The Porch, Bucci will appear at The Tin Angel on May 1 for an early show opening for Maia Sharp. Tickets and information can be found here. Below, stream Bucci’s 2008 EP Reminiscence, and catch him in person tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m. at The Porch, 30th and Market Streets in Philadelphia.

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XPN presenting Philly Local Wednesdays at The Porch at 30th Street Station

ChristieTo better greet the warm weather this spring, XPN has organized a weekly buskers’ series for the month of April. Each Wednesday, a different musician will be busking from noon to 1pm on The Porch at 30th Street Station.

Performers for the month are Dante Bucci on Wednesday April 3; The Fleeting Ends on Wednesday April 10; Christie Lenee on Wednesday April 17th, and The Splashing Pearls on Wednesday April 24th. The performances are free, of course, and would surely be a great lunch soundtrack for anyone in the area who can make it out. The series will continue through the months of April and May, and the performers for May will be announced next month.

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Photo Recap: Friday at Philadelphia Folk Fest with Mason Porter, Pokey La Farge and more

Day two at the 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival brought an eclectic assortment of styles, including the mandolin-led local combo Mason Porter; Dante Bucci, a virtuoso of the hang drum; new singer-songwriter Zach Stock; Philly-area favorite Griz; buzzing old-timey combo Pokey La Farge and the South City Three; veteran country-folk singer Mary Chapin Carpenter; and the raging eclecticism of the Voice of the Wetland Allstars, who bounced from blues to zydeco to boogie and rock like it was their job. Which it pretty much was. Check out a gallery above.

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Just Announced: Reverend TJ McGlinchey (playing FDR Park Friday), Dante Bucci, and The Karmic Repair Company added to Philadelphia Folk Festival line-up


The Philadelphia Folksong Society just announced the winners of their Unsung Heroes Contest. Congratulations to Reverend TJ McGlinchey, Dante Bucci, and The Karmic Repair Company, who will all play on the main stage at this year’s Philadelphia Folk Festival. Reverend TJ McGlinchey is a talented singer-songwriter in Philadelphia folk scene who just released his first full-length album, Tell Me to stay. Philly musician Dante Bucci plays a mix of indie folk and world music and is one of the wold’s most-recognized Handpan players. The Karmic Repair Company is a trio of seasoned musicians who play covers from bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, The Talking Heads, and Paul Simon, as well as their own compositions.

Check back into The Key tomorrow for an interview with Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Dani Mari on the FDR Park Summer Concert Series and listen to some live tracks they recorded in our studio. Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Dani Mari are playing the second show in the FDR Park Summer Series this Friday with Toy Soldiers and Thom McCarthy. The free event is open to the public starts at 7 P.M. Continue reading →