A Block Party…at the Mann Center? Well, with a lineup like this, count us in. This June, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and poet Jill Scott will headline the first annual WDAS Summer Block Party, along with long-running Philly R&B faves Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff, plus special guests still TBA.
It’ll be something of a hometown celebration for all performers. Scott got her start in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the 90s, and still calls the city home, and Jazzy Jeff lives in the Philly region as well. Boyz II Men got its start when its members were students at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Though they no longer reside in Philadelphia, their legacy lives on — a section of South Broad Street was recently designated “Boyz II Men Boulevard.” Continue reading →
Philly native and R&B queen, Miss Jill Scott, just released a collaboration with Daley titled “Until The Pain Is Gone,” and it somehow already sounds like an instant classic. Taking cues from her throwback late 90’s – early 2000’s sultry R&B pop style, the addition of British electro-soul artist Daley’s beats spins a modern twist. Just wait until the chorus when the strings kick in and Jilly from Philly really starts groovin’– I promise you’ll be swaying along whether you are realize it or not. Continue reading →
“Back Together” is one of the many stand-out songs on Jill Scott’s recent album, Woman. The soaring ballad brings to mind “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, and Scott digs into it with her usual soulful finesse. Continue reading →
If you haven’t watched Jill Scott‘s moving rendition of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” you need to check it out here. If you have seen it and can’t get enough of it, then catch Miss Jill Scott tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The three-time Grammy winner will be performing with classic R&B artists Bell Biv DeVoe and New Edition. Don’t miss this Holiday Jam tonight; get tickets and show information at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Fools Gold” below. Continue reading →
Taking on the great Billie Holiday is no easy task, particularly her most iconic and deeply meaningful “Strange Fruit.” That is why Friday’s performance by Jill Scott was so damn heart wrenching and impressive; it was a beautiful performance, and the song still holds relevance today. Continue reading →
Soundscaping punk army The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (mercifully abbreviated to The World Is) headline World Cafe Live tonight. The band, currently a ten-piece, is firmly rooted in late 90s emo but blends it with a post-rock sensibility, amplifying the catharsis to impressive levels. Their latest, Between Bodies, was released in October to much frenzy, and scene faves The Hotelier open the show. Also worth noting is the setting: World Cafe Live is one of our favorite Philly venues, but it doesn’t hold punk shows too often, so when it happens, you know it’s something special. Tickets and information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
On the latest edition of Vinyl Destination, a documentary series featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, the cameras go behind the scenes of 2013’s July Fourth Welcome America event, featuring not only Jazzy Jeff, but also artists like Jill Scott and The Roots (I watched the first half of the video thinking it was from this year’s, but oddly enough, it’s actually from last year’s). The video shows conversations between the artists about Jeff learning to swim and Jill learning to drive, and interestingly enough, there’s a scene just around the corner of WXPN’s World Cafe live as Jazzy Jeff checks out the food trucks on 30th Street. Check out the episode below:
Philly soul diva Jill Scott has successfully spread her talents across music and film over the past few years, having starred in two Tyler Perry Films and this year’s Baggage Claim. According to Rolling Stone, her next role will be in Get On Up, a James Brown biopic produced by rock icon Mick Jagger. Scott will portray Brown’s wife, Susie, and the film that will highlight the late Godfather of Soul’s rise to fame, personal struggles, and his indelible mark on soul music and pop culture. Shooting for the film is set to begin this month with a tentative release date of October 2014. Watch Jill Scott discuss films at Essence Festival with fellow Philly star Kevin Hart below.
Prolific jazz musician/producer Robert Glasper and Philly neo-soul queen Jill Scott have released a music video for “Calls,” their collaboration featured on The Robert Glasper Experience’s much-anticipated LP Black Radio 2. The video, directed by Ace Norton, opens with the anonymous quote “Moving forward is moving on,” before shooting to Scott (donning a dress and hat straight out of the 40’s) in an old Cadillac stuck at a red light that ironically won’t turn green.
The video, hazy and dream-like in nature, perfectly accompanies the ethereal vocals of Scott that float effortlessly above Glasper’s dreamy piano chords. Described as “a story of a metaphysical romantic connection partly quantified in unanswered phone calls,” the video displays palpable chemistry between Scott and Glasper, who look and sound as if they have been working together their whole lives. During one of the most moving parts of the video, Scott is seen staring longingly at Glasper on the piano, as she echoes the lyrics “Look up, then there’s, a beautiful man with a kind heart”. You’ll have to watch the full video to see how the beautifully constructed story unfolds.
Black Radio 2 is the follow-up album to the 2012 Grammy Award winning Black Radio, which won for Best R&B Album. Black Radio 2 features a slew of collaborations, ranging from artists like Faith Evans and Norah Jones to award-winning songwriters such as Claude Kelly (Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson) and Andrea Martin (Angie Stone, Monica). The result promises to be a soulful fusion of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop not to be missed. The Robert Glasper Experiment comes to World Cafe Live at the Queen on Monday, November 4th. Tickets and information can be found here.
Last Thursday evening, July 4th, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway filled with the sounds of music and the excitement of fireworks for the Wawa Welcome America Philly 4th of July Jam and Fireworks. See scenes from the celebration in the gallery below.