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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sittin In feat. Ursula Rucker at the Kimmel Center, Doubles at Boot & Saddle, Sunwatchers at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

ursula rucker
Ursula Rucker | Photo by John Vettese

The Kimmel Center‘s monthly Sittin’ In is back, this time featuring Philadelphia based spoken word / recording artist Ursula Rucker. Rucker will lead her “Supa Sista Presents” band through the live jam session, perhaps giving a preview of the record she’s been working on. More information for the free event can be found here; listen to “Supa Sista” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jose Gonzalez at the Kimmel Center, Joan Baez at the Grand Opera House, The Extraordinaires at Ortlieb’s and more…

jose gonzalez
Jose Gonzalez | photo courtesy of Windish Agency

Swedish musician Jose Gonzalez and New York classical music ensemble yMusic headline Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center tonight. Gonzalez, best known for his work with Junip and Zero 7, released a solo LP called Vestiges and Claws last year. And this is not the first time that yMusic is collaborating with a singer-songwriter; they joined forces with Ben Folds just last year. Check out Gonzalez and yMusic performing the former’s “With the Ink of a Ghost” below and pick up tickets for the all-ages concert here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Free Cake for Every Creature at the First Unitarian Church, Jerry Blavat’s Salute to Street Corner Harmony at The Kimmel Center, Naughty by Nature at the TLA and more…

Free Cake for Every Creature
Free Cake for Every Creature | Photo by Alyssa Yohana | courtesy of the artist

It’s never a good idea to judge a band by its name — except in the case of Free Cake for Every Creature,  the rare instance of a band name whose charming and playful name happens to perfectly mirror their music. With lyrics like “For you I’d steal a 50-cent machine / and we won’t need money or anything / cause we’ll have gumballs,” the Philly-via-Upstate New York four-piece emit a delighful lo-fi pop vibe that’s reminiscent of Double Double Whammy label-mate Frankie Cosmos. They’re gearing up to release their newest record Talking Quietly of Anything With You in April, and tonight you can find them at the First Unitarian Church. Grab tickets to the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Kimmel Center’s Sittin’ In jam sessions continue this summer with Luke O’Reilly

Luke Carlos O’Reilly hosts July’s edition of Sittin’ In at the Kimmel Center | Photo by Anthony Dean

Last fall The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts started a series of monthly jam sessions featuring some of the best and hottest talent in the Philadelphia area, with Emcee Ciarra and the IllVibe Collective DJs running the turntables for the night and a new host taking the helm at Sittin’ In every month. This month’s showcase on July 15th will be hosted by jazz musician Luke Carlos O’Reilly.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hoppin’ John Orchestra at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at Verizon Hall

Hoppin' John Orchestra | Photo by Rocco Peditto | <a href=http://roccopeditto.virb.com/ target="_blank">roccopeditto.virb.com</a>
Hoppin’ John Orchestra | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.virb.com

It’s going to be a chilly Fat Tuesday tonight, but a couple center city jazz shows will warm up your Mardi Gras celebration. Over at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, the regional crew Hoppin’ John Orchesrta will take the stage for their annual throwdown. The New Orleans-style brass band mixes up traditional and vintage numbers with more contemporary vocal tunes and originals in the spirit of the big easy. Listen to their recent appearance on The Key Studio Sessions and get more information on the show here. Continue reading →

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As Intimate As You Can Get: Brandi Carlile plays the Perelman Theater unplugged and un-amped

Brandi Carlile | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.tumblr.com
Brandi Carlile | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.tumblr.com

Brandi Carlile’s performance at the Kimmel Center this Saturday was nothing short of inspirational.

Performing with her band and a string trio on the beautifully conceived “Pin Drop Tour”, Carlile et al. unplugged and dispensed with amplification, opting instead to trust in the theater’s beautiful acoustics and their own power to sustain us for the evening. It was an intimate distillation as embracing and as warming as any spirit, and with much more soul than I had prepared for. Continue reading →

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Calle 13 make Philly debut (and history) this Saturday at the Merriam Theater, and we all should be paying attention

Calle 13 | Photo courtesy of Kimmel Center Presents
Calle 13 | Photo courtesy of Kimmel Center Presents

With more than enough English-language music flooding American airwaves to make even the most eclectic music-lover’s heads spin, a group like Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 might easily fall under the radar. Maybe you were lucky enough to hear their eccentric mid-2000s breakout hits “Atréve te-te” and “La Jirafa” at a college- or work-sponsored Latin music night and thought “Hey, this is a pretty cool beat,” before shimmying your hips off-rhythm for the next few hours. Continue reading →

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Tori Amos dazzles Verizon Hall with a career-spanning set

Tori Amos
Tori Amos | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

On Sunday night, Tori Amos took Broad Street by storm. At the nearly sold-out Verizon Hall, Amos, armed only with her Bosendorfer piano, a keyboard and an organ, unlocked her musical treasure-trove for a stirring 20-song set.

Theoretically touring behind her 2014 album Unrepentant Geraldines (she only played two tracks from the album), Amos dug deep into her catalog and her diverse musical interests. Continue reading →

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Prog rock icons King Crimson return to Kimmel Center in September

via facebook.com/KingCrimson-RobertFripps
via facebook.com/KingCrimson-RobertFripps

King Crimson, a giant in the field of prog rock, is set to return to the Kimmel Center to play a two night concert September 12th and 13th. Though the band initially formed in 1969, it has gone through several new members and now features Gavin Harrison (drums), Bill Rieflin (drums), Pat Mastelotto (drums), Tony Levin (bass and vocals), Mel Collins (Sax, flute), Jakko Jakszyk (guitar, vocals) and Robert Fripp (guitar).

This will be the band’s first tour since 2008. In recent years, the band has reissued classic albums Starless and Bible Black as well as Discipline as a part of their 40th anniversary series. Their thirteenth studio album, The Power to Believe was released in 2003. In his DGM Diary, Robert Fripp says, “This is a very different reformation to what has gone before: seven players, four English and three American, with three drummers.”

No doubt, this latest rendition of the band will continue the great work of King Crimson. Watch the moving video for their 1969 classic “Epitaph” below. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 am. Get more details here.