The Philadelphia Jazz Project will highlight the 200th birthday celebration of American poet Walt Whitman this summer with a series of shows themed New Songs of the Open Road.
The event is comprised of four “singing walks,” taking place in different Philly neighborhoods including North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, Center City and Germantown. The walks will be led by choirmaster Waverly Alston and vocalists Toby Vent Martin, James Solomon, and V. Shayne Frederick. Aptly named after one of Whitman’s poems, the walks will shine a light on the feelings Whitman experienced writing his poem “Song of the Open Road,” from Whitman’s 1855 collection Leaves of Grass, where he contemplates westward expansion and American freedom. The series puts Whitman’s poem in the context of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, where protesters pushed freedom further, and took it to the streets.
The series begins on May 18th in Fairmount Park, comes to Germantown on June 8th, South Philly on June 22nd, and finally The Parkway on July 6th. All are welcome, as the events are free to the public. More information can be found here.
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