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40th Street Summer Series
40th Street Summer Series 2014 dates to be announced
In 2013 University City District, The Rotunda and Penn came together again to present the 40th Street Summer Series, a free family-friendly outdoor concert series in University City. For ten years, the Summer Series has hosted world-renowned performers on the greenspace at 40th and Walnut Streets, just behind the Walnut West Free Library. The series features five concerts on the last Saturday of May-September, complete with Give and Take jugglers, fire artists, face painting, balloon art, and more.
2013 Summer Series Dates
Saturday, May 25 | Brooklyn Qawwali Party
Brooklyn Qawwali Party is a thunderous 11-piece brass band from NYC that reworks 700 year-old Pakistani Sufi Music (called Qawwali; think gospel music goes to Pakistan) into a sound that gets folks dancing, shaking, sweating, and even whirling! Paying tribute to one of the world’s great vocalists, BQP formed to honor the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, reworking his thunderous songs for this eclectic orchestra. Funky, smart, and loving, BQP captures the joyful spirit of this Pakistani folk music in a unique instrumental blend of jazz and Qawwali. It's a good time, it's from the heart, and it's like nothing you've ever heard. Plus, a performance of Arab Music by members of Al-Bustan's Resident Ensemble: HAFEZ EL ALI KOTAIN (percussion) and KINAN IDNAWI (oud) will open this evening.
Saturday, June 29 | Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra
Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra - a twelve piece ensemble comprised of bohemians, libertines and ukulele enthusiasts - are on a crusade to promote Truth and Beauty through that most democratic of musical instruments: the ukulele. Interpreting the music of the 20s and 30s, this rare appearance from the Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra is not to be missed! Emily Bate opens the evening, performing music that borrows from the canon of 20th century American popular music. She writes not-quite-right songs, bending ears with her dissonant approach to pop harmony.
Saturday, July 27 | The Heavens Atheist Gospel Trombone Choir
Just one day before their Lincoln Center debut, this dynamic brass band led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Jacob Garchik (a frequent arranger for Kronos Quartet) will visit Philadelphia for the first time to perform with the critically acclaimed and jubilant The Heavens. Celebrating reason, the laws of science, and the glory of infinity!
Not your ordinary polka band, Polkadelphia plays both traditional oompah tunes as well as modern cover songs by artists like Radiohead and the Beatles. Whether rocking out at the local biergarden or strolling through the bustling tents at Oktoberfest they always bring down the haus.
Saturday, August 31 | Spaceship Aloha
Spaceship Aloha is the vibrant new sonic move from Man Man drummer/producer Christopher Sean Powell. Spaceship Aloha’s performances present a kaleidoscope of lush melodies and joyous electronic rhythms inspired by Hawaii’s musical landscape. Intended for non-stop dancing, the live show is bursting with elements of vivid beats, refreshing sounds, and adventurous improvisation - all performed on an ecosystem of synthesizers, sequencers, electronic drums, and live percussion. This new project continues the wild energy of Powell’s explosive performances in Need New Body & Man Man, with a “future tropical” twist. Philadelphia’s Inspyre will open the evening with breathtaking hoop dancing and fire dancers.
Saturday, September 28 | Millennial Territory Orchestra performs the music of Sly & The Family Stone
Grammy nominated trumpet-composer Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob) leads his 12-piece ensemble featuring a top-flight roster of talent through the monumental songbook of Sly & The Family Stone to deliver unforgettable fun for all. By filtering the music of Sly and The Family Stone through its own “downtown NYC” aesthetic, MTO illuminates the melodic and harmonic sophistication of this immortal body of work, while upholding the Day-Glo soul and psychedelic funk that’s the backbone for classics like M’Lady, Everyday People, and Family Affair.