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40th Street Summer Series
The 2017 40th Street Summer Series—co-produced by University City District, Penn, and The Rotunda—will take place this year on Saturdays May 20, June 17, July 22, August 19 and September 16. See below for the confirmed acts and dates.
The Summer Series has grown into one of the most popular outdoor summer events in University City. This free outdoor series features internationally-recognized talent in one of “West Philly’s picturesque open green spaces” (Philadelphia Weekly.) In the past the Summer Series has featured internationally-acclaimed acts such as the Millennial Territory Orchestra, Man Man, and the Sun Ra Arkestra— to play free outdoor concerts that capture the soul of the neighborhood.
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SATURDAY, MAY 20
The Sun Ra Arkestra with openers RU Bhangra
The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen will return to the 40th Street Summer Series to perform their unique combination of big band swing, outer-space jazz, Afro-pageantry, dancing, singing, and chanting. Band leader Allen, who will turn 93 this year, has been called one of the most distinct and original saxophonists in jazz. Opening the show will be RU Bhangra performing traditional Bhangra dancing that focuses on combining folk flavor with an entertaining twist.
SATURDAY, JUNE 17
Brian Sanders’ Junk
Brian Sanders’ JUNK uses found objects and clever inventions to bridge the gap between dance and physical theater. JUNK strives to produce work that is both artistic and accessible while maintaining a ceaseless desire to try new things. Come see why Sanders has been hailed as “the city’s most exciting choreographer.” Opener TBA.
SATURDAY, JULY 22
Dan Blacksberg’s Hot Klezmers and the West Philadelphia Orchestra
Check out a special double headliner! Philadelphia-native and internationally renowned trombonist Dan Blacksberg brings an all-star klezmer band to the Summer Series for an evening of joyous music and dancing. Dan and his Hot Klezmers will bring a party with music drawn from klezmer's long history in Eastern Europe and in early 20th century America to the modern klezmer of today. Audiences of any age, and size can move their bodies and get their Ashkenzi groove on. Then the West Philadelphia Orchestra (WPO) will bring their mashup blend of Balkan brass traditions, American jazz, and global beats to the stage. With cutting brass, searing woodwinds and some of the tightest beats around, West Philadelphia Orchestra invites audiences to lose themselves in earthy sounds that shake, break and roll.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19
Worldtown Soundsystem with opener Drum Like a Lady
Worldtown Soundsystem is a high-energy 8 piece live house music outfit uniting the spheres of electronic dance music culture with global rhythms and soul music. Directed by DJ/Producer Ben Arsenal, this energizing ensemble pulls its influences from soulful house, techno, afrobeat, Latin rhythms, and classic funk. The band boasts a seasoned cast of musicians from around the globe with members from Jamaica, Nigeria, Brazil, Alabama, Vermont and their home in Philadelphia. Worldtown’s mission is to celebrate global culture through music and art. Opening the show is Drum Like a Lady, a percussion collective founded by musician and educator LaTreice V Branson, whose mission is to curate creative spaces where people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and lifestyles are welcome to participate in improvisational jam sessions.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 • 6PM
Details coming soon!