Archive for the Music and Film Category

Free Concerts at The Piazza at Schmidts

Posted in Music and Film, Neighborhood Noir, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 15, 2011 by mariamprh











The Piazza at Schmidts

1050 North Hancock Street

Philadelphia, PA


Philly Weekly’s free summer concert series continues this  Wednesday, August 17th at the Piazza at Schmidts, which will feature three reggae and jam bands. The Piazza kick-off event will be held at 6 pm, featuring Nicos Gun, Cheers Elephant , and Hezekiah Jones.  One of the only free events in the region offering live music from well-known local and national bands, PW continues its 20 year long history of concerts in Philly. The event is free and open to all ages.


Read more about the event’s featured artists:


Nicos Gun

Nicos Gun’s sound renders a punk-rock Michael Jackson vibe. The group’s experimental technique, which takes from disparate music genres, results in mad beats that bear resemblance to artists from the Velvet Underground to Lil B.


Cheers Elephant

Cheers Elephant is a band whose rootsy and  energetic sound dominates the tendency to ‘overproduce,’ which can often identify the music industry. Cheers Elephant embraces a raw, playful sound, but remains solid and pleases the ear. According to local reporter Katie Feeny, “if you like Philadelphia and breathing, you’ll like Cheers Elephant.”


Hezekiah Jones

Hezekiah Jones is a folk-inspired band whose members include a collection of Philadelphia artists. Centered around acclaimed songwriter Raphael Cutrufello, the band offers a full sound and resonating harmonies.


A Mosaic Masterpiece on Philadelphia’s South Street

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Local Treasures, Music and Film, Neighborhood Noir with tags , , , , on July 28, 2011 by mariamprh


In the deluge of urban shops that make up South Street is Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. From outside the gates of this public installation, you can see partially into a carefully constructed mosaic labyrinth. Yet, the outsider’s view of this glass garden – which stretches down a half of a city block – does not speak to the magnitude of Zagar’s intricate mosaic sculpture. Every inch of both the indoor gallery and outdoor mosaic sculpture is covered, with bicycle wheels, glass bottles, different sized mirrors, Zagar’s hand-made tiles, and sculptures hailing from Latin America and Asia.

$5 gets you admission into the garden, where visitors can walk through at their leisure.  A now permanent art institution, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens originated in a vacant lot near Zagar’s studio in 1994. Though the previously vacant lot’s owner attempted to sell the land in 2002, the community backed Zagar’s art, which helped to incorporate it as a nonprofit organization. With Zagar’s artwork permanently preserved, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens makes art more accessible to the South Street community, prompting “civic engagement, community beautification, and artistic collaboration.”

PMG’s artistic collaboration extends to its public programs, which include film screenings, artists-in-residencies, concerts, and gallery openings. Every other Sunday, the Garden is home to a variety of themed, hands-on workshops for families. From noon until 4 pm, “Family Jams” can include book arts projects, poetry workshops, paper mosaics, and tile pin-making. Workshops and activities are free with admission.

If you head down to South Street this Saturday, PMG is hosting ART/GAGE: Celebrate Philly Creativity, the Garden’s fourth annual summer festival. With over 30 art and food vendors, and performances and demonstrations from local organizations, the festival is expected to double in attendance from last year. For ticket prices, visit

Taste of Philadelphia Kicks Off Wawa Welcome America!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Food, Music and Film with tags , , , , on June 23, 2011 by mariamprh


Independence Day celebration starts eleven days early for Philadelphians. Starting on June 24th, Welcome America! will kick off a series of events that “showcase what America’s birthplace has to offer.” Sponsored by Wawa, Inc. for the second year in a row, Welcome America! will celebrate the Fourth of July with food, fireworks, and free entertainment.

On Friday, June 24th, Taste of Philadelphia will officially jump start Wawa Welcome America! at Penn’s Landing. From 5-9pm, foodies can enjoy samples of dishes from top Philly restaurants, as well as a performance by jazz musician Gerald Veasley. Admission and entertertainment are free, with samples only costing a few dollars each. Some of the event’s featured restaurants include Chenango, Tiffin, Feast Your Eyes, Marabella Meatball Company, Jamacian Jerk Hut, and Darlings Diner.

On Saturday, June 25th, Taste of Philadelphia starts at 11am for a full second day filled with food and music. Musical genres include jazz, blues, Latin Jazz, and gospel. American Afro-Jazz singer-songwriter Somi is set to play at 8pm, with R&B star Aaron Neville to follow shortly after. Immediately following these performances is one of three Wawa Welcome America! firework displays.

Taste of Philadelphia will wrap up on Sunday, June 26th, with James “JJ” Hairston and Youthful Praise playing the final set of the weekend at 6pm.

After the weekend’s festivities, Wawa Welcome America! continues with a series of events celebrating our Nation’s birthday. If Taste of Philadelphia doesn’t suit you, Wawa Welcome America! is also hosting history-oriented activities for parents and children, as well as multiple film screenings, photo exhibits, and Wawa Hoagie Day.

For a full schedule of events, visit

Fourth Annual Philadelphia Film Festival

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Local Treasures, Music and Film, Neighborhood Noir, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2011 by laurarobbprh

By Laura Robb

This week, the city of Philadelphia will be hosting its Fourth Annual Independent Film Festival. This five-day festival will start Wednesday June 22, and end Sunday June 26.

This festival will bring thousands of people from all around the country to view the over fifty films at the five different venues.

On Wednesday evening, the Media Bureau in Philadelphia will feature the opening film, a documentary called Guns and Weed: The Road to Freedom. This hour and a half documentary will feature two current hot topics in American culture and Politics, the right to bear arms and the war on drugs.

Starting on Thursday, the festival will begin full force at all five of the venues;  The Media Bureau, The Franklin Institute (the Franklin Theatre and Imax Theatre), Cafe Treece, The Raven Lounge, and the Random Tea Room.  

The Raven Lounge will exclusively be holding comedies, while the other venues will be mixing it up with genres ranging from documentaries, drama, horror and comedy.

For local moviegoers’, this local film festival can bring some films that range vastly from the typical summer films you will find at your local theatre.

This eclectic event will be sure to open eyes to the world around us with the documentaries, laugh at the hilarious indie comedies, cringe at the newest thriller/horror movies, all at a very competitive price.

Each screening is only $8.00, which is less than the normal theatres. At the Franklin Institute, each individual screening will cost $10.00, just two more dollars more than the other venues. If you want to make a day of it, $25.00 will get you a day pass to all the screenings at every venue. If film is really an interest, $100.00 will get you an all access pass, for every event at every venue for all five days.

This is a great way to spend a Philadelphia summer evening, for all who choose to stay in town this week. This out of the box event will surely be interesting for film experts as well as amateurs.

For more information, including schedules and box office sales, go to:

The African American Museum in Philadelphia Celebrates its 35th Anniversary

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Music and Film, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 16, 2011 by mariamprh

The African American Museum in Philadelphia will host its 35th Anniversary Celebration June 18th and 19th with a 35 hour party.


The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is celebrating its 35th birthday with an unprecedented 35 hour marathon celebration. Beginning at 8am on Saturday, June 18th and continuing through 7pm on Sunday, June 19th, AAMP will host a “35 hour blockbuster of continuous activities” entitled “The Juneteenth Jam.” Some activities include historic reenactments, family fitness activities, musical performances, tours, book signings, family workshops, snack socials, live media broadcasts, and film screenings.

AAMP President and CEO Romona Riscoe Benson places great importance on the Anniversary’s theme: Honoring Our Legacy, Embracing Our Promise. Developed from the spirit of Sankofa, which connotes taking from the past what is good into the present, AAMP’s overarching theme aims to commemorate the past 34 years and toast to a promising future.

The Juneteenth Jam will continue AAMP’s 35th birthday celebration, which has seen a variety of other programs so far this year. Still ongoing is a weekly evening program called RAAMP It Up Wednesdays, which features live music from 5-8pm every Wednesday. RAAMP It Up will continue up through September 28th.

Below is a full list of activities for the Juneteenth Jam:

8a – 9a                   Prayer/Coffee
9a – 11a                 Family Fitness Activities
11a – 12p               Welcome /Opening
11a – 1p                 Virtual Fitness Activities
12p – 3p                 Philadelphia’s Largest Line Dance
12p – 2p                 Mural Arts Mural Painting Activity
12p – 1:30p            African American Historic Walking Tour
12p – 5p                 Roaming Historic Reenactors
1p – 3p                   Chess Lessons
2p – 4p                   Face Painting/Balloon Art
3p – 4:30p              African American Historic Walking Tour
4p – 6p                   Live Theatrical Presentation
4p – 7p                   Senior Bingo
5p – 7p                   Snack Social
8p – 12a                 Fourth Wall Arts Salon
9:30p – 11:30p       Stargazing, with famed astronomer Derrick Pitts

12a – 2a                 Midnight Snack Social (Lobby)
12a – 3a                 Game Tournament
3a – 8a                   Film Screenings
6a – 8a                   Snack Social
8a                          Morning Libation/Praise
9a                          Prayer/Coffee/Juneteenth Address
10a – 12p              Family Fitness Activities
12p – 1:30p           African American Historic Walking Tour
12p – 5p                Roaming Historic Reenactors
2p – 4p                  Take Home Crafts for Dad, Carla Wiley
4p – 6p                  African American Mural Tour
5p – 6p                  Snack Social
5p – 7p                  Live Theatrical Presentation

Two Fun and Free Concerts

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Music and Film, Neighborhood Noir with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2011 by laurarobbprh

DEK : By Laura Robb

This past Saturday, the Philadelphia area held two large free events, one in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia, the other in New Jersey’s Camden.

Philadelphia’s popular country station WXTU held its 27th anniversary show at the Camden waterfront’s Susquehanna Bank Center.  Performers included American Idols Casey James with Jason Aldean as the headliner.

WXTU throws this massive party each and every year to celebrate its birthday. They make this event free to all, planning ticket runs to raffle off tickets.

They hold the ticket runs all over the The Pennsylvania and New Jersey listening areas where listeners come out by the hundreds to win a coveted pair of these tickets.

Many people of all ages come every year hours before the concert ever starts for the annual country-style tailgate. The parking lots quickly filled up  with cars, pickup trucks, grills, and beer where people celebrated the unofficial start of summer country concerts.

“We come to this show every year, and always get here by 9 AM,” forty-year-old mother of two Beth Wilson said.

Wilson, her husband and a large group of their friends all come to this concert to start off their summer. They all come for the party, and look forward to it all year.

Across the River in Philly, The Piazza at Schmidt’s hosted the  seasons second Summer Block Party show hosted by Radio 104.5.  This alternative rock station hosts several concerts for their listeners free of charge. 

This years first lineup was with the talented Company of Thieves and She Wants Revenge. Just the day prior, Company of Thieves played another free show, live on the radio.

A few thousand people showed up to the Philadelphia event experiencing the beautiful Piazza, in the charming neighborhood of Northern Liberties.

Both events were a great time for anyone who attended. Summer is a time where people love to celebrate life, and there is no better way than to do that with a concert, not to mention a free one!

Check out 104.5′s website to view a lineup of the other Block Parties this summer.

JUMP into Philly Music!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Local Treasures, Music and Film with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2011 by antonioboone

Local music is he heartbeat of Philadelphia’s vibrant culture. Philly music lovers capture the sound of their city within the pages of JUMP: The Philly Music Project.

By: Antonio Boone

The culture of Philadelphia is evident on the surface. Murals are born on tired slabs on concrete and breathe new life into old neighborhoods. Theaters take up residence in hidden alley ways and main streets while local music of any and every genre flows through the eardrums and of every Philadelphia inhabitant. To capture the essence of Philadelphia’s local music in a few dozen pages seems like an impossible task but local writer, photographer and Temple journalism professor George Miller has seemingly captured lighting in a bottle.

The first issue of Jump dropped in early March filling newsstands on college campuses, record stores and restaurants with its unique coverage of music that has never been seen in Philadelphia. “It was unbelievable- the amount of talent that we have here (or that comes through Philly), and the appreciation that we have for that talent. That’s why this mag exists. We love our music” says Miller in the opening feature for Jump. Jump has taken over the city and can be found at a variety of locations throughout Philadelphia. This Coming Monday, March 28th will also mark the official launch party for Jump. Check out the website for more details!