DEALING WITH THE FUTURE OF JAZZ IN PHILADELPHIA
The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition is an organization dedicated to the future of jazz in our city. Their mission is to increase the awareness of jazz by way of live performance and educational outreach, with their goals being to sustain, nourish, preserve and promote the unique history and tradition of Philadelphia jazz.
The concept of The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition–comprised in part of a group of jazz presenters, musicians and promoters–is long overdue, most needed and most welcomed.
Announcement of the actual formation of the Coalition–along with in-depth panel discussions about jazz’s future, and the unveiling of the soon-to-be legendary “Great Day in Philadelphia” photograph—will all take place at a “Town Hall Meeting for Jazz” on July 31st.
It is, without doubt, absolutely essential that anyone involved in area jazz or entertainment be in attendance. This free event takes place at The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, Broad and Fitzwater Street, and is planned to run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
The panel discussions will be moderated by veteran television broadcaster Orien Reid. Panelists will include Michael Ricci of AllAboutJazz.com, Jazz Bridge’s Suzanne Cloud, Megan Fitzgerald of the Kimmel Center, – Warren Oree and Graziella D’Amelio of LifeLine Music Coalition, Inc.; Patricia Washington from Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing; Jason Fifield, jazz videographer and CEO of SLife Productions; WRTI Radio jazz host Bob Perkins; Clef Club Community Educator Lovitt Hines; saxophonist and Warriors of the Wonderful Sound bandleader Bobby Zankel; and Melanie Johnson, City Representative of Philadelphia.
One of the evening’s other highlights will be the unveiling the “Great Day in Philadelphia” photograph. This photo, which recalls the legendary, “Great Day in Harlem” photograph, was taken by Elena Bouvier last April in front of the John Coltrane House in West Philadelphia.
Ms. Bouvier will award a signed copy of 200 digital prints of the photograph to all who participated.
Those of you who have read this space know that I have returned to my home town of Philadelphia after almost 10 years in southwest Florida. In terms of the jazz community and the business of jazz in Philadelphia, I’ve found that the issues that confronted us 10 years ago still exist. And it’s due time that these issues—such as too few employment opportunities, less than disgraceful compensation, lack of cooperation and unity among club owners and the musical community—be addressed.
The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition, a body of caring and dedicated professionals, has their work cut out for them. They will need the help, trust and support of the community. Let’s give it to them.
For further information on this important event, contact Bruce Klauber at BKlauber@JazzBridge.org, Suzanne Cloud at Cloud@JazzBridge.org. Interested parties—and you should be—need to register at EventBrite.com. Those wishing to hang and to nosh after the event proper should note that a buffet, costing in the $10 neighborhood, will be set out for one and all.
I anticipate seeing each and every one of you there.