The Dell Music Center in Fairmount Park has announced its lineup for its 2021 summer season, with highlights including R&B and soul legends the Isley Bothers, jazz singer Gregory Porter, and dance parties hosted by Philadelphia deejays Lady B. and Patty Jackson.
The city-owned outdoor amphitheater in Strawberry Mansion will kick off its concert series on Aug. 1 with a triple bill dubbed “A Night of Love,” featuring 1980s and 1990s R&B hitmakers Regina Belle, Peabo Bryson, and Jeffrey Osborne.
That Sunday night show will be followed by three weeks of the Dell’s traditional Thursday night summer shows. On Aug. 5, Tank — the Washington, D.C. “Maybe I Deserve” singer born Durrell Babbs — will top a bill that includes Dru Hill and SWV. Porter tops a bill that includes Stokley and Leela James on Aug. 12.
The final Thursday will feature the Isleys, the band fronted by guitarist Ernie Isley and singer Ronald Isley that has a staggering legacy of pop and funk hits dating back to “Shout” in 1959, including “That Lady,” “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You),” “It’s Your Thing,” and “Fight the Power.” The band recently squared off against Earth, Wind & Fire in a Verzuz online battle. Kelly Price and Carol Riddick will open the show on Aug. 19.
Lady B. will host her annual hip-hop Basement Party on Sunday, Aug. 15. No acts are yet announced for that show. And Party in the Park — hosted by Patty Jackson of WDAS-FM (105.3) — will close out the season on Sunday, Sept. 5, with After 7, Stephanie Mills, and The Whispers.
Last year’s Dell season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this spring, the showplace has been the site of the Philly Vax Jawn COVID-19 vaccine clinic. This year’s concert schedule is abbreviated, the Dell’s Susan Slawson said, because planning and booking were delayed until the city announced that COVID-19 restrictions were being lifted this month.
The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department, which manages the 5,344-capacity roofless Dell, recommends that “unvaccinated audience members should be masked outdoors if they are less than 6 feet away from others, unless eating or drinking.”
Ticket information is available at TheDellMusicCenter.com or from the venue’s box office at 215-685-9564.