Philadelphia is alive with the sound of jazz this April. Celebrating Philly's prominence as a jazz culture hub, the entire month is dedicated to the genre with not just performances, but art, discussions, films and more for Jazz Appreciation Month.
The festivities kick off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1 at City Hall (1401 JFK Blvd.), where Mayor Michael Nutter will make statements and pianist McCoy Tyner will be honored with a performance from the Philadelphia Clef Club Youth Jazz Ensemble.
Three Fridays in April, (Fridays April 3, 10 and 17) the Philadelphia Museum of Art's (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) Art After 5 program is dedicated to three jazz artists with international influences. Starting at 5 p.m. each night, the lineup includes The Secret Trio, Denise King and Chris Aschman featuring John Swana.
Get involved in the artistry of the month by lending your talents at any one of the Philadelphia Clef Club's (736 S. Broad St.) Monday Night Jams. From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays April 6, 13, 20 and 27, singers, musicians and poets can flex their musical muscles for the crowd.
Another month-long series, also taking place at the Clef Club (736 S. Broad St.) features film screenings about jazz greats. Including Clint Eastwood's "Bird," starring Forest Whitaker as jazz saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker (7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8) and "A Man Called Adam," starring Sammy Davis Jr. as a troubled jazz musician (6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6), the screenings take place on Wednesdays throughout April.
Jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea are teaming up for an 8 p.m. show at the Academy of Music (Broad and Locust Streets) on Saturday, April 11. In a Philadelphia-only performance, the two will come together for a one-night-only show.
As an artist, John Coltrane has inspired many musicians who followed him. But what about the things that motivated him? Listen to a discussion on how Philadelphia helped shape Coltrane at the Clef Club (736 S. Broad St.) starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 in addition to performances from the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble and Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz Youth Ensemble.
Blending Iraqi and jazz instrumentation, the Two Rivers Ensemble, led by Amir ElSaffar will bring their Middle Eastern influences to the SEI Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce Streets) for an 8 p.m. performance on Saturday, April 18.
In a new book from Drexel assistant professor Alphonso D. McClendon, fashion and race stereotypes in the jazz culture are explored throughout history. Come to a launch event for the book, "Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation," on Monday, April 20 at the URBN Center (3501 Market St.), room 349 for a signing and more, starting at 6 p.m.
The Fourth Annual Center City Jazz Festival will take over Chris' Jazz Café (1421 Sansom St.), Time Restaurant (1315 Sansom St.), Fergie's Pub (1214 Sansom St.), Franky Bradley's (1320 Chancellor St.) and MilkBoy (1100 Chestnut St.) starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. A number of performers, including the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Bootsie Barnes, the Fresh Cut Orchestra and more will play throughout the day, in which one ticket gets you into all venues.
Take a look at the full lineup of events — there's something for everyone.