Philadelphia has long played a key role in York-based saxophonist Tim Warfield’s music, beginning when he would travel to Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus for the club’s famed jazz sessions under the leadership of legendary organist Shirley Scott. Headlining the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival on Saturday is one way he’ll be giving back to the city.
“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned playing with the legends of Philadelphia like Tony Williams, Bootsie Barnes, Larry McKenna and of course Shirley Scott,” Warfield says, “is that music is a communal ritual. It’s one of those things that replenishes when it gets into your body.”
Farah Jimenez of West Philly’s People’s Emergency Center (PEC), hopes that this weekend’s seventh annual daylong festival will have just that effect on the Lancaster Avenue corridor. PEC was founded to aid homeless women and children with housing, and through its Community Development Corporation focuses on community engagement in the neighborhood.
“The festival is a way to partner with neighborhood cultural leaders in bringing jazz and art and community-serving information to our neighbors as a way of building a sense of cohesion and connection to the neighborhood,” Jimenez says.
This year’s fest will feature live music from noon through 7 p.m., with performances by vocalist Charlene Holloway, Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, the Clef Club Youth Ensemble and others preceding Warfield’s show, which will feature his quartet performing music from his latest CD, “Eye of the Beholder.” There will also be a gallery and studio hop spotlighting the corridor’s visual arts, a vendors’ lane and food trucks.
The goal of the festival, Jimenez says, is to show prospective residents and business owners the changes that are happening on Lancaster Ave. “The hope is that they’ll come and see not just great music and food, but also recognize that this might be a wonderful place to open up a business, to work, and to live.”
7th annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival
Saturday, noon-7 p.m.
39th and Powelton streets