The jazz festival that Philly needed

George Burton performs Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

With the recent disbanding of Philly’s well-loved West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, a new showcase has emerged to fill the silence. 

This weekend’s inaugural Center City Jazz Festival will take place at four venues nestled within a three-block radius in the heart of the city.

As envisioned by founder and trombonist Ernest Stuart, the daylong, easily accessible festival will feature more than 50 jazz musicians performing in 17 bands over the course of seven hours. 

“Philly has one of the most storied jazz scenes in the country — but in the last few years, it’s really declined in accessibility and quality,” says Stuart. “On top of that, there’s been some passing of a lot of older influential jazz musicians here. Add that all together in a short period of time.” 

Currently, there is only one club, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, dedicated solely to jazz in the nation’s fifth largest city. “Now that’s a problem,” says Stuart. “My idea for the festival was born from that situation.”

Pianist George Burton, one of this weekend’s performers, attributes his musical education to the city. “I grew up 100 percent a product of Philadelphia in every way, shape and form,” says Burton. 

As the son of music teachers, a graduate of the city’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts and an alumna, like Stuart, of Temple’s Jazz Studies program, Burton believes in the festival’s potential to renew the scene and provide valuable exposure. “People are still trying to find somewhere to play,” says Burton. “I hope this brings more audiences back not only to jazz, but live music in general.” 

A new energy

Mike Boone is one of the city’s most seasoned jazz musicians. For him, the festival is the perfect time to recruit some new members to the scene.

“Philadelphia isn’t just cheesesteaks, sports and hoagies — we hope to bring awareness that there’s also jazz here in this town,” he says.  “Listen to it! It’s a viable thing, and it’s happening right now. The jazz scene has always been kind of self-contained without a large influx of new listeners. So if anything, I hope that the festival at least grabs people’s attention to increase the self-esteem of the musical community–and the whole community of arts. You gotta start somewhere.”

If you go

Saturday, 1-8 p.m.
Time Restaurant, Fergie’s Pub, MilkBoy Philadelphia and Chris’ Jazz Cafe
$25 (general admission all-access pass)
www.ccjazzfest.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.