Welcome to the site of the best of original Philadelphia music
~ as heard through the ear of Will Smith Sr. as he travels through the City of Brotherly Love. Here you will find information on artists he has worked with, met and recorded. Plus artists bio's, sound clips, video's, pictures and more...
Philly Through My Ear also offers Video Services around the Philadelphia area. We can shoot, edit and produce events, club appearances, jam sessions and more. Check out our Services section for more details.
Check back with us often to hear, watch and keep informed on the the artists you can find out about on the site but the entire Philadelphia music scene. So if music provides you with a warm spot in your heart, you have arrived.
George A. Johnson, Jr.
Jazz Bridge presents their “First Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts Series-Jazz in the Wood” at the Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108. This concert, fifth in the series, features drummer George A. Johnson, Jr. and his group on Thursday, February 4. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free. For more info call: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
George A Johnson Jr., a third generation drummer from Bridgeton, NJ, began playing drums at the age of five and playing professionally at the age of 12 in the Atlantic City music scene. As a young adult, Elvin Jones and Art Blakey mentored Johnson; in fact, it was Jones who helped Johnson pick out his first set of drums.
In his career, George has shared the stage or toured with some of the giants of jazz: Jimmy Garrison, Buster Williams, Ron Carter, Lou Donaldson, Cedar Walton, Lonnie Liston Smith, George Adams, Curtis Fuller, Johnny Hammond, Gene Ammons, Abdullah Abraham, Wynton Marsalis, Charles Earland.
George spent three years touring with pianist, McCoy Tyner who said, “George is a world class drummer…one of the very best around.”
George A. Johnson, Jr. is available for interviews: 610-745-3011
V. Shayne Frederick
Jazz Bridge presents their “Second Wednesdays Neighborhood Concert Series- Jazz in the Sanctuary” in Center City at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut St., Philadelphia PA 19103. This concert, fifth in the series, features vocalist V. Shayne Frederick and his band on Wednesday, February 10. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For more info call: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
V. Shayne Frederick is a vocalist, pianist, arranger, and poet. He began his formal musical study at Dartmouth College, and then later in a local jazz ensemble in Philadelphia led by the legendary Trudy Pitts. Born into music in North Carolina, he has been featured on stages such as Resorts Casino, Valley Forge Casino, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Society Hill Playhouse, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Barnes Art Collection. V. Shayne has served as a Musical Director, creative consultant, and performer for Philadelphia Jazz Project concerts, and recently was featured in the John Coltrane Jazz Tribute and Festival. According to AllAboutJazz.com, V. Shayne “has a remarkable range. His interpretations are carefully crafted around the meaning of the words and the structure of the melody. Frederick is definitely one to watch." V. Shayne brings a dynamic flavor and charm to the cultural phenomenon called Jazz.
V. Shayne Frederick is available for interviews: 610-745-3011
Jazz Bridge presents their “Second Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts Series-Jazz at Foster’s Military Lodge,” 351 Charleston Rd, Willingboro, NJ 08046. This concert, fifth in the series, features Vertical Current on Thursday, February 11. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For more info call: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Bringing the mass appeal of pop music, the charisma of jazz, the groove of funk and the soul of gospel, Vertical Current is not your typical ensemble. Since the formation of the band in 2009, “VC” has been busy crafting fresh and exciting original music by harnessing the skill and experience of its members. Tapping into the vibrant creative energy of the incredible musical community surrounding them continues to result in a unique and powerful sound.
Individually, the members of Vertical Current have traveled throughout the world, performing and recording with an array of celebrated and award winning artists including Roberta Flack, John Legend, Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, The Roots, J Cole, Tye Tribbett and more. Not surprisingly, their interaction with such amazing artists and composers has further kindled Vertical Current’s passion to create and perform at the highest level.
As a band, VC has worked with a number of artists including two-time Grammy Award Nominee Eric Roberson, Stellar Award winner Jessica Reedy, BET Music Matters Artist Leah Smith and the incomparable Frank McComb. Some of the band's highlights include opening for Eric Roberson’s The Box Tour (2014), performing for the annual We Feed The Homeless Philly benefit concert (2014/2015), performing at the Lancaster Ave Jazz Fest (2012), the Center City Jazz Fest (2013), the Collingswood Mayfair (2013), and opening for The Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live.
Since then, the band has grown to include two vocalists, Chartel Findlater and Shelia Moser, percussionist Walt Nash, saxophonist Sam Greenfield and Flutist Elijah Thomas. VC's brand of music is a unique blend of genres that is intended to uplift and inspire. The band is excited to share their compositions and dynamic live performance with the world. Following up their eclectic 2011 debut EP “aRe” (produced by Philadelphia hit-maker Donald Robinson), VC’s first full-length project “Bright Side of Midnight” (available now) and a live studio DVD recording which is currently in the final stages of production, and due to be released this year. Vertical Current is poised to take flight and invites you to join them on their journey!
The members of Vertical Current are available for interviews: 610-745-3011
WRTI Radio’s Jeff Duperon hosts the premier season of “Jazz at Fellowship Hall” Third Wednesdays Neighborhood Concert Series at Ridge Avenue Methodist Church, 7811 Ridge Avenue, Roxborough, PA 19128. This concert, fifth in the series, features Josh Lawrence and his group on Wednesday, February 17. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For more info call: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Josh Lawrence is a jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and educator living in Philadelphia where he is on faculty at the University of the Arts and Drexel University. Lawrence has three solo albums under his name, has recorded as a sideman with Erykah Badu and Boyz II Men, and performs with pianist Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band , bassist Anthony Tidd’s PACT, saxophonist Bobby Zankel & the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, guitarist Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph, drummer Francois Zayas, and singer Venissa Santi.
With bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Anwar Marshall, Lawrence co-leads the Fresh Cut Orchestra, a burgeoning large ensemble from Philadelphia that started with a commission from Lenny Seidman of the fabled Painted Bride Art Center. FCO’s debut release, “From the Vine,” features all original music, and has a far-reaching, panoptic quality. Across nine tracks, the swarming and immersive “From the Vine”—out now on Ropeadope Records—fills your ears with a variety of textures.
The album received four stars in Down Beat magazine and the New York Times’ Ben Ratliff wrote: “The Fresh Cut Orchestra is a new young 10-piece Philadelphia-jazz municipality, a little hard to define and very much worth looking into… there’s a range of music here that might broaden your context, from tight Ellingtonian ballads to squalling empathetic vamp tunes to post-rock and electronica. The group’s first record, From the Vine, is full of grooves, never dry.
Josh Lawrence is available for interviews: 610-745-3011
Jazz Bridge presents their “Third Thursday Neighborhood Concert Series-Jazz on the Main Line,” at The New Leaf Club, 1225 Montrose Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010 on Thursday, February 18. This concert, fifth in the series, features vocalist Ella Gahnt and her band. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For more info call: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Ella Gahnt is vocalist in the jazz/traditional pop style who has performed with some of the most talented musicians in the quad-state area of Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. Together, they tell stories in songs written and made famous by the best songwriters and singers in the world.
She’s worked professionally as a studio vocalist/performer for many years in public and private venues around the area. Some of her most memorable performance sites include the Painted Bride for the CoreStates Corporate Night featuring the "Philly Divas of Jazz, Poetry, and Comedy" in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the fantastic "Just Us" Concert with Ms. Pearl Williams, the Philly Fall Festival of Jazz at WHYY-TV's Forum Theatre, Haverford College in Haverford, PA, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, Annenberg's Zellerbach Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, and The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts.
Ella Gahnt’s CD’s are currently in rotation on a few radio stations on the East Coast including WRTI-FM, as well as a few internet radio stations. Her first CD, “Immaculate Union,” and is a collaborative effort by The Dr. Jay Trio (pianist Dr. Jay Fluellen, bassist Micah Jones, and drummer Tony DeAngeles), husband, Leon Mitchell, and godson Kenny Thompson. The CD contains standards as well as originals by Leon Mitchell, Ella Gahnt, and several from Jay.
Her latest, “By Request,” was created from two live performances. The first part was recorded live in the Performance Hall at WRTI-FM Studios in Philadelphia. The rest of the CD was recorded live from a wonderful sell-out concert done at the Allens Lane Art Center in Philadelphia during April 2006. The rhythm section for both performances included a wonderful group of young musicians: Joshua Richman (piano), Matt Turowski (bass), and Ryan Vaughn (drums). Both CDs are on the Inner Fire Records and are available via CD Baby.
Gahnt believes that her job as a vocalist is to convey an interpretation of the songwriter's story to the audience with as much emotion, clarity, beauty, and technique as possible. Her personal challenge is to control the balance between all of these things and enjoy the experience at the same time.
Ella Gahnt is available for interviews: 610-745-3011
|The 12th annual Jazz Bridge Neighborhood Concert Series promises to be the most exciting and wide-ranging ever, with more than 200 jazz and blues instrumentalists and vocalist performing 48 concerts at six area venues. And this season, Jazz Bridge is presenting concerts on two new stages: the Second Thursday series at Foster Military Lodge, 351 Charleston Road in Willingboro, NJ, hosted by Edgardo Cintron; and the Third Wednesday Series at Fellowship Hall, 7811 Ridge Avenue—the corner of Ridge and Shawmont Avenues in Roxborough, PA, hosted by WRTI Radio’s Jeff Duperon. All shows begin at 7-30 p.m. and tickets—door sale only—are $10 general admission and $5 for students. For more information on Jazz Bridge and this year’s season, visit jazzbridge.org or call 215-517-8337.
422 Delaware Ave.
Live Jazz every Thursday from 8pm to 11pm
Brownie’s Par Four Lounge
72nd and Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Live Jazz every Wednesday from 10pm to 1am
Featuring The Budesa Brothers with Lucky Thompson
Carlette’s Backyard BBQ
57th and Elmwood Street, Philadelphia, PA
Live Jazz every Thursday from 7pm to 11pm
Featuring The Budesa Brothers with Eric Roberts
Chris’ Jazz Café
1421 Sansome Street, Philadelphia, PA
Live Jazz Monday through Saturday
Elena’s Showcase Lounge
4912 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Live jazz open jam session featuring The Budesa Brothers with Lucky Thompson
8:30pm to 11:30pm
132 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Live jazz open jam session featuring Mike Boone, Byron Landham, and Sid Simmons
Every Wednesday 8pm
Larose Jazz Club
5531 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Live jazz open jam session featuring Rob Henderson and friends
7pm to 11pm
Live jazz featuring Tony Williams and Friends
6pm to 11pm
7152 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia
Live jazz open jam session featuring Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
8pm to 11pm
Live jazz Thursday Thru Sunday
The Top Shelf Lounge
56th and Market Street
Live jazz every Saturday
4pm to 8pm
1310 N. Broad St.
Sunday Nite Jazz is Back
Open Jam Session 8-11pm
Featuring The Budesa Brothers with Lucky Thompson
23rd Street Café
233 N. 23rd Street
Live jazz open jam session featuring Father John D’Amico, Jim Dofton, and Kenny Davis
7:30pm to 11:30pm
Columbus Blvd. @ Reed Street Philadelphia
Join us EVERY Wednesday and Thursday for GREAT music!
EVERY Wednesday, join us at 6pm for 'Latin Soul' with Edgardo Cintron and the Cintron Band!
All performances begin at 6pm and feature great music, free admission, free buffet, and free parking.
The Twilight Lounge
20th and Bainbridge Sts. Philadelphia
Jam session on Thursday's 9p-12am.
Lucky Thompson's DNA
Everybody Oughta Have One
The Tony Smith Quintet
Slammin' at Christina
Jazz Organ Jazz Guitar
Umar A. Raheem