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.
||The Jazz Bridge “Jazz at the Center” First Wednesdays Neighborhood Concerts Series at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts--439 Ashbourne Road in Cheltenham—presents singer Rhenda Fearrington on Wednesday, May 6. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For info: 215-517-8337 or visit jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Originally from New York, vocalist Rhenda Fearrington’s eclectic repertoire is an authentic and warm combination of jazz standards mixed with soulful originals. This dynamic talent spent years as a commercial/jingle singer; and performed in schools for 15 years with her “Feel Sooo Good Tour;” a motivational program that focused on building the self-esteem of children Fearrington remains true to her roots, and those roots also include singing on the international stage as a back-up singer for Roberta Flack and MTUME. She co-produced her first solo CD, “This Moment’s Sweetness,” in 2012, which featured, among others, bassist Mike Boone and tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna. Fearrington is also a writer, having had a published column, “The ABC of it,” in the Suburban & Wayne Times, and spent six years writing children’s book reviews for Kids Can Press, LTD (Canada). Her independent blogs and reviews about the Philadelphia jazz scene are among the most widely read in the region.
Rhenda Fearrington is available for interviews: 610-745-3011.
||The Jazz Bridge “Jazz in the Wood” First Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts Series at the Collingswood Community Center--30 East Collings Avenue in Collingswood, NJ—presents bassist Dylan Taylor on Thursday, May 7. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For info: 856-858-8914, 215-517-8337 or visit jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Bassist/cellist/composer/arranger Dylan Taylor is a veteran mainstay of our region’s jazz scene, having provided the “bottom” for name artists such as Lee Konitz, Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison, Larry Coryell, Bobby Zankel, Khan Jamal and dozens of others. He studied bass with Al Stauffer, Dennis Sandole, Buster Williams and John Pattitucci at City College of New York, where he also studied composition with Mike Holober. As a recording artist, his “Sweeter for the Struggle” CD, which features his friend Larry Coryell and three Dylan Taylor originals, was well received by critics and listeners. “Sweeter for the Struggle” encapsulates Taylor's spiritual feelings regarding his work as a player, as a leader and his overall worldview: That positive hope combined with the musical diversity displayed in his compositions--weaving together Afro Cuban, fusion, straight ahead, blues and avant garde—can play a part in a larger message of connecting us all individually to something bigger than ourselves, a sum truly greater than its parts. As Dylan Taylor says, "I hope that my music can contribute in some way to this process."
Dylan Taylor is available for interviews: 610-745-3011.
The Eighth Annual "Zannie-Do Fest"
||The Eighth Annual "Zannie-Do Fest" is happening on Saturday, May 9 at the Mermaid Inn, 7673 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, with some fabulous blues groups giving their time and talent to raise money for Jazz Bridge in memory of the late Philadelphia blues/jazz singer Zan Gardner. Gardner, a founding member of the nonprofit Jazz Bridge, tragically died in a car accident eight years ago. Appearing at this year's fest are charismatic R & B Masters, The Flashpoints; and Sister Blue and Friends. Showtime is 9:00 p.m. and ickets are $10, $5 for students and are available only at the door. Information: 215-247-9797 or 215- 517-8337.
Wailing sax, stinging guitar and a rock solid foundation is what The Flashpoints bring to each show. The Flashpoints play Rhythm & Blues from the time when it was a mixture of jump blues ala Louis Jordan and The Treniers, rock and roll. and soul. Long time Philadelphia fan favorites, they will have the place jumping.
A Philly native, Sister Blue fronts a driving blues band, with powerful vocals and stinging guitar leads. For variety, Sister Blue also leads an acoustic duo, playing blues and ragtime, including renditions of her favorite Bessie Smith songs, as well as originals. Described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “belter of the blues,” and by the Northeast Times as a singer whose “soul fights its way out and fills the room with well-seasoned wisdom and joy,” Sister Blue has appeared on the bill with dozens of blues greats through the years. That list includes B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Hammond, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Taj Mahal and Roomful of Blues.
Sister Blue is available for interviews: 610-745-3011
||The Jazz Bridge “Jazz at the Sanctuary” Second Wednesdays Concert Series in Center City presents bassist Jeff Pedraz at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion--2110 Chestnut Street--on Wednesday, May 13. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and are available only at the door. Show time is 7:30. Information: 215-517-8337 or visit jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts.
Jeff Pedraz has always wanted to play music. As a youngster, he studied violin for three years, but switched to bass on the advice of his music teacher. In his college freshman year, this bassist/educator/composer went to see his very first jazz concert, featuring the great guitarist Pat Martino at Philadelphia's Zanzibar Blue jazz club. In the same room just five years later, this versatile and accomplished artist made his debut with Martino's quintet. His work with Martino took him to clubs, concert halls and festivals all over the world. He’s also performed with—among many others-- Jimmy Oliver, Cecil Payne, Sam Dockery, Trudy Pitts, Billy James, Jimmy Bruno, Tony Micelli, Tim Warfield, John Swana and some road and touring time with master jazz vocalist Kurt Elling. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Temple University, and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts.
Jeff Pedraz is available for interviews: 610-745-3011.
Jazz in Hawthorne Park - A FREE Four-Concert Series
||It’s time to bring those lawn chairs, beach blankets and picnic baskets out of storage! Jazz Bridge will again be partnering with Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition (HEC), sponsor of “Friends of Hawthorne Park,” for a series of free summer concerts. Jazz Bridge and HEC, both Pennsylvania nonprofit corporations, will sponsor “Jazz in Hawthorne Park.” a four-concert series, to be performed in Hawthorne Park at 12th and Catharine Streets in Philadelphia on May 21, June 18, July 16, and August 20. Each concert will feature one of our region’s finest jazz groups in concert from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Further information: jazzbridge.org or hecphilly.org
Bassist/composer/educator/entrepreneur Gerald Veasley, who has played with dozens of giants including Grover Washington, Jr., pays tribute to the legendary Charles Mingus via his “Electric Mingus Project” on Thursday, May 21.
Saxophonist/composer/educator/arranger Odean Pope defines the words “living legend.” Joe Lovano called him a “bad, bad beautiful musician. Pope, who spent 20 years in the group of famed drummer Max Roach, brings his quartet to Hawthorne on Thursday, June 18. This performance is part of the City of Philadelphia's Performances in Public Spaces program managed by the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.
Vocalist Barbara Walker, who seamlessly combines the genres of jazz and rhythm and blues, has toured with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Chick Corea, and Branford Marsalis. Barbara Walker appears at Hawthorne on Thursday, July 16.
Tenor saxophonist Robert “Bootsie” Barnes embodies the spirit and the tradition of everything that was and is Philadelphia jazz. There likely isn’t a jazz giant who this multi-award-winning tenor saxophonist has not played with Barnes with will perform with his trio on Thursday, August 20.
Jazz Bridge, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to assisting Greater Philadelphia Metro area jazz and blues musicians and vocalists in times of crisis, sponsors these neighborhood concerts throughout the region to keep the sound of Philadelphia alive.
The Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition is a community organization with the mission of improving the quality of life for all residents—approximately 3,500-- of the Hawthorne Neighborhood of South Philadelphia. The summer concert series in Hawthorne Park is being presented in collaboration with--and via funding from--Friends of Hawthorne Park, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Fairmount Park Conservancy.
All artists are available for interviews: 610-745-3011
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