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9:13 AM / Tuesday November 29, 2022

29 Apr 2017

Jazz Appreciation Month is Live in the City

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April 29, 2017 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Kendall Alexander
@SteezieKBreezie
Good music will inspire an individual to accomplish great feats. That feel good emotion that sets deep into your body and forces you to toe tap or sway along with the rhythm is incomparable. Good music makes me want to write poetry. It seems fitting that Jazz Appreciation Month falls in the same month as National Poetry Month–April. Both came together for me at the Philly All Star Band’s performance.

Vocalist Madison McFerrin performs with the Philly All Star Band at South restaurant during April’s Jazz Appreciation Month.
Photo courtesy: Kendall Alexander

Consisting of five jazz musicians–Joey DeFrancesco on trumpet and organ, Lil John Roberts on drums, Orrin Evans on piano, Alex Claffy on bass, and Madison McFerrin on vocals–these artists came together to combine their talents to make a joyful noise in the parlor at South Restaurant on April 25. A part of the Philadelphia Jazz Festival, a week long event taking place at various venues in the city, enthusiasts can hear tunes until Sunday, April 30 to wrap up festivities.

The musicians collaborated on the set. From quick tempos and slower tunes, the energy was magnetic. McFerrin performed a beautiful jazz set with the band; her easygoing and soft tones mellow and sweet. If you closed your eyes, you would swear you were listening to vinyl.

Watching the band perform was mesmerizing. Seeing the instant change in their faces from talking to the audience to playing their music, you could see the passion. Orrin Evans was staring beyond the audience into what seems like a musical abyss, and Joey DeFrancesco switched from trumpet to organ with such ease, it’s as if he was born doing so. John Roberts’ expert percussion skills made my heart beat elevate just to keep up, and the low and mellow notes from Alex Claffy’s bass made it all come together.

It was such a treat to listen to this quintet! I cannot wait to hear what else these musicians have in store for the Philadelphia fan base they have created here. They have definitely set the stage for exciting music happenings in the city.

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