Featuring Fiidla and Urban Classique
+ very special guests
Last year's show was a sell out and we want to keep that energy going strong!It will be a great night of Blues and Bluesy music with lots of Soulful Singing, Impossible Violin playing, Tap dancing, and Great Arrangements, and Special appearances by some of the best entertainers around! This year the guest will include Trumpeter Michael Ray (kool and the Gang, Sun Ra), Tap master Robert Burden, Vocalist and Dancer Zen Aura, Violinist and Composer John Blake jr.,and others!!
There will be 2 shows..one at 6:30 and the other at 9pm
Doors open at 8:30pm.
There is an earlier show at 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm)
General admission for both shows:
at the door: $30
General admission to one show:
at the door: $16
Student or senior admission to one show:
at the door: $12
Buy tickets HERE
More info: 215-748-5008
More info on Fiidla, John Blake, Jr, Zen Aura, Robert Burden, and Michael Ray ----some of the performers gracing the stage!
*Fiidla (the Urban Virtuoso) ..Vocalist, Violinist, Multi-Instrumentalist
An All-round performer, Fiidla has entertained Millions on Stages throughout the world. Performed and Recorded on every medium, and has been showcased and featured on MTV,VH1, BET, and CNN. Born in London. Fiidla began his musical journey listening to his Mother sing Opera, while his Father played Jazz records over his crib. Compared to Michael Jackson as a youth, Fiidla's voice was so high that he actually sang to the birds that populated his Grandparents’ yard. His love of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Prince, Michael Jackson and others, .eventually gave way to Al Jarreau, Nat King Cole, Billy Holiday and other Jazz vocalists, and a love of World music.
From his first radio performance on Temple University's WRTI..taking a violin solo over a Jazz record, Fiidla went on to Performing with The legendary Sun Ra traveling extensively for 7 yrs and in between performing as an opening act for Stanley Clark, Marcus Robert, and McCoy Tyner and others..and managed to study with John Coltrane's- Mentor Dennis Sandoli and receive advice and encouragement from Max Roach, Billy Taylor, and even Ella Fitzgerald.
"It seemed that I was constantly in the right place to step into history"
While Attending IUP..He toured with Pop Group Surface as a lead Vocalist and violinist ..Graduated with an MA in Jazz and started recording a project for Sister Soulja that was derailed by the death of Biggie Smalls. Arranged and Performed in a series of musicals, then directed a 25 pc Orchestra as the Musical Director for the Million Woman March.
This love of supporting social causes led to his Recording with Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Doug E. Fresh and others on Raucus records "Hip Hop 4 Respect”. Soon Recording with Common, Wyclef and others...He earned the title of mentor and voice teacher for Mary J Blige, Mario, Lil Kim and dozens of artist in Hip Hop and R&B. Fiidla's 4 octave-plus vocal range and his bluesy 5 string violin slides, eventually were joined by dozens of other instruments that he learned along the way.
Fiidla's music a blend of World Music, Jazz and R&B..He calls "World Soul" speaks to audiences who love passion and intensity of every culture and age. Forming his own orchestra which he calls Urban Classique. He released "The State Of Things" and also recorded and performed with The entire roster of Philadelphia International Records on "Love Train-the Music of the Sound of Philadelphia"...Now in the studio recording a release for 2010...He plans to Release "Renaissance"..a passionate statement of his musical journey and growth.
John Blake —
The Man, The Legend.
John Blake, Jr. has been one of the world’s leading jazz violinists for over four decades. A four-time winner of the Down Beat Critics’ Poll Violinist Deserving Wider Recognition category he was also one of the top two jazz violinists in the 49th, 50th, and 51st Down Beat Readers’ Poll, Classically trained, Blake first gained recognition on early-'70s recordings he made with Archie Shepp and in the mid-70s became established with a global audience during three years recording and touring as a member of Grover Washington, Jr.’s popular “crossover” jazz band. He then spent five years working extensively as a member of various ensembles led by pianist McCoy. Among other artists with whom Blake has performed and/or recorded with are the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Turtle Island String Quartet, Quartet Indigo, the Steve Turre Sextet, the Billy Taylor Trio, Avery Sharpe, Cecil McBee, Jay Hoggard and James Newton. Blake released his recording debut as a leader and composer, Maiden Dance, in 1984, the first of five well-received projects on Gramavision Records including one that teamed him up with fellow jazz violinists Michal Urbaniak and Didier Lockwood. He released his sixth album, Quest that reunited him with Grover Washington and featured Joe Ford, Charles Fambrough, Ben Riley, Omar Hill, Joey Calderazzo, on Sunnyside Records 1992. Blake’s first recording with his current quartet, The Traveler, was released in 2007.
Born in Philadelphia on July 3, 1947, Blake began studying violin in that city’s public school system and at the Settlement Music School. After graduating from West Virginia University he did postgraduate work at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Montreux, Switzerland and received a grant to study studied East Indian music. In addition to his work as an instrumentalist performing with his quartet and as a featured guest soloist at concerts and on studio sessions, Blake is also an accomplished composer, arranger and producer as well as an author, teacher and lecturer who presents hundreds of workshops annually to musicians at all levels. He co-wrote with Suzuki educator Jody Harmon J.I.M.E., the definitive beginning string jazz method book and CD in use around the world. In addition to lecturing on campuses throughout the US, Blake is on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and has been a guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2004 he was appointed to the Basler Chair of Excellence for the winter semester at East Tennessee State University and that year also was awarded a Chamber Music America Jazz Composer Grant.
A rare mixture of passion and sensitivity, Zen Aura is a favorite on both musical and theatrical stages. Her liquid soprano coaxes sweet jazz melody while her powerful lower registry belts out the Blues and Rock. A protégé of Italian Maestro Antonio D’Ambrosino and Jazz Master Owen “Fiidla” Brown, Zen Aura has delivered powerful performance at the Clifford Brown and West Oak Lane Jazz Festivals to name a few. As a poet she is known for her thought provoking lyrics and stirring delivery and has been the focus of documentaries on HBO and MTV. A multiple Award Winner in athletics and dance, Zen Aura’s social activism garnished her the Ladies of Distinction Award from Lincoln University.
Robert Burden is a native Philadelphian. He received his BFA in jazz dance from the University of the Arts in 1988, having studied with LaVaughn Robinson and Germaine Ingram, two of Philadelphia’s tap masters. Mr. burden has been mentored by Mr. Robinson since 1983 and continues to receive advice from him. He is currently the Executive and Artistic Director of Tap Team Two & Company, Inc. The company is based in Philadelphia and tours the country for Young Audiences. Through Young Audiences, Tap Team Two have traveled nationally working for fourteen of the thirty-two Young Audiences organizations. In 2000, Tap Team Two and Company was awarded The Artist of The Year, the highest honor in the Young Audiences organization. With the company Mr. Burden has created 7 shows “Cyndi-Ella”, “With or Without Shoes”, An Evening of Tap", "The Fifth Anniversary Concert", "Steppin Through the Strings" (a collaboration with John Blake Jr.), "Winter Rhythms" (a company collaborative) and “Feet Talk”. In 1992, Mr. Burden completed the work Cyndi –Ella, a tap ballet of the fairytale Cinderella funded by the IPAP award from the Community Education Center, which received rave reviews, and began the company Tap Team Two & Company. Inc. Mr. Burden has been one of the spearheads for National Tap Dance Day in Philadelphia since 1996. Mr. Burden has performed as a solo artist in the Next Move Concert Series “Fifteen minutes at the Annenberg Center". His performing and teaching skills have taken him abroad to Turkey, Taiwan, Holland, Germany and Czech Republic. Mr. Burden has had the pleasure of teaching the Czech Tap Champions from Prague and being a fly squad member of Riverdance where he studied in the Netherlands with the European Company and performed in Berlin. All of Mr. Burdens’ experiences have allowed him to start long term mentoring projects. He has completed the third year of a project called The New Orleans/ Philadelphia Cultural Exchange Program, which gives 6 children from New Orleans & 5 children from Philadelphia the opportunity to experience each other's culture and study with some of the Masters of Tap Dance such as Diane Walker, LaVaughn Robinson, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde and many more. This project allows Mr. Burden to achieve his artistic mission of keeping tap dance alive and growing through to the next generation.
Michael Ray (Trumpet, keyboards, vocalist, producer, composer)
Ray grew up in Trenton, and began his career in a variety of pop bands, working with everyone from Patti LaBelle to the Delphonics, the Stylistics and Instant Funk. He joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1978 and continues to perform and record with them. Ray is also recognized as a member of the front line for Kool and the Gang, the top selling group of the 1980s He danced, sang, played trumpet, and was a member of the award winning writing and production team that produced 7 platinum/gold albums and 7 top ten hits for the group. Ray won 4 American music awards, 5 Ampex golden reel awards, Grammy nomination, and a Narm award. Sun Ra designated Ray his “Intergalactic Tone Research Scientist” Ray appears on Sun Ra albums on Saturn records, and on CDs released on Enja, Hathut, Rounder, Black Saint, Horo, and A&M, Philly Jazz, and ESP labels. He began leading his own group, The Cosmic Krewe since 1993. Ray combines the best of both his influences, the amazing cosmos-drama and outer space presentations of Sun Ra, and the high energy rock/funk shows of Kool and the Gang. He calls his own music” Jazz funk of the future” The Cosmic Krewe has been voted “best of the fest” every performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival. The Cosmic Krewe was nominated for “best contemporary jazz” and performed at the 7th Big Easy Entertainment awards. His innovative multi-art collaborations focusing on sound and color utilize avant garde jazz compositions; neon set installations, dance and poetry. The concept earned the group a regional arts award in 1993 funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller and Andy Warhol foundations. “Jazz as performance art” theme productions include tribute shows to the Haitian Vibration, the spoken word, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Sun Ra. His audiences are interesting mixtures of baby boomers jazz aficionados, neo-hippie jam band fans, alternative rockers, funk and jazz revivalists and folks looking for the creative and experimental. The Cosmic Krewe has performed at several major festivals including Umbria jazz fest, Perugia jazz fest, “Free jazz fest” in Rio, Earshot jazz in Seattle, Boston Globe Fest, multiple years at the Discover Jazz fest in Vermont, Syracuse jazz fest, Kansas City blues and jazz fest, Knitting factory and Texaco jazz fest in NYC, Jacksonville jazz fest in Fla, Cancun jazz fest, San Francisco jazz fest. Ray is highly regarded as a world class jazz player, who has performed and recorded with Phish, Shibusa Sharazu, and Porno for Pyros. The Cosmic Krewe has released their first C.D. on Evidence records entitled the Cosmic Krewe and their second on Monkey Hill records entitled “Funk if I know” His latest C.D. is called “Amazing Universe” containing several tracks thought to be lost in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Critics have called this band “The best big little band on the planet” and “Jazz you have to dance to”
*Contact 215 748 5008,Fiidla@yahoo.com or visit Fiidla.com