By Gavin Lichtenstein
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — From the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame along the avenue of the arts, to the beloved art museum steps in Center City, jazz music has forever been an embodied fabric in the culture of Philadelphia music and history. Free, smooth jazz returns to the stage every Friday night starting August 7th at the Delaware River Water Front.
Shelvia Williams is the program manager at the Water Front and says while in past years they have attracted an older audience, this summer series is quite family friendly.
“It’s just a great time to come out on the Water Front and enjoy some great smooth jazz,” Williams says.
The summer series will kick off August 7 with jazz group ‘Generation NeXt’. Nicholas Cole, 21, plays keyboard for the group and says it isn’t your typical jazz band.
“People can expect me to bring the funk,” says Cole. “We are always going to be high energy and bring tons of excitement to the stage.”
Cole says the group strives to get the audience involved, laughing, and dancing during the show.
“Make memories with your family and loved ones,” Cole says. “That’s the mood we are trying to create at every show we do, that’s our goal.”
In the twenty-first century, Williams believes this successful summer series proves people still can connect and appreciate the beautiful sound of jazz.
“The summer series has proven to stay strong over the past 18 season,” says Williams. “The success just shows that there is still a love for jazz and the smooth jazz genre in the Philadelphia area.”
Smooth Jazz Summer Nights
August 7: Featuring Generation NeXt
August 14: Featuring Brian Culbertson
August 21: Featuring Jazz Attack
August 28: Featuring Mindi Abair
Artists like ‘Jazz Attack’ and ‘Mindi Abair’ have performed for the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights series and will be returning to the water front stage near the end of the month. Artist like ‘Generation NeXt’ and Brian Culbertson will be making their debut.
The free family fun starts 7:30 every Friday night in August.