40th Street Summer Series

Thank you to all who attended the 2017 40th Street Summer Series! Please check back in the spring for details on the 2018 schedule. Acts for the 40th Street Summer Series are booked by The Rotunda. 



The 2017 40th Street Summer Series—co-produced by University City District, Penn, and The Rotunda—will take place this year on Saturdays May 20, June 17, July 22, August 19 and September 16 at the green space behind the Walnut Street Library at 40th and Walnut. Activities, free giveaways, and performances begin at 6 pm. See below for the confirmed acts and dates.  

The Summer Series has grown into one of the most popular outdoor summer events in University City. This free outdoor series features internationally-recognized talent in one of “West Philly’s picturesque open green spaces” (Philadelphia Weekly). In the past, the Summer Series has featured internationally-acclaimed acts such as the Millennial Territory Orchestra, Man Man, and the Sun Ra Arkestra, playing free outdoor concerts that capture the soul of the neighborhood. 

This is the 13th anniversary of the 40th Street Summer Series. Stop by beginning at 6 pm for free scoops of ice cream from Ben & Jerry's, free samples of healthy snacks from honeygrow, free cold brew coffee from Saxbys, and free bicycle and helmet safety checks from Keswick Cycle University City.



Thank you to our 2017 sponsors:







2017 Schedule

The Sun Ra Arkestra with openers RU Bhangra

Thank you to everyone who attended! 

Brian Sanders’ Junk with opener Unidos da Filadelfia
Thank you to everyone who attended!

Dan Blacksberg’s Hot Klezmers and the West Philadelphia Orchestra

Check out a special double headliner!  Philadelphia-native and internationally renowned trombonist Dan Blacksberg brings an all-star klezmer band to the Summer Series for an evening of joyous music and dancing. Dan and his Hot Klezmers will bring a party with music drawn from klezmer's long history in Eastern Europe and in early 20th century America to the modern klezmer of today. Audiences of any age, and size can move their bodies and get their Ashkenzi groove on. Then the West Philadelphia Orchestra (WPO) will bring their mashup blend of Balkan brass traditions, American jazz, and global beats to the stage. With cutting brass, searing woodwinds and some of the tightest beats around, West Philadelphia Orchestra invites audiences to lose themselves in earthy sounds that shake, break and roll.

Worldtown Soundsystem with opener Drum Like a Lady

Worldtown Soundsystem is a high-energy 8 piece live house music outfit uniting the spheres of electronic dance music culture with global rhythms and soul music. Directed by DJ/Producer Ben Arsenal, this energizing ensemble pulls its influences from soulful house, techno, afrobeat, Latin rhythms, and classic funk. The band boasts a seasoned cast of musicians from around the globe with members from Jamaica, Nigeria, Brazil, Alabama, Vermont and their home in Philadelphia. Worldtown’s mission is to celebrate global culture through music and art. Opening the show is Drum Like a Lady, a percussion collective founded by musician and educator LaTreice V Branson, whose mission is to curate creative spaces where people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and lifestyles are welcome to participate in improvisational jam sessions.


Banda Magda with opener Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde

Led by Greek-born composer, orchestrator, singer and accordionist Magda Giannikou (Kronos Quartet, Louis CK), Banda Magda moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and Afro-Peruvian lando. Drawing on the band’s global background (Greece, Argentina, Japan, Colombia, USA), the group combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, sophisticated audience participation, mid-century classics and world “chansons” sung in 6 languages. Opening the show will be Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde, offering a sound that spans continents, exuding strength of Spirit, and inspiring audiences to dance to the rhythm of rebellion.


Produced by:


For general event inquiries, contact Margaret Leidy Starke, Event Planner at 215.243.0555 x227 or [email protected].

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Sarah Davis, Director of Development at 215.243.0555 x226 or [email protected].