The 40th Street Summer Series Kicks off 5/20 with Sun Ra Arkestra

May 11, 2017 8 months ago

On May 20th we are welcoming Sun Ra Arkestra back to the 40th Street Summer Series! The 40th Street Summer Series—co-produced by University City District, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Rotunda—will once again enliven the green area behind the Walnut Street Library at 40th Street with free, family-friendly monthly performances. The series runs for five Saturdays: May 20th, June 17th, July 22rd, August 19th, and September 16th. The Summer Series is part of University City District’s Summer in University City series, which features more than 30 unique events from May through September around the neighborhood, making 2017 our biggest event season yet.

This year, UCD is going big with its event season to coincide with the organization’s 20th anniversary. The Summer Series schedule will feature concerts, dance, and theater performances, which will include the return of two favorite groups,the Sun Ra Arkestra and the West Philadelphia Orchestra. The Summer Series attracts business during the typically slow summer months by drawing a crowd, increasing patronage at nearby retailers and building upon the existing vibrancy of 40th Street. At the same time, the series provides entertaining, enriching and safe outlets for families, visitors and students. The 40th Street Summer Series will also feature juggling, face painting, and free samples from Ben & Jerry’s, Saxbys, and Honeygrow. Each event begins at 6 pm with roaming performances, giveaways, and opening acts beginning at 6 pm. This season the Summer Series is also supported in part by Inspire Energy, Campus Philly, 100.3 WRNB, Boom 103.9, Keswick Cycle and Univest.

The Sun Ra Arkestra will return to the 40th Street Summer Series to perform their unique combination of big band swing, outer-space jazz, Afro-pageantry, dancing, singing, and chanting. This marks the third time Sun Ra has performed on the Summer Series stage. Band leader Marshall Allen has been called one of the most distinct and original saxophonists in jazz. RU Bhangra will open the show with traditional Bhangra dancing that focuses on combining folk flavor with an entertaining twist. RSVP for the event here!

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