40th Street Summer Series

The 2018 40th Street Summer Series—co-produced by University City District, Penn, and The Rotunda—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. Stay tuned for details on the 2019 series of performances. 


Thank you to our 2018 sponsors:



2018 Schedule



Double headliners the West Philadelphia Orchestra and Dan Blacksberg’s Hot Klezmers

Thanks to everyone who joined us at The Rotunda for the special double headliner featuring the West Philadelphia Orchestra and Dan Blacksberg's Hot Klezmers! 





Thee Phantom & the Illharmonic Orchestra with Tyva Kyzy (SHOW MOVING INDOORS TO THE ROTUNDA)

Thee Phantom & the Illharmonic Orchestra blend hip-hop, dance, and live orchestration to create a unique experience. They’ve performed at the Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and even at President Obama’s final holiday party. Thee Phantom, born Jeffrey McNeill, wrote his first rhyme at the age of 8 and made his first beat by mixing the instrumentals from the Beastie Boys’ Paul Revere with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at age 12. In 2002, Phantom became the first Hip-Hop artist to perform at Philadelphia’s prestigious Kimmel Center with musical accompaniment from members of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Phantom has since formed his own ensemble, dubbed The Illharmonic Orchestra, and has toured the United States and Japan. The group has also released two albums: Hero Complex in 2006 and Making Of An Underdog in 2009. Phantom’s third album Maniac Maestro is slated for release in 2018. 

Hear Thee Phantom & the Illharmonic Orchestra on Soundcloud.


Opening the show will be Tyva Kyzy  (“Daughters of Tuva”), the first and only women’s group in Tuva that performs all styles of Tuvan throat-singing. This form of multiple tones harmonic singing has been practiced mostly by men and prohibited for women. Tyva Kyzy dares to perform publicly this ancient art of singing in their own unique “feminine” style.

Hear Tyva Kyzy on Youtube.


At the June Semmer Series staff from the University City Arts League will be making Hip Hop themed bling! Come make your own boombox pendant, or get creative with the help of our artists.




Las Cafeteras with Philadelphia Women's Slavic Ensemble

Born and raised east of the Los Angeles River, Las Cafeteras are remixing roots music and telling modern day stories. Las Cafeteras create a vibrant musical fusion with a unique East LA sound and positive message. Their Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms, and rhymes deliver inspiring lyrics that document stories of a community seeking love and justice in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles. Using traditional Son Jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform), Las Cafeteras sing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish and add a remix of sounds, from rock to hip-hop to rancheras. Las Cafeteras use music as a vehicle to build bridges among different cultures and communities, and create ‘a world where many worlds fit.’

Hear Las Cafeteras on Spotify

PWSE is a fun community choir in West Philly, welcoming singers both new and seasoned. We snack, drink wine, and loudly sing the wonderful folk music of Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia.. and whatever else we find arrangements for!

Hear Philadelphia Women's Slavic Ensemble on Soundcloud








The York Street Hustle with Three Aksha

The York Street Hustle commands the crowd with classic sounds of the 1960s that are reinvigorated, reenergized and reborn. This band’s signature sound permeates through vintage tube amps, giving new life to this nostalgic art form. With grit, sweat, and attention to detail, The York Street Hustle is the Northeast’s premier 10-piece 1960s soul tribute band. The repertoire now spans well over 70 songs including more than a decade's worth of Detroit, Memphis and Chicago soul.

Openers Three Aksha seeks to preserve and promote Indian culture and heritage through classical Indian Bharatanatyam dance choreography. 







New Sound Brass with Joy Ike

Philadelphia’s own New Sound Brass mixes funk, R&B, gospel and rock to make a sound that’s a fresh and soulful twist on various styles of music. This multi-cultural unit draws influence and inspiration from its vast and diverse background to produce a sound that has been described as Philly Soul spoken through brass. New Sound is not so much new in terms of the sonic, but rather in how the sound is collected, treated and offered back to the audience. The intention is to build culture, community and musical phenomenon by the melding and interplay between band and the audience, a relationship between brass and the listener.

Hear New Sound Brass on Youtube.


Born to Nigerian immigrants, independent artist Joy Ike’s music, voice, and writing has drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Regina Spektor, Norah Jones, and Fiona Apple. But her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing. Leaving her career as a publicist in 2008, Ike has since played hundreds of shows across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest. Not yet a veteran, but more than a newcomer, Ike is and always has been an anomaly. As a singer/songwriter who purposefully refuses to be pigeon-holed into any one specific genre, Ike’s path has consistently taken an “anywhere for anyone” approach playing for intimate audiences in coffeehouse, Universities, house concerts, churches, and small theater settings. A write-up on NPR's All Things Considered says "The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop...a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small."


Hear Joy Ike on Spotify

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].