Friday, May 17, 2013

UCD, The Rotunda and Penn to present five free extraordinary outdoor concerts: Man Man side project Spaceship Aloha, big band performances featuring the music of Sly & The Family Stone and Pakistani Legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the whimsical Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra, and much more.

For Immediate Release. Contact: Mark Christman, University City District, 215-243-0555 or [email protected]

(Philadelphia, PA) – University of Pennsylvania, University City District (UCD), and The Rotunda are pleased to announce the 2013 (and newly-expanded!) concert calendar for the annual 40th Street Summer Series, the free outdoor performance series in University City. Scheduled for the last Saturdays in May to September, the Summer Series will transform the 40th Street Field into a family-friendly center of global sounds and good vibrations. These free outdoor performances will feature internationally-renowned ensembles including Brooklyn Qawwali Party (performing the work of legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), the whimsical Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra, the Millennial Territory Orchestra (performing the music of Sly and The Family Stone), Spaceship Aloha (featuring Man Man’s Chris Powell), and more to be announced. All concerts will be held on the beautiful green space just behind the Walnut Street Free Library at 40th and Walnut Streets beginning at 6pm. Complimentary (first come, first served) Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and pretzels will also be given out during the performances.

Saturday, May 25 | Brooklyn Qawwali Party

Brooklyn Qawwali Party is a thunderous 11-piece brass band from NYC that reworks 700 year-old Pakistani Sufi Music (called Qawwali; think gospel music goes to Pakistan) into a sound that gets folks dancing, shaking, sweating, and even whirling! Paying tribute to one of the world’s great vocalists, BQP formed to honor the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, reworking his thunderous songs for this eclectic orchestra. Funky, smart, and loving, BQP captures the joyful spirit of this Pakistani folk music in a unique instrumental blend of jazz and Qawwali. It's a good time, it's from the heart, and it's like nothing you've ever heard. Plus, a performance of Arab Music by members of Al-Bustan's Resident Ensemble: HAFEZ EL ALI KOTAIN (percussion) and KINAN IDNAWI (oud) will open this evening.

Saturday, June 29 | Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra

Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra, a twelve piece ensemble comprised of bohemians, libertines and ukulele enthusiasts, are on a crusade to promote Truth and Beauty through that most democratic of musical instruments. Interpreting the music of the 20s and 30s, this rare appearance from the Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra is not to be missed or heard!

Saturday, July 27 | To be announced

Saturday, August 31 | Spaceship Aloha

Spaceship Aloha is the vibrant new sonic move from Man Man drummer/producer Christopher Sean Powell. SA’s first release, Universe Mahalo, Vol 1 (Data Garden), presents a kaleidoscope of lush melodies and joyous electronic rhythms inspired by Hawaii’s musical landscape. Intended for non-stop dancing, the live show is bursting with elements of vivid beats, refreshing sounds, and adventurous improvisation - all performed on an ecosystem of synthesizers, sequencers, electronic drums, and live percussion. This new project continues with the wild energy of Powell’s explosive performances in Need New Body & Man Man, with a “future tropical” twist.

Saturday, September 28 | Millennial Territory Orchestra performs the music of Sly & The Family Stone

Grammy nominated trumpet-composer Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob) leads his 12-piece ensemble featuring a top-flight roster of talent through the monumental songbook of Sly & The Family Stone to deliver unforgettable fun for all. By filtering the music of Sly and The Family Stone through its own “downtown NYC” aesthetic, MTO illuminates the melodic and harmonic sophistication of this immortal body of work, while upholding the Day-Glo soul and psychedelic funk that’s the backbone for classics like M’Lady, Everyday People, and Family Affair.

The 40th Street Summer Series is sponsored by AroundPhilly, BenFM, Ben & Jerry’s, Campus Philly, Philadelphia City Paper, Daily Pennsylvanian, Grid Magazine, Homewood Suites, Philly Pretzel Factory, Metro, Philadelphia Weekly, Philly Fun Guide, UC Review, UCNet, and the University of Pennsylvania. Visit the official website for the 2013 40th Street Summer Series: http://universitycity.org/40th-street-summer-series

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