A summer jazz series is once again showcasing music in a historic neighborhood setting. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the annual series presented by Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts.
Susan Lewis: The idea behind a family-friendly jazz series started with Sol Unlimited’s driving force, singer-songwriter Serena Sol Brown, who studied piano and experienced jazz at an early age.
Serena Sol Brown: Jazz was my foundation; people like Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Melba Moore...all those people who laid a foundation for me musically, I wanted to have the same impact on the young generations.
SL: The series began in 2013 at Cliveden in Germantown; now, concerts are at the Morris Estates Cultural and Recreation Center, once the private home of Harrison Smith Morris, managing director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, editor of Lippincott Magazine and president of Wharton Steel. Built in 1926, in 1966 it was sold to the city and turned into a rec center, which for a time was also a thriving jazz and entertainment venue.
SSB: This particular center was looking to be revived. It’s another historic landmark; it’s a perfect opportunity to be at that home, and show the community what music can do for you. Families can get a chance to bring children to acquaint them with history in their own neighborhood, and what better way than to bring a base of music.
SL: The summer series includes a range of jazz styles, including standards, as well as smooth, world, funky, and acoustic jazz.
Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts Summer concert series takes place on Tuesday evenings, 6 to 8 pm, July 7 through August 11 at Morris Estates Cultural and Recreation Center, 1610 Chelten Ave., in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood.