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Dave Brubeck Quartet and Bill Smith at the Earshot Jazz Festival

The Painted Bride Arts Center is one of Philadelphia’s great cultural institutions, hosting a multicultural variety of performance and visual arts at its wonderful Old City location. In particular, the Jazz on Vine series is the longest continuously running jazz series in Philly and has been responsible for bringing some of top-notch jazz musicians to town. While the Painted Bride hosts a few world-renown Philly bandleaders each year, the center has never hosted a festival dedicated to the wide array of styles and talents the city’s scene is teeming with.

Unlike more avant-garde Philly fests Collective Voices and the University of Pennsylvania’s Jazz Legacy series, the Bride’s concerts also included some more mainstream contemporary units. Broken up into two three-set bills, the afternoon bill (which I missed due to scheduling conflicts) featured drummer Ronnie Burrage, trumpeter Jafar Barron and vocalist Barbara Walker leading ensembles. After a two-hour intermission, the Painted Bride reopened with sets from the Craig McIver Ensemble, G. Calvin Weston’s Big Tree and Rick Iannacone’s Character We.

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