The Penn Museum Is Kicking off a Summer Nights Concert Series!
Summer officially begins June 21—but the Penn Museum starts it off a day early with the Middle Eastern-fusion sounds of Animus, the kick-off band of the Summer Nights Concert Series running Wednesdays, June 20 through September 5, 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Now in its eighth season, the series brings an eclectic lineup of performances from some of Philadelphia’s best live bands—offering the sounds of Creole Zydeco, Latin Jazz, Middle Eastern folk, Pre-Revolutionary Cuba, and more.
The Summer Nights Concerts Series invites guests of all ages to kick back, relax, and enjoy music, friends, and family in the Penn Museum’s outdoor Stoner Courtyard, with its gardens and grassy areas, fountains, outdoor tables, and concert-style seating. The galleries stay open—including the Museum’s new Middle East Galleries—with an optional guided tour (topics and galleries vary) at the set break. Outside, the Pepper Mill Café offers light foods, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests are invited to bring their own picnic foods and blanket (but no alcoholic beverages). Concerts move inside in inclement weather. Admission is just $10 (includes Museum admission); FREE for Penn Museum Members and children under six years old.
This summer’s line-up:
As the Museum celebrates the opening of its new Middle East Galleries, Animus is the perfect group to kick off the concert season. Primarily an Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/Latin/American fusion ensemble, Animus also performs traditional Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern music. Animus’ original music freely borrows and incorporates musical ideas and traditions from East to West, North to South, Ancient to Modern.
This six-piece Brazilian jazz group of Philadelphia features vibraphone, electric and nylon string guitars, bass guitar, drums, percussion and saxophone. Inspired by the music of Brazil, the group creates a spacious, welcoming sound.
With Creole Zydeco and Cajun 2-steps, this group combines funky New Orleans rhythm and blues and vintage Louisiana rock ‘n roll into a spicy gumbo of irresistible dance music.
Conjunto Philadelphia is a musical ensemble based in the Philadelphia area performing the music of Pre-Revolutionary Cuba. The group’s main aspiration is to maintain the authenticity of the music while performing it in a way that pays homage to Cuba’s deep and treasured musical history.
Harrisburg Mandolin Ensemble
This Pennsylvania-based group is inspired by the early 20th-century tradition of the community mandolin concert. The group lays down original tunes and arrangements, as well as selections of jazz, swing, bluegrass, old-time, folk, and world music.
Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble CRISOL
Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble CRISOL, Spanish for melting pot, is an ensemble that has been performing in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas since 1997. This group is dedicated to the interpretation of a variety of folk and traditional music genres from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
West Philadelphia Orchestra
An eclectic ensemble made up of some of Philly’s finest and wildest musicians, the West Philadelphia Orchestra offers up music that is rooted in Eastern European folk traditions, and blended with free jazz, punk, and blues, among other genres.
The Spice Route Ensemble
The Spice Route Ensemble is comprised of internationally acclaimed musicians of diverse Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean traditions working towards the common goal of producing excellent music. The Ensemble believes that this musical excellence serves as an example of multicultural cooperation.
The Urban Shamans
A movement of word, sound, and power, the Urban Shamans use their versatile musical abilities and high energy performances featuring Afro-beat, hip hop, and reggae music to affect positive change.
Karen Rodriguez Latin Jazz Ensemble
Performing together since 2000, the Karen Rodriguez Latin Jazz Ensemble specializes in Salsa, Cha-Cha, Bolero, Bossa Nova, Mambo, Rumba, Cuban, Latin/Jazz, Guaracha, and Guajira. The versatile leader sings in five languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and English.
Farah Siraj Trio
Chosen as one of New York’s “Summer Stars of Jazz” and named “the Norah Jones of the Middle East” by Time Out New York, Jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj balances a career that spans the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Farah performs her original compositions, fusing influences of Middle Eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa nova, and pop, with lyrics in several languages, including Arabic, Spanish, and English.