Chris’ Jazz Café Teams Up with Clef Club for Fundraiser to Benefit Historic Performing Arts Institution

-Courtesy of Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations
Photo of Lovett Hines (Artistic Director of PCC) by Tim Koen

You could call it the ultimate Philadelphia musical duet – two legendary icons in the history of the city’s jazz scene are partnering to benefit the future of young artists and to help keep this genre alive. Chris’ Jazz Café, the longest continuously operating jazz club in the city, will host an unprecedented musical fundraiser on Thursday, January 13 from 7 to 11 p.m. to benefit the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts (PCC). The fundraiser, in the form of a live and live streamed show, will showcase alumni of the Clef Club who have become musical luminaries and internationally acclaimed artists in their field. 100% of funds raised will be donated to the Clef Club to help its mission of preserving the legacy of jazz through accessible education. 

“The Clef Club is such an integral part of Philadelphia’s jazz community. They’re nurturing the young talent that keeps the music alive, plus many of their students eventually make their way to our stage. We feel that it is one of the most important ways that we can contribute to this ongoing process of keeping jazz relevant in Philadelphia,” said Mark DeNinno, Chef/Owner, Chris’ Jazz Café.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Chris’ Jazz Café on this fundraiser,” noted Lovett Hines, Artistic Director of PCC. “When I first started the educational program, I had two students. Over the past several decades, the Clef Club jazz education program has grown to serve thousands of students in the Delaware Valley who have gone on to become successful professional musicians. Funds raised will also go towards our capital campaign to renovate and upgrade our cultural facility at 736 South Broad Street on the Avenue of the Arts.”

The Clef Club, a tax-exempt, non-profit educational and cultural organization, has a rich history. It was founded in 1966 by members of Musicians’ Protective Union Local #274, the American Federation of Musicians. Local #274 was chartered in 1935 as a separate Black Local because Black musicians were denied membership in the racially segregated Local #77. It was the longest surviving independent Black Musicians’ Union in the United States. Membership rolls included jazz greats like John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Grover Washington, Jr. and Nine Simone, to name a few. The PCC has established a world-class music education program developed by Hines. Since 1985, youth and adults participate in a broad program of private instruction, master class, ensembles, summer jazz camp and performance. Alumni have included multi-Grammy winner Christian McBride, multi-Grammy nominated Orrin Evans and Joey Defrancesco, Jaleel Shaw, Immanuel Wilkens, Joseph Block and Yessah Furaha-Ali, among others. 

The lineup for the January 13th event is a Who’s Who of noteworthy performers: 

Immanuel Wilkins (Saxophone)
Jaleel Shaw (Saxophone)
Daud El Bakara (Trumpet)
Micha Graves (Piano)
Kyree Rasheed (Drums)
Orrin Evans (Piano)
Bobby Zankel / Clef Club Ensemble
Aiden McKeon (Saxophone)
Leo Steinride (Guitar)
Joe Block (Piano)
Dylan Band (Saxophone)
Monnette Sudler (Guitar)
Nazir Ebo (Drums)
Marcelle Bellinger (Trumpet)
Ben Foster (Guitar)
Justin Faulkner (Drums)
Sherry Butler (vocals)
Richard Hill (Bass)
Arnetta Johnson (Trumpet)
Michael Sperman (Trumpet)
Nasir Dickerson (Saxophone)
Brent White (Trombone)
Jordan Williams (Piano)
Alonzo Demetrius (Trumpet)

The price of admission is $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.chrisjazzcafe.com/shows/160903.

“Pay-As-You-Wish” streaming is also available via https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/PhillyJazz or Venmo: @ChrisJazz-Café. All guests must show proof of vaccination with a photo ID to gain entry. 

Chris’ Jazz Café, located at 1421 Sansom Street, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, making it Philadelphia’s longest continuously operating jazz club. Enjoy live jazz Tuesdays through Saturdays. To learn more or to make reservations, call 215.568.3131 or visit http://www.ChrisJazzCafe.com. To learn more about the Clef Club, please visit https://clefclubofjazz.org/.

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