Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Kimmel Center Presents Announces 2003 Summer Season
Summer in the City highlights include second annual all-night Summer Solstice celebration, dance parties in the Perelman Theater and k.d. lang in a gala summer kickoff performance
April 26, 2003

Get ready to stay up all night at the Kimmel Center’s second annual Summer Solstice Celebration, the centerpiece of Kimmel Center Presents’ 2003 summer lineup. Summer in the City will feature 15 special events in June and July including pop concerts, swing and salsa dance parties and a new world music series, all designed to keep the Kimmel Center bustling during the hot summer months. Tickets go on sale immediately.

"We’ve put together a great summer season that will bring back some hits from last year, like our Summer Solstice celebration, and experiment with some new ideas, including world music dance parties in the Perelman Theater," said Kimmel Center, Inc. Programming and Education V.P. Mervon Mehta. "Summer in the City will give Kimmel Center audiences the diverse, world-class performances they’ve come to expect while letting them experience the Kimmel Center in a fun and different way."

Summer in the City kicks off Friday, June 6 with a gala fundraiser headlined by alt-country crooner k.d. lang and including performances by Chicago’s Mighty Blue Kings, Betti Xiang and Yang Wei, jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis with pianist Monty Alexander, hip hop’s Zen One Dance Collective and Jerry Blavat with Kenny Vance and the Planatones. Black tie is not required (but dress fabulous!) Gala proceeds benefit the Kimmel Center’s community programs.

Usher in the official start of summer on Saturday, June 21st with the second annual Summer Solstice celebration. Building on the success of last year’s "way-cool" (Delaware County Times) event featuring "top-notch performers" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) that are "anything but the usual stuff" (Trenton Times), the Kimmel Center will again be open all night for 15 straight hours of entertainment.

The Summer Solstice celebration begins at 3pm with performances and activities geared toward families and ends at 6am with a drumming ceremony (bring your own drum!) as the sun rises over the Kimmel’s soaring vaulted glass ceiling. In between, check out everything from Beethoven to belly dancing, including performances by members of Resident Companies the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth and a rare appearance by Peter Nero playing in a jazz duo format with bassist Michael Barnett. Other performers include Gamble and Huff’s Grace Little and Damon, the Bootsie Barnes Trio, John Flynn, the Mum Puppettheatre, the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble and members of the cast of the Broadway musical Mamma Mia. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

The Kimmel’s popular dance parties return this summer with return engagements by the Synthesis Latin Band (salsa) on June 12, and City Rhythm Orchestra (swing) on July 24. Take a dance lesson at 7pm then salsa or swing the night away beneath the stars in the Kimmel’s Commonwealth Plaza. In addition (and new this summer!): three dance parties in the Perelman Theater, featuring the recently reunited Senegalese big band Orchestra Baobab, with its Afro-Cuban "groove music at once relaxed and unyielding, insistent enough for the dance floor, trance-y enough to lull an infant" (Rolling Stone) on July 9; the hot new alternative-Latin band Yerba Buena, with its blend of Afro-beat, funk, hip hop and pop blended with a solid Cuban foundation (July 16); and Guinea’s Bembeya Jazz with its signature four-guitar section featuring lead guitarist Sekou Bembeya Diabaté -- a.k.a. "Diamond Fingers" (July 30). The bands perform on stage as part of the new World Music Wednesday series, but traditional seating is cleared away to transform the theater into a dance hall.

Other highlights of the summer roster include "The Princess of Salsa" La India with special guest Kevin Ceballo (June 25) and Portuguese fado singer Mariza (July 23), both part of World Music Wednesdays; Will Downing with Gerald Albright (June 11); Jerry Blavat’s Philly Sound Soul Spectacular saluting Philadelphia music legends (June 18); Buddy Guy and Los Lobos (June 19); singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and Richard Thompson (July 18); David Sanborn and Gerald Veasley in a night of smooth jazz (July 31); and -- to celebrate the grand opening of the National Constitution Center -- an Americana evening featuring Mark O’Connor and the acclaimed Appalachia Waltz Trio (July 3).

Tickets for most Summer in the City events range from $10 to $57. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at or at the Kimmel Center box office, open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings. For group sales call 215-790-5883.

A limited number of $10 tickets will be available for most Kimmel Center Presents performances. These $10 tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the box office beginning at 5:30pm for evening performances and 11:30am for matinees. Limit one per person.

Kimmel Center Presents 2003 Summer in the City is generously supported by Target Stores and a grant from Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC).

This year also marks the inaugural season of Kimmel Center Presents Citizens Bank Broadway at the Academy. Summer Broadway performances at the Academy of Music include GREASE (June 17-22) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (July 23-August 3).

Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music serve as home to eight Resident Company performing arts organizations, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops®. Kimmel Center, Inc.’s mission also includes arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming through its Kimmel Center Presents and Broadway at the Academy series of performances.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings. For more information, visit online at

Kimmel Center Presents
2003 Summer In The City

Friday, June 6, 2003
k.d. lang
9pm Verizon Hall
Tickets $150 & $250 (includes after-party)

A benefit performance and gala celebration in support of the Kimmel Center’s community programs. Tickets include the headline performance by alt-country crooner k.d. lang in Verizon Hall, a rock-and-roll dance party in the Perelman Theater hosted by Jerry Blavat, swing dancing with Chicago’s Mighty Blue Kings in Commonwealth Plaza, buffet dining and open bar. For corporate or patron tickets, call 215-790-5838.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Will Downing
with special guest Gerald Albright
7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $37 & $47

R&B troubadour Will Downing brings the smooth songs of today’s most romantic adult contemporary music to Verizon Hall with special guest Gerald Albright.

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Synthesis Latin Band
7pm Salsa Lesson
8pm Dance Party Commonwealth Plaza
Tickets: $10

The Latin Synthesis Band kicks off the Kimmel Center’s summer dance parties with a night of salsa under the stars in Commonwealth Plaza.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Jerry Blavat’s Philly Sound Soul Spectacular
7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $22, 34, $46, $61, $74

The Geator with the heater Jerry Blavat returns to Verizon Hall with a salute to Philly Legends including Frankie Avalon, Billy Paul, Danny and the Juniors, The Tymes, and Barbara Mason.

CONCERT Thursday, June 19, 2003
Buddy Guy & Los Lobos
7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $37 & $47

Buddy Guy sings the blues and Los Lobos brings their award-winning, Mexican-injected rock and roll to the Verizon Hall stage.

Saturday, June 21, 2003
Summer Solstice
3pm Saturday, June 21 to 6am Sunday, June 22
The Kimmel Center/All Venues
Tickets: $10 in advance; $15 at the door

The first day of summer--and the longest day of the year--is celebrated at the Kimmel Center with the second annual Summer Solstice celebration. Music, dance, storytelling and more will fill every corner of the Kimmel Center, from the top of the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden to the subterranean Innovation Studio. Resident Companies of the Kimmel Center and Academy of Music are joined by a vast array of talented local artists, who will perform non-stop for 15 hours.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
La India
Kevin Ceballo

7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $34, $47

"The Princess of Salsa" La India kicks off the new Kimmel Center Presents World Music Wednesdays series with special guest Kevin Ceballo.

Thursday, July 3, 2003
Mark O’Connor & Appalachia Waltz Trio
7:30pm Perelman Theater
Tickets: $42

Fiddle virtuoso Mark O’Connor makes an encore appearance in the Perelman Theater with an evening of Americana on the eve of Independence Day and the opening of Philadelphia’s new National Constitution Center.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Orchestra Baobab
7:30pm Perelman Theater
Tickets: $27

Recently reunited after a 15-year hiatus, this stunning collective of musicians has come together again to bring the best of Afro-beat music. Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab kicks off the first of three world music dance parties in the versatile Perelman Theater, which will be transformed into a dance hall for these performances.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Yerba Buena
7:30pm Perelman Theater
Tickets: $22

"One of the most exciting bands to hit the stagnant Latin dance music scene in years" (Vibe Magazine), Yerba Buena takes the Perelman Theater stage for the second of three World Music Wednesday dance parties this summer. Traditional theater seating is cleared out to make way for a dance floor.

CONCERT Friday, July 18, 2003
Shawn Colvin
Richard Thompson

7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $47, $57

"Folk-rock powerhouse" (Rolling Stone) Shawn Colvin brings her unique, folk-inflected vocals and engaging lyrics to Verizon Hall. Veteran instrumentalist and songwriter Richard Thompson, who "dabbled in jazz, rewrote the blues, jammed with Hendrix ... and gave birth to a whole new movement" (The Guardian), completes the bill for the perfect singer-songwriter evening.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
7:30pm Perelman Theater
Tickets: $32

The reigning international queen of fado makes her way from the smoky dance clubs of Lisbon to the Kimmel Center’s intimate Perelman stage. Portugal’s Mariza visits Philadelphia in her first U.S. tour.

Thursday, July 24, 2003
City Rhythm Orchestra
7pm Swing Dance Lesson
8pm Dance Party Commonwealth Plaza
Tickets: $10

More than 700 people were swing dancing on all tiers of the Kimmel Center when City Rhythm Orchestra kicked off last year’s summer dance parties. The big band makes just one appearance at the Kimmel this summer. Come early to learn the moves!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Bembeya Jazz
7:30pm Perelman Theater
Tickets: $22

The third and final world music dance party of the summer. The Perelman Theater is again transformed into a dance hall for Guinea’s legendary Bembeya Jazz and their funky mix of jazz, Afro-Cuban and roots music. "... among the short list for best band in the entire history of the planet." (fRoots)

Thursday, July 31, 2003
David Sanborn
Gerald Veasley

7:30pm Verizon Hall
Tickets: $37, $47

St. Louis native David Sanborn brings the smooth sounds of today’s adult contemporary music and his unique blend of jazz and R& B when he makes his Kimmel Center debut with special guest Gerald Veasley.

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