Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

The Kimmel Center Again Voted "Best Of Philly"
Best "Jazz Hot Spot" Designation Recognizes Kimmel Center’s Commitment to Jazz Programming
August 21, 2003


Ellis Marsalis and Sons in Verizon Hall, March, 2003

Award Caps a Second Year of Praise From Local, Regional and National Press

The Kimmel Center has been named "Best of Philly" for the second straight year, this time winning acclaim for its Kimmel Center Presents jazz programming. The award caps another year of praise for Philadelphia’s new performing arts center. In naming the Kimmel Center "Best Jazz Hot Spot" in its annual "Best of Philly" issue, Philadelphia magazine writes: "For years, local jazz fans had to chase their heroes through a scattershot series of under-advertised concerts at a dizzying array of venues. Now, with a centralized location whose financial resources and strong acoustics attract superstars like the Marsalis family, Philly can again be considered a true hub of the genre."

Kimmel Center Presents jazz offerings last season included performances by legendary musicians Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck and Sonny Rollins. The Kimmel Center was also one of only five U.S. stops on the exclusive, first-ever Marsalis family tour featuring jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis and sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. During that concert, which was broadcast on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Branford Marsalis called Verizon Hall "the best concert hall on the East Coast."

Jazz programming for the 2003-2004 season of Kimmel Center Presents has been expanded from two to three series. An artistic highlight of the upcoming season is Mellon Jazz Up Close: Dreaming of Dizzy, a new jazz series in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater curated by pianist Danilo Perez and dedicated to the works of Dizzy Gillespie. Jazz performers in Verizon Hall this season include Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Arturo Sandoval, Cassandra Wilson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Philadelphia’s Joey DeFrancesco. The new Kimmel Center Presents season opens September 19, 2003, with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

A limited number of $10 tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance. Free jazz performances are also offered regularly on the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza stage.

Here’s more of what the press is saying about the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Kimmel Center Presents programming:

"Our award for the most valuable new player on the concert scene goes to the Kimmel Center, which will broaden its vision (and ours) this season with some truly terrific bookings--Jazz gems including Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, Nancy Wilson with Ramsey Lewis and Nnenna Freelon will also raise the Kimmel’s hipness factor, and keep the lights of the city burning bright."
--Philadelphia Daily News, September 12, 2002

"At Broad Street, regardless of whether you’re carrying tickets to a cultural event you find yourself inside the new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the 150-foot-high block-size glass music shed that was opened in 2001 ... It’s a glorious project, a transparent jewel box that encases two state-of-the-art performance halls ... and a large indoor plaza that churns with concertgoers and other visitors ... in the plaza visitors gaze skyward and pronounce words like ‘spectacular,’ ‘amazing’ and ‘wow.’"
--The Sophisticated Traveler/The New York Times Magazine, March 2, 2003

"Keeping their tough promise to bring the noise, the funk and a slew of musical diversity, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts makes good with the Second Annual Summer Solstice Celebration. It’s 15 hours of nonstop jamming ... The incredible festival ends with a sunrise drum circle celebration under The Kimmel’s magnificent glass dome. Bravo!"
--Philadelphia City Paper, June 19, 2003)

"A shimmering sonic showplace in Philadelphia ... programming is a sophisticated mix of world music, jazz and classical music ... the Kimmel Center seems a success. It reaches a wide audience, about a quarter of which is non-white and nearly half of which are attending arts events for the first time."
--The Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2003

"This community cultural center is open from 10am until midnight on most days ... What Philadelphia is witnessing is a chemistry that just didn’t exist before the Kimmel ... Philadelphians who were once intimidated by the Academy of Music’s grandeur are now venturing into the Kimmel and broadening their horizons ... Feel the chemistry ... it’s a feeling Philadelphians have never felt before in their own town."
--Philadelphia Style, July/August 2003

"When the plans were laid for the Kimmel Center, the goal was to build a performing arts center for all Philadelphians. Instead of making the center accessible only to those with enough money for an Orchestra seat, the grand performing arts palace has regularly scheduled free tours and performances in the Commonwealth Plaza. Now for only $10 you can experience everything the center has to offer with the all-night Summer Solstice celebration, which was an enormous success last year."
--Philadelphia Weekly, June 18, 2003

"... the Kimmel is extending open arms to new music, new cultures and new patrons."
--Al Dia, June 2003

"... the Kimmel Center ... has ... put Philadelphia in the league of grand concert hall cities."
--U.S. News & World Report, July 21, 2003

Best of Philly 2002 "Whether you love or hate the architecture, the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall and Perelman Theater have reinvigorated the city’s cultural life. From the Philadelphia Orchestra to Jerry Blavat’s summer dance parties, from the Charlie Chaplin film festival to Rennie Harris’s Illadelph Hip Hop Legends, the Kimmel has achieved its goal: to be a cultural center for all tastes."
--Philadelphia magazine, "Best of Philly," August 2002

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 Citizens Bank Broadway at the Academy series of performances.

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