mobile logo

Kimmel Center Announces Jazz Residency Artists for 2016-17 Season

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here

Tweet it!

JUST ANNOUNCED: 2016-17 Season Jazz Residency Artists have been selected! More info on the artists and their projects at

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, October 26, 2016) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced its 2016–17 Season Jazz Residency Artists, individuals whose involvement in this prestigious program will result in World Premieres in May 2017 at the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio. Now in its fourth season, the Jazz Residency program is designed to take artists and audience on a season-long journey to continue the long tradition of creating new jazz in Philadelphia. Each of this year’s selected participants have strong ties to Philadelphia and music education.

A five-person panel of some of the nation’s most influential jazz experts reviewed 29 project applications and selected the following artists for this season’s residency: vocalist, composer, and lyricist Joanna Pascale; composer Etienne Charles; saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Max Swan; and composer and pianist Jawanza Kobie. Audience members will have the opportunity to observe the composition process of these artists during Public Workshops and Work-in-Progress Performances to their World Premieres in May 2017.

“With each year, the caliber and number of applicants to our Jazz Residency program grows, demonstrating just how important it is to keep jazz thriving in Philadelphia,” says Anne Ewers, President and CEO of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “This program embodies our commitment to commission new works by artists at all stages in their careers. It is inspiring to see that, beyond their commitment to create new music, this year’s participants are actively involved with our music education programs.”

The panel of jazz experts who gathered in Philadelphia to help choose the residency artists included Todd Stoll, Vice President of Education at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; Eric Gould, Chair of Jazz Composition, Berklee College of Music in Boston; Dr. Aaron Flagg, Chair & Associate Director of Juilliard Jazz in New York City; Dr. Lesa Terry, musician and faculty member at California State University; and Jay Wahl, Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

The Kimmel Center nurtures selected artists through the Residency program by providing a commission to create new work; a stipend to cover travel, project, and other related expenses; and bringing in nationally-renowned artists to work with the participants on their works. Previous participants in the Jazz Residency program include Josh Lawrence and the Fresh Cut Orchestra; Bobby Zankel Raphael Xavier, and Francois Zayas; Pablo Batista and the Mambo Syndicate; Venissa Santi and Monnette Sudler-Honesty; Francois Zayas; and most recently, Korey Riker; and Kendrah Butler and Shamika Byrd.

More information about the artists and their proposed projects:

  • Joanna Pascale (vocalist, composer, and lyricist) and Etienne Charles (composer) – Pascale currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and released her most recent album Wildflower in 2015. She joins the program in collaboration with 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and Michigan State University teacher Etienne Charles to create a song cycle that will take its inspiration from the lives of flowers and associated emotions. The project will be under the direction of Ellie Heyman, the Co-Artistic Director of The Orbiting Human Circus, who was part of the 2015-16 Kimmel Center Theater Residency with Joe’s Pub.
  • Jawanza Kobie (composer and pianist) – Kobie began his music career teaching in Philadelphia elementary schools. Pursuing a career as an electrician and touring with singer Billy Paul, Kobie will partner with 2013 Kimmel Center Theater Resident and Yale professor of theater, Deb Margolin, to create a project for children using a narrator and jazz band.
  • Max Swan (saxophonist, vocalist, and composer) – A graduate of the University of the Arts, Swan plans to create a crossover album that blends jazz sensibilities with electronic, rock, and pop approaches to music production, featuring saxophone, vocals, and lush arrangements.

The schedule of performances is as follows:

Public Workshops (Free tickets available)

SEI Innovation Studio

Thursday, January 12, 6:00 p.m. – Joanna Pascale and Etienne Charles

Thursday, March 2, 6:00 p.m. – Max Swan

Saturday, March 4, 6:00 p.m. – Jawanza Kobie

Work-in-Progress performances (Free tickets available)

SEI Innovation Studio

Thursday, March 9, 8:00 p.m. – Joanna Pascale and Etienne Charles

Wednesday, March 29, 8:00 p.m. – Max Swan

Saturday, April 15, 2:00 p.m. – Jawanza Kobie

World Premiere performances

SEI Innovation Studio

Thursday, May 11, 8:00 p.m. – Max Swan

Friday, May 12, 8:00 p.m. – Joanna Pascale and Etienne Charles

Saturday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. – Jawanza Kobie


Tickets will be available beginning November 14, 2016. The Public Workshops and Work-in-Progress performances are free ticketed events, and tickets for the World Premiere performances are $15.00. All tickets are available at

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the University of the Arts’ Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

# # #

For photography, please visit

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here