Each month, the Kimmel Center hosts a free monthly live session featuring local Philadelphia talent. On Wednesday, January 11th, the Center will host its first master class prior to Sittin’ In – an opportunity to offer free, interactive learning to local students and members of the Kimmel’s Creative Music Program for Jazz. We caught up with Anthony Tidd, the Kimmel Center’s Creative Music Program Director, to learn more about the vision behind Sittin’ In and the new master class.
Sittin’ In is the Kimmel Center’s free monthly live session featuring local Philadelphia talent. Tell us how Sittin’ In originated at the Center.
Sittin’ In was originally created by myself in response to the great need for creative jazz musicians in Philadelphia having a regular space where they can perform and showcase their work. The goal was to aid with the re-building and revitalization of the Philadelphia creative music scene. Also many of these semi-established musicians rarely received opportunities to perform at the Kimmel Center and I wanted to change that.
The master class is a new component to the Sittin’ In experience. What can attendees expect from this free class?
The content of each Meet the Masters class is unique and determined by the master [this month is hosted by Jonathan Finlayson and band]. The point is to bring some of the world’s foremost creative music masters and place them in front of aspiring young musicians. We aim to encourage a sharing of their rich experience within the industry as touring and working professional musicians.
Jonathan Finlayson at 34 is already a twenty year veteran of the international jazz scene, working with Steve Coleman, Muhal Richard Abrahams, Mary Halverson and his own Downbeat award wining band Sicilian defense, among others.
What would you tell someone who has never attended a Sittin’ In session?
The education aspect of Sittin’ In has always been a part of the concept from the very outset. Most of the time this is provided by the jam session aspect of the night, which often features younger musicians from U-Arts, Temple and CMP, but we have also occasionally included free masterclasses from musicians who are visiting Sittin’ In as hosts from out of town. In such cases audience development, providing the audience with a deeper understanding of the artist’s music is the goal.