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Jazz Residency Program

The Kimmel Center Jazz Residency program is designed to take artists and audiences on a season-long journey to continue the long tradition of creating new jazz in Philadelphia.

Fostering collaborations between musicians and artists of different disciplines, the program helps musicians reach students, young adults, and newcomers to the jazz form, creating relevant jazz experiences for today.

Through a series of performances and workshops, a dialogue is created between musician and listener, providing an opportunity for their multiple voices to be part of the journey.

Structured in four phases, the Jazz Residency program includes: the Residency Kick-Off, the public workshop, the work-in-progress, and the world premiere.

  • The Residency Kick-Off features music of the artist’s catalog to date, giving the audience a chance to hear the artist’s sound.
  • The public workshop is the audience’s first introduction to the artist’s project, showcasing the very first musical concepts and excerpts.
  • The work-in-progress features the project in a more developed state, allowing the audience to witness progress and change.
  • The final project is revealed in the world premiere.

 The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Residency program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Presser Foundation.

2017/18 Jazz Residency Artists

Luke Carlos O’Reilly: Black Lives Matter

Luke, a composer specializing in piano, is focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement with choreographer Sanchel Brown and lyricist Pannan Hewitt. Beginning with his personal encounters with law enforcement, O’Reilly plans to channel fear, passion, sadness, and anger to inspire new music. 

Colton Weatherston: Germantown Avenue - Pathway to Hybridity

Colton, composer and guitarist, believes that the entire history and background of the city of Philadelphia can be found along Germantown Avenue. He plans to compose a musical portrait of the cultures, peoples, faith groups, and events that make this corridor important and unique to Philadelphians. 

Doug Hirlinger: Dear Philadelphia

Doug, composer and percussionist, is compiling a group of artists including Ursula Rucker, M’Balia Singley, Tim Motzer, and John Swana who together are writing a piece entitled “Dear Philadelphia.” This new work will explore the challenges of gentrification and rising inequality and across the city.

Performance Schedule

Residency Kick-Off – FREE with reservation
SEI Innovation Studio

Tuesday, December 5, 8:00 PM – Luke Carlos O’Reilly
Friday, December 8, 8:00 PM – Colton Weatherston
Saturday, December 9, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger


Public Workshops – FREE with reservation
SEI Innovation Studio

Thursday, February 15, 6:00 PM – Luke Carlos O’Reilly 
Tuesday, February 27, 6:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger 
Saturday, March 10, 6:00 PM – Colton Weatherston


Work-in-progress – FREE with reservation 
SEI Innovation Studio

Saturday, March 17, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger
Saturday, March 24, 8:00 PM – Colton Weatherston
Thursday, April 5, 8:00 PM – Luke Carlos O’Reilly


World Premieres – $15.00 general admission ticket
SEI Innovation Studio

Thursday, May 3, 8:00 PM – Luke O’Reilly
Friday, May 4, 8:00 – Colton Weatherston
Saturday, May 5, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger

These are designated BYO performances. Acceptable forms of BYO are 6-pack of beer and/or 750ml bottles of wine only; no liquor or open containers are permitted. Limit of one (1) 750ml bottle of wine OR one (1) six-pack of beer per two guests. Corkscrews and rolling coolers are not permitted. Ice, cups and corking service available at venue at no cost. All BYO Night guests are subject to lawful ID checks and bag checks at the manager’s discretion.

Previous Jazz Residency Artists

Max Swan

Project Concept: A crossover album that blends jazz sensibilities with a modern approach.

Joanna Pascale and Etienne Charles

Project Concept: A song cycle that takes its inspiration from the lives of flowers. Joanna Pascale partners with Etienne Charles to create a song cycle focused on floriorography – “the art of communicating sentiment and emotion through flowers.”

Jawanza Kobie

Project Concept: A composition aimed at children that introduces them to the various instruments and rhythms used in jazz. 

Korey Riker

Korey Riker (Saxophone) 

Project Concept:  A collection of Jazz songs inspired by music from the Drum & Bass genre of EDM.


Butler and Byrd

Kendrah Butler (Piano) & Shamika Byrd (Vocals) 
Project Concept:  The presence of Jazz and Faith of the African American experience.

Francois Zayas

Francois Zayas

Project Concept:  Connect and combine several different music traditions, such as R&B, Classical, and Balkan music with Jazz, into a series of thematically related songs.

Venissa Santi and Monnette Sudler-Honesty

Venissa Santi and Monnette Sudler-Honesty 
Project Concept:  Write a jazz musical inspired by the community of Philadelphia.

Pablo Batista

Pablo Batista and the Mambo Syndicate
Project Concept: To fuse 3 genres of music: the ancient Bata rhythms of the Yoruba, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and jazz. 

Bobby Zankel

Bobby Zankel, Raphael Xavier, & Francois Zayas
Project Concept:  Examine and explore the notion that there are common spiritual and aesthetic principles and artistic devices and techniques that are utilized in parallel ways in music, dance, literature, and visual arts.


Josh Lawrence

Josh Lawrence and the Fresh Cut Orchestra
Project Concept: Create an extended “three act” work delineating a timeline of past, present and future while exploring the theme of duality in correlation to the first and last year of a person’s life.