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Jazz Residency Program

Kimmel Center launched its first Jazz Residency program for Philadelphia Jazz Artists in 2013 to inspire Philadelphia to push jazz into the future with the creation of new work, while providing local artists the time and space to create jazz in the city’s largest performing arts center. This residency is designed to help jazz artists share their music with all audiences including: students, young adults, and newcomers to the art form; to give them a place and the resources to create their work while enriching our lives. It focuses on collaborations between musicians and artists of different disciplines to create relevant jazz experiences for people today. 

2016-17 Season Jazz Residency Artists

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.

Public Workshops – FREE tickets required

SEI Innovation Studio

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

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

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


Work-in-Progress performances – FREE tickets required

SEI Innovation Studio

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

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

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


World Premieres

SEI Innovation Studio

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

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

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

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

"The Kimmel Center is committed to nurturing the creative pool of jazz artists that reside in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has always been a celebrated Jazz city, with many legendary musicians who grow up here and live here touring the world. This residency allows us to bring together talented local artists to collaborate and create new music in a public forum."
– Jay Wahl, Artistic Director, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Previous Jazz Residency Artists

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.


The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Residency program is made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We would also like to thank Waterman II Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, and the Apgar-Black Foundation for its generous support of this program.