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Kimmel Center Announces Commissioning of Three

Posted on December 03, 2017

For a PDF version of the press release, click here.

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JUST ANNOUNCED: 2017-18 @KimmelCenter Jazz Residency artists selected, all w/ Philly-specific projects. Info at


Press Contact:

Monica Robinson







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, December 4, 2017) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce its new Jazz Residency artists for the 2017-18 season: Luke O’Reilly, Colton Weatherston, and Doug Hirlinger. This year, the artists, alongside an array of collaborators, will each produce new work that speaks to an aspect of Philadelphia’s history or culture, from the Black Lives Matter movement, to Germantown Avenue, to inequality and gentrification in the city.


“The Kimmel Center Jazz Residency program is taking a daring approach: urging Philadelphia music to tackle some of today’s most controversial issues,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “Art inspires change and we want to be a conversational epicenter, aiding in the creation of new music and new dialogues around exceedingly important topics.”


Luke O’Reilly, composer specializing in piano, (along with choreographer/dancer Sanchel Brown and lyricist/vocalist Pannan Hewitt) is focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement. Beginning with his personal encounters with law enforcement, O’Reilly plans to channel fear, passion, sadness, and anger to inspire new music. Colton Weatherston, 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, composer and percussionist, (along with lyricist/poet Ursula Rucker, composer/lyricist M’Balia Singely, composer/EVI/valve trombonist John Swana, and composer/guitarist Tim Motzer) are writing a piece entitled “Dear Philadelphia.” This new work will explore the challenges of gentrification and rising inequality and across the city.


The Kimmel Center Jazz Residency is a year-long program that encourages local musicians to move jazz into the future with new music that is engaging and relevant to the Philadelphia community. Since 2013, the Kimmel Center has commissioned an astonishing 10 new works from residency artists.


The 2017-18 Jazz Residency musicians were selected by a four-personal panel of some of the nation’s most influential jazz experts, including Todd Stoll, Vice President of Education at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; 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, Producing Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.


“We are immensely proud of the Kimmel Center Jazz Residency program, now in its fifth year,” says Jay Wahl, Kimmel Center Producing Artistic Director and curator of the Jazz Residency program. “Each of our past participants continue to propel the genre forward, as composers, recording artists, teachers, and touring musicians. I hope Philadelphians will join us on this year’s journey as we foster these local artists in the creation of three brand new works.”


Former Jazz Residents: 2015-16 Resident Korey Riker, currently touring with internationally-renowned musician, John Legend; 2013-14 Resident Pablo Batista received a project grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2015 to continue working on his Kimmel Residency project El Viaje, which premiered at the Temple Performing Arts Center in June 2016; 2016-17 Resident Jawanza Kobie’s Bird Stories went on to be presented by the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in May 2017 and The Mann Center in August 2017; and 2016-17 Resident Joanna Pascale traveled to South Korea where she performed in the 10th Annual Daegu International Jazz Festival.


All events are held in SEI Innovation Studio, and all are BYO. The schedule of performances is as follows:


Residency Kick-Off – FREE with reservation

SEI Innovation Studio

Features music of the artist’s catalog to date, giving the audience a chance to hear the artist’s sound

Tuesday, December 5, 8:00 PM – Luke O’Reilly

Friday, December 8, 8:00 PM – Colton Weatherston

Saturday, December 9, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger


Public Workshop – FREE with reservation

SEI Innovation Studio

A special kind of concert where the artist engages in a direct dialogue with the audience about their music and how they connect it to the sounds of Philadelphia. Throughout this performance, the audience discusses what “jazz” is today, and the artist shares background info, research, and musical inspirations for the new work they are writing for the residency.

Thursday, February 15, 6:00 PM – Luke 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

The artist presents a draft of their new compositions. The artists plays all the new material they’ve written for the residency so they can hear it live for the first time in public, then take questions and direct feedback from the audience.

Saturday, March 17, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger

Saturday, March 24, 8:00 PM – Colton Weatherston

Thursday, April 5, 8:00 PM – Luke O’Reilly


World Premiere – $15.00 general admission ticket

SEI Innovation Studio

The completed new project is presented to the audience. 

Thursday, May 3, 8:00 PM – Luke O’Reilly

Friday, May 4, 8:00 – Colton Weatherston

Saturday, May 5, 8:00 PM – Doug Hirlinger



Tickets are on sale now. The Residency Kick-Offs, Public Workshops, and Work-in-Progress performances are free ticketed events, and tickets for the World Premiere performances are $15.00. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, visiting, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. More information at


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.


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 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 2017-2018 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit


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