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The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Kimmel Center Partner for FREE Neighborhood Concert in Verizon Hall and FREE Commonwealth Plaza Entertainment, July 30 from 4-8:30 PM

July 20, 2015

(Philadelphia, July 20, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Kimmel Center partner for a free Neighborhood Concert  presented by Wells Fargo, and free entertainment in Commonwealth Plaza on Thursday, July 30. Beginning at 4 PM on the Plaza Stage, Philadelphia area musical theater actors Jeff Coon  and Fran Prisco will perform a medley of classic Broadway songs, accompanied by their music director, John Daniels. From 5 PM to 6 PM, Brazilian duo Minas will entertain audiences with their innovative sound, blending Brazilian guitar, jazz piano, and mixed vocals. Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève conducts the Neighborhood Concert, which begins at 6:30 PM in Verizon Hall. Immediately following the Orchestra’s Free Neighborhood Concert, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. there will be a performance by jazz singer Shakera Jones bringing the evening of diverse musical entertainment to a close. All activities are free but tickets are required for the Neighborhood Concert, and will be available on July 21 at 10 AM through the Orchestra’s website.

The free Neighborhood Concert will be streamed live on philorch.org at 6:30 PM, continuing the Orchestra’s expansion of community offerings that take its musicians into the lives of music-lovers throughout the Philadelphia region, and across the globe. Further, the Orchestra’s mobile app, LiveNote , will be enabled allowing concertgoers to access custom-created information about select works on the program, following along with the music in real time and presenting musical, emotional, and historical highlights. 

In true neighborhood fashion, guests are encouraged to come early, and bring a picnic and enjoy a memorable evening of fantastic free entertainment on the stage in Commonwealth Plaza. Picnic style food will also be available for purchase at the concession stand.  

Also on July 30, all Philadelphia Orchestra single tickets for the 2015-16 season become available for purchase. Those who purchase tickets in person at the Kimmel Center can take advantage of reduced ticket fees.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Neighborhood Concert Series

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Neighborhood Concert Series continues the Orchestra’s commitment to bringing the music of the world renowned ensemble to listeners of all ages in communities throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. By bringing the power, majesty, and fun of the music they create together into a variety of neighborhoods, the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra help ensure that music lives in the hearts of people for generations to come, no matter where they reside. The Philadelphia Orchestra has presented Neighborhood Concerts in such locations as Upper Darby, Allegheny West, Rittenhouse Square, Northeast Philadelphia, University City, Washington Township, NJ, South Philadelphia, Penn’s Landing, Montgomery County Community College, Villanova University, Camden, NJ, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia’s City Hall, East Falls, the Navy Yard, and the Curtis Arboretum.  

FREE Neighborhood Concert

July 30 at 6:30 PM – Thursday evening – Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stéphane Denève Conductor

Williams                        Sound the Bells!

Higdon                         blue cathedral (with LiveNote)

Bernstein                      Overture to Candide

Berlioz                          “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath,” from Symphonie fantastique

Ravel                            La Valse (with LiveNote)

This concert is presented by Wells Fargo, in partnership with Kimmel Center, Inc. It will be live-streamed on philorch.org.

The concert is FREE, but tickets are required, and will be available beginning July 21, 2015, at 10 AM at www.philorch.org. Please note that free tickets do not guarantee seating. Seating is general admission and first come, first served. 

Stéphane Denève

Stéphane Denève is principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra; he made his debut in 2007 and assumed his current position at the start of the 2014-15 season. He is also chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and in September becomes chief conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic and director of its Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire. From 2005 to 2012 he was music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Mr. Denève’s recent European engagements have included appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw and Philharmonia orchestras; the Bavarian Radio, Swedish Radio, Vienna, and London symphonies; the Munich Philharmonic; the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; and the Orchestre National de France. In North America Mr. Denève made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 with the Boston Symphony, with which he is a frequent guest. He appears regularly with the Chicago and San Francisco symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2015. He has conducted productions at the Royal Opera House, the Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, the Saito Kinen Festival, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Netherlands Opera, La Monnaie, and the Opéra National de Paris. He enjoys close relationships with many of the world’s leading artists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Yo-Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Nikolaj Znaider, Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Vadim Repin, and James Ehnes.

Mr. Denève has won critical acclaim for his recordings of the works of Poulenc, Debussy, Roussel, Franck, and Connesson. He is a double winner of the Diapason d’Or, was shortlisted in 2012 for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year award, and won the prize for symphonic music at the 2013 International Classical Music Awards. A graduate of, and prizewinner at, the Paris Conservatory, Mr. Denève worked closely in his early career with Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre, and Seiji Ozawa.

Jeff Coon

Jeffrey Coon has been a member of Philadelphia’s theater community since attending the University of Pennsylvania. He has performed in nearly 100 productions and worked at most of the area’s theater companies including Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Act 2 Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Prince Music Theatre, and is extremely excited to be producing his own event with The Summer Club. He is a 10-time Barrymore Award nominee, winning for his performance as Dominique in The Baker’s Wife at Arden Theatre Company.  Favorite roles include Georges Seurat (Sunday in the Park with George), Stanley Kowalski (A Streetcar Named Desire), Charles Lindbergh (Baby Case – World Premiere), Che Guevara (Evita), Father Flynn (Doubt), and Harold Hill (The Music Man).

Fran Prisco

A Philadelphia native and resident, Fran Prisco has developed a reputation as one of his hometown's favorite performers. His resume boasts over 20 productions at the Walnut Street Theatre, including two Barrymore Nominations. He also has performed for Philadelphia’s excellent theater companies including The Arden, The Wilma, Philadelphia Theatre Co., 1812 Productions, 11th Hour, and the Delaware Theatre Co., among others. Last summer he had the honor of returning to his college campus to portray Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. His performing career has taken him all over the country. including two National Tours of Forever Plaid and to Denver, Colorado for a production of My Way! A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra. He is also a respected cabaret artist. Cabarets he's created and performed include A Tribute to Johnnie and An Evening of Break Up Songs for Stupid Valentine’s Day! The New Jersey shore has, as for most Philadelphians, been Fran's home away from home, for relaxation and work. He's spent summers at the Showplace and Music Man Ice Cream Parlours in LBI and Lavalette respectively.  He's also acted at the Surflight Theatre on LBI, and The Tropicana in AC.


Minas takes Brazilian and American roots to create a sound that is fresh and innovative, from ballads tinged with melancholic traits of Blues and Choro, to Folk coasting on the subtle coolness of a Bossa Nova pulse, to upbeat Sambas elaborated with instrumental jazz improvisation, scat singing and whimsical whistling. With recordings of original music and a collection of over 100 songs, Orlando Haddad’s and Patricia King’s compositions have been compared to classics by Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Capturing the essence of great songwriting with memorable melodies, inventive harmonies, and poetic lyrics, the music of Minas is engaging and timeless.

Shakera Jones

A native of Montclair, New Jersey, Shakera Jones has been singing since age four. Influenced by her parents’ love for jazz and soul music, Shakera began performing and singing at every opportunity. Shakera moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in jazz voice. While attending Temple University, Shakera formed the Shakera Jones quartet, which includes George Burton on piano, Wayne Smith, Jr. on drums, and Jason Fraticelli on bass.  Early performances consisted of mostly jazz standards with original arrangements. While studying for her master’s degree in jazz studies at the University of the Arts, Shakera began to try her hand at songwriting.  Since then, she has developed a style all her own, winning audiences with her sultry voice, impressive range, personal lyrics, and jazz/soul influenced accompaniment.

Shakera has performed at all the premier music venues in Philadelphia, as well as numerous festivals. She has traveled frequently and performed in venues in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, as well as the Midwest, performing in festivals and venues in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis. Shakera has had the pleasure of performing next to jazz greats such as Mickey Roker, Sid Simmons, Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield, Byron Landham, and Robert “Bootsie” Barnes, as well as a host of other well-respected musicians including Mike Boone, Jaleel Shaw, Derrick Hodge, Mike Wade, and Eddie Bayard.  Shakera has also performed and shared stages with The Last Poets, Eric Roberson, Kindred Family Soul, Sunni Anderson, and many more. Listen and embrace the sophisticated sound of Shakera Jones’ sultry jazz with a touch of soul.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Among the ways in which the Orchestra introduces orchestral music to a new generation of listeners are concerts for families and schoolchildren, and eZseatU, which allows full-time college students to attend an unlimited number of Orchestra concerts for a $25 annual membership fee. Community concerts include free Pop-Ups, an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert, and Neighborhood Concerts. PreConcert and PostConcert Conversations bring concert-goers closer to the music, musicians, and conductors. Musician-led initiatives such as the Play-Ins shine a spotlight on the Orchestra’s musicians, as they spread out from the stage into the community, and serve a key role in growing musician talent and a love of classical music in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors.  

The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a strong commitment to collaborations with cultural and community organizations on a regional and national level. Since Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore’s arrival in 2010 the Orchestra has reinvigorated and launched new partnerships with Opera Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Live Arts (FringeArts), Philadanco, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Ridge Theater Company, and stage director James Alexander, among others.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been heralded by critics and audiences alike for his highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming. He is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra, audiences, and the community. His concerts of diverse repertoire attract sold-out houses and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concert-goers through Post-Concert Conversations, as well as returning the Orchestra both to recording and to regular radio broadcasts. He is increasingly engaged with musicians in the Philadelphia community having conducted Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concerts, a Neighborhood Concert, free Pop-Up Concerts, the School District of Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra and Choir, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, among other community activities. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble … has never sounded better.” For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit www.philorch.org. 

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. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of The Kimmel Center’s 2014-2015 Season.  American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org