Philly 360° Spotlight: Anthony Tidd – From London To The Kimmel

Anthony Tidd
Anthony Tidd (Courtesy of Neal Santos of nealsantos.com)

So exactly how did talented bassist and producer, Anthony Tidd who is originally from London wind up in Philadelphia? Well quite simply Richard Nichols came and got him.

“When I got here to Philadelphia, it was the place,” Tidd explained.

It was around the late 90s when Tidd arrived in Philadelphia. He began to work heavily with then unsigned The Roots and things began to take off from there. He has worked with the Black Eyed Peas, Pink, Marsha Ambrosius, and many others. And even in the midst of his music industry success, there was something more he wanted to give.

In an interview with City Paper, Tidd said this, “If I could sum up my mission, it’s to bring the public at large back into the fold of appreciating creative music.” And how he intends to do it?

Currently, Tidd heads up the Creative Music program at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. Here he oversees three ensembles and puts together a monthly jam called “Sittin’ In.” Tidd’s arrival in the states was during the height of the Black Lily era. His position at the Kimmel created a great opportunity to revive the essence of a live jam and showcase the talented artist and musicians in Philadelphia. It also gave him a chance to introduce a diverse crowd to the underutilized space.

With a variety of music nights and events to compete with, “Sittin’ In” stands out based on Tidd’s ability to curate the event. He puts together great bills. I recently was able to experience the styling of jazz vocalist Laurin Talese. A phenomenal show, the musicians also have a chance to shed following the main act.

Tidd is very excited about a new act he debuted at Sittin’ In last night, Philadelphia Artists for Creative Transformation (PACT).

“PACT is a big band and if you were to look at it, it will look like a typical Jazz set up from the 40s or 50s. But you can come hear PACT play and hear J. Dilla,” he explained.

The ensemble that Tidd leads at the Kimmel, The Magenta Ensemble, will be the opening act for the evening.

“Two big bands, where you ever going to see that in Philly?” He joked.

Continuing to make his mark on Philly miles and miles away from home, I had to ask what keeps him in Philadelphia. Often time’s music makers find their careers take them to Los Angeles or New York, but there are an elite group of musicians who continue to call the “City of Brotherly Love” home.

“As long as you have musicians around you that will challenge you and community, it doesn’t really matter where you live.”

Tidd also cites the cost of living in Philadelphia as a “hip” place to live as an attractive attribute of the city. Whatever keeps him here, we’re glad to have him. Continuing to challenge the music world with his creative endeavors and also helping to shape the next generation of leaders in music. 

Tidd is one of the producers featured in our Producing Philadelphia video below. Check it out here!

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