Now in its 12th year, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival brings music to Powelton Village this Saturday, July 21.
Taking place at Saunders Park Greene at 39th Street and Powelton Avenue, the festival promises a day of free music and dance performances, children’s activities, marketplace shopping and eats from food trucks.
This year’s theme, “Different Shades of Jazz,” means festival-goers can expect musicians from different musical directions and backgrounds to take he stage during the day-long festival.
- The Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at Saunders Park Greene.
- The fest features free music and dance performances, kids’ activities, shopping and eats from food trucks.
- The event is free and family-oriented.
- The rain date for the festival is Sunday, July 22.
Festival organizers expect nearly 4,000 guests to turn out and experience the music, food and jazz culture that the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival has brought to West Philadelphia for more than a decade.
Saxophonist, educator and composer Tim Warfield with his Organ Band featuring trumpeter Terell Stafford headline this year’s fest. The group is expected to take the stage at 2:55 p.m.
Warfield, a York, Pennsylvania native, has appeared on various Grammy Award-nominated recordings and has worked with other notable musicians including Marlon Jordan, Shirley Scott and Isaac Hayes. Stafford, who serves as both director of Jazz Studies and chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, is a member of the Grammy Award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, and his work can be heard on the soundtrack for A Bronx Tale, among other films.
Other acts include keyboardist Glenn Bryan and friends, saxophonist Chris Lewis, jazz vocalist Ella Gahnt and Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of Wonderful Sound. The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble are also scheduled to perform.
What Else To Expect
The festival marketplace features local artisans, craftspersons and specialty item curators from around the area including Amazulu Collections, Silk Tent, Pearl Beauty Emporium and Jerry Adam Puryear Fine Art.
And families with kids should look out for the children’s village filled with activities for younger guests, including a moon bounce, face painting, games and crafts. Other activities for the young and the young at heart include a People’s Emergency Center Digital Inclusion Pop-Up Lab and a photo booth. A mini-resource fair features information tables from local organizations.
What To Eat
Festival-goers’ appetites can be fulfilled with fare from food trucks at the festival. Lancaster Avenue’s own Irie Jamaican Restaurant plates Caribbean dishes, Gigi’s & Big R dishes out soul food and Chewy’s Food Truck serves up barbecue.
For dessert, try something sweet from Pound Cake Heaven (located in nearby Yeadon, Pennsylvania) and homemade ice cream from Philly-based Curbside Creamery.
Getting There & Staying Over
Located near Lancaster Avenue on 39th Street and Powelton Avenue, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival is easily accessible from the University City area via walking or biking. (Try the Indego bike share service.)
To arrive via public transportation, hop on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line going westbound toward 69th Street and get off at 40th Street Station. The festival is a few blocks away from there.
Make a weekend out of the festival with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which is offering $195 in free perks, including free hotel parking, restaurant gift cards to We ♥ 13th Street restaurants, CHeU Noodle restaurants and R2L, and more.