Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (NPIHN) will host a daylong jazz festival designed to support its work assisting families struggling with homelessness, from 12 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at 7165 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy (formerly North by Northwest).
“Jazz it Up!” will feature five groups delivering seven hours of jazz and blues, classic Klezmer/Jewish jazz, brass band and Latin jazz. The music will “jazz up” mid-day brunch and afternoon buffets, and the event will top off with an “old-school dance party” from 7 to 9:30 PM.
Performers, most of who are donating their time and talents, include: the Jazz Doctors, with vocalist Jeannie Brooks and special guest Tony Williams; the Fabulous Spielkehs, featuring Elaine Hoffman Watts and Susan Watts; New Sound Brass Band; jazz and soul vocalist Michal Beckam, and Pablo Batista’s Mambo Jazz Express.
Altogether, they bring a giddy mix of styles that demonstrate the breadth and diversity of Philly’s kaleidoscopic jazz scene, and something about the philanthropic spirit of the players, most of whom are donating their time and talents.
Opening the festival’s noon brunch are the Jazz Doctors with vocalist Jeannie Brooks and special guest saxophonist and jazz elder Tony Williams. Then, it‘s classic Klezmer with the Fabulous Spielkehs, led by the remarkable 81-year old drummer and NEA award winner Elaine Hoffman Watts and her daughter trumpeter/vocalist Susan Watts.
Jazz it Up! will transition to its “afternoon jazz party” segment with the funky and energetic horns of New Sound Brass, followed the jazz and soul of Philly songstress Michal Beckam and her quartet. Closing out the party is percussionist Pablo Batista’s Mambo Jazz Express, offering combustible Latin jazz and dance rhythms.
“NPIHN” is a 22-year-old network of 47 congregation-based shelters in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia whose volunteers work with a small professional staff to assist more than100 homeless and formerly homeless families each year. Over 10 years, its programs have resulted in 92 percent of its families achieving and sustaining housing stability.
Proceeds from Jazz it Up! will support emergency and transitional services and help expand safe, affordable housing options for families coming out of emergency shelters.
For more information and tickets go to www.philashelter.org or call 215-247-4663, Ext 102.