Articles

Written by Ladonna Edwards   
Published on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 10:30

LiveConnections Announces 2017-2018 Season of Community Collaboration

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PHILADELPHIA – Music nonprofit LiveConnections’ 2017-18 concert series, which features collaborative concerts especially for adventurous music-lovers, dares to ask a bold question: Can music build community? The season’s performances provide the opportunity for musicians to create distinctive, boundary-blurring music, often involving new commissions and world premieres, while collaborating with members of the greater Philadelphia community and beyond.

“"These concerts blur the line between audiences and performers,” said LiveConnections Presents concert curator Mary Javian. “At LiveConnections we believe the communities we work with, including youth from public schools and individuals with disabilities, are all potential collaborators.”

The season begins with the unlimited imagination and powerhouse artistry of the Fifth House Ensemble, which joins Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux to perform Dan Visconti’s “Living Language” on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:30p.m.

“Fifth House Ensemble perfectly embodies LiveConnections approach to music-making: collaborative, curious and adventurous,” said Javian. “Jason is a longtime friend and frequent LiveConnections collaborator. His exquisite playing and free spirit make him an audience favorite."

The 30-minute guitar concerto covers a “broad musical landscape” with elements of “prog rock, neoclassicism, heavy metal, Arabian folk music, country blues” and more (San Francisco Chronicle). Additional ensemble and solo guitar works round out an inventive, not-your-standard-classical-music program. In keeping with LiveConnections’ educational mission, students who have participated in workshops with Fifth House will open the concert on December 13, and the artists will present two LiveConnections Bridge Sessions (interactive, educational concerts) for 300 public school students on December 14.

British ensemble VOCES8 takes a cappella chamber singing to a new level, and will bring a unique program to LiveConnections on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 3p.m. Called “impeccable” (Gramophone), the 8-voice ensemble performs everything from Renaissance polyphony to pop contemporary commissions.

“VOCES8 is one of the most compelling groups I have ever heard live,” said Javian. “The founders trained at Westminster Abbey and come from a choral tradition that is centuries old, yet the group has a delightfully fresh take on music from the past and present."

For this concert, to kick-off a two-year LiveConnections project focused on accessibility through singing, VOCES8 will be joined by choirs from Penn Alexander School, a public school in West Philly, and Germantown Recovery Community, which serves individuals receiving therapeutic, mental health and recovery services. The two community choirs will be participating in workshops with VOCES8 co-founder Paul Smith in the fall and spring. VOCES8 will also present two LiveConnections Bridge Sessions for 300 participants, including youth from public schools and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, on March 5. Additionally, in the fall, Paul Smith will present a workshop for public school teachers on Friday, October 27, 2017 at The Curtis Institute on the “VOCES8 Method” of music education, which models how to work with students on rhythms and melodies from pop,  African, Latin-American, Indian, and Asian music.

The season concludes with Grammy-winning, Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30p.m.

“Azmeh, a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, is one of the most important artists touring today,” said Javian. “I can't think of a better match than the Aizuri Quartet as collaborators. Just named quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this group represents the quartet of the future: collaborative, innovative and socially engaged."

These powerhouse musicians come together for a concert spanning classical, jazz, and Arab musical languages. The collaboration draws on the artists’ inventive and thought-provoking approaches to music-making, featuring works by Armenian priest Komitas Vartaped, Russian composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, and a world premiere of new work by Syrian native Azmeh. The concert will also include performances by students who have been part of LiveConnections’ “Immigrant Songs” residency, a song-writing and story-telling after-school program for refugee teenagers at Northeast High School in collaboration with HIAS PA.

In addition to the LiveConnections Presents concert series, LiveConnections' annual fundraising event and music-making extravaganza, The Big Hurrah, takes place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 starting at 5:30p.m. The party features the Connector Award honoring Youngmoo Kim, director of Drexel's ExCITe Center; performances by "Cybersounds" trio Andrew Lipke, Angela Zator Nelson & David Rosen; "African-American Spirituals" trio Allen Pinkney, Luke Carlos O'Reilly, and Kwasi Burgee; artist collaborators Jakub Ciupinski, Josh Robinson, and Yolanda Wisher; students from partner schools; and more.

LiveConnections’ music education and community programs in 2017-2018 will include 44 Bridge Sessions, LiveConnections’ signature educational performances at partner venue World Cafe Live, reaching 5000 youth from public schools as well as youth and adults with disabilities; “What’s Going On,” a Motown-inspired song-writing residency at Hill-Freedman World Academy; “Immigrant Songs,” a song-writing and story-telling after-school program for refugee teenagers at Northeast High School in collaboration with HIAS PA; an after-school percussion ensemble at Bregy Elementary; and a series of workshops for patients at St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital in collaboration with Art-Reach.

Full details on the LiveConnections Presents concert series is below, and additional details about education/community programs are available by request.  Interviews with the artists, LiveConnections Presents concert curator Mary Javian, or executive director Melinda Steffy are available by contacting Bryan Buttler ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).  Additionally, press tickets are available for any of the LiveConnections Presents concerts.  With your request, please include an estimated date of when your piece will be published, and please forward any links.  Thank you!

DETAILS
LiveConnections Big Hurrah
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
5:30–8:30 PM | $100 advance
Downstairs at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
LiveConnections' annual fundraising event and music-making extravaganza will refresh and inspire you—all in support of a good cause. The party features the Connector Award honoring Youngmoo Kim, director of Drexel's ExCITe Center; performances by "Cybersounds" trio Andrew Lipke, Angela Zator Nelson & David Rosen; "African-American Spirituals" trio Allen Pinkney, Luke Carlos O'Reilly & Kwasi Burgee; Jakub Ciupinski, Josh Robinson, Yolanda Wisher; students from partner schools; and more! Proceeds benefit LiveConnections’ music education and community programs.
 
LiveConnections Presents Fifth House Ensemble + Jason Vieaux
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
7:30 PM | $30/$20 students
LiveConnections at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Limitless imagination, powerhouse artistry. The critically acclaimed Fifth House Ensemble joins with Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux to perform Dan Visconti’s “Living Language.” The 30-minute guitar concerto covers a “broad musical landscape” with elements of “prog rock, neoclassicism, heavy metal, Arabian folk music, country blues” and more (San Francisco Chronicle). Additional ensemble and solo guitar works round out an inventive, not-your-standard-classical-music program. Student performers from LiveConnections’ partner schools will open the concert.
 
LiveConnections Presents VOCES8
Sunday, March 4, 2018
3:00 PM | $20/$15 students
LiveConnections at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
British ensemble VOCES8 takes a cappella chamber singing to a new level. Called “impeccable” (Gramophone), the 8-voice ensemble performs everything from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary commissions. For this concert, they’ll be joined by Philly school and community choirs, as part of LiveConnections’ commitment to building a vibrant and accessible Philadelphia music community.
 
LiveConnections Presents Kinan Azmeh + Aizuri Quartet
Thursday, May 31, 2018
7:30 PM | $30/$20 students
LiveConnections at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Grammy-winning, Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet come together for a concert spanning classical, jazz and Arab musical languages. The collaboration draws on the artists’ inventive and thought-provoking approaches to music-making, featuring works by Komitas Vartaped, Yevgeniy Sharlat and a world premiere of new work by Azmeh. The concert will also feature students from LiveConnections’ “Immigrant Songs” after-school program.

 

About LiveConnections: LiveConnections, a nonprofit organization in residence at World Cafe Live, creates programs that inspire learning and build community through collaborative music-making. In 2008, a team of artists, educators and entrepreneurs founded LiveConnections to address declining music education in Philadelphia schools and tap into the people-connecting power of music. Across all of our programs, LiveConnections is committed to artistry of the highest caliber, collaboration, community-building and accessibility/inclusion. We approach live music as an essential social and educational experience that helps create engaged and well-rounded global citizens.

Each year, LiveConnections reaches 5,000 participants with our dynamic educational programs. Bridge Sessions, our signature interactive performances at World Cafe Live, blend live music with hands-on activities. Sessions introduce students from Philadelphia public schools and youth and adults with disabilities to diverse musical cultures and build skills in listening, expressing ideas and synthesizing new information. We also offer in-school and after-school residencies at partner schools, providing sustained, in-depth music-making experiences for young people from under-resourced schools.

LiveConnections prioritizes accessibility for people with disabilities who face barriers to participation in the arts. We present Bridge Sessions and in-facility workshops targeted for youth and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, and our interactive, adaptive approach means individuals may fully engage at their own ability levels.

In addition, LiveConnections curates a critically acclaimed concert series featuring adventurous, boundary-crossing collaborations. Our LiveConnections Presents concerts feature Grammy winners, local talent and rising stars; we frequently commission new music that blends musical styles and cultures; and our concert artists participate in our educational and community programming.


For more information, visit liveconnections.org.


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PLEASE NOTE: LiveConnections is a nonprofit organization in residence at venue World Cafe Live. All programs are created, presented and funded entirely by LiveConnections and should not be attributed to World Cafe Live.