Mayor Michael A. Nutter Launches Celebration with Official Proclamation at City Hall

Philadelphia, April 1, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Chief Cultural Officer Helen Haynes and the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) lead the City of Philadelphia in the 5th annual celebration of Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month at an event in City Hall.

Mayor Nutter continued the tradition of proclaiming April as Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month by honoring a Philadelphia jazz legend.  Jazz icon McCoy Tyner, a West Philadelphia native, will be honored this year.  Past honorees are legendary jazz musicians Benny Golson, Ron Carter, Charlie Rice, and the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia is home to a rich jazz legacy,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Since 2011, we have set aside April to observe National Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia and recognize this city’s place in jazz history. This year, I am pleased to honor McCoy Tyner – one of the jazz greats who have called this city home – to kick off a month-long celebration showcasing the sheer volume and outstanding caliber of jazz artists in Philadelphia.”

Jazz Appreciation Month will feature the launch of an outdoor promotional campaign based on the theme “Jazz Lives in Philadelphia,” highlighting notable Philadelphia jazz artists. With its rich jazz history, the City of Brotherly Love will celebrate with live performances, art exhibitions, discussion panels, and films showcasing the power of jazz in different shapes and forms. Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month reflects on the jazz heritage of the city, along with the vibrant jazz scene that persists to this day.

“Philadelphia is one of the most important jazz legacy cities in the world,” said Helen Haynes. “We have produced some of the most iconic figures in jazz history and still do. From the seminal influence of John Coltrane to the avant-garde work of Sun Ra to the soul jazz of Jimmy Smith and Grover Washington, we cover the spectrum of styles in the jazz lexicon. Jazz is America’s unique art form, which has influenced music globally. We celebrate this great legacy during Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month.”

The OACCE has partnered with more than 20 arts and culture organizations to promote more than 40 jazz events throughout the city during the month of April. Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month partners include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, Opera Philadelphia, Center City Jazz Festival, and Ars Nova Workshop.

Highlights of the events include the Philadelphia Clef Club’s 20th anniversary celebration, with performances by the Kenny Garrett Quintet and Jazz & Performing Arts Film Series, the 4th Annual Center City Jazz Festival, featuring 16 bands performing at four Center City venues over six hours on April 25th, and a rare duo performance of jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea at the Academy of Music on April 11th.

In addition to supporting the Philadelphia jazz community; Jazz Appreciation Month also raises public awareness of the significant contributions jazz has made to Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector, and to the entire city.

For the full schedule and latest news about Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month, visit: and on Twitter @CreativePHL and follow #PhillyJazzMonth.

Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month Playlists

Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month playlists, featuring the favorite jazz works of noted Philadelphians, including Mayor Michael Nutter, from the world of arts, politics, and food will be released during the month on and Creative Philadelphia’s social media profiles: on Twitter @CreativePHL.

2015 Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month Honoree – McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner was born in the city of Philadelphia in 1938, growing up during the fertile jazz and R&B scene of the early 1950s. At 17, he began a career-changing relationship with Philadelphian John Coltrane, then sideman saxophonist with Miles Davis. Tyner joined Coltrane for the classic album My Favorite Things (1960), and remained at the core of The John Coltrane Quartet, one of the most influential groups in jazz history. He performed on Coltrane’s classic recordings such as Live at the Village Vanguard, Impressions and Coltrane’s signature suite, A Love Supreme.

After leaving the Coltrane Quartet, Tyner would go on to release nearly 80 albums under his name. His 1972 Grammy-nominated album Sahara, broke new ground incorporating the sounds and rhythms of Africa. His blues-based piano style – sophisticated chords and explosively percussive left hand – is one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. He has continually expanded his vision of the musical landscape and incorporated new elements, whether from distant continents or diverse musical influences. This incredibly talented musician and disarmingly modest man has earned four Grammys, has been honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts and continues to be a strong influence on generations of improvisers.

Creative Philadelphia — Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

The mission of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and the creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City. For more information on the OACCE, visit: and on Twitter @creativephl.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases
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