For the first time in its 30-year history, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) will go “All Jazz’’ with the additions this month of Christian McBride, Jaco Pastorius, Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, and WRTI air personality Bob Perkins to the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as members of its Class of 2016.
The new honorees will be formally inducted together Wednesday, October 19, 2016 during afternoon ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts, highlighted by the unveiling of their freshly installed bronze plaques. Anthony Checchia, founding artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, whose induction was announced in March, also will see his plaque unveiled as part of the ceremony. The Walk of Fame induction, which starts at noon and will be preceded by an 11 a.m. press conference, will launch a two-day live music celebration in the city and suburbs, beginning that evening.
In the city, the Oct. 19 evening ceremony recognizing the recipients at University of the Arts – also along the Avenue of the Arts in the Terra Building, 211 S.Broad St. – will feature a reception and short performances by new inductee Joey DeFrancesco and the award-winning University of the Arts ‘Z’ Big Band, directed by Matt Gallagher.
The following night (Oct. 20), Pastorius, the late bass player who rose to fame as a member of Weather Report and solo artist, will be saluted with an all-star concert at the Bridgeport Ribhouse in Bridgeport, PA.
The PMA once again is working in conjunction with Avenue of the Arts, Inc., to make its fall events extra special. The annual “Making the Stars Shine” plaque cleaning event, in association with I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8 along the Avenue of the Arts, will take place the morning of the induction ceremony.
This year’s honorees join such Philadelphia jazz giants as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke, Gerry Mulligan, and Grover Washington Jr., and many others, along the Music Walk of Fame.
The Alliance is very excited to be able to specifically honor jazz this year as an extension of Philadelphia’s essential ties to this unique American art form’s rich legacy,” said PMA Board chairman Alan Rubens. “It’s important to be reminded of the global impact and influence that Philadelphia has continued to bring to the jazz world, since the Roaring ‘20s. Jazz doesn’t always get its due these days, even though it’s current as ever. Jazz is today, and it’s very much got a thriving pulse in our great city.”
Christian McBride is the most in-demand bassist of his generation. He consistently combines his deft musicianship with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience — whether he’s leading his own bands; sharing the stage with jazz legends like Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock or Pat Metheny; accompanying pop giants like James Brown, Sting or The Roots; or collaborating with classical masters like Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer or the Shanghai Quartet. McBride was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival, one of the oldest and most respected jazz festivals in the world.
Jaco Pastorius was called “the Jimi Hendrix of the bass,” revolutionizing how bass guitar is played and who was, for many, the best and most influential bass guitarist ever. Best known for his work in Weather Report, with whom he helped define the jazz-fusion sound, the master of the fretless electric bass was a meteor who blazed on to the scene in the 1970s, only to flame out in the 1980s and die tragically at the age of 35.
Joey DeFrancesco emerged in the 1980s to become the new-age proponent of jazz organ, an instrument that had been pushed aside in favor of the growing technology. Quoted as the Master of the Jazz organ, the three-time Grammy® nominee now takes his place with Fats Waller, Wild Bill Davis and Jimmy Smith in the lineage of Jazz Organ.
Benny Golson has played tenor saxophone in the world famous bands of world famous Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey. The only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire, Golson boasts of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term “jazz,” and which he continues to maintain today at 87.
Bob Perkins, also known as “BP with the GM,” (translation: “Bob Perkins with the Good Music”), has been in the broadcasting industry for more than four decades, and with WRTI (90.1) FM since 1997. commonly referred to as a Philadelphia jazz radio legend. The evening radio host also spent time in Philly radio at WDAS and WHYY, is the voice behind WRTI’s Great Migration series, and writes numerous jazz columns and commentaries.
For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org