New Americans Spring Concert Series

By Perry G. RSS Tue, April 12, 2016

Librarians in the Music Department and the New Americans Committee invite you to celebrate the unique cultural heritage of Philadelphia’s immigrant communities with the New Americans Spring Concert Series.

In April, May, and June, we’ll offer three free pop-up concerts in the Grand Lobby of the Parkway Central Library, each highlighting music from one voice in the community of Philadelphia’s new locals.

Every library in this world-class municipal system is embedded in the multi-ethnic, multi-racial union that is modern Philadelphia; some have served their neighborhoods for more than a century. Librarians, in their roles as educators, have always delivered information, knowledge, and resources for patrons to share inside and outside their communities.

Here in the Music Department, we’ve found that one of the most stirring ways people can share their own cultural heritage is through song. Patrons ask librarians for help learning about post-revolutionary music in Cuba, tracking down solo flute works by African American composers for competitions, browsing our vinyl collection to listen to Caribbean folk music, and a million other reference questions. Music librarians help countless patrons who want to explore music of cultural heritage: we link musicians and music fans to sheet music and songbooks, books and magazines about music, and recorded music in every audio format imaginable—not to mention we encourage exploring the collection’s counter-voices from across the musical spectrum. Since one of the ultimate expressions of music library exploration is live performance, the Free Library would be thrilled to have you here for these free concerts.

This Wednesday, April 13, please join us for our first concert—an excellent program of music from across the Arab world featuring Pew Fellowship winners Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain of Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble.

The New Americans Spring Concert Series Full Lineup

Wednesday, April 13 | 7:00 p.m.
Arab Classical and Contemporary Music

Co-presented with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture. Join us for an evening of Arab music with Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain of the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble. Al-Bustan (Arabic for "The Garden") promotes cross-cultural understanding of all ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds through artistic and educational programs. Hanna and Hafez, both winners of prestigious Pew Fellowships in the Arts, will perform music from across the spectrum of the Arab world on doumbek and violin.

Wednesday, May 18 | 7:00 p.m.

Formed in 2010 by professional percussionists Andres Cisneros (Venezuela) and Christian Noguera (Argentina), TIMBALONA is a percussion collective focusing on folklore and popular music from the Caribbean and Latin America. TIMBALONA spreads its mission of unity, community building, and cultural exchange through music. For its New Americans Concert Series performance, TIMBALONA will exclusively showcase Afro-Caribbean folkloric music with special guest Nicky Laboy from New York City.

Wednesday, June 1 | 7:00 p.m.
The Philadelphia Suns

The city's own historic Chinatown youth organization will perform the traditional Chinese Lion Dance.

All programs begin at 7:00 p.m., are completely free, and will be performed pop-up style in Parkway Central's Grand Lobby. If you have any questions, please contact the Music Department at 215-686-5316 or email

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