On Monday at 7:00 p.m. on November 21, join the Free Library and the Philadelphia Jazz Project for the next show in our acclaimed series of jazz concerts, Mysterious Travelers. Last year we explored what the Great Migration means to Philly music and now we’re banging on books and making music with microfiche—yes, we’re using the music collections at the Free Library to make new art!
Musicians met with librarians just like our city’s students do, except not with term papers as the goal, but new artistic expression. This month, Kunu Bi/Ed Stokes and Tom Lowery will be riffing on the collections inside Parkway Central's Music Department. Get your free tickets here!
Up Next! Kunu Bi/Ed Stokes and Tom Lowery
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Papa Ed Stokes is a multi-instrumentalist / vocalist who plays more than a dozen instruments, including the Kamale Ngoni, a stringed African harp, and the Ngoni, a stringed African lute. One of his primary instruments is the Diddley Bow, or “One-String,” which has its origins in West Africa—where he studied in 2013. He is also a highly accomplished instrument maker (often from recycled materials) and a lifelong student of ethnic and African music and the Blues. Papa’s main goal is to keep these African-influenced musical traditions alive and make people happy.
Tom Lowery is an accomplished drummer from Philly known for Latin / Brazilian hand drumming and ably manning the drum kit. Bassist Bert has often performed at The Blues Stroll and Jazz by Night, and on New Year’s Eve he locks down the rhythms of Philly Gumbo at The Ball Drop on State Street.
Recapping Brent White
Last month, traveler Brent White found musical muse in the Parkway Central Library’s Children’s Department. He chose a children’s book, Knock Knock, written by Daniel Beaty and illustrator Bryan Collier. A story of loss, Knock Knock's themes reverberate with our current crisis of mass incarceration in our Black and Brown communities. Brent wound actual passages from the book into a night of meaningful jazz.
Check out two video samples from the night’s set below and browse two featured booklists our Children’s Librarians composed which, like Knock Knock, confront the pains of having a parent in prison.
Picture books to help parents and caregivers discuss :
A selection of books for middle school students: