Tagged Music

What Do You Know About Bollywood? | International Bollywood Day

September 24 is International Bollywood Day! So... what exactly is Bollywood? Depending on who you ask, each person defines it differently.  In the film My Name Is Khan , an Indian man embarks on a remarkable journey across America…

September is National Classical Music Month

September is National Classical Music Month and I wanted to highlight a classical music icon who has some major local ties to Philadelphia— George Walker . George Walker (who passed away in 2018) was born in Washington, D.C. in…

Oklahoma: The Show That Changed American Musicals Forever

If ever a Broadway musical seemed destined to fail, it was Oklahoma . Contrary to the standard practice at the time, the producers insisted on casting singers who could act, rather than actors who could sing. As a result, the show…

Celebrate #BeyDay the Beyoncé Way

September 4 is #BeyDay , the birthday celebration of our favorite Queen of the music industry— Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter . This inspiring, outspoken, and sometimes shy Virgo is celebrating her 39th birthday this year.…

Best Summer Albums Through the Decades

Whether it is eating ice cream, swimming, or visiting your neighborhood library, there are so many great summer pastimes. One of the most exciting parts of summer is listening to all the incredible music! As we approach the end of…

Celebrating Pakistan's Independence Day with Music, Film, and Literature!

Jashn-e-Azadi Mubarak! Happy Independence Day! This past Saturday, August 14, was Pakistan’s Independence Day. Formed in 1947, Pakistan celebrated 74 years of its independence and freedom from British colonialism and the formation…

Philly Jazz Legends: Lee Morgan

This is the seventh in a series of posts  highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American…

Memories of the Golden Age of Hip Hop

I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses Can’t define how I be dropping these mockeries Lyrically perform armed robbery - "Triumph (feat. Cappadonna)" by Wu-Tang Clan, 1997 I am a rap fan.…

Philly Jazz Legends: The Heath Brothers

This is the seventh in a series of posts  highlighting major figures in Philadelphia jazz history. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed free with your library card via Alexander Street’s Jazz Music…

Celebrate the South Indian Holiday of Pongal!

The South Indian holiday of Pongal is a multi-day harvest festival full of music and food observed by the Tamil and Telugu community, celebrated this year per the Hindu religious calendar, starting on Thursday, January 14 and ending on…

Philly Jazz Legends: Henry Grimes

This is the sixth in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were in some sense from Philly. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed free with your library card via Alexander Street’s…

Listen to the Virtual Concert Band and Discover an Online Music Community

Two months into the pandemic, everyone is looking at their computer screen and seeing at least 10 or more people on it. Imagine if you had to look at more than 50 or 100 people on the screen... When the pandemic began earlier this year,…

Meet Your Library Staff: Sunita Balija, Children's Librarian and South Indian Classical Vocalist

As part of our  ongoing series  of blog posts highlighting our awesome staff throughout the Free Library of Philadelphia, today we take some time to speak with Sunita Balija, who is a Children's Librarian at Donatucci…

Philly Jazz Legends: Archie Shepp

This is the fifth in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were in some sense from Philly. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed for free with your library card via Alexander…

Halloween 2020: I Want Candy!

Howllo Boils and Ghouls!, Welcome back to the Free Library of Phrightadelphia's boo-log, on this most haunted of holidays— Halloween ! Usually, during this time of year, we'd be discussing and dissecting all-things…

Once in a Blue Moon

by Natalie Hartog and Deborah Ahrens A Blue Moon occurs when two full moons occur within the same month. These are relatively rare, happening once every two to three years. October 2020 is one such Blue Moon month, featuring full moons…

Philly Jazz Legends: Sun Ra

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were in some sense from Philly. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed for free with your library card via Alexander…

Bill and Ted Face the Music \m/

If I had to sum up 2020 so far in one word, it would be... bogus . Or, maybe we're just stuck in one of the darkest timelines ? Either way, we could all use some pure escapism right now, and if anything can take you away from all…

Philly Jazz Legends: Philly Joe Jones

This is the third in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday…

Philly Jazz Legends: Billie Holiday

This is the second in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Understanding Texas

Texas is one of very few American states ever to have been an independent nation.  At present the Lone Star State is at the center of a developing cultural war in the U.S.  In recent months, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the…

In-Person Music and Movement!

Join Ms Naomi Wednesdays at 10:30 am at Shakespeare Park (across the street from the library on Vine St) for Music and Movement! Enjoy songs, dance, and fun explorations of rhythm and movement! This program is intended for our friends…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

VIRTUAL - Robby Krieger: | Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar With the Doors

TICKETS In conversation with David Fricke, senior editor for Rolling Stone and SiriusXM host One of Rolling Stone ’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Robby Krieger is best known as a member of the legendary rock…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Music and Mandarin: Learn and Practice Mandarin through Music and Song

Tuesdays 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Learn and practice Mandarin through music and song. This group for beginning and intermediate Mandarin speakers will teach language and culture, as well as basic reading and writing skills.  This…

Music and Mandarin: Learn and Practice Mandarin through Music and Song

Tuesdays 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Learn and practice Mandarin through music and song. This group for beginning and intermediate Mandarin speakers will teach language and culture, as well as basic reading and writing skills.  This…

IN-PERSON | George F. Will | American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008–-2020

TICKETS Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture Renowned for his “ability to combine high thinking with a shrewd capacity to understand day-to-day American politics,” ( The Economist ) Pulitzer Prize winner George Will has written a…

Kids Music Group

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memries, while supporting social and developmental skills. Social…

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

With an extraordinary array of more than 35,000 individual tracks of streaming music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds, users can listen to performances by American folk icons such as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger…

Popular Music Library

Popluar Music Library contains a wide range of popular music from around the world, including hundreds of thousands of tracks from major genres in pop music, including alternative, country, Christian, electronic, hip-hop, metal, punk,…

LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)

Learn business, creative, and technology skills to achieve your personal and professional goals.

Jazz Music Library

This resource will be the largest and most comprehensive collection of jazz available online. This release includes 4,933 albums and 59,860 tracks. It and is growing regularly.

Gale in Context | Elementary (formerly Kids InfoBits) *

Elementary students in kindergarten through grade five will find age-appropriate content covering a broad range of educational topics such as animals, arts, geography, health, literature, people, social studies, technology, etc. Kids…

Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

Explore over 500 nonfiction, fully searchable reference titles. Access accurate information on science, literature, history, business, and more. Watch this video to learn more

Contemporary World Music

Reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more.

Classical Music Library

A comprehensive database of distinguished classical recordings offered in streaming format. The Classical Music Library also includes anthology playlists linked to the major music history and appreciation textbooks

Jackie Kay | Bessie Smith: A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend

In conversation with Sapphire The National Poet Laureate of Scotland from 2016 to 2021, Jackie Kay is the author of the celebrated poetry collections  Life Mask ,  Off Colour , and  The Adoption Papers , winner of the Scottish Arts…

James Lapine | Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created “Sunday in the Park with George”

In conversation with Benj Pasek, Tony Award-winning songwriter and New York Times bestselling author of  Dear Evan Hansen A celebrated director, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist, James Lapine earned three Tony Awards for “Best…

Bobby Rush | I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story

In conversation with Jonny Meister, host of The Blues Show on WXPN In his five decades in blues music, Grammy-winner Bobby Rush has recorded hundreds of his own songs, collaborated with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and…

Rickie Lee Jones | Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour

Carole Phillips Memorial Lecture In conversation with singer, songwriter, and novelist Wesley Stace Acclaimed for “her hauntingly beautiful voice and fearless experimentation” (NPR), singer–-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has remained one…

Richard Thompson | Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975

NOTE: SIGNED BOOKS ARE NOW SOLD OUT. ALL TICKETS BOUGHT AFTER 5:50 P.M (EST) ON EVENT DAY ARE FOR ENTRY WITH AN UNSIGNED BOOK INCLUDED. PURCHASE TICKETS In conversation with musician, novelist, and teacher Wesley Stace “One of rock’s…

Victor Wooten | The Spirit of Music: The Lesson Continues

In conversation with novelist and musician Wesley Stace A founding member of jazz fusion super group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, bass guitarist Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner and has been called “the Michael Jordan of the…

Alex Ross | Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

In conversation with Simon Callow Music critic for the  New Yorker  since 1996, Alex Ross is the author of the international bestseller  The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century . A trip down the rabbit hole of modern…

Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Justine Simmons | Old School Love: And Why it Works

Walk this way for an evening with Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, frontman for the mega-influential hip-hop trio Run-DMC. Regarded as the driving force behind ushering rap into the mainstream, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime…

Jeanine Basinger | The Movie Musical!

In conversation with Carrie Rickey, former film critic for the Inquirer Mentor to some of contemporary cinema’s top directors (Joss Whedon and Michael Bay) and founder of the department of film studies at Wesleyan University, Jeanine…

Billy Bragg | The Three Dimensions of Freedom

In conversation with Ian Zolitor, host of The Folk Show on WXPN Introduced by Cynthia Schemmer Legendary English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg’s more than 40-year musical career melds facets of folk, punk, and protest music with…

Gary Giddins | Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940-1946

Gary Giddins is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Visions of Jazz: The First Century , “a grand, brilliant history" ( The New York Times Book Review ). Jazz columnist at The Village Voice for 30 years, his…

Jeff Tweedy | Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.

In conversation with Talia Schlanger, host of World Cafe on WXPN Jeff Tweedy is the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, declared “one of the most respected bands on the planet” and…

Anthony Tommasini | The Indispensable Composers: A Personal Guide

Covering orchestras, opera, major international festivals, and a wide variety of contemporary music, Anthony Tommasini is the chief classical music critic for The New York Times . His books include a biography of the composer and critic…

Jamie Bernstein | Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

In conversation with Peter Dobrin, classical music critic and culture writer, The Philadelphia Inquirer . Jamie Bernstein is the oldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein, one of the 20th century’s best known musicians. Chief conductor of…

Leslie Odom, Jr. | Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher and Never Stop Learning

In Conversation with Kalela Williams, Director of Neighborhood Enrichment Programming Philadelphia's Leslie Odom Jr., burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since…

One Book, One Philadelphia Finale with Jacqueline Woodson

The One Book  Finale will feature an interview with Jacqueline Woodson and Tamala Edwards, 6ABC Action News Co-Anchor.  The program will also feature a celebration of the poetry and music found in Another Brooklyn, with performances of…

Lamont “U-God” Hawkins | Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang

In conversation with A.D. Amorosi, reporter Philadelphia Style Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer . Lamont “U-God” Hawkins is one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, “the most significant posse in hip-hop” ( Rolling…

One Book, One Philadelphia Kickoff Event | Featuring Jacqueline Woodson and a Performance by Yolanda Wisher and The Afroeaters

Watch the video here . Join featured author Jacqueline Woodson for an evening of conversation, reading, and performance. In conversation with WHYY's Katie Colaneri, Ms. Woodson will discuss identity, shifting cultural landscapes, and…

Loudon Wainwright III | Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes and Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things with Eileen Myles | Afterglow (a dog memoir)

Watch the video here . With a career spanning four decades, 26 studio albums, and untold scores of concerts, Loudon Wainwright III is one of the world’s most loved singer-songwriters. A prolific actor in a variety of television and…

Harvey Sachs | Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

Watch the video here . Music historian Harvey Sachs’s many books include The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 , a biography of Arthur Rubenstein, and two collections of essays on musical subjects. He has written for dozens of…