Tagged Music

Focus On: Unique Lending

A baker browses through dozens of cake pans to plan confectionary creations of her wildest imagination. Meanwhile, a man chooses the perfect tie from more than 60 to wear to his graduation. Elsewhere, a musician slated to play a wedding…

Philadelphia, Fleisher, and the City Beautiful Movement

June 2, 2017, will mark the 90th birthday of our Parkway Central Library . On September 8, 2017, celebrations for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s 100th anniversary will begin and continue until November 16, 2018. The Free Library…

Mark Your Calendars for Philly Celebrates Jazz Month April Events

Jazz and the study of Jazz are old-school standards at the Free Library. When John Coltrane studied at the Ornstein School of Music, he'd visit the Parkway Central Library Music Department to pore over books and scores to make…

Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society

Join us on Saturday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m for a free performance by the Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society (PCOS) in the Montgomery Auditorium on the ground floor of Parkway Central Library . The Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society…

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection: Peterson-Berger, at Home

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger (1867–1942). Symphony No. 3, Lapland (1913 - 1915) Edvard Grieg (1843–1907). Sigurd Jorsalfar, Homage March (1872) It almost seemed as if Wilhelm Peterson-Berger was never at home. Born 150 years ago,…

Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry and Rock 'N' Roll!

Pioneer. Innovator. Original. From the first time he slung on a guitar to the first time he belted out a tune, Chuck Berry was all of these things, and much, much more. The music icon passed away this past weekend at the age of 90 , no…

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection: Mackenzie, Holbrooke, and British Music Coming into Its Own

Mackenzie, Holbrooke, and British Music Coming into Its Own Josef Holbrooke (1878–1958) . Pantomime Suite (Ballet from Pierrot and Pierrette) (1908) Alexander Mackenzie (1847–1935). Scottish Concerto for Piano and Orchestra…

Philadelphia Performances for Autism (PPA)

The Free Library is happy to host  Philadelphia Performances for Autism (PPA) on Saturday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Parkway Central Library's Children's Department . Philadelphia Performances for Autism (PPA)  is an…

Philly Loves Bowie

It's been almost a year since pop pioneer and provocateur David Bowie passed away at the age of 69, presumably rocketing off past outer space and transmogrifying into some other otherworldly interstellar infinity. As I wrote about…

10 New Year's Resolutions the Free Library Can Help You Keep!

'Tis the season for goal-setting! You might be feeling merry and motivated right now, but as the year gallops along, don't let your resolve wane. Lean on the Free Library to keep your resolutions! Our mission, of course is to…

Happy Hoopla Holidaze!

It's a few days before Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa , and all through my house, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. Why? Because it's freezing outside! So, what better time to veg out on the couch and settle in for…

Mysterious Travelers 3 | Up Next!: Alexis Simmons | Recapping Kunu Bi

We’re thrilled that the Free Library’s transmogrified into one of the most exciting free venues for jazz in Philadelphia, thanks in part to our sidemen and women at the Philadelphia Jazz Project . We’re writing now to…

Family Holiday Traditions: The Nutcracker!

Many of us have great, nostalgic memories of enjoying The Nutcracker as a child. Why not revisit the timeless classic this year? This holiday classic ballet based on   E.T.A. Hoffman's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse…

Mysterious Travelers 3 | Up Next!: Kunu Bi/Ed Stokes and Tom Lowery | Recapping Brent White

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…

Resurrecting Cuba’s Forgotten Musical Treasures

by Ned Scharff As the United States begins restoring its historic ties to Cuba, the Free Library of Philadelphia is reaching out as well—by sharing its unique collection of some of the island nation’s nearly forgotten…

The Patriot's Guide to Taking a Break from the Election

Does the 2016 election have you feeling anxious? Are your news and social media feeds just too much for you some days? Are you randomly and for no reason starting fights with family members? Yeah, me too. But don't lose…

Check out a musical instrument from the Free Library! I just did!

The Music Department at Parkway Central Library is launching the Musical Instrument Collection (MIC) , an instrument lending library for library cardholders. In the past few years, the Free Library has begun lending out other innovative…

Opening Notes of Instrument Lending at the Free Library

We’re thrilled to announce that musicians at any skill level, from those just plucking their first notes to virtuosos, will now be able to borrow the tools of the craft from the Parkway Central Library Music Department .  …

Celebrating F. Scott with Foxtrots and More

The Parkway Central Music Department ’ s getting hip to the celebrations surrounding F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 120th birthday . Visit our mini exhibition featuring printed music from the Free Library’s historic…

Who's The Boss: How Well Do You Know Bruce Springsteen?

So, apparently some guy named Bruce Springsteen is stopping by the Free Library in a couple weeks? All we know is that he's a musician and has a new book coming out or something... Kidding! We are absolutely a buzz with excitement…

Uke Jam

Bring joy and music to your life! Learn to play the Ukulele. It's easy and fun. Don't have a ukulele? You can borrow one at the Central Library at 19th and Vine Streets. All ages and levels welcome.

The Birth of the Steel Drums

Rockcreek Steel Drum Band will take us on a journey through the history of steel drums, which have their roots in African talking drums.  Join in the fun as you learn the Calypso rhythms!  Parkway Central Library, Montgomery…

Eda Ne Kakati (From the Past to the Present) with Ssuuna

This performer from Uganda will introduce you to African culture through music, dance and storytelling.  Let's celebrate all cultures, play a little, and learn a song in Luganda, the language of Uganda.  Parkway Central…

The Story Time Jam presented by the Philadelphia Jazz Project

Performer extraordinaire Rrenda Fearrington heads up an ensemble of performers, bringing stories to life through jazz. Parkway Central Library, Montgomery Auditorium. Free: presented as part of the Margaret S. Halloran Family…

Ologundê: Folkloric Music and Dance from Brazil

The Ologundê ensemble performs Axé Puro, a diverse repertoire inspired by the Yoruba and Catholic religions. Watch capoeira (a martial arts dance), the Maculelê (an Afro-Brazilian ring dance), and a warrior dance created…

Uke Jam

Bring joy and music to your life! Learn to play the Ukulele. It's easy and fun. Don't have a ukulele? You can borrow one at the Central Library at 19th and Vine Streets. All ages and levels welcome.

The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change

Renowned recording artists, vocalists and dancers from Liberia, Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah create impassioned, glorious songs and harmonies for women’s rights, social justice, global refugee awareness,…

The “Coracree” Band Trio

The “Coracree”  Band Trio  ushers in July 4th festivities with traditional Americana songs, jigs, reels and waltzes played on mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar, concertina  and button accordion. Join a family…

Harvey Sachs | Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

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 newspapers,…

Uke Jam

Bring joy and music to your life! Learn to play the Ukulele. It's easy and fun. Don't have a ukulele? You can borrow one at the Central Library at 19th and Vine Streets. All ages and levels welcome.

Traditional Chinese and Western Music

Ms. Qin Qian and Kurt Jung perform traditional Chinese and western music with the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle) and yangchin (Chinese hammered dulcimer). Children are encouraged to participate!

Hop on Board the Rainbow Train!

Join singer/songwriter Chana Rothman and celebrate freedom and diversity in gender expression, and social change, in this fun, creative, family concert.

Preschool Dance Party!

Join us for songs, stories, and dancing presented by musician Jessica Carroll. For children ages 2–5, with an accompanying adult. Seating is limited. This program is sponsored by Friends of Torresdale Library.

An Evening with Bobby Rydell: Meet and greet book signing

Born and raised in South Philadelphia, Teen Idol Singing Sensation Bobby Rydell’s new book “Teen Idol On The Rocks” details Bobby’s public triumphs, private demons and behind the scenes stories. He was known as…

Arab Classical and Contemporary Music with Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain

Join us for an evening of Arab Classical and Contemporary 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,…

Drum Circle

Do you love music?  Do you have some extra energy to work off?   Come to our drumming program and learn all about different types of percussion instruments and then participate in an actual drum circle!  School-age kids…

All Around this World Music Program

Join Jay Sand for a unique global music and world cultures program for little kids and their families for a sing-along, dance-along, musical romp.  Sponsored by the Friends of Holmesburg Library. 

Mysterious Travelers Featuring Ross Bellinoit

The Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jazz Project invite you to a third season of free concerts: Mysterious Travelers 3 : Internal Investigations . This time we’re turning inward to explore, through sound, the…

Uke Jam

Bring joy and music to your life! Learn to play the Ukulele. It's easy and fun. Don't have a ukulele? You can borrow one at the Central Library at 19th and Vine Streets. All ages and levels welcome.

Sundays on Stage: Zydeco a Go Go

Creole Zydeco and Cajun 2-steps combine with funky New Orleans Rhythm & Blues and vintage Louisiana Rock & Roll into a spicy gumbo of irresistible dance music for all ages. This series is made possible by funding from…

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,…

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.

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

Cheech Marin | Cheech Is Not My Real Name: ...But Don't Call Me Chong

In conversation with Andy Kahan In addition to the reams of Cheech and Chong comedy albums and films he and his partner wrote and starred in, Cheech Marin, half of the eponymous Grammy-winning stoner comedy duo, has dozens of other film…

Judy Collins | Cravings: How I Conquered Food

In conversation with Laura Kovacs Popularly beloved as “Judy Blue Eyes,” eclectic singer-songwriter Judy Collins has delighted audiences for decades with such albums as A Maid of Constant Sorrow and Wildflowers . The latter album’s lead…

Robbie Robertson | Testimony

With his partners in the seminal rock group The Band, Robbie Robertson helped change the face of popular music throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. A collaborator on such classic songs as “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,”…

LEADING VOICES: Valerie Graves | Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be

In conversation with Tracey Matisak One of Advertising Age’s industry-wide “100 Best and Brightest,” Valerie Graves is the nationally lionized creative director of such Fortune 500 accounts as Ford, AT&T, General Foods, and Pepsi. In a…

Benny Golson | Whisper Not: The Autobiography of Benny Golson

Saxophonist and composer Benny Golson learned his instrument and the vocabulary of jazz while still in high school in Philadelphia. Over the course of an illustrious 60-year career, he has recorded more than 30 albums, written well over…

Chuck Klosterman | But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past

Offering up “great facts, interesting cultural insights, and thought-provoking moral calculations” ( New York Magazine ), Chuck Klosterman scrutinized pop culture, music, and sports with humor and unbounded imagination as “The Ethicist”…

Moby | Porcelain: A Memoir

“One of the most important dance music figures of the early ’90s” ( AllMusic ), electronica legend Moby has created eleven studio albums—including Ambient , Hotel , 18 , and Play —that have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. He…

James McBride | Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

James McBride is the author of the National Book Award winner The Good Lord Bird , in which a young boy born into slavery joins abolitionist John Brown’s crusade, concealing his identity and gender to survive. His other books include…