When spoken word star Ursula Rucker took the stage of the Kimmel Center‘s Perelman Theatre on Wednesday night to perform her poem “Love,” she dedicated it to the people of Ferguson, Missouri, saying that they are “fighting, really, for all of us.”
Then, she took down the house with a scorching rendition of her work, a soulful performance backed by jazz house band PACT. To call the moment powerful is an understatement.
Rucker, along with a host of other top-notch jazz, R&B, electro pop, and hip hop performers, were part of Sittin' In All Stars, which helped ring in the new season of Jazz at the Kimmel. Hosted by Laiya St. Clair, this particular event on Wednesday evening was a first for the performing arts center, what they billed as an "elevated concert experience" based on their successful free Sittin' In jazz jam sessions, and featured legendary trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, vocalist Laurin Talese, singer/songwriter Somi, Hip-Hop producer Kokayi, and electro-pop performer Kate Faust.
The eclectic bill of performances is representative of the upcoming Jazz at the Kimmel season, which celebrates "both local and nationally heralded jazz treasures who explore the origins of jazz and its evolutionary future," according to Anne Ewers, Kimmel Center President and CEO.
The 2014-2015 jazz roster includes the following performances:
- Kurt Elling, October 5
- Sittin' In: Philadelphia Jazz Project Pre-Boo!, October 8
- Sittin' In: Venissa Santi and Francois Zayas, November 12
- Sittin' In: Sicilian Defense, December 10
- Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, December 21
- Maceo Parker, January 17
- Irvin Mayfield and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, February 17
- Jason Moran and The Bandwagon, March 29
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Kimmel Center website.
Sittin In All Stars at the Kimmel Center