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Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, Simon Shaheen and Randy Brecker Perform at the Kimmel Center


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World, pop, country and jazz powerhouse musicians grace the Kimmel Center stages this February.

From a Palestinian oud player and violinist to two great American singers/songwriters and a Philly-bred jazz artist breathing Miles Davis' blues back to life, each artist has transformed their musical landscapes with new influences.

  • Internationally acclaimed Palestinian oud player and violinist Simon Shaheen blends traditional Arabic sounds with jazz and Western classical music in Perelman Theater (February 1, 2009).

  • An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt On Stage Together showcases a “back-porch jam" session of blues, country, folk, rock and storytelling in Verizon Hall (February 6, 2009).

  • Philadelphia's own Randy Brecker channels legendary trumpeter Miles Davis musical genius onstage with his Quintet in the 50th anniversary celebration of Kind of Blue (February 7, 2009).

Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at www.kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center box office open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings. (Additional fees may apply.) For group sales call 215-790-5883.

A limited number of $10 tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance at the Kimmel Center. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office beginning at 5:30pm for an evening curtain time and 11:30am for matinees. Limit one ticket per person.

Simon Shaheen
Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 3pm
Perelman Theater
Price: $35-$45

“full of dignified passion. On violin, his playing was throaty and sensual. His phrases sighed and lingered over the tune, then spun off trills and filigree like sparks. On oud, his crisply plucked lines took on tension and drama, each measured phrase holding suspense." New York Times

Palestinian instrumentalist and composer Simon Shaheen explores new frontiers of traditional Arabic music with a fusion of jazz and Western classical styles at the Kimmel Centers Perelman Theater on Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 3pm.

One of the most significant Arab musicians of his generation, Simon Shaheen has toured worldwide with his ensembles, the Near Eastern Music Ensemble and fusion group Qantara, whose debut album, Blue Flame (2001), was nominated for 11 Grammy® Awards. His music can be heard in cross-cultural collaborations with pop, jazz, Latin and classical artists, including Sting in his 2000 Grammy® Award ceremony performance of “Desert Rose," Colombian singer Soraya and Jewish klezmer musicians The Klezmatics; and featured on soundtracks to notable movies such as The Sheltering Sky and Malcolm X.

Shaheen seeks to preserve the rich musical legacy of his homeland while spearheading a new vanguard in world music. He has released several albums of his own, including Turath: Masterworks of the Middle East (2002); Saltanah (1997); and The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (1991), which Shaheen performed at the Kimmel Center in 2004; while also contributing cuts to avant-garde producer Bill Laswell's fusion collective, Hallucination Engine (1994). Shaheen also composed the entire soundtrack for the United Nations-sponsored documentary, For Everyone Everywhere. Broadcast globally in December 1998, this film celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Charter. His unique contribution to the world of arts was also honored with the prestigious NEA National Heritage Award at the White House in 1994.

A master instructor in performance and theory, Shaheen has taught at various schools and universities in the United States, including Julliard, Columbia, Harvard and Cornell, as well as abroad in Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. He is the founder/director of the Annual Arabic Music Retreat at Mount Holyoke College and has produced the Annual Arab Festival of Arts called “Mahrajan al-Fan" in New York since 1994. In November 2008, Shaheen participated in an Arab Music Workshop for the School District of Philadelphias instrumental music teachers, presented by Arabic non-profit arts organization Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture at the Kimmel Center. In late January 2009, Shaheen will teach master class workshops to students from six local music ensembles at the Kimmel Center, leading up to his concert.

“Simon Shaheen's success in combining characteristics of Middle Eastern music, Western classical music, jazz and Latin rhythms into a gorgeous tapestry can be traced to his capacity to find their common threads." Los Angeles Times

Saturday, February 1, 2009 | 1:30pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Free at the Kimmel
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Showcase

Students in the Al-Bustan Percussion Ensemble celebrate Arabic music and culture with a performance prior to the ticketed performance by Simon Shaheen in Perelman Theater.

An Acoustic Evening with
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt
On Stage Together
Friday, February 6, 2009 at 8pm
Verizon Hall
Price: $40-$72

“[Lovetts] pained, honeyed voice, with its bluesy turns and its countryish ache, fills every line with sincerity; his unhurried, deadpan delivery gives every line the air of an intimate confession." New York Times

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt team up for an acoustic jam session of singing and storytelling on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 8pm in Verizon Hall. Four-time Grammy® Award-winner Lyle Lovetts distinctive, multi-layered sound ranges from fervent country swing to gospel blues. Guitarist John Hiatts signature rootsy folk fusion can be heard on his most recent release, Same Old Man (2008).

A veritable wit on stage, Lyle Lovett has graced the country music scene over the past two decades with clever songwriting skills and high quality musicianship. Whether performing with big band arrangements, as heard during his last Kimmel Center concert in the 2006 season, or collaboratively on stage, Lovett continues to enthrall audiences with his penchant for irony in storytelling and infectious melodies that explore his country roots with gospel and R&B influences. The Texan singer-songwriters most recent release with his 16-member band, Its Not Big Its Large, debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart in 2007.

Lovetts Grammy® Awards include Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (1989) and Best Country Album for The Road to Ensenada (1996). In 2007, Lovett was awarded the Americana Music Associations inaugural Trailblazer Award, established to recognize true musical pioneers. Lovett has also acted in a number of films, including Robert Altman's film The Player, and composed for Dr. T & the Women (2000). More recently, he has acted in The New Guy (2002) and Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story (2007). His television appearances include Mad About You, Brothers & Sisters and Dharma & Greg.

One of Americas most influential songwriters, 11-time Grammy® nominee John Hiatt melds rock, acoustic, folk, new wave and Mississippi Delta blues in songs recorded by a diverse range of artists. His songwriting credits include Rosanne Cash's “The Way We Make a Broken Heart," which reached No. 1 on the U.S. Country charts, and Bonnie Raitts “Thing Called Love." In 2000, Eric Clapton and B. B. King had a hit with Hiatts “Riding with the King." Hiatts works have also been covered by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Buffett, among many others. In September 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association.

Hiatt began his solo career with the 1974 album Hangin Around the Observatory; his landmark 1987 release Bring the Family received critical praise and was his first album to chart in the U.S. He has since released dozens of critically acclaimed albums in a career spanning more than three decades. In 2000, Hiatt was named Artist-Songwriter of the Year at the Nashville Music Awards.

Friday, February 6, 2009 | 6:30pm and Post-Show
Commonwealth Plaza | Free at the Kimmel

Join us for a free musical performance on the Commonwealth Plaza stage prior to and following the ticketed performance by Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt in Verizon Hall.

Kind of Blue Turns 50
Randy Brecker Quintet
Honoring Miles Davis, trumpet
Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:30pm
Perelman Theater
Price: $32-$38

“His crisp, clean trumpet sound and decidedly melodic approach combined to offer an entirely delightful musical expression that could serve as a beacon for contemporary jazz."Los Angeles Times

Multi-Grammy® Award-winning jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker pays tribute to Miles Davis in a performance including works from Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time, on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:30pm. Brecker will be joined onstage by his Quintet, which includes his wife, Italian tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti.

Renowned for his groundbreaking work with his saxophonist brother, the late Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of jazz to include R&B and rock influences for more than three decades. He has appeared on hundreds of albums with a list of Whos Who in jazz and pop, including James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan, among many others. Most recently, Brecker received a Grammy® Award nomination for his Latin jazz recording, Randy in Brasil (2008).

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Cheltenham, Pa., Randy Brecker kicked off his career with the cutting-edge jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears, contributing to their 1968 debut, Child is Father to the Man. Brecker joined the Horace Silver Quintet, Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers and fusion group Dreams, among others, before forming the Brecker Brothers in 1975. The Brecker Brothers became a band of immeasurable influence and impact, garnering critical acclaim and numerous Grammy® Award nominations. The brothers became the first international contemporary jazz group to perform in mainland China, including sold out shows in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2007, the album Some Skunk Funk, which featured Germanys WDR Big Band, received the Grammy® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Randy Brecker continues to perform extensively around the world in a variety of settings. In the past few years, he has made recordings and concert appearances with The Trumpet Summit band (featuring Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff and Terell Stafford), The Jazz Times “Superband" (featuring organist Joey DeFrancesco, Dennis Chambers and Bob Berg), and a special reunion of Larry Coryell's 11th House. Brecker has also released several albums as a soloist and as a leader of his own band, winning his first Grammy® as a soloist with Into the Sun (1998) for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.

This is the third performance in the Jazz Up Close: Kind of Blue Turns 50 series. The next performance in the series features saxophonist Bobby Watson paying tribute to Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane on Saturday, March 28, 2009.

Randy Brecker, trumpet and flugelhorn
Ada Rovatti, tenor and soprano saxophones
Jill McCarron, piano
Steve Laspina, bass
Steve Johns, drums

Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Intermission
Perelman Theater Stage | Artist Chat

This performance features an intermission Artist Chat led by Danilo Prez and Vice President of Programming and Education Mervon Mehta, along with the musicians performing that evening, and explores the music heard in concert that evening as well as their own Kind of Blue thoughts, memories and riffs.

Saturday, February 7, 2009 | 6pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Free at the Kimmel
ArtJaz Gallery Exhibit

Experience the messages of jazz and more in this exhibit of paintings and mixed media. The exhibit will be featured in Commonwealth Plaza prior to the ticketed performance by Randy Brecker, part of the Jazz Up Close series in Perelman Theater.

Kimmel Center Presents 2008/2009 Season is sponsored by Citi. The Great Orchestras on Tour Series is supported by 10 Rittenhouse Square. Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Health System, American Express, and Interpark. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Kimmel Center Presents. NBC-10 is a media partner for Kimmel Center Presents.

Free in the Plaza programming and subsidized tickets offered to the community and social service groups for $10 are made possible through the Wachovia Gateway to the Arts Community Access Program, supported by a generous grant from the Wachovia Foundation.

The Kimmel Center is the recipient of partnership funding through the nationally recognized PNC “Grow Up Great" initiative, a ten-year, $100 million investment in preparing children for success in school and life. Funding gives support to the Kimmel Centers early childhood program “Bop and Swing," an arts program for children 1-5 years old, designed to promote an appreciation for American culture.

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