Germantown’s creative luminaries to perform in Vernon Park

Germantown’s got talent.

That’s the idea behind Germantown Stars Under the Stars, a free concert coming to the neighborhood’s Vernon Park on Friday, Aug. 7, from 8 to 10 p.m.

Highlights include Philadelphia’s first poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez, Grammy-nominated spoken word artist, Ursula Rucker, and jazz guitar legend, Monnette Sudler.

“We wanted to say, ‘You can come out at night in G-town and have an evening inspired by great artists who live in our midst,” said Paula Paul of the Germantown Artists Roundtable, the organization behind the event.

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The concert will also feature local poet Yolanda Wisher who will front the jazz and blues band, Quick Fixx with Mark Palacio and Karen Smith.

Wisher, a 2015 Pew Fellow, will perform a combination of poems and songs, such as “Cornrow Song,” a song about hair as heritage and “Crosswoman Blues,” a revision of the crossroads myth from a female perspective.

Jazz guitarist Jim Dragoni and poets Trapeta Mayson, Nzadi Keita and Darius Lantz will further showcase Germantown’s bounty of literary artists and musicians.

Wisher said the neighborhood’s artistic community has tenacious roots. Many, she noted, are often involved in activism and social justice work.

“I am pleased to see so many community revitalization efforts, like the renovations of Vernon Park, tied to artistic and cultural strategies that engage people in creative place- and peacekeeping,” she said.

Renovations to the park, which commenced in June, are still ongoing.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the show. A water ice vendor will be on hand and serving up cool treats, Paul said.

Funding for the concert was provided by the city’s first Performances in Public Spaces grants.

The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 9.

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