PHL LIVE Center Stage honors musicians during first award show in 2 years

Philadelphians full of good spirits came to World Café Live on Tuesday to see the latest talents emerging from the PHL LIVE Center stage contest.

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Gospel winner Frantastic Noise (center) received the check for $1,000 during Tuesday's PHL LIVE Center Stage Award Show. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Gospel winner Frantastic Noise (center) received the check for $1,000 during Tuesday's PHL LIVE Center Stage Award Show. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

After two years without a competition, PHL LIVE Center Stage closed out its return Tuesday night by awarding the music competitions top artists and groups.

From August to September of this year, hundreds of artists submitted video clips of themselves performing for a shot at being the best in their category.

Artists competed across 10 music genres including hip-hop, classical, and world music for a $1,000 award in each category.

RATED Art dazzled attendees with his soulful crooning during Tuesday’s PHL LIVE Center Stage award show. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
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Councilmember-at-large David Oh said he was glad to see the events return as it provides opportunities for Philly artists to showcase their skills.

“Everybody needs a chance to explore, and there’s nothing more frustrating for people that feel they never had a chance, they never had an opportunity, or there’s something they should be doing or could be doing,” Oh said.

World Café Live hosted the 2022 PHL LIVE Center Stage Award Show on Dec. 20, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Many emerging artists were awarded for their contributions to the local scene, but one artist was honored for his long lasting contributions to jazz through his organ playing.

Joey DeFrancesco passed away earlier this year at the age of 51. A City Council resolution honoring his legacy was read aloud to the hundreds in attendance.

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DeFrancesco’s sister, Cheryle, said her brother would’ve never have made it if it wasn’t for members of the community recognizing his talent.

Cheryle DeFrancesco (pictured center) remarked on the memory of her late brother, John DeFrancesco, for whom a City Council Resolution honoring his memory was read aloud Tuesday evening. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“I just want to thank you all for recognizing Joey,” DeFrancesco said. “In his short time here, he affected a lot of people and I just want to say that you should honor and love the people you’re with on this earth, because you never know when God’s going to call them home.”

DeFrancesco recorded more than 30 albums during his career, and even got to collaborate with artists such as Van Morrison and Miles Davis.

Here’s the list of the 2022 PHL LIVE Center Stage Award Winners:

People’s Choice: Sofia Farrell

World: Soloway Band

Rock: Velvet Rouge

R&B: Ty Avery

Pop: Dom & Jesse

Jazz: The Crowd Pleasers

Hip Hop: Eli Capella

Gospel: Frantastic Noise

DJ: Yazeer Da Deejay

Country/Folk: The Hoppin Boxcars

Classical: Artem Borisov

The competition is in collaboration with the Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy.

Artem Borisov (right) took home a check for $1,000 for his win in the classical category. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

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