Check out the latest edition of the Free Library, exult in the beauty of Fairmount Park, or follow the footsteps of African-American artists in North Philly. Here’s our roundup of Things to Do over the weekend and beyond.
2019 Family Fest
Free Library Grand Reopening
Free Library of Philadelphia – Parkway Central
1901 Vine St. (between 19th and 20th on the Parkway)
April 13; 4 p.m.
$15 for children from 4-15; $35 for those 16 and older; no charge for children under 3
The main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is both celebrating and fundraising this weekend. The library is open for those who want to check out the brand new Field Teen Center, The Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement and the Business Resource and Innovation Center. Those centers, which expand and upgrade the usable public space at the library, are being opened to the public for the first time. The space is the product of the largest renovation of the Parkway Central Library since it opened in 1927. The 2019 Family Fest is an all-ages event that benefits the library’s programs and services. It includes a buffet for kids and drinks for their adult chaperones.
Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s Outsiders Fest
South Jazz Parlor
600 N. Broad St., Philadelphia
April 14, 7 and 9 p.m.
Philadelphian Jamaaladeen Tacuma, a world renowned bassist whose extensive resume includes playing with jazz legend Ornette Coleman, heads into South Jazz Parlor as part of the two-night kickoff of his five-event Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival. It features musical mavericks and innovators curated by Tacuma. The festival is part of the ongoing celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month In Philadelphia that includes events through April 29. Joining Tacuma on Sunday are Oliver Lake on sax, Kelvyn Bell on guitar and Nazir Ebo on drums.
Fairmount Park Horticultural Center
100 N. Horticultural Drive, Philadelphia
April 14; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sakura Sunday is the flagship event and official end of the Cherry Blossom Festival that celebrates the beauty of the flowering trees and Japanese culture. A Cherry Blossom 5/10K is run the day before. Two of the cherry blossom trees in Fairmount Park were a gift from the Japanese and have been in the park since 1926. The day’s events include music, arts, crafts, flower arranging, tea, fashion, cosplay and a Prettiest Pet in Pink parade. The event is for all ages. Pets are welcome, but they must be on a leash. NOTE: If you are disabled and plan to attend, check the site for additional information on access limitations.
The Heavy Hittas of Comedy: Sommore, Nephew Tommy and Kleon the Comedian
291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, Pennsylvania
April 13; 7 and 10 p.m.
Sommore, one of the leading African-American women in comedy, brings her leather pants and fabulous outfits to suburban Philly with fellow comedians Nephew Tommy and Kleon the Comedian for two shows. Sommore, born Lori Ann Rambough in Trenton, New Jersey, has a resume that includes “Queens of Comedy,” “Def Comedy Jam” and BET’s “ComicView.” Expect a night of ribald comedy. Word to the wise, if you sit in the front row, you may become part of the show.
Ancestor Walk in Peacetown
North Philly Peace Park
2200 W. Jefferson St.
April 14; 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
In the 1930s, the North Philly community of Peacetown was a stronghold of Philly’s African-American arts community. Painter Henry Ossawa Tanner was a resident of the neighborhood, as was printmaker Dox Thrash, who owned the private Pyramid Club frequented by celebrities of the day including Pearl Bailey, Duke Ellington and the Nicholas Brothers. But the once rich cultural neighborhood is now one of the city’s most poverty stricken. The Ancestor Walk is meant to honor the accomplished African-Americans of the past who continue to inspire. The walk includes lunch and a post-walk panel discussion “Black in North Philadelphia: Past, Present and Future.”
Robert Glasper Trio
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, Pennsylvania
April 14; 7 p.m.
Houston-born jazz pianist Robert Glasper is a three-time Grammy winner who’s crossed genres to work with artists Common, Kendrick Lamar and Philly’s own vocal powerhouses Jill Scott and Jazmine Sullivan. His discography includes 2012’s “Black Radio” which earned him a 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album and was followed up in with “Black Radio 2,” also in 2013. Glasper moves between two bands – the multi-genre Robert Glasper Experience and the more traditional Robert Glasper Trio, featuring drummer Damion Reid and bassist Vicente Archer.
Zo! and Carmen Rodgers
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St., Philadelphia
April 13; 8 p.m.
Detroit’s Lorenzo “Zo!” Ferguson has managed to stay under the radar of mainstream R&B, but only because his brand of R&B alternative music is not easy to categorize. A multi-instrumentalist, he’ll focus on the keyboard accompanied by his frequent collaborator, vocalist Carmen Rodgers, for their own version of “Piano & a Microphone.”
Chamber Series: Concert 4
DSO Chamber Orchestra
Gold Ballroom at Hotel Du Pont
11th and Market streets, Wilmington, Delaware
April 16; 7:30 p.m.
Conductor David Amato will lead Delaware Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Series Concert 4 in its first chamber series of the spring performance season. Desserts and Champagne at intermission are included in the price of the ticket.
Bank and Bourbon
1200 Market St., Philadelphia
April 15; 6-9 p.m.
The fifth annual Bourbon Bash includes an American menu curated by Bank and Bourbon’s executive chef Thomas Harkins, along with a wide-ranging selection of American bourbons and whiskeys. Proceeds from the event benefit DonorsChoose.org, an educational organization that matches donors with teacher needs in a similar vein as GoFundMe. In previous years, the event has raised more than $100,000 to aid Philadelphia schools.
Collingswood Green Festival
Along Irvin Avenue
Collingswood, New Jersey
April 13; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
In Collingswood, sustainability is not just a catchword — it’s an entire festival geared toward assisting the community in preserving the environment. Green experts will be on hand to provide information about organic gardening, water conservation and renewable energy, as well as how families can make small changes in their habits to be more environmentally conscious. You can recycle paint, paper, and electronics onsite and dispose of hazardous household waste. Options for kids include face-painting, chalk drawing and other arts and crafts. Vendors will have food for sale.
Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
23 S. 38th St.
Settlement Music School
416 Queen St.
April 13 and 14
$45 festival pass; concerts are ticketed individually
The annual two-day festival includes an opening night concert by Berta Rojas, praised as a “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post; a performance by last year’s winner of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition, Phillip Goldenberg; a full slate of student recitals; and a closing dance performance by Suspiro Flamenco. Rojas will also teach a master class. Vendors, including those representing repair shops and guitar stores, will be on hand to showcase everything a classical guitarist might need including sheet music, luthiers, stands and strap. Attendees also have the chance to participate in a raffle to win a Kremona classical guitar.