10th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival to celebrate Women in Jazz

July 14, 2016

LancasterAvejazzThe annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival returns on Saturday, July 16 to Powelton Village. This year’s festival, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. in Penn Presbyterian Saunders Park Greene (39th and Powelton), celebrates women in jazz and features a mix of dynamite artists.

A renowned pianist and composer with Philadelphia roots, Sumi Tonooka, will headline the festival and will also present a master class performance with local youth on Friday (see more info below). Also performing on the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival stage are saxophonist Nzinga Banks, poet and vocalist Pheralyn Dove, vocalist Laurin Talese, trumpeter Dr. Diane Lyle-Smith, guitarist Monnette Sudler, 12 year old Alesandra Pollack, a vocal artist and pianist, and the popular jazz, R&B and soul-spirited Charlene Holloway Band. The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will also be back by popular demand.


Sumi Tonooka

The Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival is a FREE family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: it features some of the best musicians, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture. The festival has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000!

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site. Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone’s enjoyment. Free parking is available one block away at Penn Presbyterian’s lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street. 

Organized by People’s Emergency Center (PEC), the festival is also dedicated to increasing the profile of arts and culture institutions in West Philadelphia. Several community members will be recognized for their efforts by PEC and the Festival Committee on the event stage:  Terri Shockley of the Community Education Center, Helen Hayes of the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and Rhoda Blount of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.  The Producer’s Guild of Philadelphia will also grant Lifetime Achievement awards to Sumi Tonooka and Monnette Sudler.

And here’s some more details on the master class performance by Sumi Tonooka and aspiring young musicians from the Philadelphia area:

The students and Sumi Tonooka will perform selected jazz compositions, curated by Josh Lawrence, at the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 15. The performance is open to the public, free to guests under age 18; for age 18 and over – suggested donation is $10. To reserve a seat, contact Cass Green at 267-777-5893 or

For more information about the festival, visit:

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