Friday, September 5, 2014

Jazzy nights sizzled in Philly this summer 2014

The Great Plaza at Penns Landing

As the summer jazz night concerts in Philly came to a close with the legendary singer and songwriter Valerie Simpson, of the duo Ashford and Simpson, it officially marked the end of a great summer of music on the waterfront.  Marking its 17th year hosting these free events, people came from near and far to see some of their favorite musicians/singers perform, and some may have been seeing these artists for the first time ever! Whatever their reasons for being there, it was fun had by all.

Eric Darius

It is one of the few outdoor events hubby and I attend.  Neither of us are really big fans of outdoor concerts that draw hundreds and thousands of people, but if it's jazz or oldies we are there!. It's something about these events that draw a more mature crowd with a sprinkle of younger folks and sometimes small kids as well, but for the most part the crowd is definitely more laid back and just looking to have a good time.

Chris Standring

Everything from camping chairs, and small coolers filled with food and beverages, its like an adults only camping trip with a free concert, but even those without their own food and drinks, were only steps away from concession stands for a quick bite to eat. People come ready to sit, eat, and party all in the comfort of their seats, on the steps, or if your get there too late, you will stand; but they don't seem to mind, especially if the music is good, and this year it was fantastic!

Guitarist Chris Standring, Saxophonist Eric Darius, Singer/Songwriter Valerie Simpson all graced the stage at Penn's Landing Waterfront and wowed the crowd with their music and songs.  Each brought their own unique style.  We were very impressed with Chris and Eric; both mastered their instruments and had the crowds on their feet.  Valerie is in a league all her own. Although her late husband Nick, is no longer with us, we all felt his presence on the stage as she belted out some of their most popular songs.  She was on fire. Out of the 4 concerts scheduled in August, we missed the 2nd week because one of my favorite saxophonist Marion Meadows performed at a local restaurant "WarmDaddys" nearby, and I did not want to miss that.

Overall we had an awesome time, the weather for all 3 events we attended was fabulous, and we are looking forward to 2015 and more great shows on the waterfront.  The only thing missing was the fireworks after every show like last year, so we are hoping it will return next year. It was magical way to end the night.  If your ever in Philadelphia during the month of August, make sure to look up the events schedule and check it out for yourself, and don't forget to bring your chair or at least a seat cushion!

Valerie Simpson

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