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First Friday Rent Party - Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens 1

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great Migration: The historic period when millions of Black Americans left the South and moved to the Northeast, Midwest and West. This activity changed the country culturally, politically and socially.

 

PJP is partnering with the Arch Street Meetinghouse, celebrating this milestone with our First Friday Rent Party Series. The Rent Party was an invention of Great Migrationeers who sometimes faced low wages and high rents. Many found themselves having to pull together a plan to pay the rent. The plan was a house party with liquor, food, music and dancing, all with an admission price. The events happened weekly all over America, whereever these transplanted Southerners traveled. Our rent parties will showcase great music by artists like Sam Reed, Tony Jones, V. Shayne Frederick, Lili Anel and Chris Stevens, as well as feature a buffet of foods related to the state celebrated curated by Chef Valerie Erwin of Geechee Girl Restaurant.

 

Chris Stevens VCChris Stevens is a native of Camden, New Jersey and a Temple University graduate who has been in the music business since his teenage years. At the age of 33, he has had a lifetime's worth of career experiences including extensive travel and working with Grammy Award winning artists such as Tye Tribbett and The Roots. An accomplished performer and arranger, Chris has credits on several dozen recordings, including Jazmine Sullivan's latest album "Reality Show" and Faith Evans' "Incomparable".  When he is not in the studio, Chris can likely be found on a stage leading his band Vertical Current or touring with the likes of Eric Roberson and John Legend. Visit Chris Stevens' websites at CSM or VC.


Trumpeter Chris Stevens, will be our next featured artist for the First Friday Rent Party Series at the Arch Street Meeting House.


First Friday Rent Party Series
April 1, 2016 - 8PM | Christopher Stevens
Arch Street Meeting House

320 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

Tickets for these special events are only $25 per party.

Entrance to all 5 parties, (if purchased by March 25), is just $100!

Free parking available - first come, first served.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

 

PJP spoke with him about his music and his approach.

 

PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction

 

Chris Stevens: Upward! I'm always trying to be better, inspire others, be closer to my purpose and to God. Perhaps my direction can also be described as lateral, in the sense that I like to explore across several genres of music.

 

Chris Stevens 2PJP: What and whom are pivotal musical influences on your creative approach?


Christopher Stevens: There are so many. The list would have to include my parents Donald & Cheryl Stevens, and my brother Erik. Soundcheck, the first band I was ever a part of, was a huge part of my musical development. Of course there's Miles Davis, Roy Hargrove, Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Michael & Randy Brecker, The Yellowjackets, Mint Condition, Janet Jackson, and a host of other legendary musicians and performers.

 

PJP: What’s so important about this project?

 

Christopher Stevens: This project is shedding light on a part of history that many may not know about. We often don't realize how things came to be, but the story of an object or a person can last long after they've gone. We have to keep the stories alive. We have to pass those stories down or else they wont be remembered.

 

PJP: How do you manage the task of creating and encouraging fresh, new, forwarding moving musical ideas, while simultaneously exploring, celebrating and documenting the past?

 

Chris Stevens: I spend a significant amount of time listening to music and an equal or greater amount of time making music. My time is often divided between working with my band, Vertical Current, my main outlet for creating; and playing with bands/artists that have and an older repertoire. 

 

PJP: When listening to your music, what advice would you give to audiences to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment?

Chris Stevens 3
Chris Stevens: I would say listen for the hope! Listen for the contrast of light and dark, the beauty in the ugliness. I am trying to convey a sense of unrelenting dreams.

 

PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why Jazz?

 

Chris Stevens: Truthfully, I am still finding my way in Jazz. Be that as it may, Jazz is broad enough that I can explore many of my thoughts and feelings safely in the music. I have room to grow, there's always something new to try. It's a raw material and so much music is made from it. It's hard to imagine the world without Jazz.

 

 

First Friday Rent Party Series
April 1, 2016 - 8PM | Christopher Stevens
Arch Street Meeting House

320 Arch Street, Phila., PA 19106

 

Tickets for these special events are only $25 per party.

Entrance to all 5 parties, (if purchased by March 25), is just $100!

Free parking available - first come, first served.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

 

See you at the Rent Parties!

 

First Friday Rent Party Series produced by Philadelphia Jazz Project in collaboration with Arch Street Meetinghouse.

 

PJP Logo           Arch Street

 

Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.

 

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Tags : GreatMigration ArchStreetMeetinghouse FirstFridays FirstFridayRentPartySeries JazzPhiladelphia RentParty ChrisStevens Trumpet ChefValerieErwin SamReed LiliAñel TonyJones V.ShayneFrederick MilesDavis RoyHargrove WeatherReport JacoPastorius Michael&RandyBrecker TheYellowjackets MintCondition JanetJackson Camden-NewJersey TempleUniversity GrammyAward TyeTribbett TheRoots JazmineSullivan FaithEvans VerticalCurrent EricRoberson JohnLegend

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If it hadn't been for him, there wouldn't have been none of us. I want to thank Mr. Louis Armstrong for my livelihood.
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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation.