newsongs-openroad wide banner


Welcome to Philadelphia Jazz Project

Mysterious Traveler - Howard Tucker

Howard Tucker 1
Mysterious Traveler 3 Concert Series

March 20, 2017 - 7PM | Howard Tucker

Parkway Central Library | Montgomery Auditorium
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189

All events in this series are FREE.

Mysterious Travelers 3: Internal Investigations - a collaboration between The Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Jazz Project. Back by overwhelming popular demand! FREE concerts every fourth Monday night from September 2016 through May 2017 audiences will hear from veteran, as well as up-and-coming musicians who are shaping the future sounds of Philadelphia with a sharp ear to the legacies of our past. This season will directly celebrate the massive and amazing collections of the Free Library by granting our performers access to explore them as a source of inspiration for the creation of new musical works and arrangements.


Howard “Sergio” Tucker is a writer/poet and performer, whose music embodies cultural fusion. Regularly performing in Brazilian lounges, Black Jazz & Soul clubs, he proudly delivers his gospel of love to R&B/Bossa Nova/Samba rhythms. Tucker has performed his poetic works at the Kimmel Center, Rittenhouse Soundworks, Relish Restaurant, World Café Live, and Freedom Theater, with various local bands & Brazilian musicians. In the process, he has collaborated with artists like Jay Fluellen, Kim Pedro Rodriguez and Cleonice Fonseca among others. Tucker has recently put his words to paper and compiled a new book of poetry, “Sergio: A Poet Witness To The City.”


Check out this video with Howard Tucker performing with the Underground Band at Rittenhouse SoundWorks from Spring 2016.


Poet, Howard Tucker will be our next guest artist in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series

PJP spoke with Howard Tucker, about his poetry, music, his approach and the new project that he will reveal in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series.

PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction

Howard Tucker: My musical direction comes from my travels here in the states and abroad. Its very international Brazilian and Latin America, however I add a local flavor to music. I like to find various musicians from different styles and blend creating a unique and rich musical on spoken word experience.

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

Howard Tucker 3Howard Tucker:  My early musical works and poetry were heavily influenced Sergio Mendez of Brasil 66. Actually, I took my writing pen name from his, as a tribute to his writing and composing, SERGIO. Bossanova, and Brazilian Jazz were my first opportunity to add my poetry as spoken word, it sounded really cool and interesting. Other artists I am influenced by are Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bebel Gilberto, Gilberto Gil and Joao Donato.

PJP: What are you going to present at the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series?

Howard Tucker: Profiles in Jazz: A Tribute to the Characters of Walter Mosely. Celebrated African American author, Walter Mosely has created some of the most dynamic, compelling and richly complex characters in his, Easy Rawlins detective novel series. We will create original Jazz profiles for the major characters in his book "The Little Yellow Dog".


I am pleased to present a concert inspired by the works of author, Walter Mosley. I enjoyed reading many of his works especially the Easy Rawlins the detective series. I like the time period of the 1960s with its straight ahead Jazz, and the west coast influences. I would like to explore works of Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, add in some west coast and Brazilian Bossanova of the period...we will also create some new musical works with a gritty mood or sensuality of the book, read dramatic excerpts and present new spoken word poem that reflect on the theme.


PJP: Why is this theme/concept so important? Can you explain your process and the steps that led to this performance?


Howard Tucker 2Howard Tucker: The concept is important because Walter Mosely adeptly captures the African American experience in many ways, living,  loving, loyalty, dying, deception and even raising a family in the midst of mystery and danger. Each character Mosely created is distinctive and has many layers, our jazz character profiles will explore and inspire listeners to read the book. Each jazz profile will bring the characters to life for casual readers or avid fans. We will use orginal jazz compositions, jazz standards, dramatic readings and spoken word to define our interpretation of the characters and to set the scenes.


The detective story is a classic Americana in popular literature department. Walter Mosley is a master of weaving a very compelling story, full of drama, love interests, the racial tensions of LA, good versus evil, cops verses private detectives and many, many grey areas in between. Its a very good read and he creates a strong memorable character in Easy Rawlins. Our music and words will highlight and inspire the audience to go back and read...

PJP:  Can you explain your process and the steps that led to this performance?

Howard Tucker: After reading many samples of popular fiction, graphic novels, and novels, "A Little Yellow Dog", stood out as having all the elements of jazz. Mosley's book is accessible and engaging for the audience, and gave us creative license to explore many Jazz greats of that time period and create new music and poetry to highlight his works.

Howard Tucker 9PJP: How do you manage the task of creating and encouraging fresh, new, forwarding moving musical ideas while simultaneously exploring, celebrating and documenting the past?

Howard Tucker: Celebrating the past is the foundation of the future. We have to provide some context, I believe music of the 60's is still very relevant today. We will build off that foundation of Jazz and the artists of the period and take it further. I always think in terms of the audience, lets give them something familiar, then surprise them with something new...if its all new they don't have a place to start.  We are going on a musical and lyrical journey, lets start here and build!


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

Howard Tucker: Of course, reading "A Little Yellow Dog" would, or any of the Walter Mosely books would be great. However, we are not going to follow the book like a soundtrack, more so, we will create scenes, allowing the audience to insert themselves, feeling like characters, enjoying the music and the words. We want them to transport them into the dangerous, sexy, mysterious and west coast world of Easy Rawlins.

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

Howard Tucker: Jazz is great! Jazz is good! Jazz has to played to be understood. I call my work Lyrical Jazz ... the interplay play of words and music. Jazz is our instrument of communication. What better way to transport ourselves and others...yeah, there we go.


Mysterious Traveler 3 Concert Series

March 20, 2017 - 7PM | Howard Tucker

Parkway Central Library | Montgomery Auditorium
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189

All events in this series are FREE.

Mysterious Traveler 3 - Internal Investigations Concert Series is produced by Philadelphia Jazz Project in collaboration with The Free Library of Philadelphia.



PJP Logo               FLP


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



<< Go back to the previous page

Tags : MysteriousTraveler3 InternalInvestigations FreeLibraryofPhiladelphia HowardTucker Poet Sergio WalterMosely EasyRawlins TheLittleYellowDog DetectiveNovels SergioMendez&Brasil66 R&B BossaNova Samba JayFluellen KimPedroRodriguez CleoniceFonseca AntonioCarlosJobim BebelGilberto GilbertoGil JoaoDonato



newsongs-openroad wide banner



Philly Jazz Quotes

On my first record with him, I used no notes, just sound... I never played as powerfully as I did with Sunny Murray... he plays pulse, not beats.
Byard Lancaster

Other Info

PhillyCAM Sessions




Jazz News

Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Philadelphia Foundation.