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Welcome to Philadelphia Jazz Project


Select Saturdays in July, August and September from 3pm - 5pm
Fairmount Water Works
640 Waterworks Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19130
(In Fairmount Park Near Phila Museum Of Art)

Free And Open To The Public


As you may know, the exhibition POOL: A Social History of Segregation has reopened after the unprecedented flooding of the Schuylkill River during a storm last summer. (Check out our earlier POOL Exhibition article here) POOL is a museum exhibition featuring a curated collection of powerful art installations and informative experiences, including rarely seen archival film footage and photographs that explore the history and contemporary implications of segregated swimming in America. Set in the former Kelly Pool situated within the National Historic Landmark Fairmount Water Works, POOL investigates the role of public pools in the United States with the goal of deepening understanding of the connection between water, social justice and public health.



The exhibition which also features a video installation by interdisciplinary artists and Philadelphia Jazz Project director, Homer Jackson, will present a  series of special events, entitled SPLASH / CONCESSIONS. SPLASH is a series of newly composed, musical performances created specifically for this exhibition, which will be presented in the lanes of the former Kelly Pool and outside the Fairmount Water Works (weather permitting). These events are designed to expand the experience, prolong the discussion and re-ignite interest in this extraordinary exhibition. In between thirty-minute musical sets, our CONCESSION stand, organized by Chef Valerie Erwin of Geechee Girl Rice Cafe will be open, with food prepared by young, local entrepreneurs of color, including Chef Chris Paul of Lakay PHL, Chefs Omar Tate & Cybille St Aude-Tate of Honeysuckle Provisions and Chef Melissa Fernando of Sri's Company. Also Books & Stuff, the online multicultural, Afrocentric, books and gifts source run by designer and entrepreneur Lynn Washington, will round things out with related book selections for sale.



JULY 16TH & 30TH, 3-5 PM
Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger & Doug Hirlinger Group

Keisha & Doug Hirlinger
Water Speaks - From the origins of West Africa through the Middle Passage, to the pools, rivers, lakes and oceans of the United States, the water has borne witness to our lived experiences. Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger and Doug Hirlinger explore the perspectives of the water and those who have experienced joy, life, death, sorrow, resilience and love in relation to water.


AUGUST 13TH & 27TH, 3-5 PM
Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble w/ Bethlehem & Pamela Hetherington

Pamela Hetherington & Bethlehem
Trouble The Water, a Jazz-based music, movement and spoken word performance literally diving into the social, political, personal and spiritual implications of the gospel classic “Wade in the Water.”


Marcell Bellinger & Paul Giess Brass Quartet

Marcell Bellinger & Paul Giess
The Price Of A Rainbow is a New Orleans Brass band- inspired, musical investigation into the ongoing impact of Hurricane Katrina and the intense human and financial costs of global warming.


Learning To Swim



Keisha Hutchins Hirlinger is a classically trained singer-songwriter and educator. She is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change grant for women who use their art to create social change and a facilitator and curator for ARTZ Philadelphia, an organization which provides arts experiences for those living with dementia and their care partners. Keisha uses her platform as both a performer and educator to bring attention to social justice issues through both her own performances and educational concerts collaborating with artist-activists from the Philadelphia region.

Doug Hirlinger is a multidisciplinary artist focused on drum set and vibraphone performance, composition, electronic music, sound design, and creative coding, individually and in multiple combinations. Doug has performed with Matt Mitchell, Ralph Bowen, Gene Perla, Joel Frahm, Rudresh Mahanthappa and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Doug is interested in intersections between digital technology, activism, improvisation, and sound/music. In 2018 Doug completed an artist residency at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts resulting in a 10-piece suite exploring gentrification, inequality, and musical legacy in Philadelphia with collaborators Ursula Rucker, M’Balia Singley, Tim Motzer, and John Swana.




The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble advances the scope of American tap dance and jazz music traditions through current choreography, modern compositions, progressive performances and accessible environments and contexts for the work. Supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.


Bethlehem Roberson was raised in an active, church-going Philadelphia family, where she became steeped in the traditions of gospel music. Later, she took on the Hebrew faith, merging her gospel background with the traditions of Judaism. She has performed at Relish, LaRose Jazz Cafe, The Rotunda, the Clef Club, Irvine Auditorium, Temple Performing Arts Center and other venues. Bethlehem draws influences from male vocalist like Sam Cooke, David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye and Prince.


Pamela Hetherington is a Philadelphia native tap dancer, choreographer, and cultural leader. She creates inventive work for the The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble that cuts across tap dance, jazz music, poetry, body percussion and Philadelphia jazz history. Her work has been presented by Arts on Site, ArtYard, Symphony Space, Dixon Place, the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Bridge, and The Barnes Foundation.




Marcell Bellinger is a trumpeter, band leader, arranger composer and educator, who has shared the stage with Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Charles McPherson, Dave Liebman, Benny Golson, The Roots and others. Bellinger is an adjunct professor at Temple University and instructor at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. He has collaborated with the Philadelphia Jazz Project on a variety of concerts, one of which resulted in a live album of his original compositions inspired by visual artist Norman Lewis.


Paul Giess is a Philadelphia-based trumpet player, composer, and educator. His musical practice is rooted in the jazz tradition, but his taste is quite adventurous. Giess, who has worked closely with the Philadelphia Jazz Project has also performed in various venues in the Delaware Valley including, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Ortlieb’s Lounge, Philadelphia Museum Of Art, The Planetarium At The Franklin Institute, Johnny Brenda's, Chris' Jazz Cafe, LaRose Cafe and more. He is the creator and host of monthly PHOUND SOUNDS PODCAST.


Valerie Erwin & Homer Jackson



Valerie Erwin is a Philadelphia chef, culinary consultant, educator, historian, social justice activist and the creator and executive chef of Geechee Girl Rice Café, a tribute to the food of the low country of South Carolina and Georgia, from which Valerie’s grandparents hailed. She is the former general manager of EAT Café, a Philadelphia not for profit restaurant and since 2020, she has managed Farm to Families, a produce access program of St Christopher’s Foundation for Children. Valerie Erwin continues to mentor students in the culinary arts and welcomes opportunities to impact food justice issues in Philadelphia.

Homer Jackson is an interdisciplinary artist from Philadelphia with a background in curation, teaching and social service. His work is presented as installation, performance art, public art, video and audio. He uses images, sounds, text, live performance, video, audience participation and found objects to tell stories. He has received support for his work from the Wyncote Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Civitella Rainieri Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania Radio Theatre, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Playwrights Center, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, The Funding Exchange, Art Matters, and Franklin Furnace Fund For Performance Art. Homer Jackson lives and works in Philadelphia and is the founder/director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.

Splash Logo


Select Saturdays in July, August and September from 3pm - 5pm
Fairmount Water Works
640 Waterworks Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19130
(In Fairmount Park Near Phila Museum Of Art)

Free And Open To The Public





POOL: A Social History of Segregation is a project by Victoria Prizzia of Habithèque Inc. POOL was made possible by generous support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Philadelphia Water Department. We would also like to thank leadership of the FUND for the Fairmount Water Works and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation for their ongoing support for this project. Much of the historic content of POOL was provided by and/or written in collaboration with Dr. Jeff Wiltse, who generously made his extensive research available to the makers of POOL.


Special thanks to exhibition, creative director and lead designer, Victoria Prizzia of Habithèque Inc, to Karen Young and the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, as well as to Chef Valerie Erwin of Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. Major support for POOL has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Philadelphia Water Department.




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


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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 Philadelphia Foundation.