In a nod to Philadelphia’s storied jazz scene, the Wolf Humanities Center launches its 2022–2023 Forum on Heritage with an evening of conversation and music. Veronica Hudson, a percussionist who wows on the vibraphone, and Farid Barron, a jazz pianist who’s played with Wynton Marsalis and Sun Ra Arkestra, join moderator Jake Nussbaum for a discussion touching on performance and inspiration, Philadelphia’s musical history, and more before sets by Vocals and Vibes featuring Yesseh Ali and Farid Barron All Stars.
Farid Barron All Stars is Farid Barron (piano), Cuba Barron (guitar), Richard Hill (bass), and Wayne Smith, Jr. (drums).
Vocals and Vibes is Hudson River (vibraphone) and Janay Keys (vocals). Yesseh Ali joins on saxophone.
Cosponsored by Penn's Department of Music and Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Pianist Farid Barron was born and raised in Philadelphia. Following his breakout success in the band of acclaimed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Barron studied with piano guru Barry Harris, served with the US Air Force Band of the West, and toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Barron then succeeded Philadelphia icon Sun Ra in the keyboard chair of the Sun Ra Arkestra, with whom he toured internationally. As his resume indicates, Barron's playing easily traverses the jazz tradition from straight-ahead to extra-terrestrial. Tomas Peña writes, “Barron’s exceptional sense of timing, phrasing and timbre puts him on the same level as piano players such as Art Tatum.”
Veronica Hudson is a percussionist who came up in the Upper Darby School District and went on to study in the Music Department at Widener University. She’s played in various ensembles in the Philadelphia area, including funk band Broken Vibes and with Hood Folk and the Levites. Most recently, Hudson is working with singer Janay Keys and the Janay Keys Experience on slow, jazzy melodies.
Jake Nussbaum is an interdisciplinary, artist, musician, and Ph.D candidate in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies the relationship between experimental performance practices and sites of political struggle.