Legendary Philadelphia jazz saxophonists Sam Reed and Bootsie Barnes will headline the 13th Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival, taking place Saturday, July 20, noon—7 p.m. at Presbyterian Medical Center’s Saunder’s Park Greene, 39th Street and Powelton Avenue.
Presented by the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) as part of the organization’s “commercial corridor and arts and culture offerings,” the free annual event will also feature performances by Jamal Jones & the Bureau of Sonic; Wonderland Jazz Orchestra; Glenn Bryan & Friends; Geraldine Oliver; Chris Oatts; Jonathan Michel; Mill Creek & Camden’s Brass Band of the Kimmel Center’s Neighborhood Jams Program.
Iconic musician and bandleader Sam Reed, best known as the musical director in the glory days of Philadelphia’s historic Uptown Theater, has never performed at the Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival, but is looking forward to doing so.
“Festivals are a lot of fun, because you meet a lot of your friends!” said Reed. “Sometimes you meet people you haven’t seen for quite some time. They hear about you being in a particular place, and they come to see you and say ‘Hello.’”
Reed will be accompanied by Sonny Keaton on organ, George Parakis on guitar and Wayne “Grand Dad” Morgan on drums, and their set, which begins at approximately 5:50 p.m., will include compositions by tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley of Southwest Philadelphia, as well as talented trumpeter Lee Morgan. “Featuring the organ, we’ll have Sonny Keaton play Charlie Earland’s ‘More Today than Yesterday,’ Reed added.”
The master musician also welcomes the opportunity to spend time with his colleague, Bootsie Barnes.
“What can I say but great things about Bootsie? Bootsie and I go way back. We go back to the Uptown days! Bootsie used to play at the Uptown also,” Reed said.
The 13th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival, which will take place rain or shine, will feature food trucks, vendors and resources, as well as children’s activities, including “museum experiences,” face painting, a Moon Bounce and a “Trash Academy.” Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drink.
As the festival approaches, Reed says to the community and jazz fans alike, “All the people within hearing distance of 39th and Powelton, please come on by and enjoy yourselves. We’re gonna have a good time!”