PEC News / Events

10th Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival July 16
Celebrating Women in Jazz

The Renowned Sumi Tonooka Returns to West Philadelphia to Headline Free, Family-Friendly Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival

Event Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Women in Jazz

Pianist and composter Sumi Tonooka will headline the 10th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival on Saturday, July 16th from noon to 7pm in Penn Presbyterian Saunders Park Greene, 39th and Powelton Avenue.  Hosted by People's Emergency Center (PEC), this marks the 10th year that this event has taken place, which has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000. This year the FREE Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival offers a family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: a mix of exemplary female artists who have shaped jazz and are solidifying its future, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture.

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site.  Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone's enjoyment.  Free parking is also available one block away at Penn Presbyterian's lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street.

Also performing on the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival stage are saxophonist Nzinga Banks, poet and vocalist Pheralyn Dove, vocalist Laurin Talese, trumpeter Dr. Diane Lyle-Smith, guitarist and Monnette Sudler, 12-year-old vocal artist and pianist Alesandra Pollackand the popular jazz, R&B, and soul-spirited Charlene Holloway Band.  The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will also be back by popular demand.

"We are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Festival with Women in Jazz.  The Festival is gaining in renown and popularity, as is Lancaster Avenue.  The corridor's rich artistic and cultural history is leading to a bright future for businesses and residents.  The Festival maintains a deep connection to our surrounding neighborhoods, where incredible artists and performers take root every day," says PEC President Kathy Desmond.

Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (PCA) City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, The William King Foundation, Drexel University, TD Bank, Griesing Law,Citizens Bank, Allied Construction,  and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.  Talent for the Lancaster Avenue Jazz Fest is curated by the Producer's Guild of Philadelphia.

The goals of the Festival include: celebrating Women in Jazz in Philadelphia, increasing awareness of the Lancaster Avenue commercial corridor, stimulating the local economy, energizing the community. bringing together partners, and highlighting the community's rich cultural, arts, and educational assets. For updates, go to or lancasteravejazzfest on Facebook.

A Community Dedicated to Arts and Culture

The community that organizes and supports the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival is dedicated increasing the profile of arts and culture institutions in West Philadelphia.  Several community members will be recognized for their efforts by PEC and the Festival Committee on the event stage: Terri Shockley of the Community Education Center, Helen Hayes of the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and Rhoda Blount of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.  The Producer's Guild of Philadelphia will also grant lifetime achievement awards to Sumi Tonooka and Monnette Sudler.

Master Class

As part of our commitment to supporting Philadelphia's jazz legacy, PEC and the Producer's Guild are offering a Master Class for aspiring young musicians curated by Josh Lawrence of Fresh Cut Orchestra.  Lawrence is a jazz trumpter, composer, bandleader, and educator living in Philadelphia where he is on faculty at the University of the Arts, Drexel University, and the Kimmel Center Creative Music Program.  The workshop will be held over three Saturdays leading up to the Festival in collaboration with the Community Education Center and co-sponsored by the Mann Center for Performing Arts. Tonooka will join the final class in person.  Seleceted youth with have the opportunity to open with Tonooka at the Festival.  Registration for the Master's Class is now closed.  Tickets for the performance on July 15 are available here.

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