It’s been two years since Covid-19 shut down the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts (PCC), but the city’s music arts institution will celebrate its official grand reopening on Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. with a concert featuring school alum and Germantown native Jonathan Blake and his new band Pentad.
The Johnathan Blake & Pentad Homecoming Concert featuring Immanuel Wilkins, Steve Nelson, David Virelles, and Ben Street will be the first major concert at PCC in two years. “The lockdown and various Covid-19 related protocols over the last two years greatly hindered the Clef Club’s mission to celebrate and preserve the legacy of jazz through accessible education, talent development and public performances, as we were forced to close in February 2020,“ said Lovett Hines, Artistic Director in a statement. “We lost 95% of our revenue, which includes concert tickets, rentals and concessions, but we’re now looking forward to welcoming the public and students back into our building to continue our legacy of preserving jazz history and educating and nurturing young talent.”
Although he hails from a musical family, drummer/composer Jonathan Blake attributes a large part of his musical development to the Clef Club and Hines’ dedication to students. “I joined the Clef Club when I was 14 years old and I benefited tremendously from its programs at such a young and impressionable age,” said Blake. “PCC was doing outreach programs for younger kids and exposing young Philadelphians to the arts who might not otherwise be able to experience live music. I credit Lovett for instilling my love for composition. In addition, Philly has always been a huge melting pot for the arts, and PCC did not turn anybody away. I formed lifelong bonds with other students and embraced all types of music. It’s kind of a full circle moment for me to come back and do this homecoming/reopening show with my own band. It’s the ultimate sign of the kind of impact Lovett and PCC has made in my life.”
The Philadelphia-raised artist has collaborated with Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Tom Harrell, Hans Glawischnig, Avishai Cohen, Donny McCaslin, Linda May Han Oh, Jaleel Shaw, Chris Potter, and countless other distinctive voices. DownBeat once wrote, “It’s a testament to Blake’s abilities that he makes his presence felt in any context.” Homeward Bound is Blake’s debut release on Blue Note Record.
The price of admission is $35 per person.