‘BlackStar Live!,’ ‘The Fleecing,’ honoring Nina Simone and more this weekend

3 minute read
Samara Joy will light up the Annenberg's Digital Stage this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Samara Joy.)
Samara Joy will light up the Annenberg's Digital Stage this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Samara Joy.)

Opening up the first weekend of Black History Month is BlackStar Film Festival’s new variety show, which I’m personally very excited about. The Kimmel Cultural Center pairs up two legendary jazz artists for a tribute to Nina Simone, and an upcoming Black jazz star shines on the Annenberg Digital Stage.

The rest of the weekend features a voting rights exhibit from the Museum of the American Revolution, Almanac makes a virtual edition of The Fleecing, and the Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Lunar New Year.

I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone

Kimmel Cultural Campus pairs up with the August Wilson African American Cultural Center to bring I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone to your screen. Streaming on Thursday, February 4, at 8pm, the concert features legends of jazz artists Carol Riddick and Gerald Veasley to celebrate Nina Simone. Tickets are available online.

Rising jazz stars at Annenberg

The Annenberg Center is kicking off its spring digital season with a performance by two rising jazz stars on Thursday, February 4, at 7pm. The performance includes vocalist Samara Joy, the 2019 winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and granddaughter of Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, founders of Philadelphia’s gospel group The Savettes. She’ll be playing with Pasquale Grasso, an award-winning and celebrated guitarist. Watch the stream on Annenberg’s website.

Lunar New Year concert

The Philadelphia Orchestra will present a concert on Thursday, February 4, at 8pm through Sunday, February 14, in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Drawing from Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women to Chen Gang’s and He Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers, the virtual show will be available to stream online.

BlackStar Live!

The folks behind the BlackStar Film Festival will debut their new variety show BlackStar Live! on Friday, February 5, at 9pm. Cohosted by BlackStar’s founder Maori Karmael Holmes and DJ and filmmaker-artist Rashid Zakat, the show features weekly interviews with filmmakers, visual artists, authors, and musicians. This week’s guests include Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew, Reef the Lost Cause, and a short film from Rebeca Huntt. The event is free, streaming live on Facebook and YouTube. Find out more online.

The Fleecing

Almanac’s The Fleecing returns virtually this weekend. The multi-platform digital performance piece allows you to choose your own path through the story, where you can “have your fortune told in a private zoom, search for a lost friend inducted into the cult, or enjoy a stunning aerial performance as you unravel the mystery of the Bumblefish.” The five-year running annual show runs February 5, 6, 12, and 13. Tickets are available online.

When Women Lost the Vote

The Museum of the American Revolution’s new exhibit When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1176-1807, is now available virtually. The exhibit explores untold stories of the women and free people of color in New Jersey who first pioneered the vote during the Revolutionary era before it was stripped away in 1807. The online exhibit will be available permanently.

Image Description: Samara Joy, a young Black woman, smiles as she looks up, to the left, in a portrait with an orange-red backdrop.

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