“I want something deeper and more groundbreaking from my work—something that cradles and pays homage to the past, but does so with an ear for the now.”
Susan Lankin-Watts (b. 1966) is a fourth-generation klezmer musician striving to give new voice to the art form and create klezmer culture for a younger generation. She is a singer, trumpet player, composer, and arranger whose complex arrangements draw on influences from her family’s roots in this musical tradition—from her great-grandfather, who was a prolific poet, to her mother Elaine Hoffman Watts, the first woman to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music for percussion performance, and herself a Pew Fellow in the Arts in 2000. Lankin-Watts has studied music at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University and the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music. She has been a workshop leader and music coach at Yale University, Temple University, the Eastman School of Music, the Royal College of Music in London, Luxembourg Conservatory of Music, and Paris Conservatory of Klezmer. The recipient of a 2014 grant from the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts, Lankin-Watts has performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, and has released numerous recordings.
Pew Fellow and poet Brian Teare (2015) has been awarded a residency through the Center’s ongoing partnership with MacDowell Colony.
This 30th-anniversary project was PRISM Quartet’s most ambitious to date, consisting of six new commissions and world premiere performances by prominent jazz saxophonists/composers.
Poet Afaa Michael Weaver publishes a new book of poetry, visual artist Alex Da Corte’s video installation Blue Moon is projected on Times Square billboards, and filmmaker Cheryl Hess receives a 2016 Tribeca Documentary Grant.
Greg “Hodari” Banks is a dancer and a 1992 Pew Fellow.
We asked MacArthur award-winning saxophonist and composer Ken Vandermark a deceptively simple question: Is jazz dead?
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s mid-career retrospective of the work of photographer Zoe Strauss offered the first comprehensive assessment of the artist’s achievement to date.
Lily Yeh is a sculptor and a 1992 Pew Fellow.
This music and movement performance will offer audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’ four-century-old classic, Don Quixote, combining narrative elements and ballads drawn from the novel, recited in both Spanish and English, and accompanied by monophonic melodies, organ and vihuela works that are reminiscent of the sounds of Golden Age Spain.
WPCA cultivates interest and support for the arts in West Philadelphia by increasing the visibility of the community’s cultural resources.
Featuring Forsythe’s signature choreography, this production pushed the physical limits of Pennsylvania Ballet dancers, demanding sharp timing, precise syncopation, and coordination.
The William Way LGBT Community Center presents OutBeat: America’s First Queer Jazz Festival. The four-day festival will highlight intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and jazz history and culture.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month this April, we highlight the recent achievements of many of our Pew Fellow poets.