Philadelphia Clef Club hosts jazz concerts again after COVID hiatus

A lineup of spring and summer concerts is scheduled at the Clef Club.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- At the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, the building was packed Saturday night, and for good reason.

"It's the first major show we are doing in two years. We're just opening now. We've done smaller shows, but this is our main show," said artistic director Lovett Hines.

Johnathan Blake and his band Pentad took to the stage for the grand reopening of the Clef Club-- the first big show since the pandemic began.

Leaders say these concerts, and the ticket sales, play a big part in keeping the organization running.

"Number one, they keep the building in place," said Hines. "Number two, they support programming. And a major part of that programming is presentations like tonight. But also the education program."

For Blake and saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, it was a homecoming-- they both got their start here as students.

"I just started at the Clef Club when I was maybe eight or so in the third grade playing the saxophone," said Wilkins from Upper Darby. "We've been missing the clef club for the past two years on the pandemic, and it's been a place that has always been kind of home base for a lot of musicians here."

Concertgoers say they love attending the Clef Club because of the authentic feel.

"It's a cozy environment. A neighborhood environment, and I usually know most of the people that come," said Matt DeVan of South Philadelphia.

Nina Blum of Queen Village said, "I was waiting and waiting. So yeah, I'm happy that it started again."

"Philadelphia has an incredible legacy of great jazz artists," said Mike Archey of West Philadelphia. "And they're really struggling to try to hold on and keep it, so if I can support them. I'll come on down."

A lineup of spring and summer concerts is scheduled at the Clef Club.

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