PHILADELPHIA – June 13, 2016 – The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) today announced 53 grants in support of the Philadelphia region’s cultural organizations and artists. The 2016 awards total more than $10 million and provide funding for 12 new Pew Fellowships, 36 Project grants, and 5 Advancement grants.

“The talented artists and dynamic organizations that make up our 2016 grantees will enhance the cultural life of the region with exciting new projects and rich artistic voices,” said Paula Marincola, the Center’s executive director. “The Center has been privileged to fund work by an extraordinary constituency of practitioners—from major civic institutions, to independent artists and curators, to artist-driven and community-based organizations—for over a decade. We look forward to the outstanding cultural experiences our newest group of grantees will bring to our community.”

Pew Fellowships—provide awards of $75,000 each. This year’s Fellows include artists working in the Philadelphia region in music, dance, theater, poetry, sound design, film, and interdisciplinary practices. Among them:


NPR – Jazz Night in America Video – Jymie Merritt: The Beat Goes Deep

The Philadelphia-based bassist Jymie Merritt’s place on the historical register of jazz was cemented by his work with major players like Art Blakey, Max Roach and Lee Morgan. But there’s a lot more music that he hasn’t received due credit for: notably, his own. Starting in the 1960s, he began developing a personal system of polyrhythms and harmonies called Forerunner, and a working ensemble to match. It’s rich in mathematical complexity, but it left a mark on many Philadelphians like saxophonist Odean Pope and his son, Mike Merritt (now the bassist on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show band). Now, Mike has taken up the mantle and reassembled the band to finally record his father’s music.

Jazz Night In America goes to Philly to meet Jymie Merritt and see The Forerunners live in concert, as presented by WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project at World Cafe Live.

1:56 – “Angela”
5:36 – Jymie’s System
7:14 – “CrossModes”
16:31 – Mike Merritt and Jymie Merritt chat
18:32 – “Nommo”

Recorded Jan 16, 2016 @ World Cafe Live

Mike Merritt (bass), Colmare Duncan (piano), Terry Lawson (tenor saxophone), Warren McLendon (piano & percussion), Alan Nelson (drums), Odean Pope (tenor saxophone)