Remember That Time When...Words and Sounds

Remember That Time When...Words and Sounds

Before there was a debut album leading to a stellar career, there was a Philadelphia open mic night convened by Jill Scott herself.

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3801 Market Street is more than just an address. It is a venue owned by the AME Church where all manner of conferences, concerts and other convenings are staged in West Philly. And on the 3rd floor, off to the right, was a cozy cafe space where young poets and vocalists gathered to try out new material and build a community. Jill Scott and her bestie Leslie Pina were the original host and promoter, respectively. And what they created set the stage for a revolution of artistry from the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, along with a whole new wave of talent achieving major label success.

 Yes, that is Musiq Soulchild to the right in the grey skullie!

Yes, that is Musiq Soulchild to the right in the grey skullie!

While The Roots were the city's go-to source for live contemporary music, poets and vocalists had several spaces where they would root themselves to establish a signature sound and performance style. Words and Sounds was one such venue. As you will see with the photos below, even though she launched the venue and served as its original host, Jill was already out auditioning for other opportunities and landed a spot as the Featured Vocalist for the Canadian touring company of RENT. By the time she returned, she'd garnered a cult following of fans and was well into completing that Grammy-nominated debut album. So WORDS & SOUNDS was firmly on her mind.

And me? I took over hosting duties while Jill was away. And my experience with those audiences, watching the talent find their wings, was a HUGE encouragement to eventually open Soul Sanctuary.

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Remember That Time When...HISTORY 360

Remember That Time When...HISTORY 360

Welcome to the newest Soul Sanctuary site feature, SCRIBBLES - a space where we'll let you in on some of the reminiscences of the folks who inspired the creation of Soul Sanctuary and have helped us to keep the fire lit for the past 15 years.

REMEMBER THAT TIME WHEN...will draw you into the inner sanctum of Philadelphia's arts scene and artists, as we make our way on and off stages, in and out of studios, sharing our gifts and talents with a wider audience.

For our first entry, and in honor of Black History Month, we share with you some photos from HISTORY 360, a multimedia production presented by Creator's Child Productions (CCP Ink) in Feb 1999. The show was staged as a collaboration with Venture Theater in the Independence branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia near 7th & Market Streets. CCP Ink had recently been established to highlight the work of rising stars in the city's spoken word scene, and to give professional management and legal representation to the poets gaining traction in their careers.

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This one-night-only performance drew from the repertoires of each artist, weaving together a story about urban life, identity, addiction, romance and self-discovery through verse and music. Regrettably, the original video footage of the performance was stolen. But we thank Carl Childs for the still photographs that captured highlights from the evening.

 

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