Philly Artists Team For NBA Concerts
A host of Philadelphia's noted R&B/hip-hop artists, led by Jill Scott, the Roots, and Musiq Soulchild, will return home Feb. 8-9 for the Philly All-Star Concert Series, as part of the 2002 NBA AllA host of Philadelphia's noted R&B/hip-hop artists, led by Jill Scott, the Roots, and Musiq Soulchild, will return home Feb. 8-9 for the Philly All-Star Concert Series, as part of the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities. The Sega Sports-sponsored shows at the Electric Factory are the brainchild of artist managers Shawn Gee and Richard Nichols (the Roots), Lyzel Williams (Jill Scott), and Mike McArthur and Jerome Hipps (Musiq Soulchild). Fellow Philly-based acts Bilal, Jaguar Wright, Kindred, Aaries, and DJ Jazzy Jeff are also scheduled to take part in the shows.
"[We] decided that we wanted to put something together that showcased the unique talents and unity that exists within the current Philadelphia music scene," says Gee. "One thing that we possess that a lot of others don't is the fact that all of these cats started out together in one way or another. And interestingly enough, they've all performed together at some point -- but never on one stage. We wanted to use the NBA All-Star weekend as a platform to showcase our talents since so many diverse folks will be in the city at that time."
"It feels good to see all of us coming together after having become successful," Soulchild says. "It's was just a matter of putting together something that was home grown. We didn't have to necessarily go outside of our backyard to create something like this. It gives us a chance to appreciate our own."
The shows will feature no headliners, but rather a jam session format in which multiple acts will appear on stage together. "That idea was spawned from the Okayplayer tour," Gee says. "We'll have one band that will consist of the Roots, as well as other notable musicians like James Poyser, the horn section from Fatback Taffy (Scott's band), as well as DJ Jazzy Jeff. We wanted to maintain that jam session feel since the majority of these folks haven't jammed together since they've become high-profile artists. Hopefully, if this is a success, which we're all anticipating, we want to possibly take this out this summer on a larger scale."
There will also be a pre-event Sega video game tournament on Feb. 8, in which some of the artists will take part. Tickets for the series are $75 and will be available through Ticketmaster starting Monday (Jan. 19). A portion of the proceeds will benefit VH1's Save the Music campaign.
As previously reported, Britney Spears will perform her single "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" as part of the "NBA All-Star Read to Achieve Celebration" TV special, airing Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. ET on NBC, TNT, BET, Nickelodeon, and NBA.com TV in the U.S., and MuchMusic in Canada.