PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE TO CELEBRATE COMMITMENT TO CITY’S CULTURAL LEGACY – MAZE FEATURING FRANKIE BEVERLY TO RECEIVE 107th BRONZE PLAQUE ON PHILADELPHIA WALK OF FAME – R&B Legends to be Honored at Induction Ceremonies along Avenue of the Arts, Friday June 20
PHILADELPHIA (June 13, 2008) – The Philadelphia Walk of Fame, a vital force in unifying the city’s musical heritage for over two decades, will be welcoming a new inductee next week when Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, one of the best live acts in American soul music, will be honored as recipient of the 107th commemorative bronze plaque along the Avenue of the Arts in ceremonies scheduled for Friday, June 20 from noon-2 p.m.
The induction of these R&B legends signifies a renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA), in harmony with the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI), to shed new light on the City’s cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music – past, present and future. This agenda to recognize more local music greats is part of the community based, not-for-profit organization’s overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music.
Spearheading that commitment is pioneering record producer and songwriter and newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Kenny Gamble, co-architect of the world-renown Sound of Philadelphia. One of the original task force Philadelphians to establish the PMA and a current member of its executive committee, Gamble’s philanthropic leadership role in revitalizing the city’s music scene extends to expanding the vision of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation through its 2005 relocation to the City of Brotherly Love, one of the nation’s oldest and most prolific music capitals.
“The Walk of Fame represents the diversity of talent that was in Philadelphia and that is in Philadelphia,” says Gamble. “From Mario Lanza to Chubby Checker to the Stylistics, the diversity is unbelievable. Frankie Beverly and the members of Maze were born and raised in Philadelphia, and it’s a tribute to have them immortalized on the Walk of Fame. Philadelphia has one of the greatest musical heritages of any city – from Pearl Bailey to John Coltrane to Marian Anderson, and continuing with artists like the Hooters, Will Smith, Amos Lee, Santogold, and the Roots. It’s essential that we continue to recognize the legacy of that musical diversity.”
Combining a Philadelphia soul sound with a strong appreciation of Marvin Gaye, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly is a distinctive R&B group with a charismatic leader that has been packing houses in major concert facilities around the world since releasing their self-titled debut album 30 years ago. Beverly’s smooth, distinct voice is instantly recognizable, and Maze’s laid-back, bass driven musical arrangements differ from most other soul acts, with a signature sound provided in part by original members McKinley “Bug” Williams and Roame Lowry, especially vivid on the 1981 classic “Live in New Orleans.” Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly has placed 28 singles and 13 albums on the Billboard R&B charts.
The Philadelphia Music Alliance is poised to continue to usher in this glorious new chapter in its esteemed history by furthering the charitable programs started by Gamble and other founding music executives such as Joe Tarsia (Sigma Sound Studios) and Larry Magid (Electric Factory Concerts/Live Nation). PMA Chairman William F. Kennedy Jr. says the organization is delighted to acknowledge the contributions of Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly to the worlds of pop and urban music.
“And we look forward to working with the new City administration to educate, celebrate and grow the music community here,” says Kennedy. “Every decade of our musical history is represented by creative and successful Philadelphia area talent, and we will continue to recognize the past and encourage the future for all genres of musicians here.”
Past PMA programs have included a Musical Instrument Donation Program in partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, an annual piano competition, the Philadelphia International Airport Music Project, Music In The Schools, music education scholarships and grants, a speakers bureau, as well as music business seminars and workshops – all designed to not only encourage our City’s continued stellar contributions to the cultural heritage of the world but to fill a void created by shrinking budgets for cultural programs in our City and in our schools.
The Alliance also serves as a resource to students, educators, musicians, city agencies, and other cultural institutions. The PMA has worked with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Multicultural Affairs Council, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Commerce Department, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Franklin Institute, Corporation for the Aging, Trane Stop, University of the Arts and the City Representative’s Office on various projects.
The Walk of Fame is a stunning demonstration of the great talent that Philadelphia has produced. This talent spans many musical genres and time periods, and includes Leopold Stokowski, Frankie Avalon, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Patti LaBelle, Hall & Oates, Solomon Burke, Marian Anderson, Mario Lanza, John Coltrane, Todd Rundgren, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Dick Clark.
The Philadelphia Music Alliance was founded in June 1986 as a community based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Philadelphia as a vital contributor to the international music landscape. Established by music executives and concerned citizens in order to recognize the vast impact Philadelphia continues to have on all musical genres, the Philadelphia Music Alliance serves to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music.