Man, we can’t wait for this tonight. We featured tonight’s show in our calendar this week and then, riding up 20th Street in Deep South Philly, heard a radio DJ hyping tonight’s SOLD OUT show and we got blessed with some access. We’ll tell you here, tomorrow, how it all went down. Let’s hope the weather holds!
“It was a surprise to us, too: Chaka Khan? In Philly? At the Dell Center? Wait, where’s the Dell Center? Turns out we’ve had our heads up our asses because the Dell Center, nestled on the east edge of Fairmount Park on Strawberry Mansion Bridge Drive, has an eight-show program this summer called the Essence of Entertainment Concert Series, kicked off by this funk queen. Going on nearly 40 years of programming, the Dell seats over 5,000 ticketed guests and another 600 people on a lawn in an outdoor amphitheater that’ll host a pretty tight slew of talent this season. But perhaps none can hold a candle to Khan, the series’ inaugural guest.
The Chicago native’s storied career started with a musical family. In her teens, she dabbled in Black Power and found herself in the group that would catapult her into superstardom, Rufus. Through the ‘70s, they released iconic records featuring Khan’s larger-than-life vocals and stage presence, baring midriffs and donning dramatic tribal outfits. Later in the decade, she signed a solo contract and kicked it off with “I’m Every Woman,” written specially for her by Ashford and Simpson.
Khan’s voice is one of a kind—at once soulful and bombastic, brassy and smooth, powerful and subtle. For many, she’s the most remarkable diva to ever tackle funk, soul, R&B and pop. Then there’s Ledisi, one of the quietest but most vibrant young talents in a genre that wouldn’t be what—or where—it is without Khan’s dynamism. What a great way to spend the night.”
Thurs., July 11. 7pm. $25-$60. Dell Music Center, Ridge Avenue and Huntingdon Street. 215.685.9560. mydelleast.com