Bill Cosby Joins Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia Gala at the Kimmel Center Tonight

Philadelphia is the birthplace of great jazz musicians. KimMel Center Presents now proudly presents the newly minted Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with a debut performance in Verizon Hall tonight, January 7 at 7:30 p.m. that serves as the Grand Gala Fundraising Concert.

Under the artistic direction of Philly renowned trumpeter Terell Stafford and founding director Deena Adler, the long awaited Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) kick-off concert features an all-star line-up of national and Philly home grown musical talent including the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Odean Pope, Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes and Tony Williams. Emceeing an extraordinary musical evening is the Dean of Philadelphia jazz, Mr. Bill Cosby.

The gala fundraising concert supports the growth and establishment of the 17-member stellar ensemble's formation in Philadelphia celebrating Philly's Jazz musical legacies and more. "I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to present Philadelphia Jazz in its rich tradition at its finest," says Stafford.

Tickets are available for $35 to $150 and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, at the KimMel Center box office, Broad & Spruce streets (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) is dedicated to presenting the highest quality jazz to the greatest number of people designed to preserve, represent and continue Philadelphia's unique, rich jazz sound and tradition. JOP aims to become the face of Philadelphia jazz, establishing the city as a nationally and internationally recognized destination for jazz performance. JOP is dedicated to honoring, presenting and continuing Philadelphia's unparalleled jazz legacy through performance and education.

In addition to embodying Philadelphia's vital jazz legacy with energetic jazz performances, both locally and outside of their home city, the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia will provide an essential educational component as part of its mission. As director of jazz studies in the Boyer College of Music, Terell Stafford offers a synergy with Temple University that intends to branch out to younger Philadelphia students.

A National Treasure in his ability to perform and touch the hearts of many for over five decades, Bill Cosby is a legendary comedian, actor and musician. Born in Philadelphia, he rose to prominence in the '60s with stand-up acts and best-selling comedy albums, winning eight Gold Records, five Platinum records and five Grammy Awards from TV's I Spy breaking the racial barrier in TV dramatic series as the first co-starring African-American male to his prominent role in the hugely popular family sitcom, The Cosby Show. He recently performed his first TV standup special in 30 years, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished, on Comedy Central on November 23, 2013. Cosby is also a passionate musician best known as a jazz drummer, and can be seen playing bass guitar. To date, he has released a total of 15 albums, with Keep Standing (2010) being his most recent. He has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis, Jr., among many others including Bootsie Barnes, part of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia line-up. Cosby has hosted the Los Angeles Playboy Jazz Festival since 1979.

Terell Stafford is the artistic director of Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia and director of jazz studies and chair of instrumental studies at Temple University, where he has been a recipient of the university's "Creative Achievement Award." He has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. In 1988, Stafford had the good fortune to meet and receive advice from Wynton Marsalis who suggested that Stafford study with Dr. William Fielder at Rutgers University. During his time at Rutgers, Stafford was invited to join Bobby Watson's group, Horizon.

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