At last weekend’s Music Hack, a music-related hackathon, the All That Philly Jazz team, Mark Headd, Mike Lamond and the writer, developed the Philly Jazz App, an interactive map where we will tell the story of Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy.
All That Philly Jazz is mapping historic places and markers, Walk of Fame plaques and public murals. We will take visitors back to the days when jazz legends performed at the Uptown, the Royal, and the Earle and Lincoln Theaters. To contextualize the images, we will include data curated by Echo Nest and audio samples from Rdio. We’re jazzed that All That Philly Jazz won a one-year subscription to Rdio for the best hack.
Much of Philly’s jazz history has fallen victim to urban upheaval and urban removal. To preserve the history for future generations, we must tap the memories of Philadelphians and visitors. So All That Philly Jazz will be crowdsourced. We will use social media and traditional media, including community newspapers and radio, to ask folks to share their memories and photos.
We will also use technology, including Google Glass and Historypin, to breathe life into legendary jazz clubs like the Showboat, Pep’s, Blue Note, Up Jumped the Devil, Fantasy Lounge, and joints along West 52nd Street, aka “The Strip.” Clubs like the Aqua Lounge, Top Shelf, Mr. Silk’s Third Base and Foo-Foo Ragan’s.
Indeed, All That Philly Jazz is at the intersection of technology, art and civic engagement. To get involved, contact us via email or Twitter: @PhillyJazzApp.
The Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner famously observed: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” At this weekend’s music hackathon, my team, All That Philly Jazz, will bring Philadelphia’s jazz legacy to the present.
The Philly Jazz App will map historic places and markers, murals and local venues to hear live jazz.
Looking beyond the hackathon, we will go back to the future and augment reality along South Street, Ridge Avenue and 52nd Street. Back in the day, those corridors were jumping with jazz clubs where legends like John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King hung out. I’m already fantasizing about the Fantasy Lounge, which was located across the street from the studios of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records.
All That Philly Jazz is at the intersection of technology and art. It can serve as a model for how art can be used to motivate underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). While jazz appeals to an older demographic, a project on, say, Philly’s or Brooklyn’s hip-hop legacy would resonate with young people who are disconnected from the innovation economy.
Istanbul will host a daylong series of events, culminating in the International Jazz Day Global Concert, which will be streamed live on YouTube starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. The concert will feature an all-star lineup, including Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Ramsey Lewis, Eddie Palmieri, Esperanza Spalding, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Joss Stone and Terence Blanchard.
The first premise is bringing folks together. Then it’s about representing the musical legacy of Philadelphia on the highest level possible because there’s some incredible musicians here and some incredible musicians who come from here.
Philadelphia is a very soulful, passionate city, and the music that comes from the city is the same. It has this unique attitude, and there’s an intellectual side and a spiritual side to it. There’s so much talent and so much music that comes this people and people need to hear it.
Hear, hear. At next month’s Music Hack Day, my team will develop a mobile app to tell the story of Philadelphia’s jazz and blues legacy. We will map landmarks such as the John Coltrane House, historic markers and murals.
STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and math. In the nation’s revitalized manufacturing industry, math matters. And for a lot of job applicants, that’s problematic.
McClatchy reports that manufacturers are having trouble finding prospective employees with basic math skills:
But what troubles General Plastics executive Eric Hahn is that although the company considers only prospective workers who have a high school education, only one in 10 who take the test pass. And that’s not just bad luck at a single factory or in a single industry.
Jacey Wilkins, a spokeswoman for the Manufacturing Institute, added:
You could think that even for production, do you really need to know math? But the truth is, you do, because these jobs are incredibly complex and integrate multiple functions and systems.
The truth is, part of the problem is how math is taught. The focus on repetition (“drill and kill”) and teaching to the test kill students’ interest. Sam Houston, president and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Education Center, said the Common Core State Standard Initiative will help teachers connect math to real-world possibilities:
The Common Core should give everyone a better means to answer the question, “Why do I need to know this?”
Why indeed. That’s what most schools don’t teach. That’s also the problem that STEMeverywhere will help solve.
In the Teachers’ Lounge, we will break down information silos and curate a fully indexed database of resources, including Common Core instructional materials, lesson plans, and tutorial/how-to videos on inquiry-based learning. On the community message board, teachers will be able to collaborate, share strategies and effective instructional practices, and identify their needs.
The Students’ Space will promote year-round learning and engagement among our target audience of middle- and high-school students. With one click, students will have access to free resources on how to build video games and other cool things, internships and contests. Using our interactive map, they will be able to search for tech-filled fun where they live. Our STEM Rocks interactive videos will connect students to STEM superstars who can expose them to the possibilities.
STEMeverywhere made it to the second round where we will compete for the grand prize of $5,000, plus in-kind business services from local partners.
We will be judged on three criteria – concept, development progress and implementation opportunity. We have an opportunity to have an impact on increasing interest in STEM among underrepresented minorities and girls. But it will take a village – crowdsourcing – to fix the crisis in STEM education.
If you’re like most Americans, you might be asking yourself: “What is infrastructure?” Infrastructure is the foundation of our economy. It includes highways, public transit and water systems, airports and railroads. Or as former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told his then eight-year-old son: “It’s what Daddy blows up in movies.”
Edward Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, shared that story at a forum of regional leaders convened by Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, “Philadelphia’s Infrastructure: A Pathway to Jobs, Economic Development and Sustainability.”
As a District Councilman, I recognize that we need jobs. Investing in our road, bridges and alternative energy sources should be used to stimulate job creation and economic development, not only in Philadelphia but in the surrounding region.
One of those alternative energy sources – shale gas – is powering economic growth and America’s energy independence. A report by IHS found that unconventional gas development contributed economic activity of over $14 billion in Pennsylvania in 2012. The shale gas revolution directly and indirectly supported over 100,000 jobs. That number is projected to double by 2020.
Western Pennsylvania is the sweet spot for the Marcellus Shale formation. As a longtime advocate for minority-owned business enterprises, I was heartened by Sen. Anthony Williams’ commitment to ensuring a broad-based economic benefit:
It’s not just about western Pennsylvania. It’s about all of Pennsylvania… We in Philadelphia need to be in the middle of this conversation.
Fortunately the Oil and Gas Act, commonly referred to as Act 13, includes a provision to foster that conversation. Section 2316 provides:
(a) Requirement: Producers shall provide maximum practicable contracting opportunities for diverse small businesses, including minority-owned business enterprises, women-owned business enterprises and veteran-owned businesses.
(b) Duties – Producers shall do all of the following:
(1) Maintain a policy prohibiting discrimination in employment and contracting based on gender, race, creed or color.
(2) Use the database available on the Internet website of the Department of General Services to identify certified diverse small businesses, including minority-owned business enterprises, women-owned business enterprises and veteran-owned businesses, as potential contractors, subcontractors and supplies for opportunities related to unconventional natural gas extraction.
(3) Respond to the survey under subsection (c) within 90 days.
(c) Survey – Within one year of the effective date of this section, the Department of General Services shall send all producers a survey to report the producers’ efforts to provide maximum practicable contracting opportunities related to unconventional gas extraction for diverse, small business participation.
It’s a truism that we manage what we measure. But somehow the Department of General Services managed to miss the Feb. 13, 2013, deadline for sending the survey.
Williams promised to fix that. He is a member of the State Government Committee to which DGS must submit an annual report on diverse small business participation. He will ask members of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus to sign a joint letter to DGS to find out when the survey will be sent.
So where do we go from here? Johnson made it clear this was not a one-off event; rather, it was the 1st annual infrastructure forum. He plans to establish an Infrastructure Working Group to develop a long-term strategy to promote job creation and economic development.
For more information, contact Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office at (215) 686-3412.