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Matt Cappy | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

Kicking off Friday’s Free at Noon double-header, Matt Cappy took the stage with no fewer than three trumpets. The Camden, New Jersey — or as he says, “East Philly” — native has built a impressive career as an trumpeter in the neo-soul / R&B / hip-hop scene, performing with Jill Scott, Michael Jackson, The Roots, Earth Wind and Fire, and Patti LaBelle. On Friday, he shared songs from his 2017 solo album, Church and State.

Cappy opened with a cover of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place,” leading into “Eight Five Six”, a fast paced number that featured that he performed on two different trumpets. The first horn was the Instrument of Hope, a trumpet crafted from the bullet casing by the survivors of the Parkland shooting. Cappy said he appreciated the trumpet for its “dark, warm sound” and that he hoped it “raises awareness and healing for all those affected [by gun violence].” Midway through the song, Cappy switched to a flugelhorn with a rich, deep tone. While Cappy has led an illustrious performing career, his shining talent was challenged by that of his drummer, Mario Crew. Crew rocked behind Cappy’s solos throughout and stole the show with his own during “Phoenix.”

From the crowd reaction, it seemed that the third song of the set, “East Philly”, was the star of the show. Cappy commented that, as someone who travels a lot, he is often asked where he’s from. He replies, “East Philly”. “For those who don’t know Philadelphia, they just nod, and think ‘Philly, cool.’ For those who do… I say I’m a ‘Camden county kid.'” This garnered many laughs from the crowd, as Cappy announced that this song had a little “Philly bounce to it” and encouraged everyone to dance along. “East Philly” is a bright, energetic song that featured sky-high solos from Cappy. His suggestion to dance makes sense — it’s the kind of song that makes it impossible to stand still.

At present, Cappy doesn’t have any Philly performance dates, but you can catch him on tour with Patti LaBelle and at various jazz festivals this summer.

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