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Black Music City will support and promote new work made by local Black creatives

PHILADELPHIA (DECEMBER 14, 2020): A new project called Black Music City will provide grants to Black creatives to produce new artistic works inspired by Philadelphia’s rich Black music history. The Black Music City project is a collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM and REC Philly, a place for creators.

Black artists in the greater Philadelphia region (PA, NJ and DE) working in any creative medium are encouraged to apply for available grants to help them create new projects that recognize and honor the influence of Philadelphia’s Black music history, which is known worldwide for having nurtured and developed many groundbreaking musical styles and artists. The deadline for applications is January 25, 2021.

Roger LaMay, general manager for WXPN, who initiated the project, said, “Our goal is to give aspiring local creatives in every field - musicians, illustrators, muralists, dancers, spoken word artists, and more - the opportunity to represent and celebrate Black artistry in Philadelphia.”

A committee of Black Philadelphia professionals in the arts, media and business will select and award grants of between $1,000 and $3,500 (a total of more than $30,000 in available grants) in late February. Work completed and submitted by May 27 will then be featured in videos that spotlight the grant recipients and the journeys of their creations.

Will Toms, co-founder and partner of REC Philly, said, “Black creatives have historically had a challenging time securing funding and mobilizing champions to help get their work in front of audiences. This project, with its collaborative outreach and videos that will be produced to prominently showcase and promote their work, offers these critical elements.” “Our partnership highlights the collective strength and extensive reach of Philadelphia’s public media music stations, through our many platforms, to the broader arts community and beyond,” said Bill Johnson, general manager for WRTI. Exhibition and distribution of the videos and final artwork will take place during June, which is African American Music Appreciation Month.

Funding for Black City Music is being made possible by the Wyncote Foundation. Full information about available grants, eligibility, timeline, deadlines and more are available at Follow and share about the project using #blackmusiccity.

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About Black Music City Project Partners Black Music City is a project designed to honor Philadelphia's rich Black music history by inspiring and supporting today's Black creatives. Black Music City is a collaboration between WXPN-FM, the non-commercial music radio service of the University of Pennsylvania; WRTI-FM, the non-commercial music radio service of Temple University; and REC Philly, an ecosystem that empowers independent creators. Black Music City is made possible with support from Wyncote Foundation.
The holidays at Philadelphia public music radio station WXPN are jam-packed with special programming and events for maximum end-of-year musical enjoyment - including some new ones you won't want to miss.

On-air and online

Thursday, Nov. 26: XPN CLASSICS THANKSGIVING Hosts Mike Vasilikos and Bruce Warren serve up a mix of XPN classic artists, from The Boss and Lucinda Williams to Aretha Franklin, Wilco, Brandi Carlile and more, providing a tasty accompaniment to your feast from 6 am to 12 noon, followed by host Helen Leicht presenting WXPN’s annual broadcast of the classic Thanksgiving song “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. Dan Reed presents The Band’s The Last Waltz in its entirety at 4pm followed by a Thanksgiving “Highs in the 70s” until 7pm.

Thursday, Dec. 10: WXPN 2020 COUNTDOWN - THE 2,020 ALL TIME GREATEST SONGS Don’t miss XPN’s most massive undertaking to date: The highly-anticipated, days-long broadcast of the top 2,020 all-time greatest songs, as contributed by XPN members, listeners, XPN artists and local celebrities. Listen to learn how many of your picks or favorite songs made the final list!

Tuesday, Dec. 22: XPN LOCAL “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” CONCERT XPN Local Host Helen Leicht presents the 12th annual XPN Local Home for the Holidays celebration, in a showcase that will highlight some of our area’s finest musical talent performing the sounds of the season - some original, and some familiar. Featured artists include Eric Bazilian, Zeek Burse, Devon Gilfillian, Great Time, Kississippi, Sharon Little/Tim Sonnefeld, and Stereo League.

Thursday, Dec. 24: “THE NIGHT BEFORE ON XPN” - 28TH ANNIVERSARY Host Robert Drake performs his annual Christmas miracle by taking over the station with an eclectic mix of holiday songs non-stop for the 24 hours leading up to Christmas Day. Follow along on Facebook, peek into the festively-festooned studio with the Jingle Cam, and join the many others who can’t make it to Christmas without Robert and The Night Before on XPN.

Thursday, Dec. 31: TOP 100 SONGS OF THE YEAR & ROCKIN’ NEW YEARS EVE XPN hosts will select the top 100 songs of the year, and starting at 7pm, host Dan Reed will welcome the musical spirit of the new year in rockin’ XPN style.

Special XPN online offerings and events

Monday, Nov 16: JINGLE JAMS Let the holiday jams roll! “Jingle Jams” is now streaming 24/7 on XPN 2. It’s WXPN’s hand-picked, decade-spanning, multigenre and always-appropriate holiday music mix.

Tuesday, Dec. 2: THE KEY - BEST OF 2020 WXPN’s music blog The Key will begin its Best of 2020 coverage by recapping the best albums and songs of the past year on The Key, followed by articles and lists throughout December that take a deeper dive into the music and memories of a year unlike any other.

Wednesday, Dec. 9: 2020 COUNTDOWN TAILGATE PARTY Join WXPN’s virtual party to prep appropriately for the following day’s launch of the must-hear 2020 COUNTDOWN, featuring insights and commentary from WXPN on-air hosts.

Sat., Dec. 26 through Weds., Dec. 30: WXPN WINTER BREAK SESSIONS Be among the first to get to know the most up-and-coming new artists recommended by WXPN, as one will be introduced each day during our first “Winter Break” via Facebook Live.
WXPN’s virtual music festival will also include new, full, live sets from some artists who were scheduled to perform at 2020 XPoNential Music Festival

PHILADELPHIA (JULY 8, 2020): Philadelphia public radio station WXPN is not letting the cancellation of its 2020 XPoNential Music Festival from bringing music lovers an exciting, three-day music festival filled with dozens of hours of live music performances, from Friday night July 24 through Sunday, July 26.

XPNFest Weekend will feature archived full-length sets and performances presented online from some of XPoNential Music Festival’s most memorable past performers on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25. On Sunday, July 26, new and exclusive live, full-length performances from seven of the artists who were scheduled to delight fans in person at the 2020 XPoNential Music Festival will be presented both online and on-air at WXPN. The list of performances is below.

“XPNFest Weekend will be the next best thing to being outdoors on the Delaware Riverfront with thousands of other music lovers enjoying our unique, annual XPoNential Music Festival,” said WXPN GM Roger LaMay. “To have almost a quarter of the artists who were to have appeared live at the 2020 festival still want to give WXPN members and listeners new and exclusive full-length, live performances on Sunday, July 26 says a great deal about their affection for the WXPN community.”

WXPN is also offering fun ways for festival goers to maximize their enjoyment of the three-day XPNFest Weekend, such as tips for creating an at-home festival vibe, fest food recipes, trivia quizzes, and a commemorative t-shirt available for pre-order. Viewers and listeners can use #xpnfest to share XPNFest Weekend on social media.



Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires (2017)
Guster (2019)
Indigo Girls (2015)
Kathleen Edwards (2019)

performances ONLINE AT XPN.ORG:
Blind Boys of Alabama (2018)
Colvin & Earle (2016)
Caroline Rose (2019)
Darlingside (2016)
David Wax Museum (2016)
Diane Coffee (2016)
Femi Kuti & the Positive Force (2016)
Foxygen (2017)
Hop Along (2015)
Joseph (2017)
Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band (2018)
Low Cut Connie (2018)
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem (2018)
The Marcus King Band (2016)
Mt. Joy (2018)
Nilüfer Yanya (2019)
OJR (Oliver John-Rodgers) (2016)
Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2017)
Rhiannon Giddens (2017)
Strand of Oaks (2017)
The Record Company (2017)
The War & Treaty (2019)


Dawes (2019)
Hurray for the Riff Raff (2017)
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (2018)
Margo Price (2018)

performances ONLINE AT XPN.ORG:
Arkells (2017)
Bermuda Triangle feat. Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes) (2018)
Buckwheat Zydeco (2015)
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (2019)
Courtney Barnett (2015)
Courtney Marie Andrews (2018)
Dave Hause & The Mermaid (2017)
David Bromberg Quintet (2017)
Delta Rae (2015)
Drive-By Truckers (2017)
Greg Sover (2018)
Lord Huron (2015)
The McCrary Sisters (2019)
Phoebe Bridgers (2018)
Queen of Jeans (2016)
St. Paul and The Broken Bones (2019)
Sweet Spirit (2017)
Tank and The Bangas (2018)
The Districts (2016)
The Suffers (2016)


Devon Gilfillian
The Districts
Great Time
Illiterate Light
Liz Phair
Michaela Anne
Nicole Atkins

To view XPNFest Weekend online performances and all information, visit For all ways to listen and enjoy WXPN, visit Follow WXPN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PHILADELPHIA (MAY 28, 2020): Philadelphia public radio station WXPN is producing a summer-long slate of special music programming, with some in place of the WXPN live music events that its members and listeners typically enjoy each summer but that have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In place of its now-cancelled, annual 3-day XPoNential Music Festival taking place on the Delaware Riverfront in late July, fans can revisit past years’ performances online, when WXPN presents “XPNFest Fridays.” Two complete, back-to-back concerts from the festival archives will be available every Friday night at 7 PM during June and July, with full sets by Courtney Barnett (2015) and Low Cut Connie (2019) kicking the series off on Friday, June 5.

More festival celebrating will take place with the “XPNFest Weekend” from Friday, July 24 through Sunday, July 26, featuring archived XPoNential Music Festival performances as well as new and exclusive performances by selected artists who were scheduled to perform at this year’s event: Archived festival performances will be available online on July 24 and 25, and exclusive new concerts recorded and provided by artists will be online and on-air Sunday, July 26. Fans can talk about the event and share using the #XPNFest hashtag.

“We’re excited that some of the artists who were to have performed at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival are providing these exclusive concerts just for WXPN members and listeners,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. “It speaks to the strong connection that artists have with WXPN audiences, even during this extraordinarily challenging time.”

In addition to events celebrating WXPN’s summer XPoNential Music Festival:

  • More artists will perform exclusively for WXPN and its nationally-syndicated daily music program World Cafe, in the “World Cafe Instagram Live Happy Hour” every Tuesday and Thursday during June, from 5 PM to 5:30 PM. Amos Lee and Jaime Wyatt will be the first artists to perform in this new online series when it starts on June 2, with future performances coming from The Lone Bellow, The War and Treaty, Lo Moon, Shakey Graves, Katie Pruitt, Mondo Cozmo, Marcus King, Squirrel Flower, Dizzy and more.
  • Some of Philly’s hottest new talent will be showcased in a “Live and Local” concert on WXPN’s Instagram at 6 PM every Thursday in June, which will launch June 4 with performances by American Trappist, Lizdelise, Getem and Lily McKown.
  • “Throwback Thursday,” a favorite WXPN summertime music feature, returns with a different music theme each week from 6 AM to 7 PM during June, July and August. The first “Throwback Thursday” theme of the summer will be the year 1970 when the feature re-launches June 4.
  • In an echo of last summer's wildly popular, as-it-happened replay of the original 4-day Woodstock music festival, broadcast during the festival’s 50th anniversary, Woodstock’s 51st anniversary will be celebrated August 10-16 by WXPN, when it broadcasts the festival’s music sets and stage announcements throughout the week and weekend.
All information about WXPN and its special summer programming can be found at For ways to listen and enjoy WXPN, visit Follow WXPN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.