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Staff Picks to Kick Off Your Summer


Barry Manilow

June 13 at the Wells Fargo Center

Recommended by Melissa Jacobs

He sure does write the songs that make the whole world sing … well, me, at least—and I bet I’m not the only one. Nobody wants to admit they like the guy, but his tunes ruled the pop charts in the late ’70s. Now 71, Manilow brings his “One Last Time Tour” to Philadelphia in support of his album, My Dream Duets.

Walking the “Uptown”: A Tour of a Historic African-American Community in West Chester, Pennsylvania

By Catherine C. Quillman and Sarah Wesley (Hedgerow Press, 94 pages)

Recommended by Danielle Bouchat-Friedman

Though hardly the hub of the borough now, West Chester’s East End was once home to the thriving “Uptown” black community. Sarah Wesley and MLT contributor Catherine Quillman spent quite a bit of time walking its streets, assembling this unique self-guided walking tour of 21 sites, many of them dating back to the Civil War and earlier. 

Israel Nash 

June 24 at Valley Creek Park, Malvern

Recommended by Hobart Rowland

My last run-in with this buzzed-about artist came at this year’s South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, where he and his band rattled the pews of an Episcopal Church. It was unlike any Sunday service I’ve ever attended—but it was a revelation, nonetheless. The Missouri-born son of a Baptist minister, Nash unfurls his ethereal Neil Young-inspired roots rock with a gripping emotional honesty and a fan’s reverence for the source material. This early-evening (6:30 p.m.) performance is part of the free Friends of Summerstage concert series