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August 09, 2021

SEPTA Sounds highlights Philadelphia musicians through digital concert series

There are nearly 20 one-minute performances so far, with more to come

SEPTA Sounds Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

SEPTA has launched a digital concert series called SEPTA Sounds. Dan Rouse, a Philly-based musician, teamed up with SEPTA to select the artists and record the performances.

An initiative by SEPTA highlights Philadelphia musicians, as well as public transportation stations across the city. 

The digital concert series called SEPTA Sounds is 100% online and features musicians performing one-minute long sets at train and subway stations in Philly that are posted to SEPTA's social media channels. 

It launched earlier this year to promote artists who had concert gigs canceled through the pandemic and SEPTA itself, which lost more than half of its ridership during the pandemic, according to SEPTA spokesperson Kelly Greene.

"With many traditional venues closed due to the pandemic, SEPTA Sounds is giving these musicians another platform to share their talents with the community," Greene said in an email to PhillyVoice.

The artists are volunteering their time and are not paid for their performances, Greene said.

Dan Rouse, a Philly-based musician who has worked with Jennifer Hudson, Patti Labelle, the Village People, Hoodie Allen, Demetria McKinney and others, teamed up with SEPTA to select the artists and record the performances.

"Philly is regarded as a top-tier city in respect to talent, caliber and ability throughout the music industry and is continuously represented on the world’s biggest stages," Rouse said. "Even still, the platforms SEPTA Sounds is offering to our local musicians and to our city are just as rewarding, and I can’t thank SEPTA enough for supporting our diverse scene."

So far, there are 18 one-minute performances, all of which can be watched on the SEPTA Sounds website, along with SEPTA's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels.

"And make sure to check back often – there's more to come!," states the website.

One of the performers is Jakeya Sanders, an entertainer, songwriter and vocal coach. Sanders has performed in Europe and across the U.S., and has worked with Dorinda Clark-Cole, Patti Labelle, Idris Elba, Kim Burrell, Aloe Blacc and Jazmine Sullivan.

Eric Wortham II, a pianist who toured with Jill Scott, Adele and Seal, also performed for SEPTA Sounds. He has performed at the Grammy Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Saturday Night Live."

Greene said there aren't any current plans to move to live performances, although that's "not something we've ruled out going forward."

SEPTA said it's working to bring more riders back to the service after the COVID-19 pandemic slashed the number of riders to less than 60% of its usual ridership.

The transportation service also has launched mass cleaning initiatives across the Broad Street Line and Market-Frankford Line, and is working to keep a security presence along the Market-Frankford Line.

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