WXPN’s ‘Free at Noon’ series celebrates five years tomorrow

John Legend C’99 is among the musicians who’ve stopped by World Cafe Live to perform a ‘Free at Noon’ set.

Every Friday, WXPN (88.5FM) offers a musical it’s-almost-the-weekend celebration: a free noontime concert in its World Cafe Live building on Walnut Street. Over the years, the Free at Noon series has included performances by Hall & Oates, Tori Amos, Arlo Guthrie, Barenaked Ladies and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, among others. Since it began in 2005, more than 65,000 people have attended the concert series, and countless more have listened along on the radio or web.

Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the Free at Noon concert series, and WXPN will celebrate accordingly with…a Free at Noon concert. Singer/songwriter Citizen Cope (aka Clarkence Greenwood) will take the stage, offering his unique “gritty urban poetry”–a blend of hip-hop, piano, blues and pop. Last fall, Cope released the first half of his new album, The Rainwater LP, to devoted fans. The full album comes out March 2. To quote WXPN: “This will be one heck of a bluesy lunch break.”

While audience members will receive a Live @ the World Cafe CD to commemorate the event, those unable to take a long lunch–or who aren’t in the Philadelphia area at all–can catch WXPN’s live radio and web broadcasts of the performance. NPR also webcasts the concerts, and archives them all as well.

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