The Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition doesn’t come to the Penn Museum until next February, but in the meantime, there’s Silk Road Summer Nights — a series of summer concerts held every Wednesday night through August 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the museum’s Warden Garden.
The lineup is a diverse one, with musical styles and repertoires from Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, China, and other countries along the Silk Road. (In case your world history is a little fuzzy, the Silk Road was an ancient trade route that spanned some 4,000 miles between China and the Mediterranean, uniting the East and West.)
The first performance, classical Arab music from the Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, is scheduled for this Wednesday evening. Other upcoming performers include the Philadelphia Mandolin Ensemble (July 14); the internationally acclaimed ensemble Animus (performing July 21 and pictured above), whose eclectic repertoire fuses Greek, Blues, Middle Eastern, Jazz, Spanish, Funk, Latin, Rock, Indian, Klezmer and African influences; David’s Harp ensemble (August 4), which draws from the musical traditions of cultures all along the Silk Road (Turkish, Greek, Sephardic, Balkan, Arabic, and Central Asian); and Peter Tang’s Chinese Ensemble (performing August 11 and pictured below).
Keep an eye out for the museum’s garden bar drink specials and light fare. Select museum galleries will remain open on performance nights, and for those unable to completely disconnect during Happy Hour, wi-fi is available in the outdoor garden area.
The show goes on rain or shine, and admission is pay-what-you-want.