SOURCE: Penn's Landing Corporation

June 16, 2008 14:47 ET

Bank of America Sounds of R&B Series Returns to Penn's Landing

Expanding Series Continues for the Fourth Season at Penn's Landing

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2008) - The Bank of America Sounds of R&B Series, which begins Penn's Landing Corporation's series of Free Friday night concerts through July and August, features innovative, inspirational, and critically acclaimed national recording artists. Each artist expresses a mastery of the genre and a passion for exploring new directions in R&B. As part of the Summer Season 2008 at Penn's Landing, presented by Independence Blue Cross, this free concert series, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each week, is sponsored by Bank of America and a partnership with WDAS 105.3 and CW Philly 57.

In developing the 2008 series, Penn's Landing Corporation Program Director Keeya Branson-Davis comments, "This much-anticipated series is an opportunity for audiences to hear and see some of the best performers in R&B music today -- for free! Each performer in the series was selected for their incredible ability to interpret R&B music in their own unique style. All of the performers are true artists who will deliver stellar performances that will become memorable experiences for everyone who attends the concerts this summer."

The series kickoff features the budding talents of R&B newcomer Kevin Michael on Friday, June 27, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. So far, Michael's style shows dedication to R&B roots along with adventurous experiments with style and fusion.

Noted for his "irresistible blend of soul, funk, R&B, and pop," Michael creates songs with hip-hop inflection, snappy pop phrasing and layered vocal harmonies, poignant lyrics, and an occasion Caribbean flavor. Michael gained attention on the music scene after his collaboration with Wyclef Jean on "It Don't Make Any Difference To Me."

Dubbed the most exciting live band on the international soul/jazz circuit, Fertile Ground brings its passionate and timely message of peace and love to the Penn's Landing stage on Friday, July 11, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. This cross-cultural fusion band supports their bold spiritual message with a mix of funk, Afrobeat, bebop, Latin and Caribbean music, reggae, R&B, US garage band style, modern soul, and hip-hop. This eclectic fusion produces an original sound strong enough to stand up to the proud political messages of their lyrics.

Friday July 18, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. features contemporary jazz singer and keyboardist Frank McComb. Sprouting from humble beginnings, McComb began pursuing music as a young boy, nestled on the piano bench of his church under the tutelage of his Aunt. His early dedication paid off when McComb, fresh out of high school, was asked to join the Rude Boys, a male R&B vocal group signed with Atlantic Records. Just a few years later, McComb took over as music director of the group. Soon after, he moved to Philadelphia and signed with Motown Records. Gradually, he transitioned from major labels to start his own company, Boobeescoot Music. Finally enjoying the freedom to produce and disseminate his music in his own way, McComb continues to release some of the most authentic jazz, R&B and soul albums of his time.

On Friday, July 25, 2008 at 7:30 p.m., Penn's Landing welcomes two-time Grammy nominee Ledisi. Born into a musical family, Ledisi began performing at the tender age of eight in a performance with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. From this powerful start, Ledisi went on to award-winning performances in California musical theater, five years of intensive study of opera and piano, and a series of independent albums with her group Anibade. In a 2007 career turning point, Ledisi signed with major record label Verve and collaborated with composer/keyboardist Rex Rideout in the Grammy-nominated "Lost and Found." In her music, Ledisi dares to cover taboo topics with elegance, soulful musicality, and an inspiring independent spirit.

Lalah Hathaway, daughter of revered R&B artist Donny Hathaway, also performs on the final night of the Bank of America Sounds of R&B Series, Friday, July 25, 2008. Lalah signed her first record deal with Virgin Records while still a student at the Berklee College of Music and has performed on over 200 recordings in the R&B, jazz and pop music fields. She has just released her 5th solo CD, "Self Portrait," with the legendary Stax Records, and is proudly continuing the legacy of timeless soul music.

This free series is made possible by the generous support of Bank of America. Tom Woodward, President of Bank of America Pennsylvania, comments, "Bank of America is a proud supporter of the arts in the Greater Philadelphia region, and believes it is important to provide cultural enrichment for residents as well as tourists. The Bank of America Sounds of R&B Series presents an opportunity for all our residents and visitors to kick-off their summer weekends enjoying popular R&B sounds on the scenic Penn's Landing Waterfront."

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 59 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, nearly 18,500 ATMs and award-winning online banking with nearly 25 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Bank of America Corporation stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Penn's Landing Corporation is the non-profit organization responsible for funding and producing public programming on the Great Plaza, Philadelphia's Delaware Waterfront Park. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 Summer Season at Penn's Landing. All events produced by Penn's Landing Corporation are FREE to the public and on the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's premier riverfront entertainment destination.

WDAS 105.3 is the new and proud radio partner for the Bank of America Sounds of R&B series. Personalities from the station and the promotional crew will be on site each week. The Bank of America Sounds of R&B series is also proudly supported by CW Philly 57. The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) is part of the CBS Stations Group.

WDAS FM is part of the Clear Channel Worldwide the largest independent radio group with six stations in Philadelphia -- WDAS FM, Power 99 FM (WUSL), Q-102 (WIOQ), My106.1 (WISX), Rumba (WUBA-AM) and Radio 1045 (WRFF).

Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without our presenting sponsor Independence Blue Cross and the support of Bank of America, PECO, Pennsylvania Lottery and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.

For more information on event locations and event details, please call (215) 922-2FUN or visit www.pennslandingcorp.com. The Penn's Landing Corporation website is a virtual resource for the waterfront which can help visitors to plan a visit to easily park, play and stay all day at Penn's Landing.