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The Penn Museum on Apr. 4, 2019. Credit: Audrey Tirtaguna

The Penn Museum is hosting three free lunchtime concerts featuring Penn student music groups throughout April.

The Garden Jams series consists of three performances — each from a different live band in the Penn Music Department. It began with a Penn Jazz concert held on April 8, and Penn Flutes and Penn Chamber will perform on April 15 and 22 respectively. All concerts are open to the public and take place at the Penn Museum’s Warden Garden, regardless of the weather. 

According to associate director of public engagement at the Penn Museum Tena Thomason, the concert series is an opportunity to showcase the talents of student performers and serves as part of Penn Museum’s outreach to the larger Philadelphia community.

“This is one avenue to engage with students, faculty, and staff from across the University, but also a way to invite our friends and neighbors into our stunning gardens for a lovely springtime outing,” Thomason wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Penn Chamber director Tom Kraines said that he is excited about the outdoor performance, adding that chamber music performance has intrinsic qualities that can be appreciated by all.

“A small group of people, each of whom is playing a unique part in the ensemble, is the most exciting kind of performance that I’ve ever seen,” Kraines said. “To see what it’s like to be in the room, when something that spontaneous is happening – those are the reasons that I would recommend [the Garden Jams concert series] to everyone.”

College sophomore Tristan Ly will represent Penn Chamber as part of a saxophone duet. Ly, like Kraines, said that he's eager to bring Penn music groups to a wider audience.

“We didn’t want to pick anything [too] inaccessible," Ly said. "The saxophone is a relatively newer instrument as compared to other instruments that may be used in Chamber music like string instruments, and I think in some ways that can make it more accessible," he added. 

President of Penn Jazz and College junior John Fath, played the double bass as a part of the trio representing the group.

“As the president of Penn Jazz, I’ve spent a lot of energy rebuilding the presence of jazz music at Penn and bringing jazz musicians together on campus,” Fath wrote. “The Garden Jam is an excellent opportunity for getting jazz musicians at Penn seen and celebrated.”

The Warden Garden, the concert series’ location, has been labeled by the DP as one of the best outdoor study spots on campus. The concert series will continue in the fall, but in the Harrison Garden once its construction is completed, according to Thomason. 

Kraines added that there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved within the Penn Music Department.

“If you have any interest in any kind of music-making, then don’t hesitate to,” Kraines said. “If you’re at Penn, don’t let the time slip by without exploring those options.”