Live music and cocktails at Penn Museum summer music series

Silk Road Summer Nights

The Penn Museum is giving University staff a reason to stay late on Wednesday nights this summer with live music and drinks at the “Silk Road Summer Nights” music series. Beginning June 23, the series will serve as an informal prelude to the “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibition from China, coming to the Museum in February 2011.

Every Wednesday evening through Aug. 25, from 5 to 8 p.m., artists will perform Asian and Middle Eastern music inspired by stops along the famous Silk Road trading route connecting East and West. The gatherings will take place in the Museum’s lush Warden Garden and visitors will be able to peruse select Museum galleries open to the public. Admission is pay-what-you-want. Cocktails will be available for purchase.

The series begins June 23, with a selection of classical Arab music from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria performed by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, an Arabic cultural organization based in Philadelphia.

Other musicians slated to perform throughout the summer include Qin Qian and Kurt Jung, featuring Chinese folk songs and imperial court music; the Philadelphia Mandolin Ensemble; and the eclectic fusion of ancient and modern music of the group, Animus (pictured).

The “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibition is making only three stops in the United States. Its sole East Coast destination is the Penn Museum. The exhibition draws on the collections of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum and the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology in Urumqi in northwest China, and includes mummies dating from 1800 B.C.E. to 400 C.E., clothing, textiles, wooden and bone implements, coins, documents, and jewel-encrusted vessels, masks and jewelry.

For more information on “Silk Road Summer Nights” or the upcoming exhibition, call 215-898-4000 or visit

Originally published on June 10, 2010