Saturday, September 8: Music at the Great Plaza

Kids Activities: 12 noon - 5 p.m.

During the day on Saturday, the WHYY Y Kids Club will have costumed characters, crafts and more at the Great Plaza. Be sure to look out for Clifford the Big Red Dog as he makes his way through the crowd for high fives, hugs, and photographs! Then, head on over to the 11th Annual Pennsylvania Coast Day program near the Independence Seaport Museum (next to the Great Plaza) for fun displays, exhibits, and experiments from area environmental education groups. Come and learn about your connection to the coast with WHYY Kids Club AND Sid the Science Kid!

Photo credit: Howard Pitkow

Sound Opinions Reception (WHYY Members Only): 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

WHYY Members will be able to enjoy an exclusive, member-only, music discussion with two of the nation's most respected rock critics, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, hosts of NPR and WBEZ's show, Sound Opinions. Jim and Greg will be stopping by WHYY's Connections Festival's Member Oasis Tent from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. to discuss their favorite topic — music!

WHYY Members will also be able to enjoy samples of Maker's Mark during the Sound Opinions reception. This event is a WHYY Members-Only event. Become a WHYY Member today to enjoy this exciting event!

WHYY Connections Festival Concert: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Enjoy a concert featuring performances by Yo La Tengo, Frank Turner, Maps & Atlases, The Lawsuits, and Fabian Akilles with additional performances from First Person Arts and more. Throughout the Saturday concert, WHYY Members will have access to the WHYY Member Oasis area, which will feature free refreshments and opportunities to meet the bands.

During this exciting concert, producers of WHYY's Emmy-Award winning performing arts show, On Canvas, will be on hand to film interviews and performances that will be broadcast as part of the show's 2013 season. On Canvas filmed performances from Justin Townes Earle and The Baseball Project at the 2011 Connections Festival.

Photo credit: Howard Pitkow

Yards Afterparty: 10 p.m. - Close

The fun and music don't stop once the WHYY Connections Festival is over! Keep the party going by stopping by the WHYY Connections Festival Afterparty at Yards Brewing Company where we'll be enjoying some beverages and another live performance from WHYY Connections Festival artists, The Lawsuits from 10 p.m. until close.

Registration is not required, but it is appreciated. Please register for this event »

View directions to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing »

Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo are in many respects the quintessential critics' band: in addition to their adventurous eclecticism, defiant independence, and restless creative ambition -- three qualities that virtually guarantee music press acclaim -- the group's frontman, Ira Kaplan, even tenured as a rock scribe prior to finding success as a performer. So frequently compared to the Velvet Underground that they even portrayed the legendary group in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, the Hoboken, NJ-based unit has explored the extremes of feedback-driven noise rock and sweetly melodic pop, shading its work with equal parts scholarly composure and fannish enthusiasm. Prolific and mercurial, Yo La Tengo have ultimately transcended their myriad influences to ensconce themselves as a beloved institution of the indie community. — Bio from

Frank Turner

A former member of punk rock band Million Dead, Frank Turner turned his attention to folkier, acoustic "musics" after the demise of the aforementioned hardcore outfit. Born in Bahrain in 1981, Turner was educated at Eton College in England. His first foray into the world of punk and rock, with the band Kneejerk, came to an end in 2000, and he soon found himself joining up with Million Dead. Over the course of that band's four-year lifespan, Million Dead released two critically lauded albums, but the band decided enough was enough and called it a day in 2005. Turner decided to explore a different world after Million Dead, focusing on his love of folk and country, with acoustic guitar being the guiding force. Getting a deal with Xtra Mile Recordings, he was able to release his first EP, Campfire Punkrock, in 2006. Critically well received, the EP led to a full-length album in January of 2007, Sleep Is for the Week, which was also a critical hit and a moderate success saleswise. While filling in just about all of his free time with touring, Turner kept recording, and released the EP The Real Damage and a DVD, All About the Destination, in 2007. His next album, Love Ire & Song, was due in the midst of more live appearances in March of 2008. Turner's label signed a distribution deal with Epitaph in the United States in late 2008. The end result was his Poetry of the Deed in September, 2009, his first release Stateside. In addition, Epitaph also reissued Love Ire & Song in the U.S. Later that year, Turner released a stellar, solo acoustic cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" as a single via Suburban Home Records, and followed it with the album England Keep My Bones, in June of 2011. — Bio from

Maps & Atlases

Eccentric indie rock band Maps & Atlases feature Erin Elders (guitar), Shiraz Dada (bass), Chris Hainey (drums), and Dave Davison (guitar/vocals). Although they are based in Chicago, the members of Maps & Atlases prefer to align themselves with the term they define as "new regionalism." Dada is actually the only one who calls Chicago home. Hainey hails from Texas, whereas Elders has soaked up the sun in Maui. Davison had a humble Midwestern upbringing in Indiana. The foursome initially met at a Chicago art school in 2004, combining their individual interests in art, literature, film, and music for an enigmatic post-rock-inspired sound. Maps & Atlases self-released their debut EP, Tree, Swallows, Houses, in early 2006. After signing to Barsuk, the group released its first full-length, Perch Patchwork, in 2010. The Living Decorations EP arrived in 2011, followed by the group's full-length sophomore outing, Beware and Be Grateful in 2012 — Bio from

The Lawsuits

The Lawsuits have been called "sugar-coated country rock meets seventies pop rock", while their music has been praised as a "schizophrenic mix of modern americana that could very well bring traditionalists and the new generation of folk-rock fans together under one sun." They play with an energy that's infectious, charging through changeups and reveling in every solo, making the playing of each song look as enjoyable as it is to listen to. The songs are intricate and insightful in a way that recalls a time when music was more pure, but with a progressive and lighthearted style that seems natural for such a young group. The band consists of songwriter and lyricist Brian Dale Allen Strouse, accompanied by Vanessa Winter's alternately dancing and soulful vocals over the tight and powerful backing of Brendan Michael Cunningham, Josh Aaron Friedman and Noah Skaroff.

Fabian Akilles

Fabian Akilles is a soul/reggae singer, songwriter and entertainer currently based out of Philadelphia. Fabian is also a writer for The Philadelphia Record Company and a founding member of Bold New Breed, an independently owned and operated record label established in 2012. Fabian Akilles the artist is an international star in the making and it shows every time he touches the stage, prompting acclaim from writers; "when it comes to great live performances, few can match [Fabian] Akilles" (James Johnson, Philadelphia Daily News). A full-blooded West Indian with a mother from Barbados and a father from Jamaica, Fabian grew up listening to his parents' favorite Reggae, Soul, and Motown artists. His influences include Bob Marley, Barrington Levy, Spragga Benz, Buju Banton, Smokey Robinson, Sly & The Family Stone, and James Brown. In 2012, Fabian Akilles has released his self-directed music video for the debut single, "Comb My Hair," (on 3.19.12) and his debut EP, Evil Round That Corner (on 5.1.12) through Bold New Breed Records. Fabian is the product of 8 years of songwriting, artist development, and live performance alongside friend and songwriter/producer, Rick Friedrich [The Roots, The Philadelphia Record Company]. The team has released the first in a series of projects slated for 2012. Fabian has also developed a dedicated fan base that has supported him in notable opening performances for Talib Kweli, DJ Premire, Styles P, Jean Grae, Kidz in the Hall, and Masta Ace. Fabian is an out spoken moral compass, and a teacher of thousands in the Philadelphia school district. He feels "a responsibility to shine light into the darkness and provide subtitles for an often-foreign world." As an artist, with credible experience and seemingly limitless talent, Fabian Akilles has taken his live shows and records to exciting new levels. He is adamant about mastering his own destiny and paving the way for his success by putting his best foot forward with the release of Evil Round That Corner. His optimism will prevail. "Produce your environment, do not be a product."

First Person Arts

First Person Arts' storyteller Martha Cooney is a four-time winner of First Person Arts StorySlams and the founder and director of StoryUP!, an early childhood storytelling and performance organization. She teaches story and writing workshops for kids and teens, including a series with the Free Library of Philadelphia and with Mighty Writers.

First Person Arts transforms the drama of real life into memoir and documentary art to foster appreciation for our unique and shared experiences. We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that sharing our stories connects us with each other and the world. First Person Arts supports the development of memoir and documentary work by individuals at all levels of experience, from accomplished artists to everyday people. It provides a stage on which these stories can be heard by hosting a variety of programs throughout the year, including twice monthly StorySlams at World Cafe Live and L'Etage, classes and workshops, and the annual First Person Arts Festival (November 8-17, 2012).