David Bradley: Connecting Music with Culture

Co-founder of LiveConnections creates unique collaborations.

David Bradley | Music Innovator

David Bradley likes to forge bonds. As co-founder of LiveConnections, he has helped to create a forum for innovative, interactive, up-front-and-personal music programs and education in the nonprofit’s partner venues, World Cafe Live (Philadelphia) and World Cafe Live at the Queen (Wilmington), which opened in 2011. “The concerts are about how music connects with culture—how we can move from what we know to what we don’t know,” says Bradley, who is also a board member at LiveConnections. The organization commissions collaborations that join artists from different genres—particularly classical with world, jazz or popular styles—to highlight how music crosses cultures and allows participants and audiences alike to re-imagine the landscape of live music. Signature programs are designed to reach people who would not normally experience this kind of music, from urban youth to special-needs populations to general audiences. “The concerts are about crossing over boundaries. In the Bridge Sessions [program], the young people are exposed to great music, but they also see how things do not have to be as separate as they may have thought. We see kids get so wrapped up in a session—kids who were never that close to a classical musician before, but then they’re right there. We see them get taken in. There are so many aha moments.” Last season, Bradley, an independent theater director, arts educator and consultant, also directed “The Exonerated” at the Delaware Theatre Company. The play helped spur the state’s continuing contemplation of the validity of the death penalty.


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