New sounds, new look for a UCity venue

In the two years since his return to Philadelphia, Andy Blackman Hurwitz has expended a lot of energy in trying to find — or if not find, than create — a comfortable hangout with the right vibe and music. Hurwitz, founder of Ropeadope Records and now president of Drexel’s Mad Dragon imprint, has essentially been striving to nurture an environment reminiscent of his days managing New York’s fabled Knitting Factory.

While a couple of previous efforts quickly evaporated (proving the Italian Market isn’t an ideal spot for a jazz jam), Hurwitz’s latest endeavor, programming the newly-renovated Marbar, holds far more promise. The bar, atop the Marathon Grill at 40th and Walnut streets, will show off its new look and sound with five nights of free performances starting tonight.

While booking shows at the Piazza this summer, Hurwitz was “blown away by all the talent available in Philly. I didn’t have a clue how much music and how many amazing bands were here in all the different genres and microgenres.” Many of those bands will perform at Marbar, along with DJ sets and acts brought in by Live Nation.

“When you go to a show at Marbar, it’s very intimate, but there’s plenty of space and you feel like you’re a part of something special,” he says. “We’re going to combine that with eclectic programming.”

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