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Jester Castle offers community opportunity to exhibit talent in various forms of spoken art

The Heartbeat: Jester Castle
The Heartbeat: Jester Castle 03:00

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Set within Center City, Jester Castle, is the newest venue offering a rare opportunity to express yourself and exhibit your talent in the various forms of spoken art. This stage was crafted to shed light on upcoming artists and give them a fair chance at their desired career.

Todd Manning, general manager of Jester Castle, explains they want to be different by allowing the very talent that lies in Philly, a fair opportunity to be seen and heard. He has been in the business too long to know there is a need to give this fair chance to the artists who are building their careers. This stage invites the spectrum of verbal art through comedy, music, rap-battling, spoken word, role play and open mic.

But one can't fully appreciate this platform without understanding the meaning behind the name, Jester Castle. I was captivated while owner Braeden Anderson explained the lyric that helped formulate the title of his new venue.

This 'Atmosphere' fan, an underground hip-hop group found in Minneapolis, MS has a song called, "Trying to Find a Balance". There enlies a lyric which speaks to the days of kings and queens and how people would have treated him one of two ways; first, like a god, or second, like a leper. He makes the comparisons to his music now, as an artist. People who know him, love him and people who don't, treat him as such. Taking that correlation to all artists now explaining the artists who have taken the world by storm are treated like gods, but the supreme talent showcasing their voices in unexpected places, such as street corners or subways, are treated as lepers. However, at Jester Castle, artists rule.

Somehow, someway, this struck a chord with this music enthusiast and the concept of Jester Castle was birthed. It is set apart by the mere inspiration that set this place into motion.

Braeden, former college basketball player was on the fast track into the NBA as first round pick, until he was hit by a drunk driver and broke his neck. He life took off into a completely different trajectory. On the other side of his 9-month rehab, he was able to finish his last season for college. Fast forward, he earned his law degree which quickly corresponded with his entrepreneurship and has since opened restaurants such as KOOK Burger and local coffee shops known as The Black Turtle. But Jester Castle is a different breed. His disposition is as authentic as the approach to his latest venture right here.

He explains how doing the right thing is not just personally required but a necessity while also understanding where the market is going. I asked Braeden my infamous "why". At his stature, why create a vertical within this market for such? He confidently answered, "Part of building new companies in 2023, it's a mixture of trying to do the right thing and trying to predict where the market is going, where the economy is going. How are you going to be successful 5, 10, 20 years from now? Luckily for Jester Castle and myself, and what Absecon Capital is all about, I think those things are aligned. I believe in the new market and evolving capital markets, the hospitality space and entertainment, that doing the right thing, especially by artists, is not only going to be good for business but required."

He is observing the changes within the artist's world such as strikes and the various movements socially, therefore doing the right thing isn't just a good thing to do but it's necessary. He continues to emphasize, "In terms of Jester Castle, the awesome thing to do is to put artists first and develop local talent. The hope is to have an artist who we've backed, promoted and believed in, to become the next Taylor Swift, Rihanna or Jay-Z and remember what we did for them, come back and encourage other artists to do the same thing and mentor other people and for this to be a very special place that produced some amazing talent."

Jester Castle is dedicated to finding new ways of connecting within the artist community as well as outside. In Manning's words, "the more we collaborate, the more we can accomplish."

One of their latest collaborations was with a local artist, Hashland, who shares the same passion for supporting other artists. With 12+ years in the business, he finally launched his Homegrown Network in 2020, this server on Discord became the new artist's network and has since been able to launch events around Philly, place artists on different platforms and in different venues – and he does just that. His career took off when he learned that hard work and hustle will pay off. He understands the value of showing up in person. To be seen and creating that connection in real life, real time.

He was introduced to Jester Castle through a mutual friend and became the curator of one of their launch parties that felt like home. He created an event where artists in both forms of vocal and DJ's alike, share the stage in a very authentic, safe and fun way. He is creating a space to engage and let loose, dance rather than standing on the sidelines. He loves the Philly grit and gets to have the best of both worlds.

Through the parties, they keep music and comedy separate. However, they both receive the same treatment as Jester Castle can hold 500+ people and provides a state-of-the art

professional sound system, balcony, VIP section and full bar. Again, they are energized by hosting a place where both headliners and fresh talent share the same mic!

So, come be apart of a growing arts community where all vocal talents are welcome. For more information on events, times, and tickets, visit . To learn how to host your own party, or even take your place on this stage, contact General Manager, Todd Manning at 609-500-3263. To learn more about Hashland, visit .

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