We are City Love (Sterling Duns and Caselli Jordan), a West Philly conscious acoustic duo with harmonies, hip hop, cajon, guitar, and mandolin. From the heart. For the people. We are educators and musicians who write songs to spread the love, make people move, make people laugh, and foster dialogue about the issues of our times. Our music is a meeting point between the city and the suburbs; between black and white; heavy and light. We want to bring people together and work to help heal the racial divide in our country. We synthesize the power of music and deep conversation to reach audiences in ways that dialogue alone often cannot.
Past Performances and Workshops:
- Top 5 finalists for the Philadelphia City Council's 2017 PHL Live Music Competition
- The 2016 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity
- The 2016 White Privilege Conference
- The 2016 Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools Biennial Conference
- Reverend Barber's Repairers of the Breach Civil Rights Movement Revival
- University of Pennsylvania Summit on Teaching Students About Race
- University of Pennsylvania CHAS Summit
- University of Pennsylvania Fisher Hassenfeld Residence
- Swarthmore College
- Dickinson College
- Ursinus College
- Haverford College
- The 2015 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity
- Pendle Hill's conference on Ending Mass Incarceration with Michelle Alexander
- The United Opt Out Conference
- The American Friends Service Committee 99th annual meeting, opening for Dr. Reverend William Barber II
- Top 5 finalists for Philadelphia City Council's 2016 PHL Live Music Competition
- The Philadelphia School
- Friends Central School
- Germantown Friends School
- Friends School Haverford
- Pennswood Village Retirement Home
- Pendle Hill's "Beyond Prisons: Transformative Justice in Community" workshop
- National March Against Monsanto
- University of Pennsylvania Kelly Writer's House
We use our music to reach audiences at venues, festivals, fundraisers, and marches as well as working with middle schools, high schools, universities, communities, and organizations by offering heart-provoking, thought-provoking interactive performances and workshops. We believe that self-expression is transformative and we want to encourage others to express themselves through whatever art form calls to them. Our songs are about many kinds of love, about problems, solutions and positive change, and about knowing and making peace with the darker aspects of our world while choosing to nurture the light. We are committed to love of humanity, service, integrity, humility, social justice, social harmony, gratitude, simplicity and balance.
Sterling Duns is a West Philly based hip-hop artist, musician, educator,organizer, and Quaker. He holds a BA in English from Dickinson College and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Sterling is the Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education at Friends' Central School and also serves on numerous boards throughout Philadelphia, in addition to speaking at colleges and conferences throughout the country.
Sterling has performed throughout the world with numerous groups, such as Hardwork Movement, and has shared the stage with many different musical acts such as Talib Kweli, Redman and Method Man, Rhiannon Giddens, and many more. His passion for music stems from his desire to make sense of the events that make our lives unique and intertwined, all at once. Sterling has worked with youth from all different backgrounds, at summer camps and in classrooms, for the last 10+ years and truly believes that if we empower and inspire the youth of today, our future will be in great hands.
Caselli (Brian) Jordan is an artist and educator who uses music to internalize and distill his studies and experiences into songs that can help foster broader awareness of social justice issues. He holds a B.S. in Italian and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Holistic Nutrition Educator certificate from Bauman College. Caselli has performed around the world and recently won the PHL Live competition for the Jazz music category.
Caselli has worked as an educator in a wide variety of settings and capacities for 11 years, from Faculty Assistant teaching Italian at the University of Wisconsin Madison to Kindergarten teacher and garden educator at The Philadelphia School, and everywhere in between. Caselli is very excited to use music to cultivate dialogue, community, and resolution around some of the urgent social challenges we face in our times.
Photography by Andrew Nadcarni and Jenny Chen