Sat 7/14 @ 7:30PM
Wed 7/18 @ 7:30PM
The Ohio City Stages series, which featured global music acts from around the world on Wednesdays in July on a stage outside Ohio City’s Transformer Station, has undergone a transformation.
Now called City Stages, the series sponsored by the Cleveland Museum of Art will move around to five different neighborhoods for this, its sixth year. Only the July 18 and 25 concerts will take place in Ohio City.
The first concert takes place at University Circle’s Uptown on Euclid Avenue between Mayfield and E. 115th Street. (Yes, for the first time in recent memory, Euclid will be closed down. Expect a traffic nightmare!).
The artist featured is percussionist Jupiter Bonkodji and his band Okwess, from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Like many such African acts, their music is a melding of traditional African rhythms and modern sounds taken from electronic music, R&B, pop and other genres. That’s not a surprising place for Bonkodji to be musically. He comes from a family of griots and healers and played traditional music as a child. But as a teenager, he moved to Germany where his father served in the Congo embassy, and became immersed in contemporary rock and soul music. After that he spent a lot of time travelling between Europe and Africa until the sounds collapsed together. He formed Okwess in 1990, and the band has developed an international reputation for its international sound.
In addition to the music, MOCA Cleveland’s FRONT exhibition will be open until 10PM and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s FRONT exhibit will be open until 9pm.
On Wed 7/18, the action returns to the Transformer Station where Malian singer/songwriter Sidi Toure will perform on the outdoor stage. He’ll be promoting his new release Toubalbero, a high-energy blend of electronic and acoustic sounds, steeped in Malian traditional music.
Several nearby FRONT venues will be open until 9pm, including the Transformer Station, SPACES and St. John’s.
The City Stages concerts are all free.