Are we home to the best jazz club in the world? Your vote could make it happen. Currently, Cleveland’s BOP STOP has climbed to first in the US and second in the world (by one vote!) in the race to earn the title “Best Jazz Club in the World” from AllAboutJazz, who have been covering jazz around the world for 25 years. Make your voice heard!
And while you’re bopping around, click on this week’s PODCAST to hear new music from Polars and a re-release of Glenn Schwartz’s legendary All Saved Freak Band, plus an interview with CWRU student Allison Meyer about her project Never, Ever Give Up.
Consult our weekly guide below, then please get offline and go check out what’s happening in the region: Don’t miss the unbelievable Blackstone Organ House concert that ChamberFest Cleveland is hosting; Bloom at the Hamilton Collaborative is an arts and music anti-trafficking benefit; The Musical Theater Project and the Kent State musical theater program collaborate on a musical about Cleveland’s superhero icon Superman; the multi-generational Spring Quartet lands in Oberlin bringing together jazz superstars Jack DeJohnette, Leo Genovese, Esperanza Spalding and Cleveland native Joe Lovano. Let’s bop. –Thomas Mulready
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We learn about how one Cleveland Heights resident and CWRU student, Allison Meyer, is providing an uplifting outlet for Northeast Ohioans facing adversity. Her project called Never, Ever Give Up was a finalist against 25 other civic action visions in the 2019 Accelerate Grant Competition.
And we have new music from Cleveland’s Polars and a re-issued track from the pioneers of contemporary Christian music and locals, the All Saved Freak Band.
Not every city is blessed with an institution like the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory. The nonprofit studio/gallery offers workshops for all experience and skill levels in a range of paper-based arts from papermaking to bookmaking to paper marbling. It even grows kozo plants from which it makes its own paper.
Its open house Sat 4/13 not only gives visitors the chance to explore the full range of activities at the facility, it’s also partnering with two other organizations – the Cleveland Seed Bank and Praxis Fiber Arts – to demonstrate how the creative possibilities multiply when groups collaborate.
It’s hard to believe that not to long ago, the exquisite ornate Akron Civic Theatre, opened in 1929, was slated for demolition, its Grand Lobby, moorish balconies and starry night sky ceiling with moving clouds reduced to a pile of rubble. But by the early ’00s, Akronites realized what a gem they had, and the “Staging the Future” campaign kicked off in 2002. The venue now hosts more than 200 events a year.
It now launches the public phase of its capital campaign to raise the final $1.5 million of it’s $8.5 million goal with a free party that features birthday cake, a presentation on the ongoing renovation, and a screening of the 1952 classic Singing’ in the Rain. Sat 4/13.
Recent stories about conditions in the Cuyahoga County jail and inmate deaths have also shone a spotlight on the fact that many people not even convicted of a crime are there just because they can’t afford bail. Among those raising their voices about this injustice is the Ohio Student Association, which is sponsoring its “Get Lit for Liberation” benefit at the Ingenuity space at the Hamilton Collaborative.
The evening features performances by five bands, an art gallery, live painters, a cash bar and vegan food for sale. It’s got a student-friendly admission price and all money raised goes toward bail and other assistance for people who are waiting for their court dates. Sat 4/13.
Oberlin Conservatory’s Jazz Studies degree turns 30, and you’re invited to join the celebration. Beginning April 15, Marking 30 Years encompasses three days of riveting talks, fascinating films and scintillating performances paying tribute to those who helped forge Oberlin’s jazz program. Highlights include a rare performance by Oberlin’s jazz faculty (4/16), which includes legendary drummer Billy Hart and saxophonist Gary Bartz.
Festivities wrap up with an appearance by the Spring Quartet (4/17) – featuring Jack DeJohnette, Cleveland’s own Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese. Limited tickets remain for Spring Quartet. All other events are free.
Akron’s Gretchen Pleuss has been making quite an impact on the northeast Ohio music scene, which grows with each new release. This month she’s debuting her third one, Daughter of the Broader Skies, with three shows, at Akron’s Rialto Fri 4/12, in Wooster Sat 4/13 and at the Music Box in Cleveland Sun 4/14.
She says life experience and the touring she’s done have expanded her music. “The older I get the easier it is to write,” she asserts. “The easier it is to know my artistry and know myself, so it comes off as more authentic. I definitely forced myself in the last couple of years to really break out my shell. It’s just knowing yourself well enough to say, this is what I’m doing now.”
Maybe you’ve driven past the Dunham Tavern Museum, visible from Chester and Euclid, and wondered what that well-kept vintage building was. In fact, in Cleveland’s earliest days, it was a way station for stagecoaches headed west. Now it’s the oldest building on its original site in Cleveland, built in 1824.
Now it’s a museum, devoted to maintaining the premises as close as possible to their 19th-century appearance so visitors can get a taste of what life was like then. Take a tour any Wednesday or Sunday, or come for a special event like “Duncan Jameson: Growing Up Wright” this Sun 4/14.
Cleveland’s own BOP STOP is hot in the running to be named the Best Jazz Club by AllAboutJazz.com. Currently it’s in the top five, and you have until Mon 4/15 to go to the website, sign up and vote. Help raise the international profile of this Cleveland venue!
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Fossil Fest has plenty to intrigue people of all ages, with presentations and demonstrations on how fossils reveal information about prehistoric times, fossil trivia games, the chance to have your own fossil ID’d and to meet members of local geology clubs. Sat 4/13.
There’s a new nonprofit in town called The Food Shed, focusing on making local food and local food markets more accessible to more people. Learn more at their SHED Talk at the Market Garden Brewery, a conversation between farmers & those interested in healthy local eating. Wed 4/17.
* The second North Union Farmers Market to open outdoors for the season, at Crocker Park in Westlake, kicks off today with the traditional sheep shearing and a full range of vendors and activities. Sat 4/13.
Sax player Bobby Selvaggio, who heads the Jazz Studies program at Kent State University, is also an active performer. He’ll be at the BOP STOP with a quartet of prominent area musicians & special guests to record a live album. Fri 4/12
Clevelander Danny Caine decamped for Kansas to earn his MFA in Poetry, bought a bookstore there immediately after graduation and didn’t return to NE Ohio. But he’s back for a visit with a new book in tow, which he’ll read from and talk about at Visible Voice Books in Tremont.
For 26 years, the Harrison Stanton Gallery has held its Art-Tini auction to benefit a local arts-related nonprofit. Bidding starts today and goes through Thu 4/18 when the gallery hosts a cocktail party at its Warehouse District space.
Amythyst Kiah calls herself “professed Southern Gothic songster.” She actually has a degree in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies from East State Tennessee University but this rising star of traditional American music also has the vibe in her bones. Hear her at CVNP’s Happy Days Lodge.
Yuri’s Night: Space Party at the Great Lakes Science Center lets grownups act like big kids, playing games and doing challenges, enjoying the museum’s science-related activities (along with adult drinks), and dressing up space/sci-fi costumes to maybe win a prize while benefiting the center’s programs for youth.
The cherry trees behind the Cleveland Museum of Art haven’t begun to blossom yet, but hopefully they will by the time the first of two scheduled cherry blossom picnics takes place in the Fine Arts Garden surrounding the lagoon, with music, arts activities & food. The second is Sun 4/28.
The Musical Theater Project and the Kent State musical theater program have combined efforts to present the 1966 musical about Cleveland’s superhero icon Superman. They perform the show at KSU Sunday and at the Breen Center in Ohio City tonight.
You don’t want to miss the current exhibit of work by photojournalist Gordon Parks, now at the Cleveland Museum of Art. If you stop in today, you can catch a curator’s talk and a screening of Park’s directorial debut, the semi-autobiographical film The Learning Tree.
Toronto artist Bridget Moser uses film, video, dance movement, sound, experimental theater techniques and prop comedy, among other things, to create work such as her installation at SPACES called You Opened That Can Now Let’s Eat the Whole Thing. She brings it to life with a pair of performances tonight.
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Our columnist C. Ellen Connally, an American history buff, reminds us that when Senator Harry Truman heard about mismanagement and profiteering in the military in 1940, he drove around the country on his own dime to learn what was going on, and returned to D.C. to form a committee to address it.
Connally looks at the foot-dragging by Cleveland City Council over reports of poor conditions in firehouses and poorly maintained rescue vehicles and is not impressed. “What Cleveland City Council needs is someone like Senator Harry Truman who got in his car and looked for himself,” she says.
Sending non-violent people to prison – basically just people we’re mad at – ranks among the stupidest things we do as a nation. So, while I’m mad as hell at the wealthy parents that scammed college entrance requirements to get their unqualified progeny into top universities, I don’t think any of them should go to jail…
Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here
A look back at the last week
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Do the bop,
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