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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO April 4-10

Friendly experiencers,

Remember this week well, NEO-phytes because you’ll likely never see an outdoor show with a bigger crowd as long as you live. Okay, it won’t be a music show, but who would want to fight a crowd of a quarter million people at an arena or a festival, right? And unlike Monday’s solar eclipse, you won’t need special glasses to enjoy the musical events below, though earplugs might be something to consider.

Wave Rowanne and Thicarus, Friday, April 5, 6 p.m., Cleveland Rocks Shop, 15801 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland

Wave Rowanne, the duo of producer Wave Magnetik and vocalist Rowanne Atallah, make a kind of EDM they call Hayete. It’s not jazz, exactly, but both players have solid jazz bona fides, Magnetik (a/k/a Donald Malloy) as a trumpeter and the Beirut-born Attalah through her time at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. They’ll share a double bill with horn-forward groove outfit Thicarus, which you can think of as a lighter-gauge Antibalas. Both appear as part of Waterloo Makes Music the series of free concerts presented by the estimable Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present, Future organization, and both are guaranteed to close the circles on your watch’s exercise tracking app.

Tri-C Performing Arts Presents Sean Jones Dizzy Spellz, Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m., Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus Auditorium, 2900 Community College Avenue Cleveland

In his classic book “Blues People” the poet, writer and activist Amiri Baraka relates a clapback he and his friends used when elders complained that “you can’t dance to” the new bebop music. “You can’t dance to it,” he’d say, emphasizing the first word. Seventy years later, trumpeter Sean Jones and choreographer, tap dancer and vocalist Brinae Ali bring the receipts with a Dizzy Spellz, a tribute to the spirit of Dizzy Gillespie, one of the founding fathers of bebop. Gillespie was an entertainer; he came up in the band of one of the era’s great showmen, Cab Calloway. But behind the beret and goatee and apple cheeks, Gillespie was a deep thinker and committed Pan-Africanist. Jones and Ali honor these too-often overlooked aspects of the great trumpeter’s legacy with a presentation that should be as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

Archer, Tuesday, April 9, 8 p.m., The Treelawn, 15335 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland

You might have seen the photo at the top of the post and wondered where the guitar player’s head went. I was the photographer that night in 2018 at the Beachland and sorry not sorry, but the guitarist is Terrie Ex, a guy who doesn’t stand still for a second. Neither does saxophonist Dave Rempis, at least in musical terms. Ex and Rempis and their Norwegian rhythm section of “Johnny Strum” on bass and “Dollop Eastfang” on drums. are Archer, a new quartet making a stop at the Treelawn Social Club on its debut U.S. tour. Rempis is a welcome presence on the scene thanks to the New Ghosts krewe. So fans of the saxophonist and New Ghosts shows, including the 2018 Hassles blowout, know what to expect. For those less familiar with the Belgian punk legend f/k/a Terrie Hessels, well, that’s his guitar pictured above. ‘Nuff said.

I couldn’t live without Jim Szabo’s essential, weekly Northeast Ohio jazz calendar , NEO’s most complete list of jazz and jazz-adjacent events. If you haven’t visited it lately, what are you waiting for?

NOTE: This article was written by a real human being. No artificial intelligence or generative language models were used in its creation.

Red beans and ricely yours,


JJA bug