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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO May 16-22

Terence Blanchard

Friendly experiencers,

IMAGINE A WORLD . . . where Terence Blanchard at Severance Hall and a significant album release and anniversary are in the roundup column instead of the Tuesday feature slot.

If you heard a portentous announcer voice in your head as you read that, well, it’s that kind of Met Gala of a blockbuster week on the NEO scene. Throw in Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project’s not-jazz but jazz-adjacent Re:Sound festival and you have a week that will get your ears in shape for the peak summer music season.

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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.

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Anthony Taddeo’s Jazz all’Italiana Band Alla Boara Sets Sail With A New Record And Tour

Alla Boara

One of the highlights of a performance by Alla Boara, percussionist Anthony Taddeo’s jazz-meets-Italian-folk-music project, is “Mamma Mia Dammi Cento Lire.” It’s a musical setting of conversation between a young woman, wheedling 100 lire from her mother so that she can go to America to start a new life, and her mother who warns that if she leaves her village the feckless girl will drown when her ship sinks. All this is set to an earworm of a dancing melody. The words, brought to vivid life by Amanda Powell, a superb singing actress, have the sly worldliness and teasing insinuation of opera buffa.

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Mat Maneri’s Quartet Seeks “. . . joy through sorrow, elation through fatigue”

Mat Maneri 4
photocredit: Mircea Albutiu

The improvising violist Mat Maneri recalled a conversation with his ECM Records producer, Steve Lake about the nature of music. “

“He thought it was all religious and I said, ‘No, it can’t be that.’ But there is something sacred about that stage and your relationship with the audience that once you’re onstage,” Maneri told me by phone last week.

There’s something sacred about the music that Maneri and his quartet will offer at BOP STOP Wednesday in a concert presented by Cleveland’s essential New Ghosts organization. Drawn from the violist’s latest recording Ash (Sunnyside Records, 2023), the music is a memory project that casts an oneiric spell that is simultaneously elusive and completely absorbing.

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Always At Home With Music, Lucas Kadish Returns To NEO With A New Band and Recording

Lucas Kadish

“To me, music is home,” said guitarist Lucas Kadish in response to a question I posed by email last week.

It’s a pretty sentiment metaphorically, but Saturday, it becomes a statement of fact when the Hudson native brings his trio to BOP STOP to celebrate the release of his new recording Tundra.

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