With its high blue skies, comfortable temperatures, clambakes and promises of a Super Bowl season for the Browns, it’s hard to imagine how September in Northeast Ohio could possibly be better—though a free outdoor jazz festival might be a nice start.
It’s going to be a great weekend for music in NEO, but where to start? Countdown gets you ready with a roundup of some of the most notable music events that you might want to check out. Think of it as your every-Thursday planning guide to a weekend of music and good times.
It would be convenient to describe Keigo Hirakawa as an academic who plays piano as a hobby, but after one listen to Dr. Hirakawa (he’s professor of electrical and computer engineering college at the University of Dayton) charge through postbop changes, it’s apparent that he could have gone pro in jazz. And he has with a new record, Pixel (Origin Records), that dropped in June. To celebrate the release, Hirakawa will rip it up with bassist Eddie Brookshire and drummer Reggie Jackson.
Todd Marcus is the sort of guy who likes to walk an unconventional path. That path will bring him to BOP STOP on Wednesday with a unique quintet that features clarinetist Virginia MacDonald and Marcus’ bass clarinet on the frontline.
At this point, Dave Rempis, who will appear with drummer Tyler Damon at Saturday gig presented by New Ghosts, is a known quantity in Cleveland. By his own count, the Chicago multi-reedist said, “I must’ve played there 12 or 15 times. It’s often more than once a year. Oh man, the list goes on and on.”
Right now, the northeast Ohio creative music scene is like the parent of a toddler walking barefoot in the dark trying to cross the room not knowing where the Legos might be. What will the size of audiences be like? What will they be willing to spend when inflation is eating away at buying power? How will ongoing health concerns play out?
For a multiday event at several venues, the peril increases. Still, if you’re looking for a music event that has bounce-back written all over it, Akron’s Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festivalhas to be the one.