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Tag: Theron Brown

Sign O’ The Times: Mary Lou Williams’ ‘Zodiac Suite’ Rises In Akron

Mary Lou Williams, Theron Brown

It wouldn’t be inaccurate to call pianist, composer and bandleader Mary Lou Williams the Zelig of jazz. At every crucial turn of the music’s early history, she was on the scene writing, playing and teaching many of the most pivotal figures in mid-century jazz Yet the spotlight always evaded her.

No more. The recent efforts of the jazz establishment to recognize the achievements of women yield new and long-overdue revelations of her multi-valent genius, not just in the jazz capitals of the world, but in Northeast Ohio, too. Pianist Theron Brown and the Akron Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christopher Wilkins add to the momentum Saturday with a concert presentation of five movements from Williams’ “Zodiac Suite.”

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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO, Dec. 14-21

This is the time of year when the live music scene cools a bit, but gentle readers of let’s call this, let nothing you dismay. A sleighful of holiday shows by some of Northeast Ohio brightest vocalists more than picks up the slack. Even if you feel a little Scrooge-y about seasonal favorites, our quartet of singers are here to offer you a cookie tray of holiday treats both salty and sweet. So dig in, dig?

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Bounceback: Akron’s Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival Is Back In A Big Way

It could just be a case of wishful thinking, but the terrific things I’m hearing about this past weekend’s inaugural Hingetown Jazz Festival show what can happen when top-flight musicians, welcoming venues and tireless, community-minded organizers come together to meet audiences where they are. Who wouldn’t be stoked for the future?

And you won’t have to wait to get a glimpse of what that future might look like, because this weekend brings Akron’s annual Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festival Sept. 7-9.

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A Free Outdoor Jazz Festival Swings The Doors Open In Hingetown

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.

Wish granted. Make way for the inaugural Hingetown Jazz Festival Saturday, Sept. 2.

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Countdown: Your Planning Guide for Music August 24-31

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.

George Benson, Friday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m., Cain Park, Cleveland Heights

Given his chart success as a vocalist, it’s easy to forget just how much jazz guitar George Benson can play when the spirit moves him. Whether that spirit will be with him at Cain Park is an open question. The smart money will be on a medley of hits with maybe one familiar burner to remind us all that the old man (Benson is 80) can bring the fire that lit up Pittsburgh’s Hill District six decades ago.

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