8 Cities with Underrated Music Scenes

August 10, 2023 // Some cities carry nicknames that nod to their impressive musical roots, like Nashville’s Music City or New York City’s the Big Apple (a nod to jazz musicians). But, famed musicians can hail from all around the country, and many smaller towns have massively impressive roots in music that may not be widely known. From iconic recording studios to birth and resting places for musical innovators, check out these eight eight cities with underrated music scenes. [Redbookmag.com]

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Cleveland’s Downtown Busker Program returns for second year

June 20, 2023 // Downtown Cleveland Inc., is bringing back the Downtown Busker Program for its second year.The official street-performance program features 20 pre-selected “pitch” (the area buskers perform) locations and guides for potential buskers to help them find their perfect “pitch.”Each pitch location was selected by Downtown Cleveland Inc. to maximize pedestrian visibility near hot spots and offer room for creative freedom in performing. [Cleveland.com]

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Cleveland Rocks Shop

Cleveland Rocks aims to amplify music scene with campus in Waterloo Arts District

June 15, 2023 // When Music Saves, the record store next to the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, closed its doors in 2017, Cindy Barber had a plan to revive the space. Barber’s nonprofit bought the storefront in 2018, and after launching a fundraising campaign, is now turning it into a retail space for local music called Cleveland Rocks Shop. [Ideastream.org]

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Kaboom Collective

Students gain arts industry experience in Kaboom Collective

April 28, 2023 // Young creatives ages 15 to 25 are working on Hollywood-style recording projects as members of Northeast Ohio's Kaboom Collective. Students work with a variety of industry professionals in the arts, from musical composition to script writing to digital animation. But at the collective's center is its studio orchestra led by Kaboom Collective Co-Founder and Cleveland Arts Prize winner Liza Grossman. [Ideastream.org]

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Cleveland Scores Highest Among Midwestern Communities on Two Key Measurements of Arts Vibrancy

April 13, 2023 // Analysis from the 2022 Arts Vibrancy Index reveals Cleveland, Ohio with a score in the top 1% of communities on measurements of Arts Dollars. The city shows particular strengths in the amount of earned revenue generated from artistic programs and the total compensation paid to arts and cultural employees per capita – higher than all other large midwestern communities on these two sub-measures. [CulturalData.org]

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Cindy Barber

ClevelandMagazine.com – March 1, 2023 – These Women-Owned Venues Lead Cleveland’s Arts Scene

As Women’s History Month begins, we turn our attention to those who have pushed boundaries, smashed stereotypes and created a path for future generations of artists and creators — and all right here in Cleveland. The conversation wouldn’t be whole without hearing from those women who fight for the arts both on and off stage. Here, we look behind the curtain at the owners of many of Northeast Ohio’s biggest venues: the women carving out safe spaces for performance and culture in every corner of the city.

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Registration Open for the 2023 Ohio University Music Industry Summit

The Ohio University Music Industry Summit features an exclusive gathering of prominent artists and music industry leaders for informative panels and compelling interviews, as well as networking and learning opportunities for registrants. Registration is free and open to anyone and is required to attend the Summit. Both in-person and virtual attendance options are available. Mark your calendar for the 5th annual event: Wednesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 6, 2023 on OHIO's Athens Campus. 

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Welshly Arms

ClevelandMagazine.com – Feb. 21, 2023 – 10 Years of Welshly Arms: Blues-Rock Band Headlines Brite Winter This Weekend

Brite Winter features about 20 bands on three stages, starting at 3 p.m on Saturday. Tickets, $10-plus, are available at britewinter.com. Capping the day is Welshly Arms, a band set to return to the fest as its headliner. Other performers include Signals Midwest, Fox Royale, Grumpy Plum, Skuff Micksun and Detention. It all goes down on the West Bank of the Flats, underneath the Main Ave. bridge in Cleveland, with Welshly taking the West Bank Stage at 10 p.m.

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Jazz Fest

ClevelandMagazine.com – Feb. 15, 2023 – Tri-C Announces 44th Annual JazzFest Lineup

On Wednesday, Tri-C announced the lineup for the 44th Annual JazzFest, set to run June 22-24 at Playhouse Square. Following last year’s return to Playhouse theaters — after a pandemic-induced derailment forced Tri-C to stream the event in 2020 and plan a smaller in-person performance at Cain Park in 2021 — the fest hits 2023 with powerhouse musicians including Herbie Hancock and the 2023 Grammy’s Best New Artist, Samara Joy.

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News5Cleveland.com – Feb. 3, 2023 – Big names skip Cleveland on 2023 tours, music scene is still alive for new acts

Cleveland is known to many as the “birthplace of Rock and Roll.” Yet, many of music’s biggest stars have been bypassing the city recently. Big names, like Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Metallica left Cleveland dates off of their 2023 world tours. In 2022, only 8 of the year’s top 25 highest-grossing artists stopped in Northeast Ohio. It’s down from previous years.

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The Day Nites

ClevelandMagazine.com – Jan. 18, 2023 – Cleveland Soul Legend Art Blakey Teams Up With The Day Nites: Q&A

The Day Nites will take the Beachland Tavern stage on Saturday, Jan. 21. Art Blakey, a fixture in the local music scene, has found a fresh outlet for his classic soul style. The singer has teamed up with the Day Nites, a soul band consisting of members of the Hi-Lites (Nick Fritsch, Bob Basone and Matt Garrett), along with Tom Fallon of The Alarm Clocks and New Salem Witch Hunters.

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Apostle Jones

CoolCleveland.com – Nonprofit Helping Local Musicians Hosts Benefit at the Beachland

It was nearly a decade ago that local music sparkplug/Beachland Ballroom co-owner Cindy Barber conceived of the nonprofit Cleveland Rocks: Past Present Future with the idea of protecting the areas music legacy while assuring it would be carried on by younger musicians. That nonprofit engaged in a number of small projects over the years, but unexpectedly, it was the pandemic — and the dire situation in which it put many musicians — that caused it to roar into action with programs designed to mentor musicians, and provide them with resources and gigs

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Joe Walsh

Cleveland.com – Nov. 8, 2022 – Joe Walsh shows his Ohio heart by bringing James Gang, Black Keys, Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl to VetsAid benefit

Joe Walsh’s Buckeye heart is beating strong for his sixth VetsAid benefit concert this weekend. The show takes place Sunday, Nov. 13, in Columbus, after Walsh’s original plan to hold it there during 2021 was postponed by continuing pandemic concerns. Now he’s bringing it back home proudly -- and, of course, loudly -- with his own James Gang as well as fellow Ohio-rooted bands such as Nine Inch Nails, the Black Keys and the Breeders.

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Sean Watterson

Cleveland.com – Nov.1, 2022 – 2022 Community Leader of the Year: Sean Watterson

The recipe that goes into making a guy like Sean Watterson is anything but conventional. He’s one part businessman (when pressed, he estimates he’d be making more than $1 million a year if he’d stuck with his banking job in New York City), one part foodie (he co-owns Happy Dog in Gordon Square), one part enthusiast (have you been to Happy Dog?) and one part advocate.

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Cleveland.com – Sept. 13, 2022 – Street performers wanted: Downtown Cleveland Alliance starts ‘busker’ program to make downtown livelier

To continue to make downtown livelier and unique, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance has started a Downtown Busker Program for musicians, dancers and artists alike. The DCA has created a street performance guide, scouted out locations for performers and is accepting applications from potential performers - ranging from musicians and mimes to comedians, puppeteers and balloon twisters.

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CleveScene.com – Sept. 9, 2022 – Beachland Co-Owner/Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present & Future Executive Director on How IDLES Symbolize the Struggle for Success

I caught the end of Jimmy Kimmel Live in early November when IDLES, a band from England, made their American TV debut playing their newly released single entitled “The Beachland Ballroom,” named for the concert venue my partner Mark Leddy and I started nearly 22 years ago in a marginal neighborhood in Cleveland. As IDLES lead singer and songwriter Joe Talbot was screaming through my TV “DAMAGE, DAMAGE, DAMAGE,” I found myself wanting to join in.

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Forbes.com – Sept. 5, 2022 – Cleveland: The Next Venice?

"Cleveland, in fact, is better positioned to become “the next Venice” than Venice was to become the first Venice. Again, before scoffing, consider this. Cleveland’s art and culture infrastructure already exists at a world class level. The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the 10 finest art museums in the country..."

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