In January, I blogged about coming up with my Cleveland “bucket list” for the year – new-to-me places or events I’ve wanted to, but haven’t yet explored.
I’m glad to be able to cross one off my list in a couple weeks: the Tri-C Jazz Festival.
What started in 1980 as a weekend event, has transformed into 10 days of jazzing up Cleveland.
Staying true to its roots, Tri-C JazzFest brings world-class, awarding-winning Jazz musicians to Cleveland while fostering the history and nurturing the future of Jazz.
What this means for you and me is a line-up of funky, fantastic, and unforgettable concerts throughout downtown and the Cleveland neighborhoods.
The Festival starts next Friday, April 19 with a FREE opening night party. “We’re Gonna Have a Funky Good Time” starts at 5pm in the State Theatre lobby and features music by Detroit’s Nadir & Distorted Soul. Sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Co., the party will also feature happy hour drink specials until 7pm.
Other festival highlights include:
- On both Saturdays, kick back and get comfortable in PlayhouseSquare for a whole afternoon and evening of concerts, including the 60th Birthday Bash for Cleveland’s own and Grammy winner Joe Lovano. On April 20 and 27, shows will be held at 2 pm, 4:30 pm and 8 pm, along with live music and meet-the-artist sessions in the lobby.
- From April 22-24, the 3-day DownBeat Invitational on Tri-C’s Metro Campus will showcase student ensembles from as far away as Israel. Furthering the JazzFest’s educational mission, early-career artists Anat Cohen, Orrin Evans and Dominick Farinacci will teach workshops and perform.
- While most of the concerts wrap up by April 27, JazzFest 2013 has one last thrill up their sleeve when the Spanish Harlem Orchestra comes to Cleveland on May 4. The 13-piece collective will blow up Tri-C with rich Latin jazz that the LA Times called “as thrilling as riding a horse that suddenly breaks into a gallop.”
With a full schedule like this, there are many great concerts to pick from. It took a bit of consideration, but when I was invited to attend one of the Festival’s concerts, I decided to go with the Lionel Loueke Trio on April 25.
I may be driving to Chicago the morning after at 5am, but there was something about this concert, which starts at 8pm on the 25th, that drew me in.
Born in Benin, West Africa, Lionel Loueke melds the sounds of West African folk music with traditional American jazz. After playing in bands led by greats Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Loueke branched out into a more electric sound in his latest album “Heritage.” Electric bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer John Davis who are both featured on “Heritage” will join him at JazzFest.
This particular concert is a Bucket List two-fer for me because it also takes place at MOCA Cleveland. Even before the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland moved from the old Cleveland Play House building to its incredible new home, I’ve regretted not finding the time to visit. But with the Lionel Loueke concert on April 25, now I’m making the time.
And you can too by entering my giveaway for 2 tickets to the April 25th JazzFest concert!
There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**
1) What’s on your Cleveland bucket list? I’m always looking for more ideas so leave a comment with something you’ve always wanted to do in Cleveland.
4) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “I want to win #TriCJazzFest tickets! Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway to see Lionel Loueke Trio @MOCACleveland: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-1Xu″. (Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.)
5) Subscribe to receive Clue Into Cleveland blog posts in your inbox or feed reader like Feedly and leave a comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.
You have until Thursday, April 18 at 11:59PM to enter. On Friday, April 19, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!