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Musicians heading to summer stages

5/23/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Fairlawn will offer a special concert by the Brass Band of the Western Reserve in celebration of the July Fourth holiday June 30 at 8 p.m. at Bicentennial Park. Shown are people watching a band during last year’s concert.
Photo: Scott Horstman
GREATER AKRON — The days are long and the nights are warm, making it prime season for Akron area music lovers.

Free outdoor community concerts are planned throughout the area, with performances set nearly every day of the week for the next couple of months.

Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron begins its free Rock the Lock Friday night concerts tomorrow, May 24, making it the first series to be up and running. [For Lock 3’s concert schedule, see the May 16 edition of the West Side Leader, check the archives at www.akron.com or go to www.lock3live.com.] The next few weeks will see other local communities and organizations follow suit.

Here’s a rundown of local free concerts planned in the West Side Leader’s coverage area:


Akron Art Museum

The museum’s Downtown @ Dusk series is back this year on Thursdays. Concerts will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the member parking lot adjacent to the museum at 1 S. High St. If it rains, concerts will take place in the lobby. ArtCamp @ Dusk for children takes place during the concerts ($5, free for members) and free ArtTalks @ Dusk also are offered during these evenings. For more details, go to www.akronartmuseum.org:

June 20: Lost State of Franklin

June 27: Robin Stone

July 11: The Speedbumps

July 18: Horns and Things

July 25: Wanda Hunt Band

Aug. 1: J.D. Eicher and The Goodnights

Aug. 8: 15-60-75 The Numbers Band Zydeco Kings

Aug. 15: Anne E. DeChant

Akron Symphony Orchestra

The symphony will perform throughout the Akron area this summer on selected Sundays and July 4. The following free concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: July 4 — Lock 3 (8 p.m.); July 28 — Hardesty Park; Aug. 4 — Glendale Cemetery; Aug. 11 — Firestone Park; and Aug. 18 — Goodyear Heights Metro Park.

Downtown Akron Lunch Hour Concert Series

Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors concerts from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Fridays at Lock 3 as part of the Market at Lock 3 farmers’ market. Concerts will begin July 19. At presstime, concerts had not been finalized. For more information, go to www.downtownakron.com.

Firestone Metro Park

Children’s activities will be offered from 7 to 7:30 p.m., followed by an hour of live music by the Akron Pops Orchestra June 20 and Goodyear Concert Band July 18. All events will take place at the Coventry Oaks Pavilion, 40 Axline Ave. Friends of Metro Parks will serve free dessert from Acme Fresh Market while supplies last. If it rains, the concert will be canceled. Call 330-865-8060 for the concert’s status after 4 p.m. if wet weather is in the forecast.

Hardesty Park

The West Akron park in the Wallhaven neighborhood will feature concerts most Mondays at 7 p.m. For information and schedules for additional Akron parks, go to www.akronperforms.com:

June 10: 45 RPM

June 17: Twist

June 24: Larry Alltop and Nostalgia Gold

July 1: Boogie Fever/Big ’80s

July 8: The Cover Band

July 15: The Kingbees

July 22: The Swizzle Stick Band

Aug. 5: Zydeco Kings

Aug. 12: Colin Dussault’s Blue Project

Lock 4

Akron offers free music events on Wednesdays at this gathering area as part of the Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club. To access the area, from Lock 3 walk behind the Akron Civic Theatre. It’s also accessible from Bowery Street and Level 2 of the Cascade Parking Garage. All concerts will begin at 7 p.m., with refreshments available for purchase:

July 10: Wanda Hunt Band

July 17: The Steelheaders

July 24: Dan Wilson Group

July 31: Rooster Jones

Aug. 7: Red Light Roxy

Aug. 14: Vernon Jones Blues Cartel

Aug. 21: Esto Jazz

Aug. 28: Blue Lunch

This summer also will feature the return of local gospel music acts on Gospel Sundays at 5 p.m. at Lock 4:

July 28: St. John CME Inspirational Choir

Aug. 4: Exalting Him Choir

Aug. 11: Henry Dunn’s Road to Glory on the Road

Aug. 18: Carla Davis featuring Ken McCorvey and Friends

Aug. 25: The House of the Lord Kingdom Worship Choir

Sept. 1: Mount Calvary Baptist Church Choir

Northwest Family Recreation Center

The West Akron site at 1730 Shatto Ave. will host summer entertainment this season on select Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. with the following bands: June 26 — Zobapago; and Aug. 7 — Akron Big Band.


The Bath Parks Board plans a Summer Solstice Concert June 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bath Community Activity Center, 1615 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road. Tony Fortunato and Travis Haddix will perform.


All concerts will take place at the Copley Bandstand on Copley Circle at 7 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will take place at the Copley Community Center, 128 Sunset Drive, behind the police station. For more details, go to www.copleybandstand.com:

June 9: LaFlavour

June 16: Sierra Hull & Highway 111 Band

June 23: Jack Schantz Sextet

June 30: The Voices of Ohio

July 7: Freedom Brass Band

July 14: Northwest Territory

July 21: Barbershop Harmony Spectacular

July 28: Hey Mavis

Aug. 4: Phil ’n the Blanks

Aug. 11: Akron Big Band

Aug. 18: Greased Lightning


Cuyahoga Falls Recreation Department

New this year are concerts at the Keyser Barn, 851 W. Bath Road. Concerts will begin at 6 p.m.

June 16: The Pantastics

July 7: Honey Creek Preservation Band

July 21: Akron Big Band

Aug. 4: Western Reserve Community Band

Aug. 18: Chardon Polka Band

Sept. 1: Blue Lunch

Sept. 15: NE Ohio Jazz Orchestra

The city also will present Monday night concerts by the 50-member Cuyahoga Falls Community Band at parks in the city throughout the summer. If it rains, concerts will be in the theater at the Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave. All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

June 10: Quirk Cultural Center

June 17: Linden Park

June 24: Newberry Park

July 1: Oak Park

July 8: Keyser Park

July 15: Lions Park

July 22: Valley Vista Park

July 29: Peninsula Shelter at Water Works Park

The Akron Pops Orchestra also will perform in Cuyahoga Falls with concerts at 7:30 p.m.:

June 13: Valley Vista Park

July 25: Oak Park

Rockin’ on the River

Rockin’ on the River returns this summer to Falls River Square in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Organizers said the event again will feature vendors and street performers. Concerts will take place most Fridays from 5 to 11:30 p.m. Many of the acts are cover or tribute bands. In the following schedule, the artists being paid tribute to are indicated in parentheses when necessary. For more information, go to www.rockinontheriver.com:

May 24: Zoso (Led Zeppelin) with Joe Vitale Jr. Band

May 31: Blue Moon Swamp (John Fogerty/Creedence Clearwater Revival) with the Huckin’ Fillbillys

June 14: 7 Bridges (Eagles) with Kerosene

June 21: Guns 4 Roses (Guns N’ Roses) with 1988

June 28: Almost Queen with Jukebox Heroes

July 5: Ekoostik Hookah with Mo Mojo

July 12: Draw the Line (Aerosmith) with 7T7

July 26: The Waiting (Tom Petty) with Hey Monea!

Aug. 2: Escape (Journey) with Mystic Taxi

Aug. 9: Thunderstruck (AC/DC) with Big House (Allman Brothers)

Aug. 16: Mr. Speed (KISS) with Victory Highway

Aug. 23: Vicious Cycle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) with Butch Armstrong and the Armstrong Bearcat Band

Aug. 30: Red Sun Rising with Zach and the Bright Lights


The Music in the Meadow concert series is back on selected Wednesdays at Howe Meadow, 4040 Riverview Road. Picnicking is encouraged (no alcoholic beverages). Preconcert activities will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by music at 6:30 p.m. A ranger-led walk or Twilight Talk will take place after the concert. If there’s inclement weather, concerts will be canceled. Call 330-650-4636, ext. 228, after 2 p.m. for updates. For more details, go to www.conservancyforcvnp.org:

June 12: Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band

June 26: Sammy DeLeon Latin Jazz Orchestra

July 10: Boy=Girl

July 24: HeartBEAT Afrika

Aug. 7: Cletus Black Revue

Aug. 21: The New Barleycorn


The Friday Night Summer Concert Series will take place in Bicentennial Park, 3486 S. Smith Road, most Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m.:

June 14: The Rebeats

June 21: 7 Mile Isle Steelband

June 28: Shivering Timbers

July 5: Gary Shreve and the Memphis Prowlers (Elvis tribute)

July 12: Mystic Taxi

July 19: Phil ’n the Blanks

July 26: Celebration

Fairlawn also will offer a concert by the Brass Band of the Western Reserve in celebration of the July Fourth holiday June 30 at 8 p.m. at Bicentennial Park. Fireworks will go off sometime between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m., weather permitting.


The city will host its third annual free Classic Car Show with music July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Columbia Woods Park, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive. The rain date is July 18.

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