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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars to Headline Annual Lakeland Jazz Festival

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Ernie Krivda
  • Ernie Krivda
The annual Lakeland Jazz Festival, which takes place from March 17 to 19 at the college's Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center (Building D), offers a celebration of jazz music with performers ranging from up-and-coming students and new artists to more established veterans of the jazz scene.

Since its inception, the festival has aimed to “instill the excitement and magic of jazz education to the younger generation of musicians.” Over the years, tens of thousands of middle and high school musicians from all over Ohio have participated in the festival in addition to famous jazz musicians from around the country.

This year, the festival will honor retired Lakeland Community College professor and music department chair Charles M. Frank, who started the festival 45 years ago.

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London Label to Issue Local Bassist Gabriel Schray's New Solo Album

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:18 PM

Over the past ten or so years, local musician Gabe Schray has played with indie rock acts such as Houseguest, Intelligent Knives and Genetically Yours. He's also played trumpet for Six Parts Seven, Beaten Awake and Churchbuilder.

Now, he’s announced the London-based label Last Resort will release his new album, Gabriel. It will mark the first release on the new imprint, an offshoot of the London radio program.

Schray played all the various instruments himself; he says he whittled down the final versions from their lengthy original recordings.

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Crave Owner to Expand from Akron to Cuyahoga Falls With Crave Cantina

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Aaron Hervey opened Crave in Akron 12 years ago, but he’s been itching to expand for almost half that time.

“I’ve been trying to do something else for the past five years and I just couldn’t get there; I got there as fast as I could,” he says.

Much of the delay, he notes, has been caused by his inability to find the perfect spot. But then he expanded his search to Cuyahoga Falls and landed on just such a place.

“I knew it was right for my Latin concept the first time I laid eyes on it,” Hervey says of the old building on Front Street, in the heart of the historic downtown that currently is undergoing significant capital improvements.

When it opens in early spring, Crave Cantina will be a chef-driven, pan-Latin concept that will cross many borders. In addition to Mexican dishes, there will be flavors representative of South and Central American, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, to name a few. Hervey’s longtime cook at Crave, Monica Valdez, is from Peru and her talents and experiences will come in handy.

“She has been underutilized at Crave,” Hervey admits.

Set in a long, skinny building that is a mere 24-feet wide at every point, Crave Cantina has all the charms one would expect from a 110-year-old building.

“It’s been a bar, restaurant or tavern since the 1960s,” Hervey reports. “At one point it was an old soda fountain. When people ask me what it looks like I say it looks like a bar that’s been there for 80 years with eight different owners.”

The focal point of the 2,800-square-foot space is the ornate back bar. Other features include an original tin ceiling and blown-glass lights, a signature look borrowed from Crave in Akron.

“When you walk in you’ll instantly recognize that it’s associated with Crave in that the color schemes are similar, the art on the walls, and the same blown-glass lights from Crete.”

The rustic interior will be home to a 100-seat restaurant serving a wide range of latin-inspired dishes. In addition to the usual suspects like guacamole, empanadas and tacos, there will be arepas, ceviche, Cuban paella and Latin poutine. That dish will consist of yucca fries with pickled fresno chiles topped with cumin gravy. There will be salads, sandwiches, and entrees that cover many bases.

To drink there will be a full bar and plenty of tequila- and rum-based cocktails.
When the dust finally settles on the construction, Hervey intends to expand to the second floor, including the use of a rooftop patio.

Crave Cantina will be dinner and brunch to start, with lunches coming later.

“It’s such a great area,” he states. “The entire neighborhood is getting ready to go through quite a transformation. People are snapping up properties left and right.”
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Cow Advocates Will Be Protesting the Mac 'N Cheese Throwdown on Saturday (Yes, Really)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 2:56 PM

There is no shortage of protests these days and given the political climate it's not particularly shocking, but there's one scheduled for this weekend that was an udder (pardon the pun) surprise to us. The Mac 'N Cheese Throwdown, a sold-out fundraiser for W.A.G.S. 4 Kids, is being targeted by a small group of picketers because macaroni and cheese is made with cheese, which is made from cow milk.

"To support the Mac 'N Cheese Throwdown is to say that cows' lives do not matter, and that this treatment is tolerable," protest organizers said in a Facebook post.

While fundraiser participants will remain inside Red Space reveling in a cheesy gorgefest (20 restaurants are offering samples of their take on the staple comfort food for judging), protesters will be outside hoisting signs that say things like "Cow's Milk is For Baby Cows."

We'll let them explain it in their own words, via the Facebook page.
WAGS 4 Kids will be hosting an event featuring a whole afternoon of mac n cheese. While this is a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization, it is wrong to exploit dairy cows in order to help humans in need. We must create a world where no one is harmed in the process of supporting others.

This is an OUTSIDE protest and will take place on the sidewalks next to Red Space. Some signs will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own! Dress for the weather; be prepared to stand for an hour and a half.

Why protest the dairy industry? Male cows are abused in order to collect their semen to artifially impregnate female cows. Once a female gives birth, her babies are shortly taken away from her, because her milk is used for human consumption instead of her own children. Her male babies are kept in crates too small to be able to turn around, and killed at only a few months old. Her female babies will suffer the same fate as her. The process repeats until her body is no longer profitable, and then she is killed for "lower quality meats" such as ground beef. To support the mac n cheese throwdown is to say that cows' lives do not matter, and that this treatment is tolerable. But we will stand up for them, because there is NO excuse for this abuse.
Welcome to 2017, when even mac and cheese is controversial.
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Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears Return to Their Roots for 'Backlash'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Joe Lewis, frontman for the grunge-y classic soul and punked-up R&B band Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, has come a long way from the days when he worked at an Austin pawn shop. Though he doesn’t look back fondly on the gig, he admits it gave him the opportunity to learn to play guitar.

“My boss — and I hated him so bad — was like the comic book store owner on The Simpsons,” he says in a recent phone interview from his Austin home. “He looked like him and talked like him. He was into guns and hardcore conservative. We hated each other, so I would kill time playing with the merchandise. I picked up one day and that’s how that went. I was making up weird stuff on my own. As far as knowing where everything is on the guitar and exactly how to play, I’m not like that. I see guys who play with their eyes closed, and I still can’t do that shit. The more I got into, the less I practiced. I would play it all the time when I first got it. It was easy to get the gist of it. I never took any lessons either so that was the other thing. It wasn’t that bad.”

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Sen. Rob Portman Bans Democrats from Speaking Event, Fundraiser in Ohio

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 2:09 PM

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Seneca County, an event sponsored by the Seneca County Republican Party. (Seneca County is just south of Sandusky.) Before the event, Portman’s staff made the decision to check the political party registration of each attendee and then deny entry to event-goers who were registered as Democrats, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Registered Democrats' tickets were refunded for the event, and those people weren’t allowed in. Outside, hundreds gathered together and protested the unexpected decision, as the News-Messenger reports. More than a few people chanted "Shame" at the registered Republicans walking into the event.

It’s possible, of course, that after seeing the town halls all over the U.S. where constituents showed up in great numbers to ask questions of their Republican representatives, Portman and his camp didn’t want the same thing to happen to them. Compared to past congressional recesses each February, this year has seen a lot of Republicans straight-up hiding from their base.

David Koehl, treasurer of the Seneca County Republican Party, did not agree with Portman’s decision to ban Democrats. He told the Dispatch, “It's my personal opinion that these people should be allowed in. Portman and his office are afraid protesters will show up. They made this decision a week ago, but several people have been refunded on short notice."

The idea that elected officials only represent those who voted for them is a dangerous precedent, but it’s not difficult to trace the influence of this sentiment, as the president himself has been fairly open about this idea.

At last week’s bizarre press conference, President Donald Trump said, “They (protesters) fill up our rallies with people that, you wonder how they get there, but they’re not the Republican people that the representatives are representing.”

Portman’s office did not respond to a request from Scene to comment on the matter.

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Only One More Showing of Dynamic 'Amadeus,' Part of National Theatre Live at Cedar-Lee Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 1:47 PM

If you’ve ever felt a bit sorry for those people in an orchestra who are forced to sit still and play their instruments, you’ll be happy to know they’ve been set free in this remarkable production of Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. This is a film of a live stage production at the National Theatre, presented by the Cedar-Lee Theatre.

As envisioned by director Michael Longhurst, the 20 orchestra members from the Southbank Sinfonia are pretty much constantly in motion, responding to lines spoken by the actors, serving as crowds of people, and otherwise walking and playing. They must have had a ball.

But it’s not just a gimmick, as this moveable feast of musicians amplifies the energy and accessibility of Mozart’s music as Shaffer’s tale develops. Although the title employs the famous composer’s middle name, this play is really a deep plunge into the psyche of Antonio Salieri, the self-confessed mediocre composer who is a favorite of the court of Emperor Joseph II.

But once the young, brash and profane Mozart appears, Salieri’s life is changed forever, and not in a good way. While envying Mozart’s gift with music, Salieri plots to destroy the composer who has the talent that the older man can only dream of having. This drama is all super-fictionalized by Shaffer, but it provides a wonderful platform to explore the roots of genius and the tragedy of a dream denied.

This film of a live stage show isn’t everything you get from an actual experience in the theater, but the production is quite breathtaking nonetheless. The scenes change with smooth precision, deftly altering the visual landscape as the actors and musicians move amongst each other without missing a beat. And the cameras treat you to closeups.

As Salieri, Lucian Msamati is powerful as a wounded and tormented man, imploring God to explain why he is forced to watch Mozart create one masterpiece after another. Even though Salieri is the one who is showered with monetary and material riches, his jealousy burns with fervor.

Adam Gillen makes Mozart a thoroughly repellent fellow, which is as it should be. He is actually more irritating than Tom Hulce was in the movie version, and that helps clarify the conflict between the two music makers. They are surrounded by exceptional actors and, as mentioned, the orchestra members who are physically merged into virtually every moment of the production.

This production of Amadeus is part of the ongoing series at the Cedar-Lee Theatre, called National Theatre Live, presenting films of live stage performances from the Royal National Theatre in London. There is only one more showing of this play, this coming Sunday at 11 a.m., so make a note.

Sunday, February 26, 11 AM at the Cedar-Lee Theatre, 2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Hts. Tickets are $20, 440-528-0355.

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