Sticky Situation

The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival rolls out Friday

One of summer's most vibrant festivals centers on every dad's go-to adhesive: The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival — inspired by the Duck brand of duct tape, which is headquartered in Avon — is now in its seventh year. The three-day event kicks off Friday at Veterans Memorial Park (3701 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., Avon) with the theme "Peace, Love and ... Duck Tape." There's plenty of the usual fair-type stuff here, like food, games, rides, vendors, and lots of entertainment. But there's also cool sculptures made out of duct tape, a crafts tent where you make your own duct-tape items (like wallets, hats, and picture frames), and a parade featuring floats made with, yep, duct tape starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. With Duck Tape's 20 colors, including the groovy new "Totally Tie-Dye," the fest also qualifies as the summer's most colorful outing. Admission is free. Best of all, the first 500 visitors each day get a free roll of Duck Tape. Oh yeah! Sticky fun happens from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Go to for more information. Anastasia Pantsios

Wednesday, June 16

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Maybe it's because they've cultivated a true heartland strain of jazz. Or maybe it's because of their knack for maxing out the potential of a four-minute bash. Whatever the reason, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey land at the top of today's improvisational scene. The Tulsa-based outfit — whose previous releases displayed a penchant for brief tunes laden with multiple mood swings and pianist Brian Haas' solos-as-hypertext — now challenges listeners with the unlikely inclusion of pedal steel guitar, which it recently added to the piano-plus-rhythm trio lineup. On their 2009 EP, One Day in Brooklyn, Chris Combs establishes his steel as a full partner in a set that includes compositions by Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Abdullah Ibrahim. But the Odyssey's iron man remains founding pianist Haas, who draws upon a broad jazz lexicon and, for all the various "new" tags this crew collects, whose old-school instincts convey a deep respect for jazz tradition. The group's performance precedes the release of Stay Gold, eight originals that further affirm its excavations into so-called "red dirt" jazz. They play the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-5588,, with Oojis Whack and Funk You opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. — Duane Verh

Rock, Paper, Scissors and Guitar Hero Night

Remember when you used to play a simple game of Rock, Paper, Scissors back in the day? Locking eyes with an opponent, you stood tall and firm, trying to guess what shape your foe was gonna throw down. Pounding your tightly clenched fist into the palm of your other hand, you silently counted to three, readying "paper" to counter your opponent's oh-so-predictable "rock." But instead of rock, he'd flutter his hand around in a circle, yelling "Tornado! Tornado beats everything!" and then run away laughing, leaving you embarrassed and confused as to how a tornado snuck its way into the game. The good news is you have a chance to redeem yourself every Wednesday at the Time Warp. If you're feeling brave enough, challenge a bartender to a game, and if you win, your bill will be cut in half. If you just suck at Rock, Paper, Scissors, (or if you keep getting foiled by that blasted tornado), try your hand at Guitar Hero. Nothing like some virtual rocking out to work off all your losses. Time Warp (26261 Center Ridge Rd., Westlake) is open from 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Admission is free. Call 440-871-8463 or visit for more info. — Jordan Zirm

Wade Oval Wednesdays

Look for all the summer-long outdoor concert series to start over the next couple of weeks — including University Circle's Wade Oval Wednesdays, which kicks off tonight. The weekly series always draws a crowd to the spacious lawn that's surrounded by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The music tends to be of the relaxing, easy-on-the-ears variety — like the balmy, upbeat classic reggae Carlos Jones and his P.L.U.S. Band will play tonight. Food vendors ring the oval, so you can come after work and nosh on some dinner while listening to the tunes. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair. Wade Oval Wednesdays runs from 6 to 9 p.m. every (duh!) Wednesday through August 25. Go to for information. Anastasia Pantsios

Thursday, June 17

Coventry Street Fair

If the weather is nice — and let's hope it is — the Coventry Street Fair can pack as many as 12,000 people on the three-block stretch of Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights between Euclid Heights Boulevard and Mayfield Road. You won't find carnival glitz like rides and cotton candy here. Instead, there's plenty of food made by the many restaurants on the street, booths featuring the work of local artists, and hands-on art and dance projects courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Passport Project, and Progressive Arts Alliance. Dubflex will bring the reggae from 6 to 7:15 p.m., and summer-festival stalwarts Cats on Holiday will play some roots-rock tunes from 7:45 to 9 p.m. After the fair closes down, the crowd moves across the street to the Coventry Peace Park for the first week of Movies Under the Stars, which runs through August. Bring your blanket and watch The Wizard of Oz tonight. It's all free. Go to for more information. — Pantsios

Golden Dragon Acrobats

Sure, the Chinese are responsible for all those cheap imports at Wal-Mart. But no one can top them when it comes to producing skilled acrobats whose balance and flexibility are just plain awe-inspiring. The mission of the 43-year-old, Texas-based Golden Dragon Acrobats is to bring this centuries-old athletic performance art form to U.S. audiences. The company has been touring steadily here for more than three decades; it even did a six-week run on Broadway in 2005. Performing with props like ladders, bicycles, umbrellas, and hoops, the group executes the ensemble routines that are the hallmark of Chinese acrobats. The Golden Dragon Acrobats will be at Cain Park's Evans Amphitheater (14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-371-3000, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 advance, $20 day of show. Pantsios

Tom Papa

As host of the TV show The Marriage Ref, Tom Papa has heard his fair share of farfetched arguments between couples. Of all the disagreements he and his celebrity pals have tried to sort through this past season, one stands out: A couple who had been married 35 years were prepping for their retirement. She wanted to move to Beverly Hills; he wanted to go to Amish country. "It was like, You've slept side-by-side for 35 years! How are you that far apart?" laughs Papa. The comedian is back on the road with his standup act. And if he's learned anything from his TV gig, it's that his friends and family are at the root of his best material. "You don't have to look far to find craziness in the world," he says "It's pretty much all contained in-house." Papa plays Hilarities 4th Street Theater (2035 E. 4th St.) through Sunday. Showtimes are 8 tonight, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20. Call 216-736-4242 or visit for more information. —Zirm

Friday, June 18

Bodies...The Exhibition

Every human who has ever been alive (yes, I took a poll) has had a moment in their lives where they've stopped to think, "I wonder what's going on in my body right now." Maybe your knee popped after running from the cops. Maybe your stomach started bubbling after ordering one too many Gorditas at Taco Bell at 3 in the morning. In any event, the human body is a wondrous thing. Take a look inside of it at Bodies...The Exhibition, which uses actual dead people (preserved, of course) so you can get an "inside" look at the inner-workings of the human body. Learn why having a healthy lifestyle is so important! See how your digestive system works! Health class would have been so much cooler if we had these guys to look at. You can find Bodies at 340 Euclid Ave. through October 31. Tickets range from $14 to $22. Call 877-627-3271 or visit for more info. — Zirm

John Hammond

The blues renaissance that ran concurrently and co-dependently with the '60s folk boom produced countless wannabes, a good number of solid artists, and at least one genuine master. John Hammond taps into the seductive, spooky core of country blues and, even playing solo, generates more intensity than most bands. His intricate guitar work is never impeded as he punctuates his songs with harmonica. And few living blues singers can rival his pipes. Whatever his privilege, John Hammond comes by the music legitimately. The son of one of the most enlightened record execs — his dad launched the recording careers of Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, among countless others — Hammond had easy intro to the '60s folk/blues scene. But he quickly made his own rep, building a catalog of respectable records — easily the match of anyone in his crowd. But Hammond's following didn't really expand until Wicked Grin, his splendid 2001 collaboration with Tom Waits. Hammond's well-seasoned voice proved an ideal match for Waits' songbook. On last year'sRough & Tough, Hammond digs in deep for a diverse solo set of old-school blues gems and a couple of retrofitted originals. He plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 advance, $20 day of show. — Verh

Houston Person

Few musicians epitomize "standard bearer" and "keeper of the flame" like jazz saxophonist Houston Person. Born in South Carolina in 1934, Person specializes in the lush, breathy, big-toned, and unabashedly passionate blues-drenched tenor tradition of Gene Ammons, Illinois Jacquet, and David "Fathead" Newman. In the '60s, while John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter were pushing the tenor saxophone to its outer limits, Person's approach kept bebop-style jazz close to its blues and gospel roots. He's still kicking out the jams, often with old-school-style jazz singer Pamela Luss. They co-lead a quintet performing 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at Nighttown (12383 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-795-0550, Tickets are $30. — Mark Keresman

Saturday, June 19

Bier Markt 5K Run and Crawl

You know how some trainers get a horse to run by dangling a carrot just out of reach of the horse's mouth? That's kind of how the Bier Markt 5K Run and Crawl is — except replace "horse" with "person" and "carrot" with "beer." More than 1,000 runners will jog through Ohio City today, with the promise of a complimentary beer waiting at the finish line. Nothing makes a person run faster than the thought of a tasty beer. Well, that and being chased by a lion. The run begins at the Beer Markt (1948 W. 25th St.) at 7 p.m. It's $25 to register. Call 216-623-9933 for more info. — Zirm

Clifton Arts and MusicFest

For the 23rd year in a row, Clifton Boulevard will showcase a rich mixture of art and music. Local and national artists will display their work in a juried contest, then you get to look at it and buy something cool. Live music will serve as backdrop for shoppers, and there will be plenty of food available — from street vendors and the many restaurants that line the street. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Clifton Boulevard, between West 112th and West 117th streets. Call 216-228-4383 or visit for more information. Admission is free. — Zirm

Extreme Science Night

Ever wonder how you could throw a little Bill Nye flair into your Father's Day celebration without resorting to the usual mix of beer bottles and bottle rockets? The Great Lakes Science Center has some serious fun in store with its Extreme Science Night, which features plenty of hands-on experiments that won't leave you limbless for tomorrow's holiday. You can blow up watermelons, implode oil drums, launch baseballs doused in liquid nitrogen, and build protective contraptions for falling eggs — all in the name of science. You'll also be able to check out the museum's exhibits and watch Hubble on the ginormous IMAX screen. Best of all: late-night snacks! It all goes down from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Science Center (601 Erieside Ave., 216-621-2400, Tickets are $24. — Nick Baker

Summer Solstice Party

Last year, the Cleveland Museum of Art threw a big party to celebrate the opening of its new modern and contemporary wing. The event was such a hit, the museum is doing it again — this time to fete the reopening of the galleries in its original 1916 building. You can wander throughout the entire museum to admire the renovations, hang out on the south lawn, and listen to musicians from Benin, Burkina Faso, Germany, Syria, and Brooklyn play on the main stage. If you've got extra money to burn, you can stop by at 5:30 p.m. (The cheaper ticket gets you in the doors at 10 p.m.) There'll be a DJ there to keep you dancing all night long, as well as music by the Phenomenal Handclap Band, who'll play at 11 p.m. It all takes place at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd. Tickets range from $15 to $175. Call 216-421-7350 or visit for more information. Pantsios

Webb Wilder

Nearly three and a half decades ago, Webb Wilder lit out of his small Mississippi hometown and headed for the bright lights and smoky bars of Austin. In 1985, he co-founded the Beatnecks after moving to Nashville, spearheading the first wave of roots rockers and picking up a rabidly loyal fan base along the way. Wilder's 1986 solo debut, It Came From Nashville, found inspiration in British and American rock, honky-tonk country, West Coast surf-pop, and raging hillbilly blues — a hybrid that the self-proclaimed Last of the Full Grown Men called "swampadelic." Regardless of the label you hang on it, over the course of a quarter century and nine albums — including last year's More Like Me — Wilder has made music designed to jumpstart your country core while radiating down to your feet. Nashville's blow-dried pop cowboys might make more rodeo dough, but nobody has more fun onstage than Wilder. See for yourself when he plays the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216-226-5681, in Lakewood at 8:30 p.m., with the Sweet Roots opening. Tickets are $10. — Brian Baker

Sunday, June 20

Father’s Day at the Zoo

If you’re a dad, you can bring your kids to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and get in for free today. If you’re not a dad, grab someone else’s kid so you don’t have to pay — it’s a sweet deal! The first 2,000 little ones inside the zoo get a souvenir hard-hat, which not only will protect them from poop-throwing monkeys — it’s the zoo’s subtle way of telling you that a lot of hard work and heavy equipment goes into maintaining the grounds. Helpful staff will point out the dads of each species, so you can compare parenting skills. For the record, the rhino is one awesome pop. It all happens from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way). Call 216-661-6500 or visit for more information. — Zirm

Toby Keith

From the time he burst onto the country scene with his 1993 self-titled debut, Toby Keith has been a consistent hit-maker. A hardworking road warrior known for electrifying concerts, Keith is just as famous for his fightin’-words lyrics. Because of the strong patriotic streak in many of his songs — like “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” which kicked up a lotta dust after 9-11 — many folks think Keith is a staunch right-wing Republican. He’s actually a registered Democrat who’s recently threatened to go independent. Keith’s newest batch of songs skewers unchecked illegal immigration as well as talent-free, image-driven singers. Plus, there’s a mournful tribute to his friend, late jazz bassist (and NBA star) Wayman Tisdale. The winning combination of strong material and energetic live performances has made the rabble-rouser one of contemporary country’s most enduring and brightest lights. Keith plays Blossom Music Center (1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-920-8040,, with Trace Adkins and James Otto opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $23-$318. — Tierney Smith

Monday, June 21

Fearless Food

Tired of eating the same food night after night? Worn out from dragging yourself out of your mom’s basement only to find that she’s made rice and beets again? Sick of cooking up a skillet of Hamburger Helper because that’s as far as your culinary skills take you? We’re always looking to try new and delicious food, some even bordering on the extreme (but we still haven’t gotten our courage up to try the KFC Double Down). That’s why tonight’s Fearless Food event at the Velvet Dog has us so pumped. Hosts the Food Warriors are dishing out hissing cockroaches, superworms, charred antelope, and much more. And in case you try to wuss out at the last second, Absolute Intense Wrestling will be there to make sure you finish your dinner. It runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Velvet Dog, 1280 W. 6th St. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Call 440-289-4543 or visit facebook/foodwarriors for more information. — Zirm

Tuesday, June 22

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Nature Walks

A nature walk and physical-fitness test all in one, Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s nature walks get kids off their butts and into the great outdoors all summer long. Today, rangers lead a Little Leg Hike for kids ages six and under. A 2.5-mile Outrageous Exploration Hike for older kids (up to age 12) takes place on July 5. Either one is bound to swell your child’s calf muscles to epic proportions. It all starts at 10 a.m. at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Rd. in Brecksville. It’s free. Call 330-657-2752 or visit for more information and a complete schedule of hikes. — Zirm

Jimmie Vaughan

Before his kid brother Stevie Ray became the most influential blues guitarist this side of B.B. King, Austin axeman Jimmie Vaughan was already striking blows for roots music. When everyone else was swept up in new wave in 1979, the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ Girls Go Wild was generating the biggest buzz among contemporary blues fans since the Paul Butterfield Band’s run in the ’60s. Vaughan’s stripped-down sensibilities were key to the T-Birds’ sound. While Stevie Ray had a flair for flash, imbuing blues with a fire that would captivate rock-oriented ears, Jimmie took on blues, roots rock, and R&B tunes with a classic sound and masterful minimalism. This approach was well suited for the ’80s, when the T-Birds’ single “Tuff Enough” hit the charts and netted some heavy MTV airplay. Vaughan left the group at the end of that decade. His latest album, Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites (which comes out next month), is pure truth-in-advertising, as the guitarist matches throwback licks and vocals with vintage gems like “I’m Leavin’ It Up to You” and “Send Me Some Lovin’.” Vaughan plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, at 7:30 p.m. The Brickhouse Blues Band opens. Tickets are $26.50 advance, $28 day of show. — Verh