Such Great Heights

Cleveland Heights alums honor their school's musical diversity

About a month ago, Cleveland Heights High School grads Brian Williams and Mai Moore started talking about putting together a reunion featuring alumni who had pursued music after graduation. Within weeks, they secured the lineup for Once Again: Cleveland Heights Throwback Artist Showcase, which takes place at 8 p.m. Friday at the Euclid Tavern. "There's a lot of talent," says Moore, who returned to Cleveland last summer and now owns a marketing company here. "People have come out of the woodwork to work on this project."

The diverse lineup includes jazz man Harry Bacharach, hip-hoppers Kounterclockwise, R&B singer Gwen Maul, rapper Obie Won, and gospel group the Concept. Moore is making a documentary about growing up in Cleveland Heights and plans to use footage from this weekend's concert in the movie. "It's going to be very raw film," she says. "I want to tell the story of Cleveland Heights — the drug dealing, the sex, the players, all that. No one has told that story." Tickets to the concert are $15, $10 in advance, available at

DJ Kishka, who was born Justin Gorski, will host Cleveland's first Dyngus Day on Monday at the Happy Dog, Reddstone, and Parkview. The event, which Gorski describes as "more or less Mardi Gras, but at the end of Easter instead of before," will feature live bands and Polish food. Gorski, who hosts a regular polka happy hour at the Happy Dog, will also celebrate the release of his new mixtape, Ice Cubes and Beer. The free daylong celebration begins at noon at the Parkview and at 4 p.m. at the other venues. Learn more at  

Cleveland native Jason White made some noise in the late '80s and early '90s as frontman for the popular alt-country band the Janglers. He now lives in Nashville, where he records and writes. (Tim McGraw topped the country charts in 2003 with a cover of White's "Red Ragtop.") White is playing some shows in advance of his new album, The Longing (which comes out on June 7), and stops by the Beachland Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12, $10 advance, available at

Rockers Rick Kopf & the Rebels Without Applause celebrate the release of their new CD, Sabbatical From Sanity, at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Euclid Tavern. Admission is free, and all proceeds from CD sales will be donated to the St. Jude charity hospital.

Cleveland rapper Nicholas Wonder appears on "All We Got Is Us," a cut on the charity album Japan: Hope for Us, which gathers 38 artists from across the globe. Check it out at

Jam band Radar Hill play a benefit concert for Japan at 9 p.m. Friday at the Winchester. Robert Lloyd Peeples and Oldboy open. Tickets are $5, available at

Hip-hop crew Prhymal Rage present an underground showcase at 9 p.m. Friday at Rockstar. Tickets are $5, available at

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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