Calendar » Get Out

Hello, Cleveland!

New movie puts the local music scene under the microscope.

by

comment
In Il Millione, the late Gerald Levert and jazz singer Al Jarreau reminisce about Cleveland’s musical past. The documentary makes its world premiere at the Cedar Lee Theatre tonight. The movie -- shot by local filmmakers Michael and Tricia Bell -- provides an 80-minute history lesson on the city’s contribution to rock, blues, and jazz. It also paints a pretty grim picture for the future. “We can’t sit around and say, ‘Cleveland ain’t this, and Cleveland ain’t that,’” says Michael Bell. “We got an apathetic attitude in this city, and we need to come together.”

The married Bells spent four years making the film. Grammy-winner Jarreau cuts to its central theme: Contemporary music has lost its way. Before he died last year, Levert mused about how the city could be a springboard to the big time. Instead, it doesn’t even bother to promote its musicians. “He thought Cleveland was hard on its own artists,” says Bell. But the movie isn’t a complete downer. Performance footage featuring area rappers, blues groups, and jazz combos shows how vital the scene can be. “What’s interesting is that Cleveland has always had great talent,” says Bell. “There is resolve in the end.”
Thu., Sept. 20, 7 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.