Jazz pianist Robert Glasper will headline the fourth annual Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival that takes place from Aug. 23 to Aug. 25 at locations throughout downtown Akron. He performs at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Akron Civic Theatre.
Courtesy of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival
The three-day festival features both free performances and ticketed events, and this year’s theme is the Rhythms of Akron.
“Jazz and blues have played an essential role in creating the spirit, identity and shape of the Akron community,” says Theron Brown, director of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, in a press release. Brown will also perform at the festival. “Individuals who attend will enjoy hearing music from a variety of well-known local and national musicians.”
In addition to Glasper and Brown, the festival features acts such as Dan Wilson, Sammy Deleon, Tom Lehman, Helen Welch, Holbrook Riles III, Elijah Gilmore, Evelyn Wright, Jackie Warren, Maria Jacobs, Daniel Spearman, Aidan Plank, Daniel Bruce, Cliff Barnes, Joe Hunter, Curtis Taylor, Lucas Kadish, Bobby Selvaggio, James Johnson II, Jeremey Poparad, Chris Coles, Josh Rzepka, Nathan-Paul Davis, Phil Anderson and others.
The festival aims to “orchestrate work ethic, self-esteem and respect through music performance and education for a vibrant arts community”; it’s an initiative of Open Tone Music, a Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio subsidiary that provides free access to concerts and music education to students in kindergarten through grade 12.
Several Akron organizations have teamed up to sponsor the event.
“We are so thankful for the generous contributions from our sponsors over the years,” says Chris Anderson, Open Tone’s executive director. “Music plays an important role in developing the students’ work ethic, self-esteem and respect. We have seen many students reach their goals as a result of attending the programs. The fundraising efforts of the past festivals have allowed us to engage dozens of students through a partnership with Miller South School, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Compass Christian Church and the University of Akron.”
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