11 episodes

Backstage at the hi hat is a conversational podcast series about all things jazz produced by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and co-hosted by Thomas Moore, Director of Marketing for the Symphony, and Theron Brown, an Akron-based jazz musician and Artistic Director of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival.

Backstage at the hi hat Akron Symphony Orchestra

    • Music
    • 3.5 • 2 Ratings

Backstage at the hi hat is a conversational podcast series about all things jazz produced by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and co-hosted by Thomas Moore, Director of Marketing for the Symphony, and Theron Brown, an Akron-based jazz musician and Artistic Director of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival.

    Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival

    Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival

    Theron and Tom sit down to talk about the annual Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, which takes place this year in Akron, Cleveland and online from August 26 through August 28.
    Live performances will take place on August 28 with Hubb’s Groove and Pieces of a Dream performing at the Akron Civic Theater at 8 p.m. (click for ticket information), and Bobby Selvaggio at the Bop Stop in Cleveland at 5 p.m. (click for ticket information).
    Virtual performances include Tommy Lehman’s Squadtet and the Lynn Speakman Quintet on August 26, the OpenTone Honors Band and Dan Wilson on August 27, and Rubber City Cribs and Matthew DeRubertis: Seer Music on August 28. The free virtual performances will be available on the festival’s Facebook page.
    Theron Brown is an Akron-based jazz musician and artistic director of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival.

    • 15 min
    A Life in Time

    A Life in Time

    Theron and Tom are backstage with Philip Clark, a music journalist and author of Dave Brubeck - A Life in Time, which was selected by BBC Magazine as one of the 20 best books on music in 2020. 
    Dave Brubeck remains a paradoxical figure in that he brought a sophisticated, often classically-inspired approach to jazz that could occasionally alienate his peers, while at the same time being one of the music’s most effective ambassadors to those who might otherwise not listen to it at all. The book sheds light on Brubeck as never before, disclosing his unique approach to jazz; the heady days of his “classic” quartet in the 1950s-60s; hanging out with Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and Miles Davis; and the many controversies that dogged his 66-year-long career.
    Philip Clark has written for many leading publications including The Wire, Gramophone, MOJO, Jazzwise, and The Spectator. He also writes for The Guardian, Financial Times, London Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement. Follow Philip on Twitter at @MusicClerk.
    The book is available at Amazon or wherever you purchase books.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    A Journey on Guitar

    A Journey on Guitar

    Theron and Tom are backstage with guitarist Dan Wilson to talk about his musical career, his new album Vessels of Wood and Earth, the brilliance of Coming to America and more.
    The episode concludes with a performance of Be Nimble from Dan’s album Balancing Act.
    Growing up in Akron, Dan Wilson spent the majority of his youth within the church community, where his musical path began.
    Traces of his major guitar influences – including Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, and George Benson to name a few – can be discerned through his playing, but his musical identity has been shaped by everything from gospel and blues to traditional jazz, hip-hop and horn players like Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson.
    Vessels of Wood and Earth draws from Dan’s roots in gospel music, Motown, and the jazz tradition. The title, Vessels of Wood and Earth, stems from a bible verse in First Corinthians that highlights the importance of foundational elements, rather than external forces. 
    Learn more at Dan’s website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    • 1 hr
    One Love DEEZY

    One Love DEEZY

    Theron and Tom hang out backstage with saxophone player Nathan-Paul Davis, talking about his music career, influences, writing, and his latest album, Aquarius Lofi DEEZY, which features beats by HR3.
    The episode includes a performance of Day 21, featuring HR3 and Joey Skoch, from Aquarius Lofi DEEZY.
    Cleveland-based musician Nathan-Paul Davis grew up a pastor’s son and knows how to deliver sound medicine to the people. His velvety lo-fi sounds are a vibe-heavy should party, fusing modern trap, ‘70s funk and fiery southern gospel. Nathan-Paul is part of the soul band Wesley Bright and The Honeytones, and his own instrumental soul band Nathan-Paul and The Admirables.
    Nathan-Paul recently released a duo EP with Dan Wilson, a single with The Admirables titled FUNK ME in support of their upcoming album, is working on Volume 4 of his annual “bootleg music series”, and is planning a fall release of a duo album with pianist Jonathan Thomas.
    Keep up with everything that Nathan-Paul has to offer via Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Ropeadope Records.

    • 38 min
    The NE Ohio Sound

    The NE Ohio Sound

    Theron and Tom are kicking it backstage with vocalist Evelyn Wright, drummer Robert Hubbard Jr., and performer Reggie Kelly, talking about the soul of the Northeast Ohio sound, influential musicians from the area, how Gospel musicians express themselves through jazz, and the importance of not taking your art for granted in the second of a two-part series.
    Part 1 of the series, Reminiscing, is available here.
    Vocalist Evelyn Wright has been a professional singer for more than three decades with experience in jazz, R&B and pop. A native of Cleveland, Evelyn won the 1993 award for Most Promising Female Artist and Favorite Female R&B singer from Midwest Urban Music. Her recordings include a live performance with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra at the Bop Stop. Wright has toured throughout the United States and Canada, performing in top hotels, nightclubs and concert halls. (Learn more about Evelyn here.)
    Drummer Robert Hubbard Jr. is known for his diverse style of music consisting of jazz, gospel, R&B and rock. A Cleveland native, Robert began to play drums in his father's church at the age of 5. During his junior and senior years in high school, he was recognized at the Tri-C Jazz Fest as the top high school jazz drummer in the state of Ohio. Robert began his music career playing with local artists throughout Greater Cleveland, and his first major tour began in 1993 with R&B group Men At Large. His touring and performing career has consisted of playing with numerous jazz and gospel artists, as well as playing as the opening act with his bad, Moments Notice. (Learn more about Robert here.)
    Reggie Kelly has been the Associate Director Choreographer for the Black Theater Troupe in Phoenix, the West Coast Black Theatre in Sarasota Florida, the African-American Cultural Center in Buffalo, and Karamu House in Cleveland.
    Reggie is an award-winning singer, actor, dancer, choreographer, and playwright with over 40 years of professional experience. He conceived, directed, and choreographed the Motown musical biography Soul Sounds for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has the distinction of being the first black choreographer for both the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Orchestra. A consummate jazz chanteur performing In jazz rooms throughout the country and abroad, Reggie is currently a member of the New York Harlem Singers. (Learn more about Reggie here.)

    • 57 min
    An Akron Original

    An Akron Original

    Theron and Tom are backstage with trumpeter and vocalist Tommy Lehman to talk about his music career, how he made the switch from accounting to music, the collaborative nature of local musicians, and his upcoming album, Faith > Fear.
    The episode includes a performance of Growing Pains, recorded live at Blue Jazz in Akron.
    A native of Akron and a graduate of Firestone High School, Tri-C, and The Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, Tommy Lehman has been playing professionally for several years, regularly touring, recording, and performing with Acid Cats, Nathan-Paul and The Admirables, on Chris Coles’ Nine Lives Project, Alba Trio, Dan Wilson, Theron Brown, Bobby Selvaggio, Peachcurls, and others.
    Check out his upcoming collaboration with choreographer and dancer Dominic Moore-Dunso, entitled, Alright?, on June 2 at moCa Cleveland.
    Learn more about Tommy at his website, on Instagram (@TommyLehhman) and on Twitter (@TommyLehhman)

    • 46 min

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