As the COVID-19 stay-at-home order remains in place, earning wages through live performances and new album releases has been put on hold for many live musicians. 

Electric Company, an Akron-based recording studio, creative collective and record label, released an album called "Solo" to support local artists during this time. The album contains nine tracks recorded by participating solo artists in their own homes.

Luke Donaldson / Agape Photography

On what would have been the 12th annual celebration of Record Store Day on April 18, local music shops remained dark, empty and closed. The event is an annual celebration of independently owned record stores and brings crowds of music fans to these local businesses to buy exclusive or new music releases.

Local record stores are experiencing the difficult effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—not only on sales, but also in missing the camaraderie that often comes hand-in-hand with small businesses and their regular patrons.

It was a year of discoveries in local music, as bands who had been dormant for several years returned with new albums. WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz and contributor Brittany Nader picked their favorite music of 2019. 

The Jam Company

Saxophonist and Kent State University music teacher Chris Coles has spent the past two years creating a performance piece that he hopes will raise awareness about racial injustice. Nine Lives Project tells the story of the 2015 shooting in Charleston, S.C., where a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church. Coles says it was a turning point in his life.

Photos of Dr. John and Ella Fitzgerald
Tri-C JazzFest

Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland has grown from a small festival for students into a year-round jazz destination. On this week’s Shuffle, WKSU’s Mark Arehart explores JazzFest’s 40th celebration with Director Terri Pontremoli.

A photo of musicians with the Little Elephant label

Akron is known nationwide for its vibrant do-it-yourself music scene. But artists are finding it’s getting harder  to take their music beyond their own homes and those of their friends. CityCop, one of the pioneers of Akron’s DIY community, is taking a different approach that it hopes will "break the mold" of how lesser-known bands get record deals. 

Cleveland Arts Prize Announces 2018 Award Winners

Aug 3, 2018
photo of Darius Steward
David Barnett / Statehouse News Bureau

The artistry recognition nonprofit Cleveland Arts Prize announced its list of winners for 2018 Friday.

The organization has celebrated the best of Northeast Ohio's artistry in the fields of music, visual art, design, literature, architecture, philanthropy and more since 1960.

Emerging Artist Awards  

Darius Steward, visual arts  

Malone University’s music department has received the largest donation in the program’s history from the estate of a former public school secretary. Ann Leech worked in Canton City Schools and was a lifelong supporter of Malone’s arts programs.

Music Department Chair Michael Benson says a committee is considering possible uses for the $1 million donation, including scholarships, renovations, instrument repairs, and instrument purchases.

photo of University of Akron researchers

Among a collection of wire recorder interviews with Holocaust survivors, researchers at the University of Akron have discovered a previously lost spool containing traditional songs sung in German and Yiddish.

One of the survivors on the recording is Guta Frank. After World War II, she ended up in a refugee camp in Henonville, France. Psychologist David Boder made the recording while visiting the camp.

Photo of famed DJ Alan Freed

On Saturday, the ashes of legendary disc jockey Alan Freed are due to come to their final resting place.

Freed blended a love of music with a dynamic radio personality to make an indelible mark on American popular culture.

For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's David C. Barnett has this remembrance of the man who gave Rock and Roll its name.