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Your backstage pass to Northeast Ohio's independent music scene.

Shuffle: 'LoHio' Brings Solo Bassists to Akron for Music Showcase

Jared Lees
Solo bassist Jared Lees, of Akron, has organized the LoHio showcase for the past five years.

A music showcase in Akron next month is all about the bass. This is the fifth year Akron solo bassist Jared Lees has organized LoHio. The concert brings together solo bassists from around the country.

Lees has been playing electric bass for more than 20 years. He started out playing in several bands throughout Northeast Ohio and with musicians, including Ryan Humbert.

Then he decided he wanted to make his own music. He’s released a handful of albums over the last decade, including "Landscapes." 

"My dad's a bass player so he turned me on to a bunch of cool guys like Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius and Marcus Miller,guys that have long used the bass as a solo instrument," Lees said. 

"To me, it's a complete instrument. You can play chords and harmonies and melodies. It has a naturally chill vibe ... There's something calming about bass to me. It's a smooth instrument," he said.

'There's something calming about bass to me. It's a smooth instrument.'

LoHio showcase
Five years ago Lees got the idea for a one-night showcase in Akron called LoHio.

On this year’s bill for the showcase, which is Aug. 12 at Jilly’s Music Room, are solo bassists Jonathon Moodyof Kalamazoo, Mich., John Inghram of West Virginia, and Brittany Frompovich of Northern Virginia. Lees has has also booked Canton's Brandon Covey

"I try and use LoHio as an opprtunity to give back," Lees said.

"We're going to raise money for the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank for the third year. That helps the commuity and the raffle helps other musicians in the community."

Jared Lees' knives
Credit Jared Lees
Jared Lees turned his hobby of making knives into a side career, which he's tied into his music.

From playing bass to making knives
Lees acknowledges this year's LoHio is a bit scaled back because another hobby has taken up most of his time; he started his own custom knife-making business that’s supported by the bass community.

"I get most of the wood that I use on the handles from the guys that make the custom bass guitars that I use. I'm upcycling the materials that they can't use on my knives and linking it to the bass playing," he said.

Lees will also be performing at LoHio.

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