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Sound of Ideas Community Tour | A look at Northeast Ohio's jazz scene

Four jazz musicians on stage at The Bop Stop
Matt Crow
Ideastream Public Media
The Bop Stop hosted the "Sound of Ideas Community Tour" for discussion and performances.

The most recent "Sound of Ideas Community Tour" was a little different than many of our previous tour stops. The event was held on Feb. 26 at The Bop Stop in Cleveland, and was focused on the uniquely American art form of jazz.

Northeast Ohio has jazz credentials. It is the home of greats like Jim Hall, Albert Ayler, and Joe Lovano. Duke Ellington performed more than 40 times across the region. Django Reinheart made his first U.S. performance in Cleveland. And the area has been a location for jazz greats to play as they swing from New York to Chicago, or Detroit to Pittsburgh.

The conversation, which was recorded in front of a live audience, is for everyone, including individuals who are already lovers of jazz, as well as folks who might be dipping their toes into that deep pool of music.

The event included a panel discussion with Dan Polletta, long-time broadcaster and jazz aficionado, Terri Pontremoli, Director of the Tri-C Jazz Fest, and Ken LeeGrand, a professional musician and educator at the Music Settlement.

Musical performances were also on tap that evening, with a house band made up of Christopher Coles, a saxophonist who teaches at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Akron, as well as three students from Oberlin, Ahmed McLemore, Wilson Woods, and Max Simas.

The evening's event was also planned in conjunction with the launch of Ideastream Public Media's new 24/7 jazz streaming service JazzNEO, which you can listen to here. We'll hear the conversation on Monday's "Sound of Ideas."

Jazz performances:

“Elegy for a Lightbearer” by Chris Coles

“Jibun dake o aisuru (from the Love Demon song cycle)” by Chris Coles

“Satellite” by John Coltrane

- Dan Polletta, Host and Producer, JazzNEO, Ideastream Public Media
- Terri Pontremoli, Executive and Artistic Director, Tri-C Jazz Fest and Performing Arts 
- Ken LeeGrand, Department Head and Ensemble Director, J@MS at The Music Settlement 
- Christopher Coles, Musician & Faculty, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Akron
- Ahmed McLemore, Musician, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

- Wilson Woods, Musician, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

- Max Simas, Musician, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.