The Cincinnati- born Hersch is known internationally for his thoughtfully compelling performances. In this intimate, solo concert, Hersch will draw on his remarkable, decades-long jazz career–just as he does in his recent memoir Good Things Happen Slowly. A Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Concert.
According to Cityfolk president, Matt Dunn, the University of Dayton Arts Series has been a long-time partner with Cityfolk’s World Rhythm Series and a variety of residencies. In addition, the University’s ArtStreet and Fitz Center were partners in Cityfolk’s Culture Builds Community Program. As the sole recipient of Cityfolk funds held at The Dayton Foundation, the University of Dayton will build on the already existing partnership and be able to expand its programming to be more inclusive of jazz, a specific requirement of the funding.
Said Dunn, “The synergy between the Arts Series, ArtStreet, and the Fitz Center demonstrated to our board that the University of Dayton will be committed to opportunities that not only serve UD students, but the wider community as well.” Rather than being partners, Cityfolk will cease to exist as the University carries on Cityfolk’s legacy as a presenter. Several board members will serve on an advisory committee established by the University to oversee programming associated with the funding.
The partnership will help continue Cityfolk’s tradition of visiting artists who bridge performance and education, build relationships and create great music with students and musicians in the Miami Valley, said Paul Benson, dean of the University of Dayton’s College of Arts and Sciences.
“We welcome the chance to expand the university’s efforts to promote and present the arts to people throughout our community,” Benson said. “We are especially pleased to be able to continue the legacy of Cityfolk’s jazz programming, which occupies such an important place in America’s cultural heritage and in Dayton’s own artistic traditions.” For more on the University of Dayton’s vision for jazz programming, visithttp://bit.ly/1kmE7Fk.
The Cityfolk Board also decided to donate Cityfolk’s records and files – dating back to the origins of the organization – to the Special Collections and Archives of Wright State University where they will be cataloged and preserved.
“Cityfolk has a rich history and was an integral thread in the fabric of Dayton’s arts and cultural life,” Dunn said, “Preserving its history and making files available to be studied would inspire anyone interested wanting to know about traditional and folk music and its place in shaping our cultural heritage.” Among the files are recordings by artists presented by Cityfolk, stories from the Dayton Stories project, and files on every band and artist presented by Cityfolk.
The Cityfolk organization, which presented the Cityfolk Festival each summer, a concert season, folk dances, and educational programs announced in July it was suspending its operations for financial reasons. “Our decision was a difficult one, but the right one. Finding a successor to carry on our legacy was the appropriate thing to do,” said Dunn.
For more information about the University of Dayton Arts Series go to:http://www.udayton.edu/artssciences/artsseries/.
After several years of financial challenges, including a rained out festival in 2012, a festival in 2013 that didn’t meet its attendance goals, along with declining ticket sales and sponsorships, Cityfolk has announced it will focus on jazz, while canceling its 2013-14 season and its plans for a 2014 festival. It will also discontinue its residency program, Culture Builds Community, and has withdrawn from its anticipated partnership with The Dayton Art Institute. Ohio’s only full-time traditional arts presenter was founded in 1980, and was committed to presenting ethnic and traditional folk arts. Through the years Cityfolk presented Celtic music, jazz, blues, world music, American roots, and more. In 1996, the National Folk Festival chose Dayton as its location for a three-year run. After the third year, Cityfolk kept the tradition going. Early festivals were at Courthouse Square and surrounding streets. Recent festivals have been at Riverscape.
According to Matt Dunn, Cityfolk Board President, Cityfolk knew it had to change its business model. “Even prior to last year’s festival, we were realizing declining ticket sales, sponsorships, and government support,” said Dunn. “The rain that devastated last year’s festival put us in a deeper hole and sped up our process for making changes, including having a fundraising campaign, while also letting go of some staff.”
The change, according to Dunn, included the staff reductions, a post-festival campaign following the 2012 festival, seeking potential partners, and making the decision to charge admission for the 2013 festival. “Many festival-goers,” Dunn said, “didn’t realize we were a non-profit organization with a full-time staff and year-round programming. The festival costs money to produce and we couldn’t continue to offer it for free.” The other change involved a pending partnership with The Dayton Art Institute. That change was to take place after the festival. According to Dunn, Cityfolk had planned to let its remaining staff go, and responsibilities for the programming and management of Cityfolk would have been contracted with The Dayton Art Institute, under a management agreement. Likely because of a combination of rain and the paid admission, the festival didn’t meet its attendance goals. “Money raised at the festival is used to support the organization’s year-round programming,” Dunn said. “And this year’s festival came up short.”
“It’s disappointing,” said Michael Roediger, Executive Director at The Dayton Art Institute, “We were looking forward to a relationship that would have been beneficial to both organizations.” Dunn and Roediger both acknowledge that a lot of work went into defining the partnership with the hope that new and creative opportunities would evolve to capitalize on, and integrate, the mission and strengths of both organizations.
In recent years, other arts organizations realized they needed to change in order to realize economies of scale. The most prominent and recent change was the merger between the Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to form the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. Before that, Carillon Park and the Montgomery County Historical Society merged to become Dayton History. While the partnership between Cityfolk and The Dayton Art Institute wasn’t a merger, each organization was hoping its structure would have impacted their bottom lines in a favorable way. However, citing the desire to enter into the partnership with cash on hand, and no debt, Dunn said “in the end, we just couldn’t make the numbers work.” He continued, “It would have been irresponsible to enter into a partnership knowing that we wouldn’t be able to meet our commitment or live up to our end of the agreement.” Taking it a step further, Dunn continued, “The only responsible thing to do is to discontinue programs that lost money.”
While the 2013-14 concert season was announced at the 2013 Festival, no tickets have been sold, according to Dunn. Shows, in partnership with the University of Dayton’s Arts Series, will continue. The other shows will be canceled. Knowing the power of the arts, and referring to Culture Builds Community and the Welcome Dayton initiative, in which Cityfolk was involved, Dunn said, “hopefully the community will continue to use the arts to affect social change and to bring people together using the arts as a bridge between cultures.”
“Cityfolk has 33 years of history under its belt,” said Dunn, “We have had great relationships with major institutions, including the City of Dayton, Five Rivers Metroparks, Dayton Public Schools, the University of Dayton, WYSO, The Dayton Art Institute, The Masonic Center, Gilly’s, Canal Street Tavern, and more. We’re grateful to the county, the city, the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the National Endowment for the Arts, and our many volunteers, sponsors, foundations, members, and other supporters. We’re proud of the diverse artistic experiences we’ve brought to Dayton. That will be our legacy.”
While suspending normal operations will allow the organization to down-size, Dunn hopes Cityfolk will not go away completely. An all-volunteer-led Cityfolk will use the coming weeks to assess its options to continue presenting jazz, for which it has an endowment to help cover the costs. The endowment, specifically for presenting and preserving jazz, was raised locally and matched by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Said Dunn, “Cityfolk is committed to keeping this money in the community and using it for the purpose for which it was intended.”
Cityfolk is proud to present the Dervish, the internationally heralded Irish music ensemble, in concert on Friday, March 22 at Stivers School for the Arts. The concert start at 8:00 pm and is reserved seating. Tickets are $25 and be ordered at www.cityfolk.org or be calling the Cityfolk box office at 937-496-3863.
Dervish has won considerable acclaim for its rare skill in “bringing music from the session to the stage,” in the words of co-founding band member Brian McDonagh. Fronted by the charismatic singer Cathy Jordan, the Irish septet is perhaps the only traditional Irish music group in the world to have inspired “tribute bands,” which are found in many countries, but especially so in Russia and Israel.
Inspired by such legendary County Sligo musicians as Michael Coleman and James Morrison (who recorded in the U.S. in the 1920s), Dervish has “truly absorbed the techniques and, more importantly, the soul that has driven Irish traditional musicians through the years and come out of it with all the freshness, verve and timeless appeal associated with the great Irish bands of the 1970s and early 1980s…They carry Irish history with them” (Irish Voice).
The roots of Dervish stretch back to 1989, when five Irish musicians who played together at weekly pub sessions—including Liam Kelly (flute, whistles), Shane Mitchell (accordion), Michael Holmes (bouzouki, mandolin) and Brian McDonagh (mandola, guitar)—recorded an album of traditional music from County Sligo as the Boys from Sligo.
Initially, there were no plans beyond making the album, but that went so well the quintet decided to become a real band—a working band—known as Dervish. Two years later, the band assumed its present format with the addition of singer Cathy Jordan from County Roscommon and All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Shane McAleer. Amazingly, this hard-working band has had only one significant personnel change in the ensuing 22 years, fiddler Tom Morrow (from County Leitrim and another All-Ireland Fiddle Champion) joining the ranks in 1998.
Dervish made its recording debut in 1993 with Harmony Hill and has made a total of 11 albums, all released on the band’s own Whirling Disc label.
“Irish music is one of the oldest forms of music, yet it is influenced an awful lot by other things,” explains Cathy Jordan. “It evolves and evolves. Our sound is very recognizable because of the bouzouki and mandola. And though we have a modern style within the Irish context, you might not say it’s really modern, because it blends in so well. But in actual fact there are a lot of modern influences in there.
“We experiment without straying too far from the roots. We give people something familiar, yet it’s in the genre of traditional music. It’s all the instrumentation of Irish music. But it plays with people’s perceptions a bit.”
Here comes SPRING (as we all give a collective sigh of relief!) With spring will come new opportunities, fresh energy and artful vision. Cityfolk recommends that you use all of the above by sharing your photographic skills in a new community photo show!
That’s right! Cityfolk Photo Show: The People of the Mosaic City – is a call to local photographers of all ages to submit images for consideration on the theme of Mosaic City; that is: our Dayton as a place where diversity is celebrated!
Photos will be accepted in five categories: Black & White, Color, Youth (ages 15 -18), Student (ages 19 and up) and professional. The application fee is $25 for up to three images on the theme in any category. Applications for submission are available at Cityfolk.org!! Materials are due by March 25th!
Images must be submitted electronically for the jury process. Each category will honor three distinctive submissions, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Winners will receive complimentary tickets to three (3) Cityfolk concerts of their choice. Additionally, First place winners will receive a cash prize.
Once winners have been selected in each category, photographers will be asked to deliver chosen works, mounted and ready for installation. These pieces will be exhibited in the Oregon District and other urban locations, opening on Urban Nights, May 10th. They will be displayed through June, moving to an exhibit location at the Cityfolk Festival, June 28-30. All photos will be for sale throughout the exhibit. Pieces not sold should be picked up by 3:00pm on July 3rd.
Cityfolk’s Culture Builds Community is in the midst of a full year photo project, including photo mosaic banners of children from last year’s Cityfolk Festival, mounted on buildings downtown this fall, a lobby show for the Free Spirits project at Sinclair and a downtown photo show, window clings, going into spring with the work of Glenna Jennings, UD Visual Arts. Now we open the creative process to the community at large.
Show us your perspective of this Mosaic City!
Cityfolk strives to bring our three major mission points together: education & outreach (CBC), our concert series and the summer festival, serving the community with pride, honoring each individual culture as well as what we are together! Cityfolk Photo Show promotes a way of seeing this community: how many unique pieces come together to make a beautiful whole!!
Mosaic City = Dayton = us
Cityfolk and B&G Events present the Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganza at the Dayton Convention Center March 8th & 9th. Come experience one of the Premier ‘Consumer-Judged’ tasting events of the year! There will be Unlimited Samples of over 350 different Craft Beers representing over 100 different breweries. The Consumers will be rating the selections while enjoying great live Blues/Rock bands provided by Cityfolk and a food voucher is included in this event. Don’t miss this, it’s going to be an amazing Craft Beer experience supporting Cityfolk!
B&G Events main focus is to provide the most amazing and memorable experience to Craft Beer Lovers around the world along with supporting and promoting overall growth to the Craft Beer Industry.
Each of the sessions are 2.5 hours in duration. However, VIP ticket holders are permitted to enter the events one hour prior to the normal start time to maximize their opportunities in sampling as many selections available to them. All attendees are given a souvenir mini beer mug allowing them to enjoy an UNLIMITED AMOUNT of 1 ounce sample servings. To top it off – a voting system is in place and attendees are encouraged to take the opportunity to rate each of the selections that they sample. There’s no better way to get everyone involved in choosing Craft Beer’s True Winning Flavors! All event tickets include a food voucher to be redeemed at the on-site concessions provided by the specific Venue Catering Service. Discounted event tickets will be offered to those attending as a ‘Designated Driver’ along with an additional voucher amount given for complimentary non-alcoholic beverages in appreciation for their efforts.
For more information and tickets go to http://www.ultimatecraftbeerextravaganza.com
Dayton Most Metro Ticket Contest
Dayton Most Metro has TWO PAIRS OF VIP TICKETS to give away – simply fill out the form below AND leave a comment below saying that YOU want to win tickets to the Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganza from Dayton Most Metro. PLUS DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES by going to our Facebook page and sharing our beer image. We’ll draw two random winners on Thursday 3/7 – GOOD LUCK!
Come experience the Creative Culture Exchange series at the University of Dayton this spring. This series, comprised of three separate events, brings together both local and national artists in order to discuss and challenge the way we as an audience view local arts organizations and what they have to offer. Through the exploration of just what it takes to create art at a professional level and bring that to an audience, this series attempts to grow an appreciation for art among audiences both new and old.
Tuesday, Feb. 26: “Why create cross-cultural arts experiences?”
The first discussion (Tuesday February 26, 7 p.m. in ArtStreet Studio B) poses this question to the leaders of non-profit art groups Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Cityfolk. This hour long conversation will take a look at the trials and tribulations of opening a minority voiced arts non-profit in Dayton, taken from the perspective of two Dayton arts non-profits that share a focus on promoting culturally diverse art.
According to ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca, the importance of this conversation is to raise awareness of “…the challenges that organizations like DCDC and Cityfolk go through on a daily basis in order to create and produce high quality culture for Dayton and create artistic homes for national artists. That beyond music and dance these companies work overtime to assure that Dayton continues to have a thriving, minority voice in creating cross-cultural arts experiences.”
Both the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Cityfolk have been focused on bringing diverse art performances to the Dayton community and beyond for over thirty years. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, founded in 1968, is a modern dance company centered on the African-American tradition, with a mission to bring culturally diverse contemporary dance to its audience. Cityfolk, another Dayton organization, was founded in 1981 and has been working since to preserve the traditional arts of various ethnicities through the celebration of cross-culture performances.
Joining the conversation will be Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s executive director RoNita Hawes Saunders and director of development Ed Valles and Cityfolk’s executive director Kathleen Alter and education and outreach manager Jean Howat Berry.
Tuesday, March 12: “Why don’t you go to the theater?”
The second discussion (Tuesday March 12, 7 p.m. in ArtStreet Studio C) will focus on an examination of the social and cultural shifts affecting this generation of theater audiences, and what that means for contemporary theater. The conversation will take place between artists from various theater companies across the country whose focus is on producing new and challenging works for the 21st century.
This event will be hosted by ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca. Joining the conversation in person will be David Brush, the former executive director of Encore Theater Company, and joining via Skype will be Joe Barros, artistic director of the New York Theatre Barn, and Kevin Mayes, founder and current board member of the Bailiwick Chicago Theater Company.
Tuesday, April 2: “Where is the poetry?”
The third discussion (Tuesday April 2, 7 p.m. in ArtStreet Studio C and in conjunction with the University of Dayton’s LitFest) will focus on exposing Dayton’s creative writing and poetry scene, and figuring out where Dayton fits into the fold of contemporary poetry.
Joining the conversation will be Albino Carrillo (professor, Department of English), Jonterri Gadson (Herbert W. Martin Creative Writing Fellow), Herbert Martin (professor emeritus) and poets from Sinclair Community College.
For more information about ArtStreet at the University of Dayton, visit www.udayton.edu/artstree
Submitted by Lauren Glass – a senior at the University of Dayton where she is studying journalism and currently working as a social media assistant for ArtStreet.
Every year, I become reinvigorated by the scope of Dr. Martin Luther King’s work. The profound nature of his spoken word and the intensity of his action bring clarity to what we as Americans can do to promote justice and engage peace. Dayton does a wonderful job with the holiday celebration! This year, Cityfolk is proud to be among the community organizations celebrating Black History Month and Dr. King’s legacy.
In partnership with Sinclair Community College’s Theatre and Dance Department, Cityfolk’s Culture Builds Community program is proud to present FREE SPIRITS: From the Mountain Top to the Jazz Hall, February 15 & 16 at Blair Theatre, Building 2, 8pm.
The performance runs just over an hour and is great for a family audience! Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students! Tickets are available at the door , through the Cityfolk website or by calling the Cityfolk box office at 496-3863
Cityfolk has always been known for jazz programs, especially those that educate audiences. We’ve merged our jazz initiative with CBC this winter, giving focus to one of the great jazz pianists and composers of her time, Mary Lou Williams. Duke Ellington described her work as “soul on soul.” Her distinctive style swings with both lush and spare instrumentation: a testament to the composer’s skill. The Free Spirits project is proud to feature young musicians from the jazz bands at Centerville high school and Stivers School for the Arts. This ensemble of 10 will provide live music for the program: a series of dances that bring beautiful expression to Dr. King’s deeply felt wisdom.
The project involves young dancers from Edison School, Omega Baptist Church, South Dayton Dance Theatre and Sinclair’s dance department. Also from Omega Baptist: an intergenerational group of singers are giving shape to some well-loved Gospel tunes that mark history as well. All of these aspects together bring a depth to this black history celebration.
Guest artists LaFrae Sci from Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jakari Sherman from Step Afrika are in town this final week, working with performers to sharpen skills and affirm the four-week residency commitment by 75 or so young artists. Kent Brooks, director of the Gospel choir at Wittenberg University, has prepared the singers for the project. He will also play the piano for selected dances during the performance. Erica Harvey of Stivers School for the Arts and David O’Connell of Centerville High School have led an outstanding group of teen musicians in preparation for Ms. Sci’s arrival. Jordan Daughtery of DCDC 2 has set Mr. Sherman’s choreography with the Edison students.
DeShona Pepper Robertson, Dance Magnet Director at Stivers, has choreographed a beautiful piece of liturgical dance with some of Mary Lou Williams’ sacred music, secured for us by LaFrae Sci. Interestingly, it is the priest and friend of Mary Lou Williams who holds the rights to her sacred music. Ms. Williams went through a spiritual crisis in the middle of her career, converting to Catholicism and bonding with the priest who later became her dear friend and spiritual guide. Choreographers also featured are Erin Robbins of South Dayton Dance Theatre and Denise Miller from Sinclair. Ceora and Cyrah Ward, student dancers from Stivers, are assisting Miss DeShona.
Rodney Veal, Artistic Director for the project, is thrilled with all the collaborative aspects of this project. “I am amazed at how the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the music of Mary Lou Williams intersect and weave a compelling narrative for our times,” Veal says. “The young performers in the concert have embraced the theme of the show, celebrating tolerance and the beauty of community coming together. I’m hoping that people will gain an appreciation for the musical genius of Mary Lou Williams. This performance will showcase some amazing interpretations of her music.”
Teaching tolerance and modeling peace through creativity, this robust group of artists are honoring the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, hoping that all who witness the performance will resonate with the themes! Photographer, Glenna Jennings will show a number of photographs in the Blair Theatre lobby on the theme of Free Spirits. The piece included here (left) – The One and the Many – is a gorgeous example of Ms Jenning’s work with archival images from NCR, bringing Dayton history to new life!
Sponsors for this event include City of Dayton’s Human Relations Council, MetLife, DP & L Foundation, Dayton Foundation and Sinclair Community College.
Dayton Most Metro Ticket Contest
We have TWO PAIRS of tickets to give away for this concert! Simply fill out the form below and leave a comment saying that YOU want to win tickets from Dayton Most Metro to see FREE SPIRITS, and we’ll pick two random winners on Sunday 2/10 – GOOD LUCK!
Congratulations to our winners!
Kelly, who turns 21 this spring, has swept jazz by storm over the last decade, winning countless honors and quickly racking up recordings. Her eighth album, Grace Kelly Live at Scullers, was released less than a month ago, and the starry list of notables she’s recorded and performed with includes Wynton Marsalis, Lee Konitz, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick, Jr., Esperanza Spalding, David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco, Ann Hampton Callaway, Rufus Reid, Cedar Walton, Marian McPartland, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Barron, and Huey Lewis, among others. In 2011, she co-headlined her sixth release, The Man With the Hat, with saxophone legend Phil Woods, backed by an all-star band.
Kelly (born Grace Chung before her mother married stepfather/manager Bob Kelly when Grace was two years old) began piano lessons at age six, influenced by a strong classical background in her mother’s family (her aunt is a classical violinist, her grandmother a classical pianist). She fell in love with classic Stan Getz, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter recordings her parents played during Sunday brunch, and by age nine she’d picked up the alto sax. She gave her first concert just six weeks later, and by age 12, she’d released Dreaming, her first CD.
The accolades poured in, and concerts at prestigious venues and festivals around the world. She bypassed much of high school, obtaining her GED at 16 and receiving a full scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music. She graduated last year at 19, and now teaches residency workshops there.
Kelly still plays piano as well, and her knowledge has grown to include bass, drums, clarinet, flute, and tenor and soprano saxophones. She composes and arranges much of her own music, and of course sings regularly.
Her joyful vocals get prominent stage time on Live at Scullers, a much more eclectic outing than previous efforts. Blending jazz with elements of genres like country, pop, rock fusion, and funk, she hints at a future that could stretch out in any direction. On the opener, “Please Don’t Box Me In,” she sings, “Don’t tell me who I am/Let me tread the waters/Let me scope the Land/’Cause I’m young/I’m free/I have dreams to fill/If I don’t act now/Then I know I never will.”
David Was of NPR’s Day to Day said four years ago, “What if I told you that the future of jazz, which many have pronounced dead or dying in the last two decades, rested in the hands of a 16-year-old Korean American saxophonist named Grace Kelly? … I’ve heard the future of jazz and it is Grace Kelly.”
To purchase tickets, call the Cityfolk Box Office at 937-496-3863 or visit us at 126 N. Main St. Ste. 220 from 10 am – 4 pm. * Some ticket fees will apply.
Senior, student, explorer and group sales discounts are available for most shows.
(update: an earlier version of this article said Wednesday Feb. 14th but the concert is actually Thursday Feb 14th)
Dayton Most Metro Ticket Contest
We have TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS to give away to see Grace Kelly at Gilly’s on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th)! Simply fill out the form below and then leave a comment saying that you would “love” Dayton Most Metro and Cityfolk to send you and your significant other to see Grace Kelly on Valentine’s Day. We’ll announce winners on Friday 2/8 – GOOD LUCK!
Congratulations to our ticket winners: