aroundKent Magazine Vol 11 2016

Page 1


and Around Kent

Beckwith Orchards

You Are Always Welcome

Visual Arts Showcase

Stephen Tomasko’s Fairgrounds Series

publisher/photographer Matt Keffer 330.221.1274

art director Susan Mackle


Chuck Slonaker

contributing writers Paul Beckwith Jeff Good Elliott Ingersoll Ph.D. David Morgan Kristen Pool Jessie Ruth and J.J.

Dominic Caruso Sandy Halem Mark Keffer Dr. Patrick O’Connor Malavanh Rassavong Bobby Selvaggio

content volume 11 2016 6 Kent Historical Society 12 Inside/Out and Around Kent


16 University Hospitals 20 Mo’ Mojo 23 The Road Less Traveled 28

Visual Arts Showcase


34 aroundKent Landmarks 36 Bobby Selvaggio

Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content of any manner is prohibited without written permission. aroundkent accepts no responsibility for solicited materials.

38 Helen Welch 40


Education: The Heart of our Mission

44 On Bikes



48 Beckwith Orchards 56

Market Flourishes Despite Trend of Market Slowdowns

58 Local Music 61 Around The World Music Series Cover: Untitled Archival Pigment Print by Stephen Tomasko


44 48


KH S ent




Sandy Halem


n January 6, 1970, the last passenger train left Kent’s Erie Depot. Within months, it was boarded up. Franklin Avenue seemed darker and quieter. The busy station and the trains that had brought so much life, so many new people and most importantly, so much employment, seemed lost. Like so many small communities in the 1980s, the city was losing its center to shopping malls far beyond its borders. Once historic homes were being eaten up by fast food restaurants and gas stations. Just when it seemed that the last sounds the depot would hear would be the wrecking ball, a group of local citizens met to take action before it was gone forever. Continued on page 8


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ocal businessman Sam Apicello suggested the first meeting of what would become the Kent Historical Society (KHS). The twelve men who met that night dedicated themselves to drawing up a list of prominent buildings that needed immediate attention. The Erie Depot, now slated for demolition, rose to the top of the list. If they could find a plan, and money, they could send a signal to the community that ordinary people can make a difference. They could change their town. It would be 1981, ten years from that first meeting until the Depot would reopen, preserved by KHS under the plans of Cleveland’s prominent historical architect, Robert Gaede, and more than a quarter of a million dollars raised from the city, county commissioners, foundations and individuals, as well as a partnership of investors who brought the Pufferbelly Ltd. restaurant to the Depot’s first floor. The second floor would become home to the Historical Society’s first museum under the tireless dedication of its president and curator, Bill Birkner. Looking at Kent now, full of dozens of new businesses, small shops and restaurants, downtown headquarters of major corporations and a lively night life, it seems impossible to imagine those dark times. But the town had survived crises before. Once known as the upper village of Carthage and the lower village of Franklin Mills, divided by the Cuyahoga River that had first drawn its earliest settlers for its power, the town’s first success was the coming of the canal. Zenas Kent moved to the village and built a flour mill, a tannery with John Brown, and brokered the imposing building at the corner of Main and Water Streets that flourished from 1837 to its

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Continued from page 7

death by fire in 1972. This anchor to downtown was built on the dream that the town was destined for greatness. Zenas hoped it was the canal boom, but it ended up being the canal bust. It would be his son, Marvin, who now bet on a future riding on the rails of the trains coming into the town’s heart — first known as the Atlantic & Great Western, and quickly turning into the Erie. The town, now called Franklin Mills, was thriving again with passengers and freight shipping daily, a brand new Depot, completed in 1875 with more than $4,000 raised in money from its townspeople, and the Erie shops humming off Middlebury Road, run with the sweat of workers eager to make a living, even an often dangerous one. The time of the train would last almost one hundred years. The town, rejecting Marvin’s own suggestion of “Rockton” as a new name, chose Kent, honoring its visionary son and sealing it officially in 1867 when the Ohio State legislature passed the name into law. The train would increase business opportunities, welcome new students and be the last place some would kiss their soldiers goodbye before heading out from the station to the wars that changed some lives forever. And then, the cars and trucks would increase in number and size and the trains would come and go one last time. When Marvin Kent died in 1908 at the ripe old age of 92, he was written up in local papers and even the New York Times as a railroad man, one of the state’s richest and most prominent citizens, and one of the community’s most dedicated members. Marvin’s son, William, would help usher in a third force in town history. With the support


of the newly formed Board of Trade, later to become its Chamber of Commerce, William donated the more than 50 acres of land bordering on East Main and Lincoln streets, the beginnings of Ohio’s newest Normal teacher training school. Named Kent for its benefactor, not the town, it offered the promise of an educational facility that might fill the hole left when so many of the train and manufacturing jobs had disappeared. While half of the town’s men had once worked for the Erie, by 2016, Kent State University was the leading employer bringing jobs, students, and income tax revenues that would help attract investors and homeowners seeking good schools and a thriving downtown. By 2010, the Kent Historical Society began its own third wave of progress. After years in its scenic but limited second floor museum and then in a building on North Water Street, it purchased the historic and solidly built Clapp-Woodward house at the top of the hill on East Main Street, bridging old and new, campus and community, yesterday and tomorrow. It has been 45 years since the Kent Historical Society first started out to save one building and to prove one group could make a difference. Now, its museum welcomes hundreds of visitors each year including every single third grade student in the Kent schools as part of their study of local history. For decades, the society has given tours to civic groups, family reunions, and businesses and now, even foreign students who want to learn about the town that will become their home. One interested hospitality major student from China learned enough about Kent’s history to give a group

The Historical Society has grown into a destination place; an educational institution, a research and resource center, and always an advocate for preservation and re-use. To encourage this vision, the society held its first Historic Home Tour in 2005. Held over two weekends, it raised almost $17,000 and introduced people to the grandeur of Marvin Kent’s own residence, now the Masonic Temple, as well as many other privately owned homes along West Main Street. Tours were held again in 2007 and 2014, and were each a success in bringing people to Kent, to spend a day or two, and to appreciate the importance of preserving and honoring our past. This year’s tour has a special theme. It celebrates the town’s namesake, Marvin Kent, whose 200th birthday will be marked on September 21. KHS decided to center its tour on those buildings and sites that marked the influence of this amazing family.

of students the entire tour of the museum in Mandarin! It has created special exhibits including a unique HO model railroad exhibit to highlight our history as a transportation town. A local barbershop and a tailor’s sewing machines, join a Victor Talking machine that cranks out old songs to the delight of the children who visit and dance to the 78 records spinning on its 100 year old turntable. The desk that Kent’s only Governor, Martin L. Davey, once President of the Davey Tree Company, sat behind in Columbus, sits quietly in one room while a

1927 player piano pumps out show tunes in another. The Museum house was not only solid and historic, it was also connected directly to the Kent family through Harriett Kent Clapp, Marvin’s older sister. Her son, Charles, would live there from 1883 until the family sold it to the Woodward family in 1912. KHS was only the fifth owner, and most of the original 19th century woodwork, pocket doors, hardware and four distinctive fireplaces, large windows, and some of the wooden floors were intact; just as they had been when Harriett’s grandchildren ran up and down the winding staircase.


Few Kentites, or even people in Northeast Ohio, realize that the family that brought nearly 100 years of change and progress to one small town, had been a force in this country since 1630, when the first of the Kent ancestors arrived. Through its research this year, KHS has learned that Marvin Kent’s ancestors were part of the Great Migration of 20,000 pilgrims who left England to come to the new world; specifically, New England. Among the first to arrive in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were Marvin’s 5th great-grandparents William Hosford and his wife Florentia Sarah Hayward, who came in1630. For nearly 300 years to Continued on page 10

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Erie Depot; 1970s Silk Mill; 1870s

Continued from page 9 follow, the descendants of these pioneers would settle, migrate and for those of us in the city that bears his name, change the face of our community forever. The tour will be held over two days, allowing a ticket holder to visit any of the sites either day. Marvin Kent’s family home on West Main Street, now the Masonic Temple, and his nephew’s home on East Main Street, now the Kent Historical Society Museum, will be open. Also on the tour will be the Charles B. Kent home on Pearl Street, the Wells-Sherman home on North Water Street and the second floor of the Erie Depot, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the town and the Cuyahoga River in the area. Other special sites will include selected hours to see the Erie Shops, now

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home to the Davey Drill off of Middlebury Road, and also accessible through the back of the Kent post office. Other sites free to the public and directly connected to the Kent family history include the foundation stones of the Kent Flour Mill and Tannery, accessible through the walking path from the downtown bridge (or Tannery Park), or visiting the park and walking under the stone arch bridge. This Main Street bridge is still used today because Marvin insisted that it be built much wider than necessary when it opened in 1877 to accommodate just horse and carriages. As usual, Marvin somehow knew that plans must be laid for the present and imagined for a future even he couldn’t conceive.


And the lesson is simple and profound — individuals can change history. The 2016 Historic Kent Town Tour will be held Saturday, September 17 (10—5 ) and Sunday, September 18 (noon—5). Tour booklets are $20, cash or check only, and can be used for either day. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: McKay Bricker Framing, Hometown Bank, Sue Nelson Design, and the Kent Historical Society. Check the KHS website at or call (330) 678-2712 for more information.

INSIDE | OUT IN AND AROUND KENT neighborhoods of Goodyear Heights, Summit Lake and South Akron, and the Merriman Valley. That means there are 40 Inside|Out installations in four different places waiting to be discovered. The work ranges from large and unmistakably bold paintings, such as the previously-mentioned Linda, by Chuck Close (in Kent), and the colorful geometric painting, Untitled, from the Scissors Jack Series by Larry Zox (in Goodyear Heights), to delightfully small and intimate works like Frank Duveneck’s portrait Miss Molly Duveneck (in Merriman Valley) or the meditative, impressionistic still-life, Rhages Jar, by Emil Carlsen (in South Akron).

FROM AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER, residents of Kent and visitors will notice a little more art than they are used to seeing around town. This is not to say that Kent doesn’t have its share of great public art, but what if—while exploring, shopping, or walking to class—you were to find yourself suddenly face to face with a one-to-one scale reproduction of Chuck Close’s iconic painting, Linda? Or if you were to discover an energetic, colorful painting of Rita Hayworth by revered folk artist Malcah Zeldis, tucked away on the campus of KSU? That’s exactly the kind of scenario the Akron Art Museum has in mind by bringing Inside|Out to Kent. Thanks to partnerships with Main Street Kent and Kent State University, we have been able to do just that. Inside|Out is a community activated art project that places high quality, one-to-one scale reproductions of artwork in the Akron Art Museum’s collection in the neighborhoods and outdoor spaces in and around Akron. The two-year program, funded by the Knight Foundation, launched in 2015 and has brought art to unexpected places in ten neighborhoods and communities so far. In this final installation period (August—October 2016), you’ll find ten artworks each in the city of Kent and the

Inside|Out is part of the Akron Art Museum’s mission to enrich lives through modern and contemporary art. By making masterpieces from the museum collection available to view in new locations, outside the museum walls, we are able to engage visitors who might not have otherwise encountered the Akron Art Museum or its artworks. We believe that art is for everyone and that everyone should have access to quality art experiences. The program is an enhancement to civic and cultural engagement. By placing Inside|Out installations out in the community, the Akron Art Museum is also inviting visitors back in to the museum, to view the original artworks in the gallery, to take

Dominic Caruso

advantage of the programs for all ages that the museum has to offer, to draw inspiration from the museum and the new Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, and to see themselves as important members of the arts community, as part of the museum, where art experiences, as well as social and civic dialogues can occur. The art museum has created a number of ways to interact with Inside|Out. Of course, you can always find downloadable maps and event information about Inside|Out on the museum’s website,, but you can also discover the project using your mobile device. The Inside|Out tour app, which works in your device’s web browser, comes complete with maps and directions to each installation, additional information about the artwork and the artist, and even audio commentary about selected artworks from members of the Akron community, such as best-selling author David Giffels, former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, and music historian and librarian, Bob Ethington. Find the app at Dominic Caruso is the Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Akron Art Museum.

TO CELEBRATE INSIDE|OUT and the communities where it has been installed, the museum is hosting a series of Block Parties—one for each community, at the museum. The parties coincide with the Downtown@Dusk music series and will be held in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. Each block party will be from 5:30 pm —7:30 pm and will include music, art activities, and a docent-led gallery tour of the original artwork that is included in the Inside|Out project. You’re invited, so bring the whole family to the Akron Art Museum and celebrate with us! And don’t forget to explore Inside|Out in Kent and all of the communities. The dates, communities, and bands are as follows:

8.11 South Akron & Summit Lake Red Light Roxy

8.18 Kent 15 60 75 The Numbers Band

8.25 Goodyear Heights Half Cleveland

9.1 Merriman Valley Angie Haze Project

Upper Left Image: William Merritt Chase, Girl in White c. 1901. Inside|Out reproduction installed at Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Ln, Akron, OH 44313 Upper Right Image: Zoltan Sepeshy, Young Mother 1937. Inside|Out reproduction installed at Miller Avenue United Church of Christ, 1095 Edison Ave, Akron, OH 44301 Center Left Image: Scott Miller, Untitled c. 2000. Inside|Out reproduction installed at The Kent Stage, 175 E Main St, Kent, OH 44240 Center Right Image: Malcah Zeldis, Rita 1988. Inside|Out reproduction installed at The Fashion School – KSU, 515 Hilltop Dr, Kent, OH 44242 Bottom Left Image: Ray Grathwol, The Eviction 1946. Inside|Out reproduction installed at Wick Poetry Center, 126 S Lincoln St, Kent, OH 44242 Bottom Right Image: James Gobel, I’ll Be Your Friend, I’ll Be Your Love, I’ll Be Everything You Need 2009. Inside|Out reproduction installed at Scribbles Coffee Co. (Kent Suites), 237 N Water St, Kent, OH 44240

Written by Malavanh Rassavong


Center for Women’s Health THE CENTER FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH offers a nurturing environment that addresses every unique dimension of a woman’s wellbeing. A team of obstetricians, pediatricians, gynecologists, anesthesiologists, nurses and lactation professionals works together to deliver compassionate care in the areas of maternity and obstetrics, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, breast health, chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis and alternatives to abdominal hysterectomy. A recent enhancement to our services includes the opening of a new $1.3 million Women’s Health Center located on the third floor of University Hospitals Portage Medical Center. The beautiful center offers a full range of obstetrics and gynecology services and

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features nine exam rooms, lab and ultrasound availability, and on-site access to radiology and imaging services, including breast

“The new Women’s Health Center offers a convenient and welcoming environment for the women of our community to seek the care they need.” M. STEVEN JONES PRESIDENT UH PORTAGE MEDICAL CENTER

tomosynthesis. The center is the home of the University Hospitals Northeast Ohio OB/GYN practice, offering a full spectrum of maternity


and newborn care and services, including minor procedures such as colposcopies, biopsies and loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEPs). Additionally, the Birth Center at UH Portage Medical Center features all private labor, delivery and recovery birthing rooms outfitted with the latest technology and equipment in a family-friendly environment. It is staffed with certified and knowledgeable nurses with extensive training in labor support, newborn care, breastfeeding and the newest innovations to ensure the safety and health of moms and babies. For more information or a private tour of our center, please call 330-297-8402.


Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care for Adults and Children UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS is proud to provide specialized emergency and trauma care throughout the region for a variety of needs. Delivering outstanding emergency services around-the-clock, our skilled staff is specially trained to quickly diagnose and determine individualized treatment plans for a wide range of medical conditions. When an emergency strikes, it is important to know what resources are in the area to help.

Emergency Department UH Portage Medical Center’s Emergency Department brings our community expertise from a team of physicians and nurses trained in geriatric and emergency medicine, and trauma care. When you need it most, our

“rapid response” commitment means you’ll receive prompt, quality care. Our innovative technology includes remote EKG monitoring, enabling paramedics to transmit a patient’s cardiac analysis to our ED before they leave the scene. We’re ready to take care of you, day or night, 24/7. Designated as a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.

Urgent Care Urgent Care at University Hospitals Streetsboro Health Center provides quick, convenient and affordable health care for patients of all ages— with no appointment necessary and all major insurance plans, including Medical Mutual of Ohio (MMO) SuperMed are accepted.

UH Streetsboro Health Center 9318 State Route 14, Streetsboro, Ohio 44241 330-626-3455 Monday—Friday 9 am—9 pm Weekends 9 am—5 pm Holidays 9 am—3 pm Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

InQuicker University Hospitals is proud to offer InQuicker, Northeast Ohio’s only online waiting room for select locations, including the ER at UH Portage Medical Center and Urgent Care at UH Streetsboro Health Center. Choose your time slot and we’ll hold your place, so that when you arrive, we can take care of you or your loved one and get you back to your life sooner. To schedule your ER or urgent care visit, visit

Rainbow Emergency Services As an integral part of our Emergency Department, UH Portage Medical Center offers exceptional pediatric emergency care specifically designed to address your child’s minor medical emergencies. Staffed by board-certified physicians with experience in pediatric emergency medicine, Rainbow Emergency Services at UH Portage Medical Center provides fast treatment for young patients experiencing minor illnesses and injuries such as sore throat, fever, fractures and lacerations. In a medical emergency, always call 9-1-1 immediately.


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The music keeps on, the smiles stay wide, and the feet keep movin’. Just like the good life should.

Mo’ Mojo

Written by Jessie Ruth and J.J.

Some members of the Mo’ Mojo ‘Village’: Anthony Papaleo, Jen Maurer, Will Douglas, Sarah Benn, Sam Rettman, Bill Lestock, Leigh Ann Wise, and Toussaint English.

Zydeco: Popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues and that features guitar, washboard, and accordion. Or in the words of northeast Ohio drummer and Mo’ Mojo alum, Will Douglas, “the most fun music I’ve ever played!”

MO’ MOJO’S JOURNEY began more than 20 years ago when a tall East Texan with a Cajun step-daddy came to Akron as a carny and Rolling Acres Mall kiosker. (Can’t help but wonder how many bands get to start their story this way.) That man was Scott “Tex” Gann and when he brought zydeco music in the shape of a C/G single row accordion to northeast Ohio, he left a permanent mark on the area’s music scene. A band was formed, gigs were gotten, and the community dancing and camaraderie began … When the band suffered the devastating loss of Gann to lung cancer in 2002, two founding members, Jen Maurer and Rod Lubline, kept the zydeco dance party going with many faces and musical stylings crossing their stage. It wasn’t easy at first. Says Maurer: When I was onstage with Scott and we had a fun crowd, I didn’t recognize a separation between the band and audience. We were just “one,” experiencing a night of magic together and we were all contributors. I used to call it ‘my musical samadhi’—a point where you reach unity with the divine. It was a spiritual thing. It was awesome. After Scott’s passing, it took two to three years to get that back and even then, it was sporadic. But it’s hard to keep zydeco’s power of fun down, so we got through it. Over the years, the band has included such musical heavyweights as Mike Lenz (a co-founder of the band), Joe Golden (guitar phenom and pedal/amp genius), Sarah and Jayson Benn (Shivering Timbers), and Tracey

Nguma (Umojah Nation). The list of talents is many. Maurer, originally a singer and bass player, took over the accordions, lead vocals, and leadership role while Lubline continued his stellar foundational work of blending his world rhythm sensibility with straight-ahead zydeco drumming. Maurer, in particular, has seemed tireless in her efforts to make the show happen, and that included finding pinch hitters for various gigs and for keeping the band going as people moved on. “It seems like half of Akron’s musical community has been part of this band,” says Maurer’s husband, Sam Rettman, who sometimes plays harmonica and sax with the band. “Whether they come as subs for this or that gig, or as full-time players, we’ve had some fantastic people and personalities add to the Mojo. I think I quit counting after 30. It certainly creates a community and unique tie among us.” Mo’ Mojo’s big break, says Maurer, came when Mike Owen gave the band a monthly slot at the Akron club, the Northside (currently Jilly’s Music Room, next to Luigi’s). “Having a regular monthly slot turned the tide. We could tell people, ‘Hey, come see us next month!’ And they did. It made all the difference in the world. Pay attention to that, bar owners,” she says with a smile. Couple that with Rod Lubline’s booking skills and the band started to play throughout Ohio and somewhat into neighboring states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia, performing for festivals, conventions, private parties, and clubs.

Today, Mo’ Mojo continues to shift, grow, and build. Its current line-up features Maurer’s always-dynamic vocals, accordion skills, and high energy backed by the impeccable electric guitar, fiddle, and bluesy vocal work of Anthony Papaleo. They share a soulmate-like affinity for various musics such as old-time, ragtime, old blues, Cajun music, and swing/jazz. The band’s sound has always been rich with zydeco, americana, funk, and reggae, but now listeners might now also detect currents of those roots, too. Continuing with the lineup today, Leigh Ann Wise adds rubboard, triangle, rhythm guitar, and trumpet. Most importantly, she gives the band a rare sound for the area with her spot on vocals harmonies—not many local bands feature two female singers. Bill Lestock— once labeled “The Great Enhancer” by Martin Jurdine (RIP), the founder of the Barking Spider legacy in Cleveland—adds fiddle, mando, and acoustic guitar when he’s not saving people from burning buildings as a firefighter. Lenny Paul and Toussaint English share bad-ass bass duties. And Rod Lubline, who retired after 18 years with the band, took two years off only to return. When busy with his and his wife’s band, the Calypso Gypsies, you might find area drum-stars Erik Diaz or Anthony Taddeo behind the kit. The band does have its own sound. While recently attending the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, New York, Continued on page 22

Rod Lubline, Jon Mosey, Kip Amore, Scott Gann, and Jen Maurer

Leigh Ann with children from the orphanage in Tajikistan

Jen Maurer with students in Barbados

Scott Texas Gann

Continued from page 21 a Buffalo dance teacher said, “I like your band! No … you don’t understand. I normally prefer a more traditional sound. But I like you guys!” Part of that sound comes from their originals. Mo’ Mojo’s first CD, titled Finally!, was released in 2010, 15 years after the band started. (Alright, the secret just may be that there was once a CD titled Hold My Accordion While I Dance With Your Date, but that was a long time ago under a different name with a very limited pressing, and if you find it, take it to Antiques Roadshow.) Finally! has 11 songs, six of which are original. One of those is My Jolie, a classic sounding waltz and the only song that Gann wrote for the band before his death, and that in conjunction with two band members at the time, Maurer and Kip Amore. Mo’ Mojo has three other full-length recordings. Together in Love We Drown (2012) features 14 originals. Mom’s Birthday Album, (2014) was recorded live at the G.A.R Hall in Peninsula with a packed house celebrating not only the recording itself, but also Maurer’s mother’s birthday. The latest, We All Got The Same, (2015) has 12 songs: 9 originals; two zydeco standards meant to pay homage to the musical tradition, and one two-parts cover/one-part original medley based on Bob Marley’s, Stir It Up. Mo’ Mojo’s influences are diverse. As far as zydeco and other Louisiana artists go, there are the regular big wigs: Gann was a huge fan of Clifton Chenier and Zachary Richard. Maurer loves Sean Ardoin, Horace Trahan, and Sunpie Barnes. Rettman will drive hours out of the way in Louisiana to catch Geno Delafose and dance all night to Preston Frank. Wise loves the Lost Bayou Ramblers and Preston’s son, Keith Frank. Papaleo gives another vote to Chenier and adds the Balfa Brothers. English loves Buckwheat Zydeco, Preston, and Beau Jacque.

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Paul mentioned John Delafose and three of the artists listed above (Chenier , Geno, and BJ). And Lubline loves the New Orleans sounds of the Meters, the Neville Brothers, and Professor Longhair, in addition to Terrance Simien. (Note the lack of women listed. Zydeco is very male dominated music; something that Mo’ Mojo attempts to balance out.) Maurer was inspired by really every artist she played on her onehour weekly radio show (in Akron on WAPS), “The Zydeco House Party.” She started the show with Gann and finished with Rettman. It ran for 16 years until they dropped specialty music programming. Additionally, many band

Anthony Papaleo and Jen Maurer

members are inspired by the live bands (both American and International) that they see at festivals like Grassroots and Festival International. (Donna the Buffalo and the Horseflies being two US Bands. Lo’ Jo, Tinariwen, Bombino, Sunny Duval, Oztara, Dengue Fever, The World Culture Band being some of the International ones.) With its sonic hybrid, Mo’ Mojo has now shared their brand of zydeco in eight different countries over the past two years. Through the U.S. Department of State’s American Music Abroad program, the band


traveled as music ambassadors to Belize, Panama, Mexico, Barbados, and Colombia, performing community concerts and educational programs. The affiliation also led to tours in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Tajikistan. Says Wise, “Being selected for that program turned out to be an even greater gift than I had ever imagined. It was so much more than just traveling to other countries to play zydeco. It was experiencing these cultures firsthand, and mainly through kids … young people. They’re so open and accepting and willing. Like the kids at the orphanage in Tajikistan. At first they were a little shy, but as soon as Sam went to dance with a couple of them, it took on a life of its own, and a really beautiful one at that.” Mo’ Mojo hopes to continue this globe-trotting trend, and they have a couple of ideas in mind (Ireland tops the list.). In the meantime, they plan to keep touring the states. Since 2012, they have traveled the Midwest, the upper South, the East Coast, and most recently, a bit of the West, playing at festivals, zydeco dances, conferences, and clubs in the following states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, The District of Columbia, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Colorado. While they have no current tours planned (although Maurer and Papaleo are headed back to Colombia in August to play the Cali Blues Fest), they are writing songs for the next album, which they hope to record before the end of the year. During its more than two decades of existence, Mo’ Mojo has weathered: three name changes, its leader’s death, a couple of romantic breakups, a divorce, and the changing of the front guard with many gifted musicians flowing in and out and sometimes in again. And yet, the music keeps on, the smiles stay wide, and the feet keep movin'. Just like the good life should.

Travel Tips Dr. Patrick O’Connor

This feature includes reflections and a summary of sorts from the eight Roads that have appeared in AroundKent. It is my hope the reader can get an overview of the entire series and learn from it as I have. Many readers in the last three years have commented that they see much of themselves in each Road feature. I guess that makes sense, since I believe we all have a Road Less Traveled (RLT). As the features were being written, I noticed themes emerging from the Road subjects. It became obvious that all these people had common experiences in their paths to success. These themes are life themes. I also began to hear from readers, students, teachers, colleagues and others that they were learning about career planning as they read the various Roads. Most people were fascinated with the winding paths each subject had taken. Since the whole career planning world has changed so much in recent years, it seems the Road has value for anyone exploring, starting, changing or returning to a career. It was an honor and privilege to write the Roads of our eight subjects and share them with the aroundKent readers. Author note: If a reader would like to suggest someone to be considered the subject of a future Road, e-mail the publisher at

This issue of the RLT presents a summary of Roads of our previous eight subjects. In addition, this issue connects their roads to the career planning process. It begins with an overview of how the career planning world has changed in recent years. Many of these changes are evident in the common themes and lessons learned among the eight subjects featured. A few quotes associated with each Road are also included. In many respects, these represent the wisdom gained by the RLT alums. The alums are Al Flogge, Julie Messing, Marty Mordarski, Ann Kent, Linda Ferguson, Nelson Burns, Kara Stewart and Gwen Rosenberg. Each person is fascinating and has led an interesting Road Less

Traveled to his or her success. They are all excellent role models for us.

Changing Career Preparation Like many things in modern life, career planning/preparation has changed. Globalization, technology, work practices, and change in general have impacted how people navigate the world of work and career planning. Career planning is becoming a basic skill people will use over and over throughout their working lives. Many young people today can expect to work full time for some 60 years or longer. Also, many people can expect to change jobs 10 to 12 times. Continued on page 24

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. — Robert Frost

Continued from page 23 Most likely, people will be reinventing themselves numerous times in their work lives. This is quite different than a previous time when many people went to work in one job at one company, often for their entire lives.

implication from each theme and a specific example from a subject are also included. It was a task selecting examples to line up with specific themes since each subject represents each theme.

Perhaps you know someone graduating from high school or college that is starting their first full time position. Or, maybe you know someone who started college and left before graduating and is trying to decide what to do next. You may even know a few people who have lost their jobs for any number of reasons and are once again in the job search mode. It is also very possible that you or someone you know has retired and decided to return to work at least part time. This can be pretty scary stuff these days.

1 The personal interests and experiences d uring youth have very strong (perhaps the strongest) life and career influence. Examples of youthful experiences of the RTL alums are:

The “Road Less Traveled” as a Career Planning Resource The Road Less Traveled video, the eight subjects featured and this issue can be used as career planning resources. They represent a RLT mindset to navigating the career planning world today and into the future. All resources are available on the AroundKent website.

Themes from the Road Less Traveled The following eight themes emerged from the eight subjects featured. A career planning

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l (Vol 3) retail business executive at 10 years A old; doubled circulation on his paper route J ulie (Vol 4) entrepreneurship consortium director; grew up in a small business family Marty (Vol 5) organizational development/ trainer; kept statistics for 8th grade football team to improve player and team performance Ann (Vol 6) economic/community/non-profit development director; mother was a civil rights activist. L inda (Vol 7) community foundation director; grew up in a family of singers and performers elson (Vol 8) CEO of Mental Health provider; N spent five consecutive summers (age 10—15) at eight-week summer camp. The last few summers were spent as a camp counselor.


Kara (Vol 9) Born to dance. Got there … lost it … found it … got there all over again. Gwen (Vol 10) small business owner; active experimenting and exploring as a teenager. Career Planning Lesson look at what you loved to do as a teenager. This could be your source for a satisfying career. Al and Julie, for example, both grew up in entrepreneurship families where their business interests were formed and encouraged. 2 Happiness comes from turning what you love into what you do. All subjects have taken their interests (passion) and developed them into their livelihood. Each subject took what they love (usually surfaced as a young adult) and turned it into their livelihood. In some respects, their work is an extension of who they are and is part of their lifestyle. Career Planning Lesson look to your interests for career possibilities. For example, Gwen Rosenberg captured this notion in her statement; “Work should fit into our lives, rather than the other way around.” 3 The arts, especially music, are a solid foundation from which to build. All RLT subjects have a dedication to the

arts and most play musical instruments and some are performers (Al, Ann, Marty, Kara and Linda). The structure and discipline of the arts gives you the determination and stamina to succeed in a career. It is ironic that many people see the arts as having no connection to careers. In reality, the arts provide people with the optimum skill set to explore, adapt and bounce back from disappointment. Many students studying arts are often asked, “What are you going to do with that?” In some respects, the answer is, “Anything I want.” Career Planning Lesson There is more to living than earning a living. A good example is the servant leadership belief practiced by Nelson Burns. His personal and professional lives complement each other. 4 Failure is seen as opportunity to learn and grow. Each subject took on the challenges that life brought them and turned them into advantages. Each subject made numerous career and life changes based on failure and disappointment. The subjects view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Rather than think of failure as the enemy, Gwen Rosenberg describes it this way; “Failure only has power over you if you let it”. Career Planning Lesson accept that failure and disappointment are part of life and when correctly used, they can work to your advantage. Ann Kent, for example, has taken her experiences with MS and turned them into a way to connect with the clients she serves at Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU). 5 Everything is connected A common theme among all subjects is all their life and work experiences are

connected, even though they may appear disconnected. Though their paths were winding and wavy, all experiences along the way were part of an overall approach to life. Career Planning Lesson View everything and all experiences as part of your RLT. Marty’s RLT may at first appear to be a series of disconnected experiences. However, a closer look reveals how he has blended his music, sports, and job experiences into a common RLT. 6 “Hard” soft skills The career and work worlds are enamored with the term “soft skills” referring to the ability to get along with people, problem solve, and communicate. These are indeed, important skills. However, the Roads in this series reveal another layer beneath soft skills casually referred to as “hard” soft skills.

Happiness comes from turning what you love into what you do.

This relates to a grit and tenacity that enables someone to keep getting up when life knocks them down. This is what carries them through tough times and disappointment. Also, this toughness is what you can rely on when you need to bounce back from career disappointments and changes. The process will be repeated, over and over again. Career Planning Lesson “Hard” soft skills will be especially useful in the future as job and career changing become almost a basic skill. Kara’s fall from dance and subsequent rise are inspirational. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.


7 It’s Okay not to Know “I don’t know what I want to do” is a common lament among many people when it comes to careers. This is okay as long as you realize that you must find out what you want to do. For the most part, the Road subjects really had no idea what they wanted to do, either. And most started out in a completely different place than they are now. They did, however, continue to grow and learn from all experiences. This enabled them to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Even in cases where subjects knew what they wanted to do, there were no guarantees. Two subjects, Julie and Kara, knew exactly what they wanted to do early in life. They both followed a very specific path to get where they wanted to go and they got there! However, as we see in their Roads, they wound up changing after they got where they wanted to be. The remaining subjects really had no idea what they would do as adults. They relied on a solid work ethic, hard soft skills and an eagerness to learn (especially from failure) as the foundation to guide their Roads. Career Planning Lesson There are no guarantees. Linda’s Road informs us that you should “define yourself rather than being defined by others”. 8 Love of Learning An excitement and affection for learning is evident as all subjects demonstrate the value of life-long learning. Learning is essential to their outlook on life and their vitality. They learned from all their experiences. They learned from mentors, supervisors, teachers, parents and even their children. Continued on page 26

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Al Flogge

Julie Messing

Marty Mordarski

Ann Kent

Linda Ferguson

Nelson Burns

Kara Stewart

Gwen Rosenberg

Continued from page 25 Career Planning Lesson You learn from everyone, everything and every experience. This is probably the most important personal asset when navigating careers. Marty is a good example of this lesson. He has taken a wide range of experiences from sports, music, family, mentors, and various jobs to lead organizations.

Wisdom One of the most interesting aspects of writing the RLT series has been the unique perspective of each subject. In some respects, as we learned about their RLT, they were sharing their wisdom with us. I have selected the following quotes that appeared in their Roads to reflect their wisdom.

Al Flogge “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” — Fr. Thomas Merton Julie Messing A mentor is someone who imparts wisdom and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague. Marty Mordarski The thing you least want to hear may be the most important thing to hear. Ann Kent “Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” — Maria Von Tropp Linda Ferguson Adding harmony to someone else’s melody is fun.

Nelson Burns To not try is to fail. Kara Stewart “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” — Martha Graham Gwen Rosenberg No one is keeping score, so who cares if I stumble?

Epilogue It is very likely, navigating the career world will continue to be more complex. This will require a new way of thinking and approaching the entire career planning process. Wherever you are on your career path, the end goal is to develop a RLT mindset. Explore, be curious, experiment, try new things, learn from everything and everyone and face all challenges head on.

Common Themes in the Road Less Traveled

Career Planning Lessons

1 Personal interests and experiences during youth

1 Look at what you loved to do as a teenager.

2 Happiness comes from turning what you love into what you do.

2 Look to your interests for career possibilities.

3 The arts, especially music, are a solid foundation

3 There is more to living than earning a living.

4 Failure is seen as opportunity to learn and grow.

4 Failure and disappointment are part of life.

5 Everything is connected.

5 All experiences as part of your RLT

6 “Hard” soft skills

6 Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

7 It’s okay not to know.

7 “Define yourself rather than being defined by others”.

8 Love of Learning

8 Learn from everyone, everything and every experience.

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Visual Art


Color is a fundamental element in visual art and one greatly suited for esthetic and emotional expression. Photography and painting are particularly fruitful media for the exploration of the potential of color. Whether these efforts are comprised of carefully controlled inventions or the capturing of particularly engaging moments

Mark Keffer KSU Class of ‘88

from life or a combination of the two, color has a unique ability to take viewers out of the commonplace and into meaningful realms of beauty and imagination.

S T E P H E N The capturing of particular visual moments from the world around us—moments that can possess an extraordinary degree of beauty and emotional nuance—is Stephen Tomasko’s forte. The photographs from his Fairgrounds series are excellent examples of this. In this project, he focuses on the elaborate, exuberant rides, the “monuments to joy and freedom, childhood and risk, design and commerce,” that travel from town to town. In one recent, untitled image, several sculptural figures form the seats of a spinning ride. The figures seem to be a surreal cross between kangaroos and Easter bunnies, but the sense of joy implied by the festive-looking rides is contradicted by a complete absence of people. The highly subtle sense of color plays a brilliant role in this work as it adds to a somewhat queasy feeling that is unexpected in such a normally jubilant subject. Tomasko began as a black and white photographer in the late 1980s and didn’t move to color until approximately 2008, when digital technology had developed to the point where the capacity to control exact colors was sufficient. Now, color is of primary importance

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in making the work. The focus on color even extends to entire bodies of work revolving around specific color schemes, including one which is over seven years worth of St. Patrick’s

Day Parades in Cleveland and Akron, titled Spring’s First Green. Another is entitled I’m So Happy I’m Happy! which is based on the over-the-top tailgating of Browns fans in

Untitled from the series Fairgrounds, archival pigment print, 12 x 18” and 16 x 24”, 2012


Untitled from the series Fairgrounds, archival pigment print, 12 x 18” and 16 x 24”, 2014

the Municipal Parking Lot. He has photographed most every game day since opening day 2012 and, of course, those are all about brown and orange. Recently, Tomasko photographed each day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and is putting together a solo show of red-whiteand-blue based work that will take place at the Little Gallery at Bowling Green Firelands campus this fall. Another color-centric series is the Delira and Excira flowering trees work. A 102 page, full-color book of the same name was published in 2014 by Shanti Arts Press of Brunswick, Maine. Stephen Tomasko graduated from Bowling Green State University (BA, Art History, 1988) and the University of Delaware (MFA, 1991). He taught at the college level for eight years before moving to Akron, Ohio, his current home. His solo exhibitions include The University of Michigan, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, The Kendal Gallery in Oberlin, Ohio, among others. He has been included in group shows in Los Angeles; Adelaide, Australia; Paris, France, and most recently, at The Akron Art Museum. In 2013, he was awarded an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.

Untitled from the series Fairgrounds, archival pigment print, 12 x 18” and 16 x 24”, 2015


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Visual Art P E G G Y


K W O N G - G O R D O N Former Kent State University adjunct professor Peggy Kwong-Gordon is an artist who works in painting and drawing (sometimes creating drawing installations). It is in her paintings that she most thoroughly explores her interest in color. This work, well represented in the recent exhibition Color Matters at Cleveland’s 1point618 gallery, involves meticulously planned and executed arrangements of geometric forms and vivid, yet deceptively subtle, color relationships. She has currently arrived at a focus on color after previous explorations in numerous directions. Some of her past work has involved a kind of ‘automatic writing’ approach based on studies of random arrangements of her own found hair. Within her various other directions, she consistently employs self-created parameters, within which exist opportunities for discovery. There is a balance of forces in her work that is connected to her longstanding interest in the ancient philosophical treatise, the Tao Te Ching. “The name that can be named is not the eternal name” appears at the very beginning of this eternally influential work and relates closely to Kwong-Gordon’s art, generally, but she can be more specific in describing her work, particularly regarding her emphasis on color: “Colors are used as a measure of time and space by means of vibrating edges, warm and cool hue, and various intensity of hue. The rhythmic pattern creates movements in two dimensions and in depth.”

Notation for Wind and Cello casein on canvas board, 28 x 22”, 2015

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Artwork provided courtesy of 1point618 Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio

It’s a Matter of Time (black), acrylic on canvas, 62 x 48”, 2016

The way in which she creates her current paintings has a direct relation to the rhythmic structures of music and is reflected in titles such as Notations for Synthesizer and Notations for Wind and Cello. In fact, composer Joo Won Park created a piece to accompany the painting Notation for Synthesizer. (The music can be streamed through his soundcloud page:

Notation for Synthesizer casein on canvas board, 28 x 22”, 2015

Peggy Kwong-Gordon was born in Guangzhou, China and studied in the United States at the University of California (BS in Chemistry, 1955) and Carnegie-Mellon University (MFA in Painting and Design, 1965). She taught at the University of Akron, Kent State University, and Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. Her solo exhibitions include The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; 1point618 Gallery, Cleveland (2016 and 2009); Firelands


Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin, Ohio (2010 and 1990); Brown University; Smith College; Kent State Student Center Gallery; and SPACES, Cleveland. Group exhibitions include the William Busta Gallery, Lake Erie College, Mount Union College, and The College of Wooster Art Museum, among numerous others. In addition to her work as an artist, KwongGordon has served as a curator for exhibitions at several area venues.

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Visual Art R I T A The photo-based works of Cleveland area artist Rita Montlack spring from the visual realities around us, but aren’t left as we perceive them through vision alone. Other elements enter the work that magnify or alter the original source material. These effects move the work into imaginative, emotional, even psychological territory. A good example of this is a work entitled Beads and Bridges. A fairly simple, nearly symmetrical composition gains in complexity with extended viewing. Three colored horizontal bands simultaneously



function independently and as a unified whole. The bands are enmeshed in a wellfocused curtain of beads, which creates complex spatial relationships. An industrial bridge-like structure is prominent, but in soft focus, which makes it unclear whether it is a reflection or positioned forward in the distance. The result is almost hallucinatory and seems to echo the difference between objective and remembered reality. Other enigmatic details and her color choices make for a highly evocative experience.

Beautiful Havoc archival digital print computer manipulated, 20 x 48”, 2014

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She states: My work travels the distance from just the way it is to just the way it isn’t, in one or two fell swoops! I photograph what is there and thus, the transformation to what is not there begins! This process happens digitally with computer manipulations. Colors are added and subtracted and sometimes, the images are hand-painted. Visually striking combinations of unexpected things take shape and oftentimes, the smallest detail becomes the largest focal point, resulting in mysterious and hopefully, provocative images!

While Montlack has shown her work extensively in the area for years, she has also had success in exhibitions, elsewhere. Recently, she was involved in three such opportunities in Florida, including a solo exhibition at Art Palm Beach with her gallery, the Whitespace Collection. Last year, she was included in a group show at the gallery, alongside major international figures in photography such as John Baldessari, Vik Muniz and Bernd and Hilla Becher. Rita Montlack studied painting and design at The Cleveland Institute of Art and liberal arts at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida (B.A.). Her solo exhibitions include 1point618 Gallery in Cleveland (2013 and 2010); The College of Wooster, Ohio; Jewish Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio; and Esta Robinson Contemporary, New York City. Group shows include The Cleveland Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; and The Canton Art Institute. She has been commissioned by University Hospitals, Cleveland; Cuyahoga Community College; Cleveland State University and others for public art projects. Her work is in the collections of Progressive Corporation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals and Cleveland State University, among others.

Beads and Bridges archival digital print computer manipulated, 11 x 14”, 2014 Image Impossible archival digital print computer manipulated, 11 x 14”, 2013 Artwork provided courtesy of 1point618 Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio


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aroundKent Landmarks

Buy local, unique prints, and support the community and those in need of a little help. Now that’s a gift worth giving! • Quality Prints Available Online • They Make Great Gifts!

Visit to order prints. volume 11 | 2016 •


• Framing Available at McKay Bricker • A Portion of the Proceeds Goes to Help Feed our Community

I’ve had the pleasure of writing articles as a jazz musician and educator about several topics, including jazz improvisation. But for this article, I get to write about myself a little. It feels kind of weird to write about myself, so I thought the best way to handle that is to write an article about the life of a working jazz musician and the various stages of my life I’ve experienced throughout my career to achieve specific goals. I think the first and most important thing about doing anything in life is finding the passion to want to do something. I first found my passion with jazz music through my father, Pete Selvaggio. My father passed many years ago, but he lived a full, active life within world of jazz. After touring with bands like Guy Lombardo and the Four Lads, he came back to the northeast Ohio area and continued to perform pretty much every night until the day he passed. Because he worked so much with so many different great musicians in northeast Ohio, I had the luxury of hearing great jazz growing up. This included local musicians like Bob Frazier, Ernie Krivda, Kenny Davis, Val Kent, Bob “Skeets” Ross, John Klayman, as well as many others. This gave me a wonderful foundation in the sounds and history of jazz. Though I played a lot of sports growing up, as much as I played music, the jazz bug bit me the summer before I went off to Kent State for my undergrad degree.

“The point of our practice is to be able to unburden ourselves and return to reality moment by moment.” — SOJUN MEL WEITSMAN Hearing Cannonball Adderley at Kent State for the first time literally changed my life. One of my major mentors is my now good friend Chas Baker, who ran the jazz classes at Kent State for over 30 years. He hipped me to Cannonball and that was it. I was off running, chasing down those sounds I heard, practicing them still to this day. I’ve heard from many musicians that it always comes back to one jazz musician you hear and that initial experience will change everything for you. There are always more that will help shape you into a more complete player, but there’s always the first one. After four to five hours a day practicing while studying at Kent State and building the much needed foundation in all the concepts of jazz through practice, rehearsals, performances, and sessions, I went to New York City to further my education at the Manhattan School of Music. This was the second of my life-changing experiences.

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“One of the few, young saxophonists on the scene today that captures you with his strong presence, focus, and sound.” — JOE LOVANO The one thing my first jazz teacher, John Klayman, told me was that my time in New York has to be about music first and everything else second. It’s a good thing Chelsea, my now wife of 22 years, is also a musician and an understanding woman, because I spent the next few years practicing, rehearsing, performing, going to sessions, and being a music entrepreneur for myself for 12 plus hours about every day. That’s what I learned, above all else during that time of my life; dedication to your craft means putting that much time in. Period. You can’t skirt your way around that concept. You have to either be all-in or allout if you want to be respected as someone at the highest level. I also started to learn the importance of networking and building a good reputation as a player. My third life-changing event was getting asked to play with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (VJO) as a sub. Another teacher and mentor was Dick Oatts, the lead alto player for the VJO and he put me on the sub list for one of the great jazz orchestras on the planet. That’s a gig I had the pleasure of doing several times my last year in New York. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to perform at one of the most revered jazz clubs in the world, the Vanguard; a venue where jazz legends John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and countless others have performed.

“Bobby is among the best of players out there.” — KENNY WERNER Once my wife Chelsea and I started thinking about starting a family, we decided to move back home to northeast Ohio and make that our home base. This was the stage of my life that puts me where I am today. One of the main things I’ve learned being a full-time, working musician is no one will do your work for you. To get to a place of recording CDs, putting tours together, composing -and performing original music, performing with world class, respected, internationally recognized, jazz musicians and educating the jazz youth, I had to put myself in a position to succeed at that, with an understanding that you need to learn about the business world as much as you do the jazz world. For me, I learned it in the real world, through trial and error (mostly error). But because I put the time in to get my playing mostly together, networked and built relationships with incredible musicians and venues, and have taken all I’ve learned from my experiences to come up with a process to educate, I’m now getting ready to release my ninth CD as a leader on Dot Time Records. I’ve done countless tours around the globe, I’ve performed and recorded with great jazz musicians today like Kenny Werner, Aaron Goldberg, Sean Jones, Carl Allen, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Nir Felder, as well as many others, and I’m now the Director of Jazz Studies at Kent State. Being a musician is a continuous thing that never stops evolving. Without growth and innovation, the arts would not survive. We must continue to inspire and educate the people around us to live a life of passion and tolerance so that we all can experience the things that really move us.


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Written by David Morgan

THE VOCALIST HELEN WELCH performs throughout world, performing entertaining shows of her own creation with her trio, with big bands, with concert bands, and with symphony orchestras. She has built an impassioned fan base in northeast Ohio since relocating here from her native England in 2003. Her brand new recording, Spellbound, presents an inspired collection of music, including fresh arrangements of songs by Lennon and

Helen Welch Will Leave You Spellbound

McCartney, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michel LeGrand, Dolly Parton, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Chick Corea. The recording also features original songs written by Ms. Welch. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with her about the new recording.

Photo by Susan Bestul Photography

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Why did you decide to put out this CD now? While I have been hounded by fans asking when I was going to record a new CD, I have had no inspiration to record for quite some time. My dad passed away in September 2015 after being very ill for about six months. As we celebrated his 94 years of life, I vividly recalled his passion for music. I was suddenly hit with the inspiration and motivation to record again. This recording is really in memory of him. The musicians on the recording sound fantastic. How long have you been working with your trio? I met the wonderful bassist Bryan Thomas very early on after arriving from England, and we’ve been working together for about nine years. The pianist Joe Leaman came on the scene about six years ago and we’ve been working together seriously for around four years. Anthony Taddeo on drums is our newest addition. He has been with us for about 16 months. Why did you decide to add the guitarist Joe Parker on a few tracks? Originally, the whole CD was just going to be piano trio, with some auxiliary percussion. While going through all

of the possibilities, I decided I wanted to record Chick Corea’s “Spain”. My dad was a big jazz lover, as well as a great flamenco guitarist. I studied flamenco dance. I’ve been surrounded and passionate about that whole genre of music for a long time. I thought that “Spain” lent itself to being a wonderful vehicle for the flamenco sound I so love and associate with my dad, growing up listening to him practice and play. When I met Joe Parker, I played my ‘air’ flamenco guitar for him, which I’m really good at, and he ‘got it’ straight away and played exactly what I was hearing in my head. I wanted palmas, the characteristic flamenco hand clapping. I wanted that whole Spanish vibe, and I love what the musicians came up with. I know Dad would love it! What do you want the listeners to experience when they listen to your music? When I listen to music, I want to be emotionally moved. I get really excited when I hear music that touches me; that immediately makes me want to play it over, again and again. I hope this music will evoke a spectrum of emotions and that people will want to play it over and over again.


What style is the music on this recording? When it comes to being pigeon-holed into a single musical style, I’ve been told that I ‘slip through the cracks’. I have very eclectic tastes. My dad had me listen to jazz artists like Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, and Ella Fitzgerald, but also to lots of country music. My Mum was a light opera singer singing Gilbert and Sullivan, but she also sang and appeared in many classic musical theatre shows including South Pacific, Carousel, Oklahoma and Show Boat. I developed my own musical tastes from this foundation of early influences. I always loved Ella, but also loved the soulful voices of Aretha Franklin, George Benson, and Eva Cassidy. I loved the musicality and swing of Mel Tormé and Sammy Davis, so I’m a big mish-mash of all of that! What is my style? I would say soulful-pop fused with some jazz elements. What sets this CD apart from the others you have done? Yikes, that is a tough question, indeed! I’m very proud of my earlier recordings One Dream (2006) with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and my quartet, and Forever for Now Continued on page 42

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Jeff Good


we offer a place for lifelong learning, whether one’s interests are science, current affairs, antiques or home improvement.

Western Reserve Public Media, located in Kent near the intersections of State Routes 43 and 261, owns and operates your local public television stations, WNEO and WEAO. Every day, these stations bring you quality programming that is uniquely different from commercial broadcasting.

What you may not know, though, is that we provide educational services far beyond what airs on our TV channels. In fact, we have a department devoted to providing technology training for educators, lifelong learning opportunities for children and adults and much more.

For children, we are a storyteller and teacher. For families, we are the channels they trust; a valued friend that shares their values. For adults,

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Technology Training for K—12 Educators Our Department of Educational Services receives funding from the Ohio Department of Education and serves educators and students in grades K—12 in ten Ohio counties. This includes more than 24,000 educators and 300,000 students in grades K—12, plus over 100,000 preschool children’s parents and childcare providers. Each year, we deliver courses, both in person and online, that help teachers integrate the latest educational technologies in the classroom, plus we offer on-site consultations with school district personnel. Courses cover subjects including using Smart Boards in the

classroom, integrating Google Apps, iPads and Chromebooks, and even the use of educational gaming in the classroom.

a statewide network of educational technology agencies that provides training to all educators across the state.

Educators also use our locally produced multimedia curriculum projects to help students prepare for and pass Ohio’s achievement and graduation tests. Available free of charge via our website and supported by state of Ohio legislation and funding, these include: “108 Stitches: The Physics in Baseball,” “Get Ready for Your Career” and “Math and Science Gumbo.”

Western Reserve Public Media also collaborated with several state educational technology partners to form a nationally recognized, nonprofit agency called ITIP Ohio, whose purpose is to offer a direct focus on integrating technology in today’s classroom. Our team possesses certification in many areas, including Google Certified Training and Microsoft Innovative Educator training, and is part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network.

In addition, Western Reserve Public Media’s Department of Educational Services is part of

Continued on page 43


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Photo by Susan Bestul Photography

Continued from page 39 (2010). When I decided to record Spellbound and it came to picking the songs, it was like going mining for gold. I kept on sifting and singing through songs and gradually, over about ten months, I ended up with ten big, gold nuggets. They were songs that were so obvious, it was easy. I’ve absolutely loved every minute of the recording process, even the really frustrating moments. It’s been the most amazing journey. What is your favorite track on the CD? That is like asking a mother who her favorite child is! But if I had to only sing one of the songs, it would probably be Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”. What is next for Helen Welch? I was crazy enough to have recorded a brand new Christmas CD, Home for Christmas, while we were doing Spellbound, so I shall be getting ready for it’s big launch at the Akron Civic Theatre on November 20th. Helen Welch’s recordings are available online at Amazon, I-tunes, and CDBaby. A complete listing of performances can be found at her website,

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Continued from page 41

Educational Outreach Special Projects While the work of our Educational Services staff is comprehensive and ongoing, several special projects stand out as ways in which we serve the northeast Ohio community. Following are just some examples of these projects designed for educators, children, and the community in general. Camp Make-It This collaborative project with Case Western Reserve’s ThinkBox facility was held June 6—8, 2016. It enabled 25 educators to experience firsthand the MakerSpace movement that is happening in education. Participants collaborated to design products including an LED light board, tool storage boxes and a podium. This project was funded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. Odd Squad Summer Camp A collaborative project with Stark Libraries, this week-long summer camp for children five to eight years of age connected to the PBS television series “Odd Squad.” Held July 18—22, 2016, it was funded by the Fred Rogers Foundation and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Every Citizen Online These free day-long trainings held in 2012 helped community members learn to use computers and the internet for everyday tasks. Funding was provided by Connect Ohio through federal stimulus money.

Ready To Learn Western Reserve Public Media’s Ready To Learn service is a parent and child-care provider outreach project for preschool-aged children. Through this program, we offer free workshops, print materials, and internet resources to help extend the learning from our station’s children’s programming into reading and hands-on activities. Our free workshops are aligned with the state of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality standards and present the professional training now required of all family and in-home childcare providers. This training programming, funded through Ohio Jobs and Family Services and managed

by the Ohio Television Stations of Ohio, funds 30 professional development opportunities to more than 400 family childcare providers in our service area yearly.

Online Resources for Educators Through our membership in PBS, we provide PBS LearningMedia, an online website for educators that helps them incorporate digital media in the classroom. This valuable teaching tool offers free lesson plans, teachers’ guides and online activities that meet state curriculum standards. Also available are free lesson plans, activities and curricula for home schooling. INFOhio is the state of Ohio repository of digital resources available to all of Ohio’s 1.9 million students in grades pre-kindergarten to 12 and is supported with state legislation and funding. Our staff members are part of the INFOhio iCoach program and act as trainers to school districts interested in integrating these valuable online resources.

Find Out More! To learn more about Western Reserve Public Media’s educational resources for teachers, children and community members, call us at 330-677-4549. Also, we welcome you to visit us online at There, you’ll find links to educational resources, multimedia projects, professional development and instructional TV.

ITIP Ohio Summit featuring Google in Education The largest Google event in the state, this two-day conference started in 2011 in collaboration with ITIP Ohio. This event has over 700 registrants and focuses on today’s educator’s use of Google applications in the classroom.

Jeff Good is Director of Education at Western Reserve Public Media


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s summer’s green subtly fades to Autumn’s gloaming, I am thinking about bikes. Not just any bikes, but the bikes of my childhood, bikes that seize my imagination now as they did then. My friend’s older (and much bigger) brother had a 1957 Schwinn “American” that had seen better days by the time we got it in 1969. One of the two speeds didn’t work, the blue paint had chipped and the chain was perilously loose. We called it “the rig” and to us, it sizzled with power. “The rig” easily held me and my friend. We chained a wagon to the back and clattered around the neighborhood, collecting interesting trash set by the curb. We would try to transform the “trash” to “treasure” through cleaning and minor repairs, then resell it in our “trash to treasure” home delivery business. That summer and fall, we cleared about $1.80, mostly from a kindly, older neighbor. He was our best customer until his wife saw the junk in the garage. When “the rig” wasn’t harnessed in service of our small business needs, we would take it for uproarious rides around the neighborhood, terrorizing girls sitting on curbs and challenging neighborhood dogs to races (dogs ran free in the “old days”). As a kid, I would go to my friend’s and announce “Let’s go for a bike ride!” What rides we had! I was thinking of “the rig” recently on a walk downtown when it dawned on me that people don’t go for bike rides much anymore. They become “cyclists.” On my walk, I was passed by a group of young men on bicycles who were clearly not out for a bike ride—they were “cycling.” These fellows looked more serious than Scientologists cranked to the gills on Ritalin. Astonished by both their intensity and gear, I wondered if their group goal was a


“sonic boom.” They were actually racing more than taking a ride. Well, “good for them,” I thought. They were young and full of energy. Cycling is excellent exercise and countries with the most cycling (whether for leisure or commuting) have the lowest obesity rates. I support fitness activities in all their forms, but I do miss a good bike ride. It seems we Americans make everything so serious—even bike rides. A bike ride is basically pointless other than to be out on the bike, checking things out, looking around. It is mechanized ambling, if you will. In addition, the lack of a point makes spontaneous decisions like scaring girls or racing dogs all the more fun. These days, I go on occasional bike rides to take advantage of the wonderful biking/hiking trails we have around Kent, but it is not as fun as randomly racing dogs or trying to impress girls. I have friends who are “cyclists” and regale me with impressive statistics about equipment: helmets, shoes, jackets, jerseys, tights and pants—what controversies! The only equipment we had for “the rig” were Red Ball Jet sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts. I am admonished by my kids to wear a bicycle helmet for my bike rides now, but my “boomer” ethos rebels against this. I can no longer reach the blazing speeds we attained on “the rig,” so I doubt a collision would be of much consequence. Plus, at my age, you take your thrills where you can get them. While they don’t make Red Ball Jets anymore, I am still loaded with jeans, t-shirts and, most important, a deep yearning for pointless mechanical ambling; a yearning to take a bike ride. Continued on page 46

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Continued from page 45 When cycling had become too serious for me, the answer seemed clear: up my game and get a motorcycle. I could be a “biker” rather than a “cyclist.” You can still go for a “ride” on a motorcycle (though you have to get your exercise elsewhere). Most of my cousins ride motorcycles and it made a certain sense since I could take “rides” with them. Bike rides! Just like in my youth! So I laid eyes on a black Harley-Davidson Sportster XL that bore an amazing resemblance to “the rig” of my childhood. I was sold. Now, unlike “the rig,” or any bicycle I ride today, I not only bought a helmet for the Sportster, I took lessons to learn to ride it. These were great fun and the camaraderie of our learn-to-ride group reminded me of the fun my friend and I had riding bikes as kids. We were all dedicated, enthusiastic and worked hard to pass our license test (except one woman who was dismissed shortly after she asked “where is the seat belt?”). The truth is, though, we all just wanted to go for a ride; to mechanically amble across northeast Ohio with no goal other than the ride itself. Now, of course, bikers can get caught up in “gear fever” too, but aside from the helmet, I was good to go. I had escaped the “seriousness” of cycling. On my first rides, I noticed something they did not teach us in the “learn-to-ride” class. When another biker is approaching you from the opposite direction, they give you a sort of “low wave” with their left hand. Some nod as well, but their faces are usually as grim as the cyclists decked out for a race. Upon further research, I learned this is called the “left-hand low” also called the “Harley” or “Cruiser” wave. Since I own a Harley Cruiser type bike, it seemed the wave for me. I became concerned though— had seriousness again crept into my “ride?”

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Further research instructed me that there are five waves that have been standardized by the “Wave Hard and True Biker Society (abbreviation “WHAT-BS”). This admittedly tongue-in-cheek society wanted to save bikers from the embarrassment of the “princess” and “howdy” waves that can get you “stomped” in some areas of northeast Ohio.

owners swap out their factory exhaust systems for illegal straight pipes that do not muffle the engine noise and result in decibel levels well over 100. Hearing loss can result from exposure to 100 decibels in as little as 15 minutes. Uh, oh—that sounded serious to me. Though I did not want to get too serious, I was compelled to dig deeper.

The “WHAT-BS” group also has guidelines for when not to wave (e.g. on curves, in rain, on interstates). My research on the “wave” phenomenon relieved me that bikers had a sense of humor; were “sincere” but not “serious.” The ride was still the thing.

The scant psychoanalytic literature on loud pipes suggests that bikers who put them on are compensating for something or expressing aggression. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide on the compensation issue. From an acoustics perspective, some bikers maintain loud pipes save lives by alerting other drivers to a biker’s impending presence. There is no research bearing this out. About half of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle (bike only). When another driver is at fault, it is usually something that happens in front of the motorcycle (like a car pulling out or changing lanes). If a motorcycle passes a car, the car driver sees the biker before hearing the “thunder”, so the loud pipes are only annoying the people behind the motorcycle. If bikers want to increase their safety, they should add gigantic halogen lights on their handlebars and a huge boat horn. Of course, then they run the risk of looking like saps instead of sounding like rebels.

I’ve got a bike You can ride it if you like It’s got a basket, a bell and rings and things to make it look good. I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it. — SYD BARRETT — The only other area where bikers border on seriousness is noise. As readers know, some bikers are not happy unless their engine noise loosens fillings, opens dog bladders and registers on the Richter scale. While “rolling thunder” may have a poetic quality to it, it is downright annoying when you are trying to dine outside at one of Kent’s many fine restaurants. As with the “low wave” I did some research. In most states the decibel ratings for motorcycles cannot exceed 88 decibels (depending on the year the bike was made). Some Harley


I am aware that all this research is driving me in the “serious” direction. I am still thinking about bikes, but riding them too; ambling happily across northeast Ohio. Racing the occasional loose dog (yes, they come after motorcycles, too) and in some sense, staying in touch with the part of me that is still barreling at light speed on “the rig”, striking out pointlessly for worlds unknown.


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Beckwith Orchards Paul Beckwith

“You are always welcome.” “Hang out”. “Explore”.

That’s what Sally Beckwith remembers about Beckwith Orchards when she was a little girl. Now, Sally runs the century farm and her childhood memories are still true.

Orchard technology has changed. Spraying the orchard used to be, according to John Beckwith, “the worst job.” Now he says it is “a piece of cake.” As Mark Beckwith puts it, “The farm has gone from horse drawn equipment to air-conditioned, stereo, and diesel-powered equipment.” John declares “The fruit is just as good.” Frank, Jay, Charles, John and Jacque along with sons Joseph, Ryan, Sam, David, and Jacob have resided at the orchard farmhouse at 1617 Lake Rockwell Road. That is five generations living on the same farm, or three Beckwith Orchard Pokémon Go sites ago. The Beckwith Farm covers 110 acres. There are 1,200 fruit trees within the sixteen acre

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orchard bearing twenty varieties of apples, six varieties of peaches, and some pears and plums. A day with a full crew picking could yield 20,000 pounds of fruit. Fifteen acres are planted with corn and the remainder is deciduous hardwood forest. What is not grown here, the sweet corn, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, maple syrup, and honey are grown in Portage County, some just four miles down the road. That will change as the 15 bee hives kept on the farm to boost apple pollination should produce 300 pounds of honey this year. The action gets rolling at the end of July and it cranks until Christmas Eve at noon. The early apples are the transparents and ginger golds which ripen up just as the orchard opens up. Among the last apples to get picked are the Granny Smith in November. A portion of the land is community garden. Twenty plots are donated to the Kent

Garden Club with Hal Hall’s dahlias—100 different kinds—worth a visit alone. Another reason to visit is to see the efforts of Charles and Marilyn Beckwith who raised enough children to place right between the Brady Bunch and John and Kate Plus Eight. The heart and soul of this rural landmark were honored with a Kent City Schools Award, in part for the 3,000 students that tour the orchard each year, and for their charity work with The Center of Hope, Birdie Bags, and hosting the Lions Club Corn Fest. Later that same month, Charles and Marilyn Beckwith were given a lifetime achievement award from the Portage County Parks for deeding land for trail head parking. Marilyn was the driving force of the barn restoration. Years ago, Jay Beckwith and his brothers tore off one corner of the barn to put out a fire that was caused by a lightning

strike. Frank and Mary Beckwith returned from the state fair and at once noticed the ripped up barn corner and charred beam. After it was sorted out, the parents realized that the boys had saved the barn. The burnt section was evident during the extreme barn makeover. The barn features the original slate roof, new stainless steel gutters and downspouts, repurposed barn flooring from Wayne County, Ohio, and Amish handmade windows and hinges. Sally credits her mother and father for the Barn Again project because “They saved it again.” The barn now has lights and full electrical service. Charles used to hand-milk the cows in the barn by the light of a lantern. (He also once leaped from the roof of the barn into a hay mound just as his father rounded the corner of the barn. This event is not as well-known as Brady’s Leap). Continued on page 50


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Continued from page 49 According to Sally Beckwith, “Mom and Dad laid the groundwork for the business. They did it all with their blood, sweat, and tears.” Sally explained of her “easy transition” from managing major urban businesses to a farm market because of the foundation her parents built. Sally worked in Chicago, Columbus, and the largest sporting goods store in the largest mall in the country, The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. People told Sally, “We always knew that you would come back.” It was the perfect trilogy of obligation, family history and potential. Like the fruit on the trees, every year the business grows. Besides generations of the Beckwith Family living at the orchard, there have been generations of customers. Many can recall purchasing apples from Jay and Grace Beckwith. There was a hand-lettered sign that instruct-

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ed customers to honk their automobile horn. Apples in baskets were sold at the bottom of the shop. From the baskets, the apples were put in a paper bag. Cash was kept in a tin box and the accounting was done with a goldenrod tablet. Some remember buying cider from across the road at Uncle John Beckwith’s farm. Sally describes current customers as “loyal, friendly, and appreciative.” She observes that, “Customers are in a good mood. They enter a farm, not an amusement park or playground. They recognize the beauty and peacefulness. They know that they will be greeted and have service.” She attributes this to her help. “We have been blessed with our great staff and retired teacher tour guides.” Critters abound at Beckwith Orchards. There are great blue herons, bluebirds, eagles, and


deer. Bear have been spotted at the beehives and a Portage County deputy rounded the curve in his squad car one night to see a bear at the dumpster behind the cider mill. Scat and tracks were evident at the shattered trunk of an apple tree. After all, the tree was a honey crisp. As the coyote population has increased, there has been a notable decline in the woodchuck population. Besides more coyotes, there have been more high school senior photographs, engagements, and weddings in recently. Like the hobos that rode the trains that Grace Beckwith fed on the porch, everyone is always welcome to hang out and explore. Just follow the one rule that is clearly posted. Beckwith Orchards customers are forbidden to hurry.


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Kristen Pool

Market Flourishes Despite Trend Of Market Slowdowns “Weekly traffic has been down, and individual vendors have told me that sales are down 15% or more over last year,” says Market Manager J. Andrew Rome. “It’s a serious issue that the board and I are actively seeking ways to address.”

Kent’s producers-only Haymaker Farmers’ Market is now in its 24th year on Franklin Avenue, between Main Street and Summit Street, under the Haymaker overpass. Started by Fritz Seefeldt in 1992 with just a few dedicated seasonal vendors, the market now operates year-round with nearly 50 vendors who offer produce, meat, cheese, prepared foods, baked goods, and crafts. While northeast Ohio enjoyed a zenith in interest in farmers’ markets more recently than other parts of the country, like other regions, this area is also currently experiencing a lag. Unfortunately, Haymaker is also undergoing a downturn.

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According to Rome, there are several reasons for the downturn, but the most significant is the increasing availability of organic produce at grocery stores and specialty shops. However, according to Rome and Haymaker vendors and customers, food from brick-and-mortar stores, even labeled as organic, cannot compete with the food found at Haymaker Farmers’ Market. “What you’re getting at a grocery store just isn’t as fresh,” says Fred Maier, owner of Paradaze

when I was a kid; it’s better for you and tastes better.”

Farm in Atwater, which offers wool for hand spinners and yarn workers from his flock of Shetland sheep. “They may say it is; but because it isn’t grown locally, the produce isn’t picked that morning or within the last couple days, as it is the case at the farmers’ market.” That freshness can make food purchased at the Haymaker more economical than a similar product from a grocery store, according to Jeff Crowe of Kent, a regular customer. “The produce lasts way longer than store-bought if we don’t get to it right away,” says Crowe. In addition to appreciating much fresher products offered by local growers, many customers also enjoy the interaction with the food producers. Regular customer, Valerie Henry says that she shops at Haymaker because she is able to build a relationship with the growers and can talk with them and learn more about their practices; something that isn’t possible when she makes purchases in a grocery store. “I love the sense of community and knowing and having direct access to the person who is growing my food,” says Henry. “The more I learn, the more it motivates me to make healthy choices about the food I eat.” Crowe agrees, and says that he has even visited several of the businesses at Haymaker that also have on-farm sales. “I have been to the farm where I buy my meat and I have seen how the pigs, chickens, and beef are raised and treated,” says Crowe. “They do it the way we used to do it

Local food producers also enjoy interacting with customers and explaining their products and processes, an interaction that could never happen in a grocery store setting. Lizette Royer-Barton, Haymaker Farmers’ Market Board President and owner of Barton Gardens in Randolph recalls a recent conversation with a customer. “She had seen a Facebook post about a new batch of bourbon peach jam I had at the market that week,” says Royer-Barton. “We had an interesting conversation about canning methods, and she said that she was glad that an old-fashioned art that she could remember her grandma practicing was so important to me, too.” In addition to the positive relationships formed between consumers and food producers, Haymaker also benefits the local economy. Most vendors are set up as small businesses, paying taxes back into the community. Several farms support multi-generational families. And many vendors engage in a support network, supplying each other with services and ingredients, which keeps money in the community. “I love to see the interconnectedness between vendors,” says Rome. “You realize just how deeply local the food here really is—and what a robust community of producers we have— when you learn that this farmer buys her feed from that one; the bread at this bakery was made with flour produced at that farm; the breakfast burrito you bought from the food truck was made with eggs from the farmer over there.”

of whom live in Kent,” says Herbruck. He also notes the important role farms play in the environmental health of the community. “My farm preserves greenspace; it’s in a high-value area that could easily be developed,” says Herbruck. “But instead, it’s protected land on which my workers and I are able to make a living.” Rome adds that locally sourced food is also more environmental because it doesn’t have to be trucked from far distances. “All our vendors are from Portage or surrounding counties,” says Rome. “No one travels more than 50 miles, whereas most grocery stores rely on farms as far away as California.” For Rome, all of these factors come together to make Haymaker Farmers’ Market a valueadded source for food and one that cannot be replaced by grocery stores, even those that offer organic products. “The market is about relationships as much as it is about food,” says Rome. “When you buy a tomato or strawberries, you can talk with the farmer who grew them and learn the story behind your food. When it comes to finding a sense of connection with the food you eat, the farmers’ market is the only game in town.” To speak with or schedule an interview with Haymaker Farmers Market Manager — J. Andrew Rome, please email him at

Matt Herbruck, owner of Birdsong Farm, a certified organic farm in Hiram, points out several other ways that customers who shop at his booth at Haymaker also help the community. “I employ five local people, four


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Mo’ Mojo

The TwistOffs

Mo’ Mojo is a hard driving, high energy, Zydeco-based “Party-Gras” Band. The female fronted group features three-part harmonies, accordion, fiddle, guitar, rubboard, sax, trumpet, harp, bass, percussion, and drums. The band visited 8 countries in 2014 — 15 (from Central America to Central Asia), spreading the Zydeco gospel as “Cultural Ambassadors” for the U.S. State Department. The new album has a dozen songs: nine originals; two Zydeco standards meant to pay homage to the musical tradition; and one part cover/part original medley based off of Bob Marley’s, “Stir It Up.” It features a Zydecobase that blends in reggae, Cajun, blues, instrumental, and indie sounds.

Formed by ringleader Erik Walter (guitar/vocals) in a dank, suburban basement in Kent, Ohio in 1986, The TwistOffs have since performed more than 2,000 shows, tracked more than 150,000 miles and covered over 40 states and three countries.

Shivering Timbers Sarah is a captivating singer — part P.J. Harvey, part Patsy Cline — add the nuanced howl of Jayson’s guitar work for the perfect mate to her sultry vocals. Their performance can entrance and haunt the audience, while in the next breath, invite them into a whimsical, foot-stomping play land with the percussive mastery of Daniel Kshywonis on drums. More importantly, Shivering Timbers has been honing their considerable craft on relentless tour stops with Shovels & Rope, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Kenny Loggins, Alejandro Escovedo, Field Report, Carolyn Wonderland, Kopecky, and so many more; resulting in a live presence that combines Indie Rock energy, Blues/Punk passion, and Country/Gospel reflection, all evidenced in their second album “Sing Sing”.

15 60 75 The Numbers Band

The Numbers Band has been praised by almost every national music publication and several international publications since the beginning of their 30 years of live performances and recordings. Many fans are under the impression that the band remains obscure by choice. In fact, they have never been offered a contract from any recording company in the industry, ever.

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Hey Mavis

Americana-Roots band, Hey Mavis was born along the winding path of the Cuyahoga River. With their fine musicianship, strong songwriting and engaging stage presence, they weave together a musical tapestry that speaks the truth of our human condition — with all of it’s beauty, heartache, humor, disappointment and joy. Over the past five years, Hey Mavis has methodically ramped-up touring efforts, moving from humble porch concerts in the Cuyahoga Valley to successful shows at NPR’s Mountain Stage and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Their new music video, “Love We Give”, was filmed in our beautiful Kent, Ohio!

David Mayfield If you’ve seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or at Bonnaroo, you’ve caught the charisma, the heart, and the comedy and it’s likely you’ll come back for more. STRANGERS, Mayfield’s first album with Compass is a tour de force, stretching from the avant-garde to Mayfield’s musical roots which are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family’s band. Tracks range from the Celtic-inspired opener “Caution,” which features Mayfield’s deft ability in orchestrating complex instrumentation, to “The Man I’m Trying to Be,” a sharply honest song that is as dark and it is tender.

Rachel & The Beatnik Playboys Rachel & The Beatnik Playboys embrace and explore many Americana styles — and combine them into a soulful, powerful sound. With original compositions and their own unique channeling of Americana classics, Rachel & The Beatnik Playboys are blazing new trails into the world of Americana.

The Speedbumps

The Speedbumps are an award-winning American band with a warm, authentic sound, built on a passion for hollow-bodied instruments, indie-folk influences, and singer-songwriter Erik Urycki’s breathy, commanding vocals and canny phrasing. The band’s roots lie deep in the Rustbelt, where quiet strength and limited embellishment define the culture. The working class towns around Akron, the former rubber capital, from which artists like The Black Keys, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and Joseph Arthur have emerged, have provided the band with an aesthetic that seeks to tease out beauty from the gritty details of everyday life.

SvobodaBand SvobodaBand is a trio from Kent, Ohio that is reinventing the roots of music and live performances. Their unique sound mixes blues, jazz, soul and folk to create a musical experience that is both familiar and original. Singer Bethany Svoboda transitions between auxiliary percussion and guitar while singing passionate lead and back up harmonies. Dan Desantis gracefully commands lead guitar, fusing blues and jazz standards and Elliott Ingersoll adds depth and atmosphere on upright and acoustic basses. Three part harmonies layer smoothly and powerfully making this trio a rare act that you don’t want to miss!


Xtra Crispy Xtra Crispy is a perfect blend of blues rock and Americana, blending foot-stomping rock and roll with pure and golden melodies.


Copali is an original instrumental funk fusion band based in Northeast Ohio. Their shows consist of a unique and exciting blend of musical styles. Copali, formed in the summer of 2014 is on the rise and maintains an active presence in the Northeast Ohio music scene. Copali’s self-titled debut album was released in December of 2015 and is available at Follow them on

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2016 2017 Around the World MUSIC SERIES

10.8.16 10.22.16 11.12.16 12.10.16 4.8.17 5.27.17 The Five Islands Stylish calypso instrumentals from the golden age of Trinidadian music, played by a five-piece acoustic band.

Paul Stranahan Solo and Lisa Miralia/Paul Stranahan Duo Imaginative and otherworldly improvised soundscapes performed on Chinese gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, and home-built electronics.

The Lori CahanSimon Ensemble Yiddish classics of yesteryear sung by one of the tradition’s foremost interpreters, accompanied by violinist Steven Greenman and accordionist Walt Mahovlich.

Druk Fusion Band Traditional and popular music of the Himalayas, performed on familiar and exotic instruments by an ensemble from Akron’s Nepali Bhutanese community.

Journeywork Traditional music played by three of the area’s finest Irish performers: uilleann piper Brian Bigley, guitarist/singer Ruairí Hurley, and flutist Brian Holleran.

Yahya Golestan and Dariush Saghafi Timeless classical music and poetic songs of Persia, played on tar and santur.

Meet and Greet Reception, featuring food and drinks (often culturally specific to the program) begins at 7:30 pm with concerts immediately following at 8 pm. All concerts are Saturday dates.

Standing Rock Cultural Arts

Gongs/singing bowls performer Paul Stranahan

Begun in 2015, the AROUND THE WORLD Music Series presents master musicians from diverse cultures performing in an intimate theater setting at Standing Rock Cultural Arts at 300 North Water Street, Suite H, in Kent.


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Express Care Clinic

Fast, convenient treatment is close to you in Kent Open six days a week. We offer walk-in treatment for patients of all ages for common health problems, such as: • Cold and flu symptoms • Ear and throat infections • Minor bumps and cuts • Seasonal allergies • Skin rashes • Xray • and more 4494 State Route 43 Kent, OH 44240 330.344.1600 Mon – Fri: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sat: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Extended hours coming soon

No appointment needed.

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