Showcasing Kent, Ohio and the surrounding
Northeastern Ohio Region.

Rachel Brown
Singer and Songwriter

The musical Road Less Traveled for singer/songwriter Rachel Brown has indeed been along one with strong family influences. Two of the biggest influences have been her parents and her aunts, Rachel and Agnes. Her parents, Adam and Helen Brown, have a lifelong love for traditional country music. They even converted an outbuilding (The Barn) on their property into a music venue where family and friends could 'jam' every Friday night. Rachel (and later her children) grew up there, playing and singing with her family and friends...[more]

There are many well-known venues in Kent where fans can both listen to music and see the history of the musicians. Smaller venues, like Standing Rock Cultural Arts, bring a different experience by showcasing genres such as world music. The above photo was taken from an article showcasing world music of Samuel Salsbury and Mike Hovancsek.  

The 2018/2019 World Music Series at Standing Rock Cultural Arts:

Concert 1:  Patty C & the Guys
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Singing in English and Slovenian, veteran musicians Patty Candela and Joe Strukel (with drummer Paul "Pops" Magooch) perform traditional and Cleveland-style polkas, waltzes, and slow songs using both button box and piano accordions.  Formed in 2014, the band has attracted a devoted following and been named Button Box Band of the Year by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in 2014, 2015, and 2017.  Get ready for a toe-tapping evening, because polka music is happy music!

Concert 2:  Mariachi Santa CeciliaSaturday, October 27, 2018 Following their well-received Kent debut in 2017, Northeast Ohio's premier mariachi band returns for another concert of traditional and modern songs of Mexico and beyond, using trumpet, vihuela, guitarrón, accordion, and voice.  The band's performance is presented in conjunction with Standing Rock's 16th annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, and traditional Mexican foods (provided by Taco Tonto's) will be available for a nominal charge.

Concert 3:  Danny Lahood, Arabic music for the oud
Saturday, November 17, 2018
In the Middle East, the oud (a fretless pear-shaped lute with 11 strings) is known as the "king of instruments." Cleveland native Danny Lahood was inspired to learn this instrument by his father, an immigrant from Lebanon. Over the past 40 years he has given well received performances across the U.S., and his skills are in demand in Cleveland's Arabic community.  He will present a solo concert featuring classical, folk, and modern music for oud and percussion, including pieces from Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria (with several songs by his greatest inspiration, the late, great Farid al-Atrash, nicknamed "King of the Oud").

Concert 4:  Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso from Siberia
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Virtuoso performer Oleg Kruglyakov will present a fascinating and fun-filled program of diverse Russian music on the balalaika, Russia's distinctive national instrument.  In Kruglyakov's hands its three strings truly sing, in contexts ranging from lively folk songs to expressive classical pieces.  Raised in Siberia, Kruglyakov began playing at the age of 7 and eventually became a protégé of Yevgeny Grigorovich Blinov, the foremost balalaika virtuoso of the Soviet Union.  In the 1980s and '90s he played and toured as soloist with many Russian folk troupes.  Now based in Cleveland's Slavic Village, he has performed since 2007 (along with pianist Terry Boyarsky) as half of the critically acclaimed Russian Duo.  

Concert 5:  Jarrelle Barton, guzheng
Saturday, February 2, 2019
The guzheng, an ancient zither from China, is played using a variety of expressive techniques ranging from subtle tone bends to dramatic glissandos.  In the hands of a skilled player, it is capable of conjuring in the mind of the listener such images as ripples on water, raindrops tapping on banana leaves, or even torrential storms.  Jarrelle Barton, who will be traveling all the way from his home in Minneapolis, is a skilled and imaginative performer who has dedicated himself to this instrument and its traditions.  He will present a varied program of traditional, modern, and original music for the guzheng, using instruments with 16 and 21 strings.

Concert 6:  Chan E. Park, Korean pansori
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Pansori is a unique tradition of story-singing originating in South Korea, in which a solo vocalist, accompanied by a single barrel drum, performs all the roles as well as the narration.  A longtime professor of Korean language, literature, and performance studies at Ohio State University, Park is one of the foremost exponents of pansori in North America, and endeavors to create a vibrant engagement between performer and audience (this interaction being the "pan" in pansori).  For her concert, Park will treat audience members to a performance (in Korean and English) of Sugungga (Song of the Water Palace), an ancient fable in which a turtle uses trickery to lure a wily hare to the undersea palace of the Dragon King.