Some of the country and region’s most popular up-and-coming bands and artists will perform for the first time at the Rock Hall. Each Summer the City artist or band has been invited to blog on rockhall.com/blog to share their experiences with fans: how they got started, their inspirations, their aspirations for the future and what their thoughts are on performing in Cleveland at the Museum.
Summer in the City concert schedule (additional artists to be announced in the coming weeks. Please check rockhall.com/events/summer-sessions for updates):
JULY 6 – 7 p.m.
Fitz and the Tantrums with Clovers
· Fitz and the Tantrums are a neo-soul group that originated in Los Angeles, California. After he purchased an old church organ, singer Michael Fitzpatrick began to collaborate with long-time friend and saxophonist James King, who connected immediately with his sound. The two began to challenge themselves, as they attempted to create a big band sound without the use of guitars. The group expanded as they added members John Wicks (drums), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards), and Joseph Karnes (bass). Noelle Scaggs was also added to the lineup to share the vocal duties with Fitz. The group released their first EP, Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1, in 2009 and followed that up in 2010 their first CD, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. Pickin’ Up the Pieces has received much positive attention and reached the Number 2 position on the Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart. The group has toured with several popular music acts, such as Maroon 5 and April Smith, and has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
· It’s only been a few years since Cleveland rock and roll band Clovers started making music and taking their sound all through Cleveland and beyond. The four person line-up features Antoine Henderson (bass), Jonah Oryszak and Gabe Fulvimar (guitar, vocals), and Gregory Lee Boyd (drums). Describing their sound to the Plain Dealer, Boyd has called Clovers “straightforward rock 'n' roll [with] a pop influence, of course. The group has toured with many popular music acts such as Foreign Born and Free Energy, and will be performing for the first time with Fitz and the Tantrums.
JULY 13 – 7 p.m.
Das Racist with Smoke Screen and Muamin Collective
· Spin magazine picked Das Racist as one of 50 acts to watch at the 2010 SXSW Music Festival, and in April 2010, MTV Iggy selected them as one of the "25 Best New Bands in the World." The rap group had its beginning in Middletown, Connecticut when Himanshu Suri met Victor Vazquez at Wesleyan University. Das Racist’s unique style commanded attention with their first album, the Shut Up, Dude mixtape, released as a free download in March 2010. The mix tape received positive reviews, and was described as "a fascinating album that attempts to write an impossibly new blueprint for rap” by Pitchfork. Six months later, Das Racist released their second mix tape Sit Down, Man, receiving even better reviews and earning high marks again from Spin and Pitchfork. The mix tape was downloaded more than 40,000 times in the first week. Guests on Sit Down, Man included El-P, Despot, Vijay Iyer, and Chairlift with production from Diplo, Dame Grease, Devo Springsteen, Sabzi (of Blue Scholars and Common Market) and Boi-1da.
· Known for their originality and relentless creativity, Smoke Screen released their first album Self Educated Learning Process with no outside appearances or production, earning them a nomination in the 2008 Ohio Hip Hop Awards for Best New Group of the Year. Later that year, the group teamed up with Kings Ransom Clothing to support them for the release of their first mix tape Punch-Drunk Melodies. Since 2007, they have performed all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan promoting their releases, including performing as a cover band for Kid Cudi, Flobots, Kids in the Hall, Rapper Big Pooh, Mac Miller and more. Their most recent release, Punch-Drunk Melodies Vol. 2, was released in spring of 2009.
· Muamin Collective is a Cleveland-based hip-hop group that has been performing for nearly 15 years. The group is made up by the duo Aaron "aLIVE" Snorton and Josiah "ZiON" Quarles. They have shared the stage with a diverse group of artists who perform every variety of music from R&B to punk rock, even performing with classic hip-hop acts, including De La Soul, Pete Rock, and the Coup. As of late date, Muamin Collective has released three LPs: Industry Standard in 2006, wHereMYpeoPLes@?! in 2007, and World B. Free in 2009.
AUGUST 3 – 7 p.m.
The Joy Formidable with HotChaCha
· After years of dreaming of making it big in the music industry, Wales’s natives Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar) and Rhydian Dafydd (bass, vocals) formed the band The Joy Formidable, whose sound Bryan has described as “choral and symphonic, mixed with what both of us had already enjoyed separately: dirty, loud, rhythmic guitars and thick bass lines." The band released Austere in July 2008, followed by Cradle on double 7" later that summer, and quickly produced an eight-track EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, which they released themselves in the U.K. in early 2009. Having relocated to London and recruited drummer Matthew Thomas, the trio quickly earned a reputation for blistering live performances, and were one of the most talked about bands at SXSW this year.
· HotChaCha is an experimental art punk band from Cleveland, Ohio. The group was started in 2007 by Jovana Batkovic (vocals) and Mandy Aramouni (guitar/keyboard). The duo later brought along Lisa Paulovcin to play drums, and after playing their first show, bassist Heather Gmucs joined the band soon thereafter. HotChaCha released their first EP, Rifle, I Knew You When You Were Just a Pistol, in 2008, and went on to perform at major music festivals, including the MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. The group has since gained much critical attention, and was named a Band to Watch by Scene Magazine in 2009. Shortly before the release of their first full-length album, The World's Hardest Working Telescope and the Violent Birth of Stars, Paulovcin was replaced on drums by Roseanna Safos and while recording Fantastic Static, their second EP, the group began touring with We are Hex from Indianapolis, with whom they released a split cassette titled Naturally Proper. HotChaCha’s first male member, Greg Gebhard joined the band on bass in place of Gmucs, and the group continues to tour –very fashionably -- across the country.
Each concert will be held outside on the Museum’s plaza. In case of bad weather, the shows will be moved indoors on the Main Stage. Please visit rockhall.com/events/summer-sessions for line-up and schedule updates as additional artists will be announced.
About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216.515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK(7625) or visit www.rockhall.com. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.