Lee Road will be hopping with music Oct. 11
The second annual Heights Music Hop will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11. The free event will once again be held along Lee Road, between Silsby and Yorkshire roads. This year’s hop will feature about 30 artists and bands, up from 20 that participated last year, and 16 Lee Road businesses will serve as music venues, also representing an increase in participation over last year.
“We are very excited by the growth of this event,” said Greg Bonanno, chair of the FutureHeights Music Hop Committee, which is organizing the festival. “There has been a tremendous amount of interest and support from merchants, sponsors and the community.”
Last year’s inaugural Music Hop drew more than 1,000 people to the Cedar Lee neighborhood, and retailers said it had a huge impact on their businesses. This year, the following businesses will open their doors to musicians and audiences: Atma Center, the BottleHouse Brewery, Brennan’s Colony, Cedar Lee Pub and Grill, the Lee Road Library, Dewey’s Pizza, Joey’s Bistro Bar, New Heights Grill, Parnell’s Pub, Phoenix Coffee, Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, The Social Room, Stone Oven, Tavern Company, The Wine Spot and Zagara’s Marketplace.
FutureHeights is again collaborating with Cleveland Beer Week (Oct. 10–18). Attendees interested in sampling beers during the Music Hop can purchase a tasting passport on Cleveland Beer Week’s website, www.clevelandbeeerweek.org, and then sample special collaboration brews at five Music Hop venues.
Artists taking part in this year’s Music Hop include Tom Evanchuck, Oldboy, the Admirables, Ashley Brooke Toussant, Archie Green, Harry Bacharach, Cities and Coasts, Johnny La Rock, the Ageless Males and Ottawa.
“The programming is very diverse,” Bonanno said. “We are offering a little bit of everything, including folk, rock, jazz, funk, hip-hop and classical. It is our hope that this event will appeal to a broad spectrum of musical tastes. We also hope that people will listen to styles of music that they wouldn’t ordinarily listen to.” Bonanno also said that the event will include some family-friendly options.
Performances will kick off around 5 p.m. and run until about 11 p.m. An after-party, featuring the band Commonwealth, will take place at the BottleHouse Brewery, 2050 Lee Road. The $5 cover charge for admission to the after-party entitles attendees to sample a BottleHouse brew made exclusively for the after-party event.
In addition to the events of Oct. 11, the Music Hop will present the band These Knees at The Wine Spot on Lee Road on Oct. 15, and other bands at The Grog Shop and the B-Side on Coventry Road on Oct. 18. Like the Oct. 11 concerts, these performances will also be free-of-charge. Artists slated to perform at The Grog Shop include Doug Wood from Cellocentric, members of Classical Revolution Cleveland, and Hybrid Shakedown.
“We wanted to expand the reach of the Hop,” Bonanno said. “We wanted to grow it out so that some events take place in other neighborhoods. That way, we can ensure that we highlight other merchants and business districts, and we increase our opportunities to showcase the wealth of local talent.”
On Oct. 11, free parking will be available at metered (not permit-parking) spots on the street, and in city-owned lots, in the immediate vicinity of the Cedar Lee district. Parking will also be available at the Lee Road Library, after it closes at 5:30 p.m., and at Zagara's Marketplace, after its 9 p.m. closing time.
Cellar Door Cleveland, a local company that promotes artists and runs a record label, and the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District are partnering with FutureHeights on the Music Hop. The 2014 Heights Music Hop is made possible through a matching grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and by these event sponsors: Motorcars Honda, DVUV, Keller National, realtor Susan Delany of Howard Hannah, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and The Wine Spot.
For more information about the Heights Music Hop, follow the event on Twitter@heightsmusichop or like its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/heightsmusichop.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley, and is a member of the Music Hop committee.