Aug 12, 2013

Cleveland - Great Music Destination

Once called the “Mistake on the Lake,” Cleveland is now the
“Remake on the Lake.” I love Cleveland and so do music lovers.  After all it is the city that gave birth to the name “Rock & Roll.” No matter your music preference you will find a place to keep the beat going. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame building was designed by I. M. Pei, one of the world’s most famous architects. I loved this quote about Rock & Roll which was just one of many similar quotes on the wall: J. Edgar Hoover said, “Rock and Roll is repulsive to right-minded people and have a serious effect on our young people.”  Some people wonder why the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.  Basically, the musical term “Rock ‘N Roll” came from disc jockey, Alan Freed, who used the term to describe the upbeat rhythm & blues records he played on WJW, a Cleveland radio station. Especially interesting, to me, was the video showing the evolution of Rock & Roll music from its roots to the present day.  There is something for all music fans from the Beatles to gospel with clothing, musical instruments and other artifacts from a multitude of performers.  Check out Elvis’ car and Michael Jackson’ signature glove.

Nighttown is the place for “all that jazz.” I love it when the outside
of a place does not hint at what is behind the doors.  Such is the case with Nighttown, a small, quiet neighborhood venue that has been voted one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world by Down Beat magazine.  Behind the non-descript entrance there are three bars, a great menu, an outdoor patio and live music nearly every night from local jazz musicians to world famous jazz icons.

House of Blues is where being “blue” is wonderful. Take a look under the stage where they keep a metal box of mud from the Mississippi Delta. Along with the blues they now offer a Gospel Brunch featuring old favorites and an expansive buffet. I have it on my to-do list for my next visit to Cleveland. Gospel had an important influence in the development of Rock and Roll. 

Hard Rock Café is where I like to take friends and family as a
birthday treat.  They are always eager to announce someone’s birthday with panache. I confess – it is always someone’s birthday when I go to the Hard Rock Café even if the event is not eminent!  I gotta’ love a place that has the blue Red Hot Chili Pepper’s guitar, Prince’s velvet suit, Madonna’s rhinestone shoes and a sketch by Janis Joplin.

The Happy Dog is a laid-back corner bar that features comfort food along with a variety of live music that ranges from classical to soft shoe to punk to polka music. Polka fans should visit the Polka Hall of Fame in nearby Euclid. This is also on my gotta-do list. Polka music is always happy music. 

Feeling classical or in the mood for organ music? Severance Hall, home to the Cleveland Orchestra has the Norton Memorial Organ which is considered to be one of the finest concert hall organs ever built. The 1930s Severance Hall is not the only place to hear the Cleveland Orchestra.  They play at Blossom Music Center south of Cleveland and at a variety of venues worldwide.