BAYarts Concert Series boasts rocking sounds

The Portersharks masterfully play Irish tunes and are a fan-favorite at the BAYarts concert series. Photo courtesy The Portersharks

The popular free concert series at BAYarts has already begun and will wind through into the end of August, bringing a mix of new and familiar acts.

New this year are Maura Rogers & the Bellows, who played on July 1, and Moustache Yourself, a gypsy jazz band, playing on July 8.

Returning favorites include Bay Village locals Lazy Ted and the Big Hurry, Moko Bovo from Seattle, the Portersharks and B Side Jazz. Also returning this year is the Cleveland Opera Theater, who will be performing from the Great American Songbook.

The concerts are beloved by the community as well as the bands themselves. "It's like playing in the backyard for our best friends," says Dan Elliot from B Side Jazz, of their BAYarts concerts. This, he cites, is because so many of their friends live in the area. And playing outdoors is something the entire band relishes. "Everyone in the band feels closely connected to nature in the things we appreciate and value in life. This makes BAYarts a very special show for us. It's by far our favorite show of the year."

The music of B Side Jazz is equally special with their technique of devising sounds as they happen. "The band is almost fully improvisational," explains Elliot, "although there will be some songs you recognize. At times our vocalist, Renee, will actually create a song right there as we play."

When asked about the vibe of their shows, Elliot said listeners only need to relax. "Enjoy the space and the sounds. Earthy at times and spacey at times. Record it if you like because it could be the only time it gets played. Sometimes even we don't know what’s coming next."

Also improvisational in nature is a band coming to the BAYarts concert series for the first time, Moustache Yourself. The gypsy jazz quartet feature string instruments, a rhythmic guitar, and are entirely improvised. "We are looking forward to performing for some new ears and sharing our music," the band said. "The style we play has a very unique feeling. The music sounds both timeless and very fresh, and has an undeniably uplifting character!"

Daniel Bode and Megan Doerr from Moko Bovo are also big fans of the venue. "Outdoor shows provide a great way to hear the band because the acoustics are always better than indoors. BAYarts, in particular, draws old friends and fans that we might not see in the bar and clubs venues we play most often. It's great to play for a multi-generational audience, especially when we get to meet the children of some of our longtime friends and fans." They describe their music as passionate, creative and funky.

Last year Lazy Ted and the Big Hurry played at the end of the summer, and bandleader Dave Cooley loved it. "It was a highlight of my summer for our band to play at BAYarts. As the sun sets, the crowd arrives to cool drinks and old friends. They unfold their blankets and chairs with a steady din of surprise hellos and catching up. They were so relaxed and fun; it was easy to feel the same way taking the stage."

Also entranced with the magic of the space are the Portersharks, returning for their third year. "The Portersharks playing jigs and reels at twilight is pure magic at BAYarts!" says Brendan Carr of the band. "Kids in spinning hula hoops while the adults lounge and enjoy a cold pint. No better way to wrap up your Sunday evening on the shore of 'Loch Erie'."

A full list of the free concert series can be found at:

All concerts are Sunday nights, 7-9 p.m. In case of rain, the cancellation will be posted three hours prior on Facebook. No rain dates. Some seating available, or bring your own. Libations and concessions available.

Jessica Stockdale

Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.03.2018