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Rialto Theatre to Host Inaugural Kenmore Winter Break Music Festival on Dec. 17 and 18

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

By Jeff Niesel Cleveland Scene Magazine

Published December 3, 2021 Listen to the 91.3 The Summit FM's Kenmore Winter Break feature with DJ Brad Savage.


On Dec. 17 and 18, the Rialto Theatre and the Summit FM will present Kenmore Winter Break, a two-day festival featuring 12 bands and solo artists in the heart of Akron’s music row, home to five recording studios, two guitar shops, and many of Akron’s working musicians.


Youngstown-born and bred musician/songwriter JD Eicher and his band headline on Dec. 17, and Akron rock/pop/indie sextet Big Pop (whose lineup includes members from Time Cat, Fancy Legs, Free Black!, and The Dreemers) has the headlining honors on Dec. 18.


Cincinnati-based folk rockers the Heavy Hours, who released their first single “Don’t Walk Away,” a folksy anthem co-written by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys last year, Detention (who are now receiving regular airplay on SiriusXM and recently shared the stage with comedian/musician Fred Armisen and Gerald Casale from DEVO), emerging Struthers native Candace Campana, and Rialto staples A Band Named Ashes will also perform.


The event will also feature six Northeast Ohio singer-songwriters who'll celebrate the grand opening of the Rialto Living Room, a "cozy" live music performance space serving food and drinks located in the front of the Rialto.


“We wanted to do something special in our new space and bring a lot of our favorite artists together for a new kind of music festival,” Rialto Theatre co-owner Seth Vaill explains in a press release. “By December, concert goers are really starting to miss festivals, and it’s been almost two years since we’ve been able to get ambitious and host a big event like this.”


The artists featured in the Rialto Living Room include Jeff Klemm, Jim Ballard, Brian Lisik, Madison Cummins, Chrissy Strong and Barry Carroll. Closing out both nights of the festival is DJ Vinnie G, who will keep the music going once the live performers have finished for the evening.


“This is the type of music event the Rialto and Kenmore can really own and grow,” says musician and Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance Promoter and Experience Manager Corey Jenkins. “The concept is repeatable and the addition of the new Rialto Living Room space enables the live music to remain constant from the moment the first solo act beings at 6 p.m. until the last band of the evening hits its final note in the theatre around 11 p.m. or so.”


Kenmore Winter Break Music Festival sponsors include Akron-based manufacturers SIT Strings and EarthQuaker Devices, as well as Kenmore guitar destinations The Guitar Department and Lay’s Guitar Shop. One hundred percent of sponsor contributions reportedly go toward paying the musicians performing during Kenmore Winter Break.


Single night tickets for Kenmore Winter Break are $15 and weekend passes are $25.

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