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So Cool—Jazz on a Summer Night

Lock Bottom Jazz and Blues Club

I love finding new, cool outdoor things to do in Ohio, and if you live near the Akron area, you have to check out the new Lock 4. And no, I didn’t get it wrong and mean to say Lock 3. Akron’s popular concert venue, Lock 3, has a new sister venue, that is über trendy, intimate, and complete with waterfront views.

The intimate Lock 4 Park

Right across the street from Cascade Plaza and in the place of an old parking lot for the Civic Theatre, downtown Akron has built a new public park. A set of concrete steps takes you down to an urban space with picnic tables and trees that are hugged by cascading waterfalls of the Cuyahoga River and downtown buildings. If you work downtown, this would be a great place to escape for a lunch break while listening to the soothing sounds of the flowing Cuyahoga River.

Flowing Cuyahoga River at Lock 4

On Wednesday nights this summer, the park transformed to the Lock Bottom Jazz and Blues Club. The city of Akron, which spent two years constructing the space, was trying an experiment with summertime jazz and blues concerts that started a few weeks ago, and I think they may have started something! The small, intimate venue is the perfect place to sit outside and listen to local jazz and blues musicians on a beautiful summer night.

There’s even a Peroni beer garden that serves up cool, refreshing beverages, the world’s best peanuts from downtown Akron’s Peanut Shoppe, and cool cuisine from Cleveland-based gourmet food truck Dim and den Sum. I was lucky to have someone tell me about the first concert, featuring local jazz quartet the Stingers, and have been back every week since for great blues and cold Peroni.

Enjoying the music at Lock 4

If you want to check out Lock 4, you’ve got to go this Wednesday, September 1, for the last concert of the series, which will feature Peggy Coyle and her jazz trio. The fun starts at 7:00 p.m. Based on the success of the concerts this year, I have a feeling they’ll be back for a longer run next summer.

Oh, and did I mention the concerts were free?Yeah, a free jazz concert in a cool setting on a summer night…life is good! Thanks, downtown Akron!

Urban Beauty

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{ Sep 12, 2010 - 06:09:13 } HOMER