Tickets for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, which has honored local musicians for the past 16 years, are now available through CincyTicket.com. The CEA ceremony/party takes place at Covington’s Madison Theater on Jan. 27 and will feature more live performances by various nominees than ever. Tickets are $20 and there will also be special “VIP” tickets available for $50. The VIP tickets include entry into the VIP zone at the ceremony, as well as a membership to the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation, which strives to shine light on our amazing area’s rich musical tradition. Visit takingyoutothebridge.org for more on CUMHF’s mission, as well as what membership entails. Proceeds from VIP ticket sales to CUMHF.
If you are an artist lucky enough to earn a nomination this year, keep an eye out for your nominee letter, which includes info on how you can get your tickets. If you have questions or don’t receive the correspondence, email Kenneth Wright at email@example.com with any questions.
Tickets will also soon be available for the first ever CEA New Music Showcase, featuring performances by this year’s New Artist of the Year nominees. The show will be at Bogart’s on Jan. 18 and feature sets by nominees Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s, DAAP Girls, Ohio Knife, The Natives, Public and Heavy Hinges (fellow nominee R. Ring has so far declined an invitation to participate).
Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at Bogart’s ticket window or at CityBeat’s offices without any additional fees (if you'd like to feed the online ticket meiser out of convenience, here ya go). The New Artist winner will be determined by a mix of audience votes from the showcase attendees and voting from the CEA nominating committee. Besides a CEA trophy, the New Artist winner will also receive a prize package that includes their own headlining show at Bogart’s (for a release party or whatever else the winner wants to put together), a video/audio recording session courtesy of The All Night Party for the promo group’s “Ultrasessions” series and more.
Stay tuned to the music blog at citybeat.com for the latest info on the CEAs and the New Music Showcase.
Local Kids’ Music Superstar Celebrates Major Label Debut
Holidays are especially exciting times for children and, given the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., kids all over will likely be going to be getting a little extra love this season.
Zak Morgan knows kids. The Cincinnati-based singer/songwriter has already had an amazing career in children’s music, with his second self-financed album, When Bullfrogs Croak, earning numerous awards and acclaim, including a 2004 Grammy nomination for Best Musical Album for Children, a remarkable feat for an independent artist.
Morgan’s accomplishments and hard work (he notches more than 200 shows a year for kids across the country) paid off with a contract with Universal Music’s kids’ music imprint, myKaZoo Music. His debut for the label, The Barber of the Beasts, came out in late October and would make a fantastic stocking-stuffer for the little ones this Christmas.
This Saturday at 1 p.m., Morgan and a host of special guests will present the local release party for the album at The Monastery recording studio (2601 Stanton Ave., Walnut Hills), the performance/recording space owned and operated by producer/guitarist Ric Hordinski (who also performed on, produced and co-wrote material on the album).
Tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com for $10 (or $20 for families of two to five people). Remaining tickets will be available at the door the day of the show for $15 (or $25 per family).
Like his previous releases, The Barber of the Beasts features artwork by famed local illustrator C.F. Payne and contains an extensive booklet of lyrics and drawings. The album also features some notable guests, from local musicians like Dan Dorff, Paul Patterson and Josh Seurkamp to nationally acclaimed artists like Robbie Fulks and locals Karin Bergquist (Over the Rhine) and the iconic Bootsy Collins.
But it’s Morgan’s magical stories and songs that are the focal point. There is a perfect formula for children’s music; like with kids’ films these days, many artists try to hard to make their albums “parent friendly” and tend to go overboard, while those who “dumb things down” tend to be the most annoying.
Morgan’s gift is finding the perfect balance.
The Barber of the Beasts is for smart and imaginative kids and parents, seemingly designed to be enjoyed together. Many of the tracks on Barber feature gorgeous chamber string arrangements, but there are also tunes like “Snow Day,” on which Morgan channels his inner Tom Waits (vocally), the shuffling, jazzy Pop cut “Swinging On A Star,” the Country-esque “Nancy Jane” and the great Bootsy collaboration, “The Case of the Dry Markers,” a swingin’, “spooky” Jazz struttin’ mystery with a Halloween vibe.
The songs and music are elegant and often downright majestic (particularly the ones with the spine-tingling string arrangements), while Morgan’s clever stories are loaded with a silliness that the young listeners will gleefully embrace. (zakland.com)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @CityBeatMusic or here on Facebook.