Sep 26, 2017
On this final installment of the Mob Town Tour series, we visit Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo.
In our first Mob Town episode we talked to Irv Williams, who at 98 years old, is still performing every week in his community. In our second, we talked to Dave Jemilo, the club owner from Chicago who has helped to shape the jazz scene in town. In our third chapter, we looked at jazz as regional music through the lens of Milwaukee. And today, we look at how the arts are the appetite for life, and how life on the road can change people.
From the art deco elegance of Detroit’s Cliff Bells club, to the neighborhood charm of Cleveland’s Nighttown, to the pop up art collective Collingwood Art Center in Toledo (a converted convent), each city has its own unique arts community.
Particularly in Detroit and Toledo, two cities that have been hit hard economically, the arts showed some of the first signs of renaissance. Music and art grow up through the cracks in the concrete, like wild flowers.
In Cleveland we connected with saxophonist Richie Cole, a lifelong road warrior, who at 70 years old is finally tired of traveling. “I’m the luckiest guy I know,” he says.