Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces 2023 Series of Brady Block Parties
Five Free Outdoor Brady Block Parties Anchored by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Concerts to Take Place in the West End, The Banks, Price Hill, Evanston and East Walnut Hills, and Bond Hill
CSO Concerts to Feature Bassist and 2023 MAC Music Innovator Endea Owens and The Cookout, Internationally Renowned Drag Queen Thorgy Thor and Queen City Cabaret for CSO’s First-Ever Pride Concert, Tributes to Price Hill’s Latine Community and Evanston’s Iconic King Records Legacy; and A Celebration of Jazz
Conductors to Include 2022 MAC Music Innovator Antoine T. Clark, Panamanian-American Conductor Kalena Bovell, Taki Alsop Conducting Fellow Jeri Lynne Johnson, Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and CSO Assistant Conductor Daniel Wiley
Pre-concert Activities to Include Music and Art Activations, Games and Activities for All Ages, and Food and Beverages from Area Food Trucks
CINCINNATI, OH (May 9, 2023)—The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has announced its 2023 series of Brady Block Parties, formerly known as the Brady Neighborhood Concert Series. The Brady Block Parties, anchored by CSO concerts and named in honor of Andrew J. Brady, longtime Cincinnati orchestra and band director at Western Hills High School, will take place outdoors at five locations across Greater Cincinnati, June 18 through July 26. Each Brady Block Party is free and open to the public and will include music and art activations by Elementz and Robert O’Neal Multicultural Arts Center (ROMAC), games and activities for all ages, and food from area food trucks and culminate with an outdoor concert by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The Brady Block Parties will take place in the West End at Ezzard Charles Park (June 18); The Banks at the ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park, adjacent to The Andrew J. Brady Music Center® (June 29); Price Hill at Dunham Recreation Center (July 9), Evanston and East Walnut Hills at Owl’s Nest (July 15), and Bond Hill at Corinthian Baptist Church (July 26). Community partners include the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Evanston and East Walnut Hills Community Councils, Learning Through Art/Jazz Alive, ROMAC, Cincinnati Parks, and Price Hill Will.
Each Brady Block Party will culminate with a performance by the CSO and featured guest artists. Artists include bassist and CSO’s 2023 MAC Music Innovator Endea Owens, one of jazz music’s most vibrant emerging artists, along with her band The Cookout, with Jonathan Hoard and Shenel Johns on vocals, Louis Fouché on saxophone, Kristopher Johnson on trumpet, Jeffery Miller on trombone, Keith Brown on piano, and Jerome Jennings on drum set; internationally renowned drag queen and classically-trained violinist and violist Thorgy Thor, who rose to fame on the Emmy Award-winning show RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 and RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 3; Cincinnati vintage pop and jazz ensemble Queen City Cabaret with Sarah Folsom on vocals and Matthew Umphreys on piano; and Cincinnati vocalists Ciara Harper and Noël Walton. Conductors include CSO’s 2022 MAC Music Innovator Antoine T. Clark, CSO Assistant Conductor Daniel Wiley, Panamanian-American conductor Kalena Bovell, Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell; and Jeri Lynne Johnson, who made history as the first Black woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship in 2005.
“After a successful launch of our Brady Neighborhood Concert Series last summer, we are excited to return this year with an even more meaningful and engaging collaboration with our community partners,” said Tiffany Cooper, Director of Community Engagement and Diversity at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “The Brady Block Parties will highlight the rich diversity of the many communities that make up our great city by providing fun and engaging events for all ages. No matter who you are or where you come from, we welcome you to come out and celebrate our community with us with food, fun, games and live performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra along with a few special guests.”
“Music brings people together,” said Marye Ward, co-chair of the Festival of Neighbors committee and member of the Evanston Community Council. “It is something that people who differ on everything and anything have in common. We, East Walnut Hills and Evanston residents, are all the same in heart and spirit. No matter our color, or the language we speak or even our form of politics, music proves we are all the same! We are excited to partner with the CSO for this year’s Brady Block Party in Evanston and East Walnut Hills.”
In addition to performances by the CSO, each Brady Block Party will also include music and art activations by Elementz and ROMAC, music labs, community booths and activities by local vendors, and food and beverages from area food trucks. In partnership with Croswell Motorcoach, shuttle services will also be available at events to assist with parking and accessibility needs. A full listing of activities, vendors, and complete event details can be found at cincinnatisymphony.org.
The Brady Block Parties series is made possible by an anonymous donor in honor of Andrew J. Brady and the Fifth Third Foundation, Title Sponsor of the CSO’s DEI Series. The CSO’s DEI Series comprises the Brady Block Parties series, the MAC Music Innovator, and Classical Roots. Together, these programs bring the entire city together to celebrate diverse artistry, to meet the demand for historically underrepresented talent in the orchestra industry, and engage with people from communities historically excluded from orchestral music with programming that authentically represents them.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
2023 Brady Block Parties
Each Brady Block Party is free and open to the public and will include music and art activations by Elementz and ROMAC, games and activities for all ages, and food and culminate with an outdoor concert by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Sunday, June 18, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Ezzard Charles Park (formerly Laurel Park)
WEST END BRADY BLOCK PARTY
Concert to feature bassist and 2023 MAC Music Innovator Endea Owens and The Cookout. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be led by conductor and 2022 MAC Music Innovator Antoine T. Clark.
Community Partner: Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
Thursday, June 29, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Location: The ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park, located adjacent to The Andrew J. Brady Music Center®
PRIDE MONTH BRADY BLOCK PARTY
The CSO’s first-ever community Pride concert will feature drag queen Thorgy Thor, who came to international attention on the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, Cincinnati vintage pop and jazz ensemble Queen City Cabaret, and Cincinnati vocalist Ciara Harper. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be led by CSO Assistant Conductor Daniel Wiley.
Sunday, July 9, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Dunham Recreation Center
PRICE HILL BRADY BLOCK PARTY
Concert to feature a variety of Latine music in tribute to Price Hill’s Latine community. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be led by Panamanian-American conductor Kalena Bovell.
Community Partner: Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Saturday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Owl’s Nest (Fairfax Road)
EVANSTON BRADY BLOCK PARTY
Concert to celebrate Evanston, King Records, and the “Queens of King Records,” with vocalists Ciara Harper and Noël Walton. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be led by Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell.
Community Partners: Evanston and East Walnut Hills Community Councils
Wednesday, July 26 at 5:00 p.m.
Concert at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Corinthian Baptist Church
BOND HILL BRADY BLOCK PARTY
Concert to feature jazz-themed set list performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by conductor 2005 Taki Alsop Conducting Fellow Jeri Lynne Johnson.
Community Partner: Learning Through Arts/Jazz Alive