Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is proud to announce the return of Rhythm on the River to Bicentennial Park for a free six-part concert and performing arts series starting this June. This summer, enjoy free performances from regional and national musicians, including a Labor Day weekend performance from BalletMet.
The concerts will start at 6:30 p.m. while the BalletMet performance will begin at 8 p.m. Event attendees are invited to bring folding chairs or blankets, and food truck service for all events will start at 5 p.m.
Friday, June 3 - Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
Artist: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper – The world tends to look at accomplishments in the form of accolades, and Michael Cleveland has plenty to his credit, including a 2019 GRAMMY. His blistering prowess and technical fluency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn’t until 2006 when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn’t rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward.
Supporting Act: Appalachian Swing
Friday, June 24 - Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles
Artist: Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles – Simply put, Cory Henry, a Grammy Award-winning artist, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and all-around keyboard master, is the future of music! In the face of the 2020 pandemic, Cory was able to grow his audience exponentially with the release of three independent projects. Throughout each album, Cory’s positive and motivating songs and lyrics unify listeners through one of the most difficult times in recent history.
Supporting Act: Mistar Anderson
Friday, July 8 - Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
Artist: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – Black Joe Lewis is an American blues, funk and soul artist influenced by Howlin’ Wolf and James Brown. He formed Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears in Austin, Texas, in 2007. In March 2009, Esquire listed Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears as one of the “Ten Bands Set to Break Out at 2009’s SXSW Festival.”
Supporting Act: The Floorwalkers
Friday, July 15 - Bettye LaVette
Artist: Bettye LaVette – Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the great soul interpreters of her generation,” Bettye LaVette is a vocalist who can take any type of song and make it completely her own. Bettye is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 1960s and is still creating vital recordings today. To quote the late, great George Jones: “Bettye is truly a ‘singer’s singer.'” LaVette’s eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel and country music, earning her a spot in the Blues Hall of Fame in 2020.
Supporting Act: Honey and Blue
Friday, August 12 - Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Artist: Dirty Dozen Brass Band – Celebrating over 40 years since their founding in 1977, New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including bebop jazz, funk and R&B/soul. This unique sound, described by the band as a ‘musical gumbo,’ has allowed the Dirty Dozen to tour across five continents and more than 30 countries, record 12 studio albums and collaborate with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. More than 40 years later, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a world-famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.
Supporting Act: The Ark Band
Friday, September 2 - An Evening of Dance with BalletMet
Artist: An Evening of Dance with BalletMet – Since 1978, BalletMet has brought incredible dance to theaters, studios and classrooms in central Ohio and beyond. Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, BalletMet boasts a black box theatre performance space, seven dance studios, administrative offices, and costume and scene shops. Every year, BalletMet reaches more than 100,000 audience members through local performances, touring shows, academy classes and extensive outreach. BalletMet maintains its commitment to the creation of new work and the re-staging of contemporary masterworks with the goal of ceaselessly stimulating audiences.