Get Your Summah Music On

According to the Urban Dictionary, "summah" means: a great summer consisting of booze, music and randomness. Just the way I like it! The term has also been popularized by comedian Howard Kremer as being the one undeniable season: "You can't skip it. You gotta have it!"

Memorial Day weekend is the checkered flag for the summer music season, and I want to help you get the most out of it! Below are my picks for some of the hottest shows and festivals in the area. Mark your calendar, book the babysitter and get your tickets to these great events before they sell out!

  • Friday, May 22nd - Local blues virtuoso Noah Wotherspoon takes the stage at Oregon Express this evening. This is a great chance to check out our homegrown guitar legend. In Yellow Springs, Far from Eden is playing at Aleta's Cafe at 6 p.m. Either option is a great way to start the weekend.
  • Saturday, May 23rd - The  Gem City Get Down is doing exactly that at Blind Bob's . This group mixes funk, hip hop, jazz and soul - and is a nice change of pace in the Dayton music scene. Proceeds from this performance benefit the Melissa Ortiz-Bebbington Memorial Scholarship Fund. Only $3 at the door, 18 & up.
  • Saturday, May 23rd - Nothing says summah like reggae music, and the band Elementree Livity Project definitely delivers. Add on a luau, a limbo contest, and a pig roast, and call it a day! $10 gets you in the show and all you can eat! The event is south of town, in Fairfield , but well worth the drive. Music starts at 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 24th - The annual  Heritage Festival at Carillon Park runs all day from 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Musical acts include the Classic Jazz Stompers , Todd the Fox and The Dayton Philharmonic . This is a family-friendly event. For detailed information, including even more reasons to attend, click here - or listen to fun podcast I hosted with the organizers of this event here .
  • Sunday, May 24th - Blues & BBQ will be on the menu at Riff Raff Tavern Sunday afternoon. Starting this weekend, every other Sunday from 2-6 p.m. Riff Raff is hosting the Blues & BBQ Summer SeriesKelly Richey  is kicking off this fun summer series, and she's been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.” Ha! This is a great way to spend a Sunday Funday downtown, that's for sure. $10 in advance, $12 at the door.


Tedeschi Trucks Band (Rose Music Center)




  • Sept 18th & 19th Dayton Music Art & Film Festival , held at locations all over downtown Dayton! This festival is like Dayton itself: truly innovative. It pulls together the best of our local indie, alternative and rock bands and distributes them throughout the city. The Early Bird 2-day pass is only $22, so get one while they last!

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:   Please click the links to find out detailed information about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions and pricing. I try to link band names with samples of their music. Always check with the venue about start times and ticket availability. As you can see, I try to promote as many shows as possible, but there will be some I miss. Keep me in the loop:  @LibbyBallengee

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