Sound Valley Summer Music Festival is Saturday at Yellow Cab

Local couple’s multipronged musical approach

Dayton is home to an incredible amount of musical talent, but in an oversaturated streaming landscape, it can be difficult to build a local following much less establish one outside the area. Zac Pitts and Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley are dedicated to changing that in multiple ways such as live events like the Sound Valley Summer Music Festival at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton on Saturday, Aug. 28. The diverse lineup features 13 area acts, including Jetty Bones, the Raging Nathans, Nightbeast and K.Carter, performing on two outdoor stages.

“Something we want to always try to do is figure out how to step our game up one more level each and every year,” Pitts said. “Jetty Bones is on Rise Records. She’s local and the last time we saw her, she was on tour opening for Hawthorne Heights and New Found Glory. Getting an act like her was that natural next step and now let’s see, as we keep going, what other layers we can stack on top of that.

“We’re excited about this year’s lineup,” he continued. “We always want to make sure we’re also giving opportunities to artists that wouldn’t have them otherwise. We also really want to work with people who work as hard as we do. If we’re all putting in the same effort, there’s no way we can fail.”

Pitts and Karsten will continue curating and promoting live events such as the Sound Valley Winter Music Festival at The Brightside the first weekend in March.

“We’re very, very grateful we got the winter festival in last year right before the shutdowns,” Pitts said. “It was such a great time. We’re planning to do the battle of the bands again in early 2022 leading up to that festival. That first battle was a huge success for it being the first year and figuring out the process.”

After the Summer Music Festival, Sound Valley will be putting a larger focus on teaching area musicians how to promote and market their music.

“I want to host online workshops and courses because I don’t think bands and artists know how to promote themselves properly,” Pitts said. “What I’ve always tried to do is just do it and you can model it and that is success. I hope bands and artists that want to make music as a fulltime career, will do these things. I’ve been able to pay my bills with music and that’s a cool thing.

“I’m saying, ‘Hey, listen, this is how we’re doing this. Take the same blueprint and apply it to your band.’ I want bands to treat what they do as what it is, which is a business. If you enjoy it, that’s great but it’s OK to make a profit from your passion.”

Sound Valley has only been active since 2018 and its multipronged approach continues to grow. If Pitts and Karsten actually get local musicians to buy into their vision, it could be a game changer for Dayton’s original music scene.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at


What: Sound Valley Summer Music Fest with Jetty Bones, the Raging Nathans, Nightbeast, K.Carter and others

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of the fest. $35 couples’ tickets and $75 for groups of four. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Greater Dayton Brain Health Foundation

More info: 937-424-3870 or

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