Michael Feinstein @ Marathon Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 19 @ 7:30 pm

Michael Feinstein will bring the music of the Great American Songbook to the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ main stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Tickets run between $45 and $85 and can be purchased at the Marathon Center box office, 200 W. Main Cross St., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; by phone at 419-423-2787; or online at

Feinstein has built his career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe — he’s appeared at the White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House — his work as an educator and archivist has cemented him as a formidable musical force.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Feinstein started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20 and the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in 1977. He became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, earning him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music.

He also has become an esteemed interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. He was named principal pops conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops became a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements.

While there is no consensus among critics and music fans as to what songs belong in the Great American Songbook, it encompasses several early 20th century songs and jazz standards.

Feinstein, who founded the Great American Songbook Foundation in 2007, gave his own opinion to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2013: “It is songs that stand the test of time.”

He told the Florida newspaper that newer artists like Billy Joel have written music that can stand up with artists like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and others.

The Great American Songbook Foundation is doing its part to educate the musical talent of the future about its storied history through master classes and the annual High School Songbook Academy, an intensive summer program with graduates that went on to record acclaimed albums and appear on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

He also serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

For more information, visit

Grand Love @ McComb School Library
Sep 20 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

A support group for grandparents raising their grandkids and other children affected by addiction is forming in McComb.

Grand Love, a program sponsored by the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio, premiered in Findlay last May. McComb organizer Deb Ewing said formation of the rural version has been in the works for the past year, with its first meeting set for Jan. 18.

Meetings are open to people living in McComb and the surrounding area and will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. every Thursday in the McComb school library (enter through north front door #2). Meetings will be facilitated by Family Resource Center professionals, with an emphasis on peer support. Registration is not required, although those bringing kids are encouraged to call ahead so arrangements to provide child care can be made.

For more information about McComb’s group, call Ewing at 419-306-9489 or email

Scott Lavender and Jim Young @ Secor Building's Registry Bistro
Sep 20 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Local Wall of Famer Scott Lavender will display his road-tested piano chops while Toledo physician Jim Young sings along Thursday at the Secor Building’s Registry Bistro, 144 N. Superior St., Toledo.

“Doc and Scott” will perform from 6 to 7:30 p.m. as part of the Toledo Jazz Orchestra’s Black & White Transportation Bistro Series.

Tickets are $35, which includes light hors d’oeuvres with a cash bar available. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the Valentine Theatre at 419-242-2787.

Lavender, a Findlay native, is Johnny Mathis’ musical director. He also worked with Glenn Yarbrough and Toni Tennille.

His experiences were recognized last year when he was inducted into the Fifth Third Bank Wall of Fame at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.

Lavender plans on sharing stories about his career, which will cover his time with Mathis as well as conducting the San Francisco Symphony at the debut of his original composition, “Overture to Tomorrow.”

Lavender and Young started performing together in 2012, when the emergency room physician contacted Lavender to take jazz piano lessons. This morphed into “Doc and Scott,” with Lavender on piano and Young on vocals, performing in clubs around the Findlay and Toledo area.

Both have musical history on the West Coast, as well. Young was a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing bass in local bands before he decided to practice medicine.

As for Lavender, he was living in Los Angeles when he met a man through softball that happened to be Mathis’ librarian. Lavender and his wife struck up a friendship with the librarian and his wife, and they let him know when the piano/conductor position opened up in 1990 so he could go audition.

Mathis tunes will be in the rotation for Thursday’s show, which is an eclectic mix of jazz and pop standards that include Henry Mancini, Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, the Beatles and more.

For more information, visit

SMART Recovery Meeting @ Focus on Friends
Sep 21 @ 3:00 pm

Focus on Friends now offers a SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) group led by a trained facilitator.

The group meets at 3 p.m. each Friday at 509 W. Trenton Ave., and no registration is needed.
SMART Recovery is a nonprofit international organization that provides science-based, self-empowering support groups for abstaining from addiction. The program uses techniques drawn primarily from cognitive behavior therapy and motivational interviewing.

The SMART Recovery program is under continuous revision, and changes as scientific knowledge about addiction treatment and recovery evolves. It is reviewed by both practicing addiction treatment professionals, who volunteer as advisers to the organization, and the International Advisory Council, which includes many of the world’s leading addiction scientists.

Call Focus on Friends at 419-423-5071 for more details.

Blue Oyster Cult with Mark Farner @ The Ritz Theatre
Sep 21 @ 7:30 pm

Riff-heavy and hook-laden, Blue Oyster Cult’s songs inspired psychedelic jam bands and arena rockers alike, which include the smash singles “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Burnin’ for You” and “Godzilla.” Special guest Mark Farner was the engine that pulled the original Grand Funk Railroad to the top of the charts, and today he is a platinum recording artist 30 times over.

Soul Shine Blues Festival @ Meadowbrook Park Ballroom
Sep 22 @ 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

First Step Healthy Family Resource Center will host the 23rd annual Soul Shine Blues Festival from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Meadowbrook Park Ballroom, 5430 Ohio 18 W, Bascom.

Maurice John Vaughn and Shirley Johnson are the event’s headliners. The Soul Shine Blues Band along with Bud Mowery and the All Star Blues Band complete the bill.

Tickets are $25 and can be obtained by calling First Step at 419-435-7300. They are also available at the door the day of the event.

All proceeds go to help the resource center provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children, along with a 24-hour support line, advocacy and outreach with support programs for men, women and children.

The festival will offer a variety of food, including Main Street Deli’s seafood jambalaya and red beans and rice; and Hawg Sawce Catering’s Jason Carter will provide pulled pork barbecue.

The year’s guitar raffle will feature a limited edition Fender Standard Stratocaster in seafoam pearl with a hard case. There will also be two handmade cigar box guitars donated by Roger Jones, one inspired by Ohio State University with the other a tribute to Vietnam veterans. There will also be a Top Hat raffle and gift baskets.

Raffle tickets are available at First Step, located at 1099 Columbus Ave., Fostoria, or the day of the show. Winners do not need to be present at the event.

Coming out of the streets of Chicago, Maurice John Vaughn is a triple threat on guitar, saxophone and vocals. Raised on Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, black Top 40 and James Brown, he has incorporated his various influences into a blues and R&B style of his own.

In the 1980s, Vaughn released his debut solo album, “Generic Blues Album,” and followed that up with 1993’s “In the Shadow of the City” and 2001’s “Dangerous Road.”

Raised in Virginia, Shirley Johnson is a gritty, big-voiced blues singer who can also handle soul and gospel. She got her start in her church’s gospel choir at the age of 6 before developing a taste for secular blues music, later landing opening slots for Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Z.Z. Hill, and other well-known artists passing through Virginia. Eventually, she found a home in the Chicago blues circuit, recording albums like 1996’s “Looking for Love,” 2002’s “Killer Diller,” and 2009’s “Blues Attack.”

The Soul Shine Blues Band will perform traditional blues, drawing on influences like John Lee Hooker, Mississippi John Hurt and Reverend Gary Davis along with the Chicago blues of Howlin’ Wolf. The group features Dave Phillips, Otto Mercer, Rusty Campbell, Jay Albright, Pete Hill and Jameson Newhouse, the first four of which have been in the Findlay area music scene for decades.

Bud Mowery and the All Star Blues Band was formed specifically for Soul Shine, featuring Mowery, Glenn Roddy, John Whitlow, Steve Wilson, Dave McNary, and Gary Burns. The bandmates carry decades of experience from local bands, with a repertoire featuring everything from B.B. King and Muddy Waters to more contemporary artists like Rory Gallagher and Joe Bonamassa.

For more information, go to: or check out First Step’s Facebook page.

Quarry Farm Jam @ Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm
Sep 22 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Music of all kinds will fill the air as the Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm hosts the organization’s fifth annual jam. Whether you play an instrument like a virtuoso or just like to pretend, sing along or listen, people of all ages are invited to spend a late summer evening with music under the outdoor pavilion’s big red roof. Light refreshments, including homemade cookies, are available.

Mitch McVicker @ Salem-Cass United Methodist Church
Sep 23 @ 10:00 am

Mitch McVicker will bring his Dove award-winning music to Findlay for a 10 a.m. show Sunday, Sept. 23, at Salem-Cass United Methodist Church.

The show is free, but tickets are required. They can be picked up at the church, 4699 Hancock County 236; or Findlay Christian Book and Gift Store, 438 Tiffin Ave.

With 10 albums, a DVD and over 1,800 concerts in 49 states and 13 countries to his name, McVicker began his career in 1995 as support for Rich Mullins, a Christian musician who wrote the song, “Awesome God.”

The two traveled, performed, wrote and lived together before a car accident killed Mullins and badly injured McVicker. While McVicker was still deep in a lengthy and difficult recovery period, the two were awarded a Dove award for the song, “My Deliverer.”

While McVicker’s style is distinct from Mullins, he acknowledges Mullins’ influence on his life, with a pursuit of simplicity and a desire to say real things with his music.

He is touring on the heels of his latest album, “The Acceptance of And,” which he describes as a gradual shift and refinement of his sound.

McVicker said he appreciates the intimate vibe that goes with the larger-than-life sound a church can provide for music, adding that audience energy is what makes a concert special.

Those who attend the show can witness McVicker’s unique stage show, which has described as “MacGyver meets Mark Twain.”

Grand Love @ Family Resource Center
Sep 24 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Grand Love, a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren, meets Mondays, 4 to 5:30 p.m., at 1941 Carlin St., Findlay. Call 419-422-8616.

Jammin’ at the Library @ Bluffton Public Library
Sep 24 @ 6:00 pm

Jammin’ at the Library continues at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 and 24 at the Bluffton Public Library.

This is a song-circle style jam session that anyone is welcome to join. For more information, email

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