26170950_1407883352654779_1884893448592870327_oEven though Salon 21 has been around for more than a couple of years, this compact musical enterprise that can and will is just now starting to hit its stride after being singled out for kudos in Time Out as Best of Cincinnati.

Led by two young women, Jill Jantzen its Artistic Director, and Katie Personke, a member of its growing board and a miracle-working volunteer, the plucky project is, in the words of its leaders, “a concert series that breaks down barriers between performer and audience.”

And break barriers they do through no-nonsense, come as you are, up close, no longer than one hour but hang out a little longer and mingle, gatherings of lovers of music of all kinds.

The featured artists are fast-rising young local pros who play and sing everything from Jazz to Mozart on or to the accompaniment of acoustic Steinways and digital Yamahas.

The concerts happen anywhere except in formal concert halls. One day you might find them in the Weston Art Gallery at the Aronoff, and another at a Mercantile Library. Or in your living room, if you reach out to them and invite them in, as they invite you.

The audience is eclectic: young downtown urbanites, millenials, baby boomers, retirees, young professionals after work, music devotees, all sitting casually around the musicians, sipping a glass of wine and tuning in to music made vibrant and alive by the closeness to its source.

Salon 21’s fourth season continues with Explorations in Improvisation. The featured artist is Cincinnatian jazz pianist Ben Tweedt.

“I started on the piano from a very young age with classical training,” said Tweedt. “I always had an interest and aptitude for expanding on the things I played and transposing the pieces I worked on. The creative outlet I had been looking for turned out to be improvisation, particularly jazz. I try to allow my compositions and solos to be influenced by as many of the different kinds of music that I love as I can.”

On Thursday, January 25th, 2018 at 7 PM at the Weston Art Gallery, inside the Aronoff, Ben will reveal just how music was improvised before someone told someone there was only one way to play things. Take a listen to his take on a jazz classic and hear just what this young musician can do to demystify Misty, the 1954 Erroll Garner standard. Listen to Ben play Misty:

Come to Salon 21 on January 25th, 2018 at 7 pm and hear Ben in Explorations in Improvisation. The concert begins at 7 p.m. but come before, mingle, have a glass of wine and drop a $10 voluntary contribution into the hands of whoever is at the door to welcome you. You’ll want to come back for their next concert.

More information at or contact Katie Personke, Salon 21 Public Relations at Also visit them on Facebook. All About the Performing Arts January 8, 2018

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