Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

First Voice Ohio

Year: 2009
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 71 minutes

First Voice Ohio
First Voice Ohio
First Voice Ohio
First Voice Ohio
First Voice Ohio

Kevin Richards, head of Cleveland Heights' Fairmount School of Music, launched Roots of American Music (ROAM) in 1999. It's a program that draws on the talents of his many musician friends to introduce area school kids to America's history and culture through its roots music. "Our focus is on the preservation of what roots music is, its diversity and ethnicity," says Richards. "Everything is so homogeneous, but [through our programs] kids get exposed to zydeco, bluegrass, blues." Now, more than a decade later, ROAM has expanded beyond classroom programs and school assemblies. Its current project is FIRST VOICE OHIO, a film that documents the oral histories, and live music performances of 16 Ohio roots musicians who have made significant contributions to jazz, old-time bluegrass, blues, and Appalachian folk music. Featuring such familiar Northeast Ohio players as saxophonist Rob Williams, blues singer Kristine Jackson, fiddler Bill Lestock, and blues singer-guitarist Austin Charanghat, FIRST VOICE OHIO demonstrates the vital role our region plays in roots preservation today. –B.B.

CIFF34 Screenings

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Friday, March 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Kevin Richards, Sheela Das

Kevin T. Richards

Kevin T. Richards is a vocalist and plays electric and acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. He has appeared at the National Folk Festival and entertained audiences across the U.S. for over a quarter century.


Kevin T. Richards

Tom Cummings

Tom Cummings

Film Contact
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