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18 Artists with Local Ties Produce CD to Support Anti-Violence Charities in Akron

UPublish story by Bettianne Flanders
Maurice Martin of Akron based Winslow ( One of two band members that contributed to Provenance

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, Ohio-based singer/songwriter, and co-founder of the Akron Peace Project, Zach Freidhof, releases the compilation “Provenance” by Zach & Friends.

Created in conjunction with 18 other artists spanning five states, most with local connections, Provenance was created with nothing but charity in mind.

Believing that the best way to help a community is to get it to come together, these artists will donate 100% of the proceeds from the release to a new endowment fund they’ve created out of this project. The fund will be dedicated to promoting and supporting non-violence programs in Akron, OH.

A listening party is set for Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at Time Traveler CDs in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

The coordinator behind Provenance is Akron-based artist Zach, of Zach and the Bright Lights ( Zach had been on a co-writing journey with contributor Randi Driscoll, when the idea came to him. “I wanted to create an album that wasn’t just me, featuring other artists, but rather a recording that would highlight all the great talent I have the privilege of working with in my touring community.”

Every song is co-written and performed along with the artist featured on the track. The album was recorded in five sessions over the course of three weeks, using studios in Akron, OH and San Diego, CA. Sound Engineer Chris Pepe then mixed and mastered the album. Concept to completion, the album was two months in the making.

The purpose in creating the album was to join together the local music community and work on something that would give back to an area that has special meaning in their lives. All of the musicians have connections to Northeast Ohio – some grew up there, others came for school and today, many call it home. For them, it just made sense the proceeds from the album should benefit a community that has given them so much.

Included in the album is a special tribute to Akron-based legendary arts supporter, Scott Fetterolf, who passed away in 2009. With a little help from Chris, Zach was able to help Scott’s legacy for giving live on through a song Scott wrote and recorded before his untimely death.

Of the album Zach says, “All these songs are beautiful pieces of a statement I could never have written or created without these other great voices. It was an honor to work with each of these artists.”

After much consideration, Zach found a way to make the album benefit the community for generations to come. The artists have created an endowment fund that will benefit non-violence projects throughout Akron. Every penny earned from the album will go into the fund.

“Non-violence is dear to my heart. Zach explains, ‘We truly must be the change we wish to see. All of us want a peaceful society, community, mind. I feel it’s vitally important to educate and cultivate non-violent tools and practices. An endowment fund ensures that our efforts in making this album will continue to impact and support Akron for years to come.”

Supporters can purchase the album (link goes live August 20th).

Below is a short descriptive of each artist involved with the project.


Brent Kirby ( Cleveland, OH – Kirby teaches songwriting in the local school system. Charity work includes Roots of American Music and Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Cameron Jones (no website) Chicago, IL – Rap artist Cameron Jones gives back by walking the dogs at his local animal shelter.

Charlie Mosbrook ( Cleveland, OH - Invited to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. In 2010, Charlie became an incomplete quadriplegic. Charlie coordinates songwriting workshops at his neighborhood library.

Charlie Trenta ( Akron, OH – Guitarist for two Akron-based bands, Charlie holds a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies/Guitar Performance and gives guitar lessons in his local community.

Christopher Pepe ( Akron, OH – Chris is the recording engineer on Provenance. His charity involvement includes work with MD, ACS, Disabled Veterans and the Boys & Girls Club.

Colin John – ( The Big Island, HI – Johns plays both lap and bottleneck styles of slide guitar and is a formidable finger picker. He works with Maui-based Arts Education for Children Group helping kids to realize their musical ambitions.

Courtney Cable (no website) Akron, OH – Courtney is an accomplished jewelry creator whose work is sold in the Zeber Martell Gallery. Music is her hobby. An avid volunteer, she works with the Akron Civic Theatre’s Summer Arts Experience and the Downtown Akron Partnership.


David Ullman ( Minneapolis, MN - headlining his own annual gig at Akron’s Musica “For me,” he says, “even though I might sing about intense, sad-sounding subjects, the goal is always to transcend the darkness by giving voice to it. It’s catharsis… I guess you could say I sing sad songs to get happy.” David’s charity of choice is the Human Rights Campaign.

Diana Chittester ( Cleveland, OH – Diana grew up a Baptist minister’s daughter. Her artist-run record label, Fighting Chance Records, works on projects that bring awareness to the importance of tolerance and acceptance among LGBTQ youth.

Emma Shepard ( Akron, OH – 18 year-old singer/songwriter Emma illustrates, writes and publishes her own comics and zines. She likes to makes pretty coffee drinks and volunteers with the Young Actors Studio.

Kristine Jackson ( Cleveland, OH - Kristine is co-founder of Kickin' The Cancer Blues Corp / The Liz Bohman Foundation.

Rachel Roberts ( Akron, OH – Rachel works with the 93 Cents For Flight 93 campaign. All proceeds from the single “You Won’t Stand Alone” go toward the completion of the United 93 National Memorial.

Maurice Martin ( Akron, OH – Martin embodies the industrious mindset of the Cleveland community in which he was raised. He says, "There might be an artist more talented than me, but they'll never out work me...ever." Martin volunteers with Relay for Life and Dare to Dream.

Randi Driscoll ( ) Los Angeles, CA – Her song “What Matters”, a benefit single that has raised more than $45,000 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, was featured in the NBC film, The Matthew Shepard Story.

Ryan Humbert ( Akron, OH - Ryan the Development Director for the Akron Triple-A radio station 91.3 The Summit FM. He volunteers with Meals on Wheels, The Akron Canton Regional Foodbank, ArtsinStark and Project Rebuild of Canton.

Scott Fetterolf – Owned Scott’s Folkatorium, a local venue and haven for artists in all mediums. Within days of the venue closing in 2009, Akron suffered a greater loss when a car accident took Scott’s life. He was a songwriter, poet and retired social worker.

Scott Franklin ( Cleveland, OH - Nominated “Scene Magazine Best Songwriter of the Year”, Scott supports his local pet rescue Paws & Prayers.

TM Gottl ( Brunswick, OH - Poet and spoken word artist, TM is the author of three books. She is active in the anti-fracking movement.

Zach Freidhof ( Akron, OH – Named Humanitarian of the Year by Akron Life & Leisure Magazine, Zach is a vegan, peace activist, nonviolence trainer, community organizer, co-creator of the Akron Peace Project, yogi, and musician. Zach’s music is meant to inspire and uplift.

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