Episode 2 – That’s my Jam!

Welcome to the second episode of “Gimme ArtsNow,” an arts and culture podcast produced by ArtsNow’s EXL Center intern Logan Lane and Roger Riddle where we talk to artists, art venues, and art patrons find what they’re creating, how they’re engaging their communities, and what draws them to art in the first place.


Photo Courtesy of Jef Janis Photography

This episode (“That’s my Jam!”) features Akron-musician Eriq Troi and the Rialto Theatre on Kenmore Boulevard.

First, you’ll join Eriq Troi in the studio as he guides Roger through his creative process. He tells him about his latest album called “String Theory,” which was inspired by his wife’s yarn creations. Then he guides him step-by-step through his song, “The House of Yarn” – which Roger used as the theme to the Akro-Preneurs podcast.

He thought of the tune when he was listening to Beethoven and wondered what an 808-drum machine beat might sound like accompanying it. He recreates the tune for Roger layer-by-layer, showing him how each loop and sample react and build off one another.

Photo of Seth and Nate.

Brothers Seth and Nate Vaill are co-owners of the Rialto Theatre.

Next, Logan will take you down to Kenmore to see the historic Rialto Theatre and meet its owners, Seth and Nate Vaill. When they first bought the theater, the brothers tell Logan, they had no idea they were standing in a cinema that dated back to the early 1900s. At first, it was just a place for their band to rehearse its music. They eventually put in recording studios so they could make a little money on the side.

Photo of theater exterior.

The Rialto’s new marquee is similar to the original cinema’s in the 1910s.

Then, one day a family friend happens to join their recording session and recalls spending two cents on movie tickets in the very same building when she was a kid. Soon after discovering the history behind the building, Seth and Nate’s vision for a “one-stop shop” for artists was born.

Today, the Rialto is a small, cozy venue—a favorite for many local comedians, musicians, and actors. The theater even has two fully-equipped recording studios available.

Photo of theater interior

The theater is small and intimate. From the stage (where the photo was taken), a performer can reach down and touch the audience.

“Gimme ArtsNow” is now available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

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