At a press conference, Music and Event Management Inc. — aka MEMI, the concert arm of the non-profit Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra that runs Riverbend Music Center and Taft Theatre — announced the name of its forthcoming music venue at The Banks on Cincinnati's Riverfront.
MEMI announced at a press conference at Paul Brown Stadium that the 4,500-person capacity venue will be called the Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center — or "The ICON" (or at least "The ICON Music Center") for short.
The venue — located on land between The Banks and Smale Park near Paul Brown Stadium — is being designed by architectural firm GBBN (check out renderings here). MEMI has said it hopes to have the venue open by the fall of 2020.
“The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center is intended to fill a gap in the market and meet the needs of today’s touring artists and their fans,”MEMI CEO Mike Smith said in a press release. “With more artists touring today than ever before, it will be MEMI’s priority to bring a diverse mix of these aspiring performers, representing virtually every genre of live entertainment. The ICON will establish Cincinnati as a must-play market for ALL artists.”
The ICON Music Center is slated to host up to 170 events per year, both indoors and outside of the venue in a space that can accommodate up to 8,000 fans.
Who's Andrew J Brady? From MEMI's press release:
"Andrew J. Brady (1915-2004) graduated from Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music in 1938. He later taught music at Rothenberg Elementary in Over-The-Rhine and became the music director at Western Hills High School in Cincinnati. His concerts, annual Bandwagon variety shows, and football halftime shows were legendary. As a working musician, Brady played in area jazz bands and was a regular in the Beverly Hills Supper Club band. His concerts in Hamilton County and Cincinnati Parks were a fixture of summer.
Additionally, he conducted a summer youth orchestra sponsored by the Cheviot Westwood Kiwanis Club, and gave voluntary music lessons to adults who had never played an instrument. Mr. Brady was married 60 years to his late wife Frances. They have two daughters, Susan and Patricia."
The construction of the Cincinnati music venue has been dogged by resistance from some city officials (including Cranley) and the Bengals, which owns a parking lot needed for the venue. Last month, Cincinnati City Council gave approval to two measures that finally cleared the way for the site's development to continue.
MEMI won the rights to build the new venue over Columbus, Ohio-based PromoWest Productions, which later announced it would develop a competing music venue in Newport, Kentucky.
Find more info on The ICON at iconmusiccenter.com.