YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s Jazz in the Park kicked off their summer series of concerts Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s show was the first one after a year-long absence due to the pandemic. People packed out Wick Park in Youngstown’s north side for a fun night of jazz music.
It used to be held at the B&O Spring Commons Park, but the venue moved due to COVID-19 restrictions to allow more people to attend.
“Put a blanket out, put a chair, sit down, have a good time and hang out,” said event organizer Jeff Green.
The event has been a Youngstown staple for 28 years. Green’s brother and sister-in-law originally started Jazz in the Park as a kid’s program. Over time, it became an event for the entire community.
“People kept asking for it. So next year we did it again one time. Then they started asking for it more. The parks said ‘Okay, we’re going to help produce this and get this together,'” Green said.
Concertgoers enjoyed food from vendors and others had their own barbecues, all while watching Von James and her band play their tunes.
“Oh, it went fantastic. We had so much fun up there, and just doing what we love, to be back doing what we love to do,” said musician Von James.
The event showcased how it can unify the community.
“It brings us together. One time where we can lay all our weapons aside and do everything. White, black, green, yellow – everbody’s welcome,” said event organizer Jap Robinson.
“People get to know each other, and it creates relationships. So that’s value added to our community,” Green said.