YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Organizers in Youngstown are celebrating 25 years of their Jazz in the Park this summer.
“People encourage us to keep going, they just want us to keep going,” said co-organizer Al Robinson.
The free event features performers on Sundays at the B&O Station in Youngstown.
Robinson said this event started off as a youth program in Lincoln Park with just 20 people. Now, they average hundreds of people weekly, some of which come back often.
“People take their vacations, to come back home, to go to Jazz in the Park,” said co-organizer Jeff Green. “It is a community event. We’re talking an entire tri-state community.”
Green said bands from all over the state come out to perform.
“Listen, the bands love this because the people are so responsive,” Green said.
Green and Robinson do not get paid to organize Jazz in the Park. Rather, they put this on for other reasons.
“It’s just the love of music and the love of helping the community,” Robinson said.
Robinson said you do not have to be a fan of jazz to show up.
“If you’re a fan of music period, you want to come. If you’re a fan of family-type atmosphere, you want to come,” Robinson said.
He said guests who aren’t jazz fans might leave as one by the end of the performances.
“That happens all the time. They come up and say, ‘I didn’t know jazz sounded that good,’ or ‘I didn’t know it was like that.’ They maybe into rock and roll, they maybe into rap, but when they come here and get initiated and orientated in jazz, it’s awesome.”
Jazz in the Park continues every Sunday afternoon before Labor Day.