Jazz in the Park will conclude its 24th consecutive season over the Labor Day weekend

By William K. Alcorn



Clifford Anderson of Youngstown looks forward every year to Jazz in the Park Youngstown from its start at Lincoln Park 24 years ago to its present site at the B&O Station downtown.

“I always come down. I look forward to the relaxed atmosphere. This is something people should know about and attend,” said Anderson, a carpenter with the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority.

He attended Sunday’s event, called the Ribs & R&B Music Festival, with his friend, Beverly Warren, also of Youngstown, who is a lab technician at St. Joseph Warren Hospital.

Youngstowners Rudolph Lumsden and Nate Rivers, both of whom often attend Jazz in the Park events, say they like the music and the friendly people.

“There are no problems here,” Rivers said.

Dorothy McLendon of Girard has been coming to Jazz in the Park concerts for many years.

“I like the atmosphere, and I love the music. It’s something very nice to do on a Sunday afternoon,” said McLendon.

Jazz in the Park events, running for 24 consecutive years, runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sundays between the Summer Festival of the Arts through Labor Day weekend.

“Jazz in the Park events are open to everybody. In all those years, there has never been an altercation,” said Al Robinson, organizer with Jeff Green.

Robinson is a psychotherapist retired from Associates in Counseling and Child Guidance and Green is lead singer for the Sensations and owner of Sound Systems Plus.

Over the years, Jazz in the Park has attracted numerous well-known musicians including James Lloyd, pianist for Pieces of a Dream, and jazz Gospel singer Willie Norwood, father and voice coach of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J.

The final concert of the summer on Sept. 4 at the B&O ill feature the Beck/Ward Project and the Nathan James Project, with singer Arielle, Green’s daughter and a graduate of Anderson University in Anderson, Ind.

Items will be collected for Louisiana flood victims to be distributed through the American Red Cross, Green said.

Jazz in the Park began as a social outreach for youth through the Youngstown City Park Department.

It was originally organized by Robinson and Mike Green, Jeff’s brother, and Mike’s wife, Karen of Archangel Fine and Applied Arts Centre. Jeff began working with Robinson on Jazz in the Park after Jeff’s brother died.

SDLqWe want to thank Youngstown city and its parks department, the mayor and city council for their support,” Robinson said.