2,000 jam downtown for jazz festival




It’s been at least 20 years since Mark and Fay Robison of Cortland visited downtown Youngstown.

After all this time, what brought the pair to downtown Saturday?

The sweet sounds of the Youngstown Jazz Festival on the city’s Central Square.

The event featured several jazz musicians with Spryo Gyra and David Benoit as the headliners.

The couple read an article in The Vindicator about the festival and decided to come. They said they made a good decision.

“We have CDs of Spyro Gyra and David Benoit, and we’re excited that they’re playing here,” said Mark Robison. “This is the first time we can see them in person.”

His wife added: “We love to listen to jazz, and this is perfect weather for an outdoor festival.”

Also, the Robisons said they were very impressed with the changes to downtown since they were last here.

“It’s very nice,” Fay said. “They’ve done a lot of work.”

Family members from Tampa, Fla., will be visiting the Robisons shortly, and the couple plan to bring them downtown.

“We’ll come here to eat and to do some bar-hopping,” Mark said.

About 2,000 people packed downtown’s Central Square, closed to vehicular traffic for the festival.

Also enjoying the festival was Ted Brown of Youngstown and his girlfriend, Wanda Bryant of Canton.

“This event is beautiful, and we both love jazz,” Bryant said. “It’s an opportunity to hear great music.”

Brown, a city firefighter, said he wants to see the jazz festival become an annual event.

“Youngstown is going through a revitalization, and this is a good opportunity for people to come downtown and see what it has to offer,” he said.

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