The Ohio Valley Jazz Festival

By Scott M. Santangelo

The Ohio Valley Jazz Festival by Scott M. Santangelo
Added February 12, 2018

Cincinnati, Ohio, might have seemed like an unlikely choice to host the nation's largest annual R&B concert, but thanks to local promoter Dino Santangelo, the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival would become the 'Granddaddy of them all.' The first festival was held in 1962 at the Carthage Fairgrounds, but the event would continue to grow--moving to Crosley Field in 1964 and then Riverfront Stadium in 1971--to become the nation's biggest two-day stadium concert. The Ohio Valley Jazz Festival would eventually feature the most popular R&B artists of the day and draw audiences from as far as 500 miles away. The festival pioneered stadium concert production, generated millions for the regional economy, and eased the Greater Cincinnati community's difficult cultural transition throughout the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. —summary from cover

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