Arts, Culture, Jazz Collide in Youngstown July!

The weekend of July 10-13 brings an explosion of music, art, cultural celebrations and fabulous food to Youngstown and Youngstown State University.  Events include:

• The Summer Festival of the Arts, on the campus of Youngstown State University – July 12 & 13
• The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, N. Walnut Street, Youngstown – July 10 -13
• The Downtown Jazz Fest, Downtown Youngstown – July 12.

The 16th annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts is July 12 and 13 at Youngstown State University. Saturday’s hours are 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The heart of the festival is the artists’ marketplace showcasing the original work of over 75 local, regional and national artists, including painting, jewelry, pottery, and sculpture. Artists’ work has been juried, or selected, from among all of the applicants.

Family activities are central to this event and include the popular hands-on art tent where children are encouraged to make their own creations under the guidance of a professional art teacher. Dozens of music, theater and dance performances are also scheduled at the event which spans the entire length of the campus, from the McDonough Museum of Art to DeBartolo Hall. YSU departments and local non-profit and arts organizations participate with activities and displays.

The Summer Festival of the Arts also includes the Festival of Nations, with 20 ethnic clubs and churches showcasing their food, art, live performances, and memorabilia. In addition, many local arts and cultural groups will be open during the festival at their off-campus locations, welcoming visitors and free admission.

St. Nicholas Greek Summerfest offers live music and dancing, food and Greek pastries, and a cultural display. Hours are Thursday, July 10, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 13, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.

For the fourth year, the Downtown Jazz Fest brings the best in jazz performers to Youngstown. Presented by the City of Youngstown and the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the concert is Saturday, July 12, at 7:00 p.m. The stage will be located in the middle of Wick Avenue near Central Square. Tickets are $10 each and available at the gate.

This year’s featured artist is saxophonist/composer Kim Waters. With the release of his 1989 debut album, Sweet and Saxy, Waters was instantly established among the premier Urban Jazz hit makers. Now, after over two decades as a music superstar with 16 Top Ten and 14 #1 singles, 4 #1 CDs and sales in excess of two million album units, Waters has released MY LOVES, his 19th solo album and major label debut.

Inspired by such jazz icons as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, and George Benson, Waters picked up his first instrument – a violin – at the age of eight. "The Maryland native later found his true calling on the alto and soprano saxophones. Shortly afterwards he began playing in a band with his brothers. Over the years, Waters has shared stages with many of the best including Ray Charles, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Hyman, Gerald Albright and Grover Washington, Jr. to name a few. Critically acclaimed by major jazz publications, JazzTimes Magazine says, "Waters is simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists."

More information is available at www.ysu.edu/sfa or by emailing Lori Factor, YSU Summer Festival of the Arts coordinator, at lafactor@ysu.edu.   Happy Summer!