Northeast Ohio's Home for Jazz Turns 50
Cleveland music historian Joe Mossbrook says many area jazz spots have come and gone, but Nighttown is still going strong.
JOE MOSSBROOK: I don't think there's any doubt at all that --- of today's jazz clubs --- it is certainly the longest-running continuous operation in Cleveland.
The name comes from a neighborhood of ill repute in the James Joyce novel "Ulysses", a favorite book of Nighttown founder John Barr, who opened the place on February 5th, 1965. But, it was current owner Brendan Ring and music promoter Jim Wadsworth who established a regular jazz presence at the club, in the late 90s. Wadsworth has brought in a mixture of national and local acts over the years for a loyal, local audience.
JIM WADSWORTH: Jazz is like a jack-in-the-box --- you push it down, it keeps popping back up, you know? It's a very strong thread in our culture and I don't see it going away.
There was a packed house at Nighttown, last night, celebrating the endurance of both the club, and the music.