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Cincy Shows off Crown Jewels of Jazz

The Crown Jewels of Jazz Heritage fest gets bigger, Whispering Beard and Ohmstead return and Uptown Music Festival debuts

By Mike Breen · August 21st, 2013 · Spill It
spill_it_kathy_wade_photo_kathywade.comKathy Wade - Photo: KathyWade.com

In the past, the Crown Jewels of Jazz (CJoJ) concerts have featured such heavyweights as Nancy Wilson, Eartha Kitt, Rosemary Clooney and Kathy Wade, who organizes the event as part of her Learning Through Art, Inc., which she formed in 1992 as a means “to enhance the opportunities for collaborations, arts education, resource and economic development and artistic growth within the community.”

This year, the Crown Jewels of Jazz Heritage Festival is expanding its footprint and presenting its biggest festival to date. The CJoJ fest runs Wednesday-Sunday. 

The bulk of the entertainment takes place at the Global Jazz Village for Literacy at Washington Park, where organizers present Pieces of a Dream and locals the Marc Fields Septet and Airwave on Wednesday; Friday’s Washington Park lineup features more local goodness, from Phil DeGreg and The Samba Jazz Syndicate, Mandy Gaines and The Cincy Brass; on Saturday, the biggest name of the fest, Diane Schuur, joins Wade and the Blue Wisp Big Band on the Washington Park stage.  

On Thursday at 6 p.m., Crown Jewels teams up  with the “It’s Commonly Jazz” concert  series in Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion (6 p.m. start). Gifted vocalist Gregory Porter is set to perform.

Crown Jewels is offering various ticket options. Single-day wristbands are $15, but you can purchase a four-day pass for just $40. That wristband will get you all kinds of discounts at area business — shops, restaurants, bars — so you can make a day of it and explore all that downtown has to offer. 

To check out the full schedule and all of the Crown Jewels of Jazz perks available, click here.

Whispering Beard Returns

Like many eventually successful music festivals, Whispering Beard Folk Festival (WBFF) started out as something of a party and has grown into a full-blown and wildly popular Folk festival that draws thousands to Friendship, Ind., every year. The fest returns to Friendship from Friday-Sunday this week, about 50 miles from Cincinnati.

Organizers always do a great job of mixing up-and-comers, legends and local acts into the fest lineup. 

Among the more well-known acts performing at this year’s WBFF include Jason Isbell, Joe Pug, David Mayfield Parade and Charlie Parr.

There are also plenty of Greater Cincinnati acts in the mix — Billy Catfish, Magnolia Mountain, Rattesnakin’ Daddies, Frontier Folk Nebraska, Kentucky Timbre, Arlo McKinley & the Lonesome Sound, Terminal Union, Mt. Pleasant String Band, The Flavor Junkies, Red Cedars, My Brother the Bear, Ben Knight and the Welldiggers and many more.

Online tickets are available to purchase until Thursday (whisperingbeard.com) and you can also buy them at the gates. Tickets are $70 for a full-weekend pass, $40 for a Friday/Saturday pass and single-day tickets for Sunday are $20. (There are also cheaper rates for children 6-12.)

All-weekend on-site camping is $40. The off-site camping is free, though you may want to check the site before you make plans; the free campsites are “limited to availability.” (Visit the website to reserve your spot.)

Check out Brian Baker's feature story on Whispering Beard from earlier this summer.

Even More Fests!

• Earlier this year, Cincy Reggae/Rock squad The Ohms announced a hiatus, playing sparingly and letting the offshoot Elementree Livity carry the spirit on. But The Ohms are back this weekend because … who else to put on the annual Ohmstead Music Festival? 

The festival returns this Friday-Sunday to Hannon’s Camp America, near Oxford, Ohio. Along with The Ohms and Elementree Livity, the campout-friendly event is also scheduled to feature Rusty Van Band, Pharaoh Loosey, Tropidelic, The Zionites, Junya Be & Wazali, Baoku and the Image AfroBeat Band and many other Reggae, Jam, DJ, Rock and Hip Hop artists. 

Tickets are just $25, available at brownpapertickets.com (until Wednesday night) or at the fest gates.