It's "Jazz Fest" Week — Cincinnati Music Festival Returns with The Ohio Players, New Edition(ish), Mary J. Blige and Much More

The long-running, premier R&B/Soul concert event takes over Paul Brown Stadium this Thursday, Friday and Saturday

click to enlarge The Ohio Players circa 2019 - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
The Ohio Players circa 2019

A recent article from Newsweek named the Cincinnati Music Festival (still colloquially called "Jazz Fest" by many in the Queen City) one of the “13 Best Music Festivals of Summer 2019.” The classic R&B fest — by far the longest-running popular music festival in Southwest Ohio, with origins dating back to 1962 — was included in the write-up alongside heavyweight events like Coachella, Hangout Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Boston Calling, Outside Lands and Woodstock 50.

For CMF 2019’s opening-night kick-off event on Thursday, Hip Hop legends Slick Rick, EPMD and Kid Capri are scheduled to perform. Great Cincinnati Hip Hop trio Patterns of Chaos recently announced they've been added to show as well.


The lineup for the weekend concerts showcases the event’s familiar mix of contemporary R&B/Soul favorites (Mary J. Blige and Maxwell) and old-school heroes (Earth Wind & Fire and Frankie Beverly & Maze). On Friday, the classic lineup of New Edition (“Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike”) is booked to appear, but under the name RBRM, due to early member Ralph Tresvant owning the trademark on the New Edition name (Tresvant has been touring with another former member, Johnny Gill, but not as New Edition). The quartet is playing New Edition classics as well as material from the members' other projects. 


Saturday will feature a special performance by funky Buckeye State music icons The Ohio Players, who recently returned with their first new music in almost 30 years.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. $50-$150. Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Downtown, cincymusicfestival.com.