JazzFest History


Awarded: 2020

"The place just wraps its arms around you when you walk in there."

- Brendan Ring

Named after Dublin’s famed red light district, Cleveland Heights’ Nighttown earned a reputation of its own as a premiere jazz destination. It is named as one of the “Best Jazz Clubs in the World” by DownBeat magazine.

The iconic landmark, built in 1920, opened as a club in 1965.  The owner transformed the one room bar into a venue where a who’s who of jazz greats entertained audiences for decades.

Jim Wadsworth, a local booking agent, joined in 1999 to sign larger acts including those performers whose work reflected the varied musical genres jazz embodies.

Brendan Ring purchased Nighttown in 2001. He created a welcoming ambiance that solidified the club’s popularity with artists and patrons alike.

The club was sold to Red Restaurant Group in 2021.

Nighttown - Ahmad Jamal
Nighttown - Brendan Ring and Nighttown