Cakewalkin’ Jass Band Celebrates Anniversary at Packo’s

Posted Nov 30th, 2017 by Kirsten Ingram  Category: General News


The Cakewalkin’ Jass Band, “Toledo’s oldest New Orleans style jazz band,” will celebrate their fiftieth anniversary at Tony Packo’s®, Toledo’s most iconic restaurant for eighty-five years, with a weekend of hot tunes and cool sounds.

The special series of concerts kicks off on Friday, December 8th from 8pm to midnight at Packo’s Original location at 1902 Front St., marking the actual fiftieth anniversary of the band’s first formation to the day. The unique celebration continues on Saturday, December 9th, also from 8pm to midnight, and on Sunday, December 10th from 2pm to 5pm. No reservations will be taken by the restaurant and seating will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Ray Heitger, leader and clarinetist of the Cakewalkin’ Jass Band, looks forward to welcoming many former members of the group and guests musicians to sit in with them during the concerts. “Having played thirty-two and two-thirds years of our fifty years at Tony Packo’s Café, it will be great to be back where we have so many wonderful memories,” he says. “Hopefully the fans will enjoy recreating those Camelot days.”

The band’s history and recent activity may be found at

“Having Ray and the group back to help us celebrate our own eighty-fifth anniversary is incredibly special to me,” notes Tony Packo Jr. “Nearly a day doesn’t go by without someone remarking to me about their memories of the Cakewalkin’ Jass Band playing at Packo’s on Front. That’s a winning combination that’s brought so much joy to so many people over the years, and it’s very exciting to have it here again for these three days.”

Beyond this special concert series, Packo’s own 2017 anniversary celebration has included several bun signings by local notables as well as other celebrities from around the world. A special plaque with buns autographed by present and past members of the Cakewalkin’ Jass Band may be seen on the walls of the famous eatery at Front St.

For more information, please contact Scott Radel, Vice President of Operations, at 419-276-2253.

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