Celebrate the arrival of summer with hot ribs and cool jazz. The 34th annual Jazz & Rib Fest, presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, returns to the Arena District riverfront on July 19-21. Three stages will showcase internationally renowned jazz artists and top local talent, while barbeque pit masters serve up sizzling ribs, chicken and more. Savor the best ribs from around the country as 23 award-winning barbeque teams compete for “Best Ribs” bragging rights. The aroma of hot ribs and sounds of cool jazz will fill the air on July 19 and 20 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and July 21 from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Jazz & Rib Fest will offer a diverse lineup of artists guaranteed to satisfy the cravings of any jazz connoisseur. Featured performances for the 2013 Jazz & Rib Fest will include:
Boney James: Cited as virtually creating the urban jazz genre—melding contemporary jazz with hip- hop sensibilities—the crossover virtuoso has racked up nine number one albums on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and multiple Grammy nominations. With over three million total record sales, it is easy to see why James is named one of the most successful saxophonists, songwriters, and producers of our time. www.boneyjames.com
Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Named after the renowned music venue in New Orleans’ French Quarter, Preservation Hall Jazz Band travels worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans style jazz. Many of the band’s founding members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong and have since passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation. Today, the band continues to perform music that embodies a joyful and timeless spirit. www.preservationhall.com/band/
Galactic: For the past 18 years, Galactic has been wowing audiences with their unique brand of New Orleans jazz. They are a collaborative band with a highly improvisational and unique format. Over the years, the band’s sound has evolved from organic New Orleans funk to a more modern style, incorporating elements of hip hop, electronica, and fusion, all rooted in classic jazz. www.galacticfunk.com
Arturo Sandoval: The first musician to bring Latin influences into American Jazz, Arturo Sandoval is an eight time Grammy Award winner, six-time Billboard Award winner, and Emmy Award winner. He is a renowned classical artist, pianist, and composer as well as a guardian of the jazz trumpet and flugelhorn. Named one of the most dynamic live performers to date, it is understood why Sandoval has been seen by millions at the Oscars performing with Celine Dion, the Grammy Awards with Justin Timberlake, and the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys. www.arturosandoval.com
Roy Ayers: Known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, Roy Ayers continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. In the 60’s, he was an award-winning jazz vibraphonist and transformed into a popular R&B band leader in the 70’s & 80’s. Today, Ayers is among the best-known, most loved and respected jazz/ R&B artists on the music-scene, performing with such artists as Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac and Ice Cube. www.royayers.net
Grace Kelly Quintet: Twenty-year-old saxophonist, singer, composer and arranger, Grace Kelly is known for her proficiency and creativity. Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly’s performance as a guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for Barack Obama’s 2012 Inauguration Celebration. Since then, Kelly has continued to garner accolades from artists she reveres, performing and recording with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick Jr., Esperanza Spalding, and Dianne Reeves among others. www.gracekellymusic.com
For a complete performance schedule including local and regional artists, dates, times and venues, visit www.hotribscooljazz.org.
**photo by Randall L. Schieber