As of May 28th, local powerhouse the Derek DiCenzo TRio is now playing every Thursday night, 7 to 9:30pm, at Trattoria Roma, 1447 Grandview Avenue. With DiCenzo on guitar, Dave DeWitt on bass, and Aaron Scott on drums, the band plays two sets in the restaurant’s picture window, which looks out onto the bustling heart of Grandview. I stopped by to check out the band and venue last week, and had the chance to chat with DiCenzo and Scott about the new night. This fine Italian restaurant offers specials on wine and small plates all night Thursday, along with their new summer full menu. The classy yet relaxed environment offers great vantage points (throughout the restaurant) on some of the finest trio jazz you’ll see anywhere. I saw the group breathe new, joyful life into a variety of standards, and I could tell they were having a great deal of fun doing it.
As Scott told me, what the group plays is “truly trio music,” with all three members contributing equally and shaping each piece. Scott and DeWitt have played together for over 25 years at this point, with DiCenzo joining the outfit in the meantime, and have played extensively throughout Central Ohio, and beyond, since. All sons of professional musicians, these three have long been some of Columbus’ finest performers, whether it’s jazz or a wide selection of other genres. One of the many strengths of the “TRio Jazz” band is their flexibility – along with the guitar trio format, the group also plays regularly as a piano trio (with DeWitt on lead and DiCenzo on bass), including a weekly Saturday gig at Hyde Park in Upper Arlington, and with the ability of DiCenzo and DeWitt to play additional percussion instruments, the possibilities are endless. Scott also pointed out that, like all of their gigs, the band treats the Thursday shows as “jazz gigs,” not background music for dining, and that approach is evident at Trattoria Roma. The band plays directly in the front of the restaurant, and while their volume is not overpowering, the music is wholly present and ready to be savored. So stop by for dinner or a drink on a Thursday night this summer and enjoy great jazz in a great setting. For more info on the band, visit http://www.bigbabymusic.com.