Calendars have aligned among Columbus jazz venues to create an astounding lineup of touring and area musicians performing smooth and/or funky jazz on Saturday, May 26th. Therefore, if you’re still making plans for a fun Memorial Day weekend, we assembled a roundup of your many strong options (that we know of as of press time). One blockbuster performance originally scheduled for Saturday has recently shifted days and venues. Columbus smooth jazz, R&B and urban contemporary powerhouse NexLevel will join forces with a frequent collaborator, Louisville, Kentucky’s Maestro J “The Blazin’ Violinist” at The Idle-A-While on Friday, May 25th at 9pm for an exciting mix of smooth jazz and neo-soul. Tickets are $15 at the door or online – click here for more details including discounts! Keep reading for info on Saturday events.
Saturday, May 26th at 7pm (doors): The Victor Wooten Trio featuring Dennis Chambers and Bob Franceschini at Woodlands Tavern. Acclaimed bassist, 5-time GRAMMY winner and unstoppable music force Victor Wooten returns to Columbus for an evening of high-powered fusion. Wooten will be joined onstage by legendary drummer Dennis Chambers (Parliament/Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Santana and many more) and veteran saxophonist Bob Franceschini (Mike Stern, Paul Simon), with whom he released TRYPNOTYX in 2017. This concert is very likely to sellout, so buy tickets here NOW!
Saturday at 9pm: Urban Jazz Coalition at Notes. Fresh from opening for Nick Colionne in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Columbus’ own smooth jazz superstars return to their home base for a big show. Their 2017 release XXII is still riding high on the smooth jazz charts and this will be a great time to catch them in an intimate setting in front of an energized crowd. Tickets are also moving fast for this one, so get yours here!
Saturday at 10pm: fo/mo/deep Annual Birthday Jam at Natalie’s. Columbus’ “Eclectic Groove Oriented Funky Jazz Collective” comes back to one of their favorite venues for their annual celebration of the birthdays of bassist and bandleader Ron Holmes and drummer André Scott as well as Holmes’ wedding anniversary. Holmes, Scott and keyboardist Kevin Jones will be joined by a cavalcade of talented guests: Guitarist Wib Schneider, saxophonist/flutist Lugary Pennywell, keyboardist Josh Boyd, vocalist and harmonica player Brian Peters, saxophonist Joe Loyer and violinist Stephen Spottswood! Get ready for an evening of new and classic grooves – Table seating was almost sold out as of press time, so buy tickets now!
Saturday at 10pm: Tim Dvorkin Trio at Dick’s Den. Keyboardist Dvorkin and his powerhouse fusion outfit present a more laid-back option at “The One And Only.” Dvorkin’s band will include Boris Livshitz on bass and longtime collaborator Rick Soriano on drums, and Dvorkin tells me that “We’ll play the songs from our 2 CDs [LIVE @ Brothers Drake and Live & Raw], plus some new tunes as well as some known standards!” Cover is a mere $5 for a night of funky fusion that goes until about 2am, so come early and/or stay late!
Have a funky (Friday and) Saturday! Get ready with video: