Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra is made up of 21 of central Ohio’s finest musicians who have come together every Monday evening on a semi-informal basis since 1997. They share their love of jazz playing their favorite big band charts. For fans, this is an opportunity to hear the sounds of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, and other great bands. Occasionally there are guest instrumental or vocal artists, or guest arrangers conducting their own arrangements. Many nationally known arrangers have been commissioned to write for the Famous Jazz Orchestra, including Bill Holman, Herb Harrison, Slide Hampton, Lennie Niehaus, Bill Dobbins, Paul Ferguson and Al Kiger.
Members of the orchestra have played with orchestras of Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, Woody Herman, Mel Lewis, Tommy Dorsey, Ralph Marterie, and Buddy Rich, as well as with Columbus bands including those of Al Waslohn, Doc Everhart, Bruno Masdea, Chuck Selby, Rick Brunetto, and with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Many members have been on local university jazz faculties.
For twelve years the orchestra played at the Columbus Music Hall downtown on Oak St., and then for three years at The Maennerchor on S. High St. Since the summer of 2011 they have been playing at The Clintonville Woman’s Club, 3951 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214 (just north of the Park of Roses), 614-268-5525, every Monday night from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Come and go as you wish. Cost is just $10 for adults and $5 for students, with ample parking. Snacks and setups are sold, and you may BYOB. There is both table seating and row chairs.
The orchestra’s website is FamousJazzOrchestra.com.
Vaughn is a former university jazz instructor, a jazz arranger, and former trombonist with the Woody Herman orchestra. He has arranged for Woody, for the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and for Terry Waldo’s Ragtime Orchestra. His voluminous library of jazz charts and CDs is one of the largest in the United States. In February 2012 he was selected to give the pre-concert lecture for Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra’s Stan Kenton Centennial Concert. Monday nights are not an event to dance with the orchestra, but rather a chance to enjoy wonderful jazz listening in a congenial setting. (The orchestra is, however, available for social events for an exorbitant fee! Call 614-263-4014 anytime.)