With a mix of great indoor and outdoor jazz on offer, let’s dig into our Labor Day Weekend Jazz Guide! On Friday, August 30th, start your weekend off right with a robust selection of dinner and/or happy hour events. Smooth jazz saxophonist Andrew Waters entertains at Vittoria Ristorante (6pm), vocalist Cherie Mannino is joined by the Honeytones at Barrel & Boar Creekside in Gahanna (6pm), saxophonist Anthony Jackson’s weekly gig at Two Truths in the Short North (6pm) will pair him with guitarist Richard Hennacey, renowned piano entertainer Dave Powers returns to Hyde Park Arlington (6:30pm), the high-powered Mark Rubinstein Trio digs in for another week at Black Point (6:30pm), and pianist Vernon Hairston’s Trio offers a relaxed hang at Avalon Downtown (7pm). Enjoy world-class poetry, as well as music from Mark Lomax, at Harlem Renaissance Remix: Pantheon at Streetlight Guild (Near East Side) at 8pm (info). Also at 8pm, the monthly Big Band Night at Emerald City Ballroom in Dublin offers the opportunity to dance the night away with the classic sounds of Emerald City Swing Orchestra. Columbus’ own modern fusion juggernaut Safety Squad plays its first local gig since leader Danny Bauer moved to Chicago when its opens the Back to School Bash at Brothers Drake at 9:30pm (info). And drummer Maxwell Button leads an excellent quartet of Michael Cox (sax), Derek DiCenzo (guitar), and Chris Berg (bass) at Dick’s Den at 10pm (info). Keep reading for fun jazz for the rest of the weekend!
Saturday, August 31st: First up is a festive appearance by the mighty Swings The Thing Big Band at the St. Michael Church Festival in Worthington at 5pm. Another strong slate of early evening gigs to enjoy includes the classic jazz of the Just Jazz Live Duo on the patio one more time in 2019 at Cimi’s Bistro at Pinnacle in Grove City (6pm), Jazz at Market District features Robert Mason, Addison Smith, and Bradley Mellen at Market District Kitchen & Bar in Bexley (6pm), Anthony Jackson sits in for Paul Strawser’s weekly gig at Camelot Cellars in Olde Towne East (6pm), the evergreen Dave DeWitt TRio holds court at Hyde Park Arlington (7pm), and Brazilian-inflected vocalist Maggie Green’s Trio shares great tunes at Black Point (7pm). At 8pm, the Doug Hare Trio returns to The Olde Oak in Olde Towne East with their upbeat mix of jazz standards, rock covers and originals” (info). Athens’ funky Largemouth Brass Band takes part in the Maxwell Hedron CD Release at Brothers Drake which starts at 9pm (info), which is also when the soulful fusion of Omni-tet hits at Kafe Kerouac in Old North Columbus, and The Velvet Sirens continue their Summer Performance Residency at Club Diversity with ukulele-powered jazz and swing standards (info). Round out the night at Dick’s Den, where the From The Five Jazztet, featuring Jim Powell-trumpet, Randy Mather-sax, Mark Rubinstein-piano, Derek DiCenzo-bass & Aaron Scott-drums, plays classic hard bop starting around 10pm.
Sunday, September 1st: There are three tasty brunch options that we know of: The Derek DiCenzo Trio makes its monthly Soul Sunday appearance at Natalie’s at 11am, the Erik Augis Trio swings at Third and Hollywood at 11:30am, and the guitar duo of Doug Neel with Zakk Jones continue Neel’s weekly series at Market District Kitchen & Bar at 11:30am. The sultry schedule at Natalie’s continues at 2:30pm with Gospel Soul Brunch, hosted by Debra James Tucker and featuring vocalist Dr. E, the Inspirational Soul Queen (info). Tony Monaco sits in for Bobby Floyd and leads his Trio for its weekly series of Jazz Sundays in the Blue Velvet Room at the historic Snowden Gray Mansion Downtown at 6pm (info). Also at 6pm, Vernon Hairston is joined by his daughter, Dr. Arianna Michele, for a soulful night at Barcelona at 6pm. Sunday includes a very rare opportunity to hear Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra play a Dance Party if you’re up for a drive – The FJO swings at Ariel-Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon, OH at 7:30pm (info). Sunday ends with two stalwarts of the Columbus Jazz Calendar – the timeless sounds of the Wally Mitchel Jazztet at Dick’s Den at 8pm, and the long-running Hoo Doo Soul Band’s weekly gig is also a Rumba Cafe 13th Anniversary Show, getting started at 9pm at the Cafe (info).
On Labor Day – Monday, September 2nd, there is only one jazz show that we are aware of. Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra plays its weekly gig at Clintonville Woman’s Club at 7:30pm. No guests this week, so expect the FJO to dig deep and cook!
Have a great week and a safe holiday!