We’ve made it to December! That means that holiday jazz is now in abundance, so I’d like to rundown some of your festive options this week. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s annual “Home For The Holidays” show kicked off Wednesday and continues with shows at Southern Theatre Thursday through Saturday nights and a Sunday matinee performance, featuring songstress Carly Thomas Smith and 19 year-old pianist, Juilliard student, and Westerville native Micah Thomas. Tickets are available here and Saturday night’s performance will be live streamed here by WOSU. The Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra will play at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday, December 1st, at 5pm for its Holiday Tree Lighting, and will also open the Sunday CJO show at 2pm. Otterbein holds its Holiday Jazz Showcase at Cowan Hall on its Westerville campus on Thursday at 8pm. The Dave DeWitt TRio makes its annual appearance at the Bungalow Jazz Christmas party, which is always a jubilant gathering of the Columbus jazz community, on Friday, December 2nd at 7:30pm, and will continue to showcase its artful touch with holiday tunes with a concert at the Upper Arlington Public Library on Thursday, December 8th, at 7pm. More to come for the next few weeks!
Shows To See This Week
Saturday, December 3rd (4 – 7pm): Nate Bishop and the Elevator Brewing Company Ale Stars at Elevator Brewing Tap Room, 165 N. 4th Street. Saxophonist and Capital University senior Bishop has been running a Friday happy hour jam session this fall with classmates at the brewery’s downtown tap room, not to be confused with its restaurant on High Street. While the session is currently on hiatus, with plans to return in January, Bishop has assembled a band for a swingin’ Saturday afternoon performance as part of Elevator’s “Barrel Aged Winter Warmer” Release Party. The party kicks off at noon and include ugly Christmas sweaters, holiday desserts, appetizers, a food truck, and special promotional items and sales, so make a day of it! Full details here.
Monday, December 5th (7:30 – 10pm): Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra featuring Natalie Adams at Clintonville Woman’s Club. The FJO, a twenty-two piece orchestra made up of volunteer professional musicians under the guidance of renowned trombonist, educator and bandleader Wiester, is now in its 20th year of playing weekly big band concerts, with the last 5+ years at the Clintonville Woman’s Club. While I’ve seen them in action elsewhere, I recently saw the band on their home turf for the first time and witnessed their understated orchestral majesty in living color. I hope to return soon! This week’s show features the monthly appearance by all-star vocalist Adams, and will surely be a rousing evening of great music played by many of Columbus’ finest. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Wednesday, December 7th (9pm – 1am): Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (KDTU) with Southern Avenue at Woodlands Tavern. This Grandview hub of live music of many shapes and sizes, along with sister venue Park Street Saloon, brings some of the best jazz-oriented outfits on the larger “jam band” circuit to town, and this show will be a shining example of their contributions to the local jazz scene. Saxophonist Denson has been a jazz and funk hero over his three decade career, co-founding and leading the Greyboy Allstars and serving as sideman to jazz stars (Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Stanton Moore) and bands of many styles, including his current gig as saxophonist for the Rolling Stones. Presented by 90.5FM WCBE, this show is a stop on the KDTU “Running With The Diesel” tour, which sees the band playing material from an album forthcoming in 2017, recent albums, and super-charged covers of popular tunes that run the gamut. The current KDTU touring lineup is comprised of Richmond guitarist DJ Williams, Soulive drummer Alan Evans, Greyboy Allstars’ bassist Chris Stillwell, Crush Effects’ keyboardist David Veith, Seattle trumpeter Chris Littlefield and ace slide and lap steel guitarist Seth Freeman. Up-and-coming soul band Southern Avenue opens. Click here for tickets.
Have a great week! Here are a couple Denson videos to get you ready: