As Christmas nears, the biggest event in this week’s Holiday Jazz Guide is the return of a jazz powerhouse with international talent! James Gaiters’ MUV-MeNT is performing a Holiday Celebration show at Natalie’s on Friday, December 21st at 9:30pm (tickets available here). For this occasion, drummer Gaiters will feature acclaimed Chicago trumpeter Pharez Whitted, along with Eddie Bayard on saxophone, Lovell Bradford on piano, and Runere Brooks on bass. This will surely be a festive way to celebrate the holidays, and Gaiters’ 50th Birthday! Keep reading for info on more great holiday jazz this week.
Also on Friday, December 21st, soulful crooner J London will deliver a “Smooth Jazz Christmas Joy” performance at 8pm at Christmas Corner in front of the State Auto Insurance Companies office Downtown – dress warm! On Saturday, December 22nd at 7:30pm, celebrate Christmas with the Heisey Wind Ensemble Big Band, featuring esteemed vocalist Kelly McLennan, at the John Gilbert Reese Center in Newark – Call (740) 345-6935 for more info. And on Sunday, December 23rd at 2pm, a longstanding tradition continues in a new locale – the second show at Becky Ogden’s (Bungalow Jazz) new home at 5137 Riverside Drive in Delaware is the “New Bungalow Barn Holiday Party” featuring the Dave DeWitt TRio. Bring donations for the band and BYOB for some high-powered holiday cheer!
The Columbus Jazz Calendar quiets down for Christmas with only one show each on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (that we are aware of), but they are indeed highlights! On Monday, December 24th at 8pm, legendary vocalist Louise Salvador will perform with pianist Bob J. Mills for a warm Christmas Eve concert at Club Diversity – revisit our 2015 interview to learn more about Salvador. On Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25th, the dependable source for jazz on holidays delivers again when Zontar’s Campers perform at Dick’s Den at 9pm. The band will be led by bassist Roger Hines – “Zontar” – and also include Randy Mather on sax, Stan Smith on guitar, and Debra Tucker on vocals plus two legends on drums. Hines tells me that Greg Bandy, “The Mayor of Harlem,” and Tommy Smith will trade playing the drum set all night, which will be a treat.
Have a great week! Happy Holidays!