Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Before we get into the week ahead, I’d like to briefly reflect on 2019 Columbus jazz. I reviewed and enjoyed a strong quintet of Columbus jazz releases (in roughly chronological order) – Waves de Ache – Forward Motion; Zakk Jones – Mise-en-scène; fo/mo/deep – Syzygy; Ayman Abi Kheir – Zayzafoon; and Robert Mason Trio – State of Soul. My live jazz forays were light for the year, but I was thrilled to attend the following (also chronological): JAG’s Songs & Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance; Tony Hagood Presents The Music of Horace Silver; Richard Lopez Presents Boss Tenors, Live from Cbus; James Gaiters Soul Revival; OH-NY Connection; and the Alex Harding-Lucian Ban Duo. Here’s hoping for even more great jazz in 2020! Keep reading for a guide to live jazz over the holiday weekend!
New Year’s Weekend Jazz Guide
Friday, December 27th: Great weekly and monthly dining and drinking options continue: Smooth jazz with Andrew Waters at Vittoria Ristorante (6pm), sax man Anthony Jackson & Friends at Two Truths (Short North) (6pm), pianist extraordinaire Dave Powers at Hyde Park Arlington (6:30pm), violinist Stephen Spottswood & The Symphonic Soul at The Westin Great Southern Columbus bar (Downtown) (6:30pm), and preeminent vocalist Louise Salvador with pianist Bob J Mills at Bexley Premier Restaurant (7pm). Trutone performs a smooth mix at Blu Note Jazz Cafe (East Side) at 8pm with “Tony Cooper on guitar, Bo Dixon on keyboards, Duane Gaskins on bass, Bob Bowers on trumpet, and debut of our new drummer, Jacob Ellzey.” Classy jazz-pop outfit Hot Tonic recently returned from a European tour – see them at The Walrus (Downtown) at 9pm (more info). And at 9:30pm, catch Columbus’ own New Orleans-style brass party when New Basics Brass Band returns to Natalie’s – only standing room tickets remained at press time, get them here!
Saturday, December 28th: The always inventive trio lineup at Market District Kitchen & Bar (Bexley) this week features saxophonist Will England with mainstays Addison Smith and Bradley Mellen at 6pm, which is also when pianist Paul Strawser plays his weekly gig at Camelot Cellars (Olde Towne East). At 7pm, Dave DeWitt and a trio offer timeless piano trio jazz at Hyde Park Arlington, continuing a 31 year tradition. At 8pm, fusion supergroup FLIPPO presents the second of two nights of its “Tribute to Steely Dan” at Natalie’s Grandview – the first night is already sold out, so get limited tickets here NOW! Also at 8pm, veteran drummer The Governor returns to Blu Note Jazz Cafe with a stalwart group. The Walrus continues a jazzy weekend when the soulful NiNi Love JazzySide hits their stage at 9pm – more info here. Also at 9pm is the newly announced Filament 2-year Anniversary Party in Franklinton, presenting two sets of mind-blowing Cincinnati fusion outfit Spherical Agenda – more info here. A third great 9pm is the full lineup of the Hot Tonic Orchestra touching down at Rambling House (Old North Columbus). Finally, evergreen jazz/poetry band Circus of Cool celebrates leader Krista Kitty’s birthday with a show at Dick’s Den around 10pm – info here.
Sunday, December 29th: Excellent brunch options continue as Doug Neel’s weekly guitar duo at Market District Kitchen & Bar features Joshua Hill and Erik Augis Trio keeps cookin’ at Third and Hollywood, both at 11:30am. Woodwind specialist Aaron Minnick’s Swingin’ Trio will bring a variety of talent to Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea (OSU Campus) at 1pm – info here. The Bobby Floyd Trio, with Floyd on piano/organ, Derek DiCenzo on guitar/bass, and Reggie Jackson on drums continues its weekly session The Blue Velvet Room at Snowden Gray Mansion at 6pm, which is also when Cuban fusion purveyors Waves De Ache hit at Barcelona for a perfect accompaniment to your dinner. Catch a primetime reunion event when vocalist Kelly Delaveris returns to Columbus to play with Brasileira, including special guest Vaughn Wiester, at Natalie’s at 8pm – limited tickets here. For a more low-key end to the weekend proper, drummer Wally Mitchel and his Jazztet play their weekly gig at Dick’s Den around 8pm.
Monday, December 30th: Pianist Dave Powers delights the crowd at his weekly stop at The Top at 6pm. And Kelly Delaveris’ homecoming tour continues when she appears with Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra at Clintonville Woman’s Club at 7:30pm – get there early for seats!
Tuesday, December 31st – New Year’s Eve: If you haven’t made NYE plans yet, there are still fleeting chances to catch holiday entertainment options old and new! The Nostalgics Big Band presents its annual Jazzy New Year’s Eve Worship Service at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster, OH at 5:30pm. The Gatsby Ballroom Supper Club, with an entertainment lineup including Priscilla Woodson and E-Flat gets started at Culture (North Side) at 6pm – tickets and info here. Long-running Latin fusion ensemble Clave Sonic makes its annual appearance at Barcelona starting at 7pm – Click here for reservation info. Another annual performance at 7pm is the return of the In Full Swing Big Band to the lush environs of Franklin Park Conservatory – The event is free with admission to the conservatory. Nini Love JazzySide brings its vibrant and varied style to a NYE Celebration at Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbus Airport at 8pm – tickets and info here. Classy NYE entertainment is well established in the Hyde Park family of restaurants: Maggie Green Trio performs at Black Point at 8pm – Call (614) 221-5294 for reservations – and Kelly Delaveris wraps up her homecoming by joining forces with the Dave DeWitt TRio at Hyde Park Arlington at 8pm – Call (614) 442-3310 for reservations. The Rick Brunetto Big Band can always be counted on for a blockbuster NYE celebration – they team up with Nate Evans’ Temptations Revue at the classic Valley Dale Ballroom (Northeast Side) at 9pm – details on the full night of entertainment here. Another prestigious party for the occasion finds the jazz-pop Emily Syring Band at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (Downtown) at 9pm – Call (614) 686-7800 for more info. Finally, Dave Powers makes his annual late night stop at Lindey’s in German Village at 10pm – Call (614) 228-4343 for reservations.
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 – New Year’s Day: As usual, there is no live jazz that we know of on New Year’s Day, so enjoy football and family time!
Have a safe and happy New Year’s!