Happy Holidays jazz fans! Hope you’re having plenty of fun with friends and family. With this last column of the year, I want to look back at an eventful 2018. There was a selection of great albums released by Columbus artists this year. My favorites (in roughly chronological order) included: Michael Cox – Compassion, Mark Hampton – ROOTS, Safety Squad – Into The Danger Zone, Stan Smith – Moments (of a Journey), and Alex Schrock Trio – Live at BLU Jazz+. Looking forward to more great albums in 2019, keep in touch with me if you have (news of) something upcoming! I also saw some great concerts this year, like (also chronologically) Ogun Meji Duo + Bryan Christopher Moss at Art of Republic, Tony Hagood Trio – “A Tribute To Nat King Cole” at the McConnell Arts Center, Columbus Jazz Orchestra – “New Orleans One Mo’ Time” at the Southern Theatre, “Charlie Parker With Strings” (OSU Jazz Festival) at Weigel Hall, and Terell Stafford Quintet at the Lincoln Theatre. Also looking forward to more concerts in the new year! Keep reading for options to end your 2018 and start your 2019 with live jazz!
Holiday Jazz Guide
The schedule for Thursday, December 27th includes stalwart weekly options along with The Brewtet Holiday Jazz Jam Session at Zaftig Brewing at 7pm (details here) and the star-studded return of Circus of Cool to Dick’s Den at 10pm (details here).
Friday, December 28th: While there are plenty of options to combine fine dining with live jazz, you may be looking for something different after holiday indulging. “Healthy Music Healthy Food” at Long Street Studio Downtown at 7pm features a vegan four course meal from Willowbez Soulveg along with a performance by Cedric Easton & Circle of Friends – tickets and more info here. Fun nightlife options include high-powered smooth jazz – NexLevel at the Idle-A-While Supper Club (East Side) at 8pm, Urban Jazz Coalition at The Pelican Room (Downtown) at 8pm, jazzy funk – Flogo Shaggins at Park Street Tavern at 9pm, all-star celebration of jazz-rock icons – FLIPPO: Tribute to Steely Dan at Natalie’s at 9:30pm, and jazz-fusion – Paul Brown at Dick’s Den at 10pm.
Saturday, December 29th: Along with more great weekly dining options and the Filament Fest celebration, there is a handful of lively jazz stops across town. “Sassy torch blues” vocalist Anna Paolucci’s Strings n Tings project plays Rambling House (Old North Columbus) at 9pm, Liquid Crystal Project plays a Jazz Fusion Show at Notes at 9pm, FLIPPO’s tribute to Steely Dan at Natalie’s returns at 9:30pm, and a high-powered lineup delves into the modern fusion sounds of Vulfpeck when Matthiessen and his Vulfpack play Brothers Drake at 10pm.
Sunday, December 30th: There are festive options all day, starting with brunch from dependable sources – Doug Neel at Market District Kitchen & Bar in Bexley at 11am and Erik Augis Trio at Third and Hollywood at 11:30am. The afternoon brings chances to enjoy live jazz in intimate “alcohol-forward” environs – Waves de Aché Trio provides Latin jazz fusion sounds at the Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Taproom Downtown at 3pm, and the Joshua Hill & Jeff Ciampa Duo entertain at Spagio Wine Lounge in Grandview at 5pm. Dine with excellent straight-ahead jazz from the Tom Davis Trio at Barcelona at 6pm, or unwind with the Wally Mitchel Jazztet at Dick’s Den at 8pm.
Monday, December 31st – New Year’s Eve: Our rundown of great options to ring in 2019 with live jazz is here. There have been no further sellouts that we know of, but making advance plans/reservations is strongly recommended.
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 – New Year’s Day: There is no jazz that we know of on Tuesday. Enjoy the day with football, family and friends – Happy New Year!
The Columbus Jazz Calendar for the second and third day of the year is surprisingly strong. Highlights for Wednesday the 2nd include a very rare two double-bass duo when Phil @ Filament presents Phil Maneri with Mario Bosca at Filament at The Vanderelli Room at 7pm, the Insane Jazz Posse returns to Brothers Drake for unconventional takes on pop hits and more at 8pm, and the evergreen Bobby Floyd Trio shares top-flight musicianship at Natalie’s at 9pm. Plenty of weekly options are active on Thursday the 3rd for your post-holiday entertainment, and the strong jazz lineup at Natalie’s continues with the veteran trio Birdshack at 9pm.
Have a great week and Happy New Year!