It’s difficult to make the trek from Columbus to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. While I hope we all get the chance someday, it’s great to see that a handful of local and touring bands are bringing the Nawlins spirit to our local bars and restaurants in the next week. Here is a quick roundup of places to celebrate Fat Tuesday. On Friday, February 5th, New Basics Brass Band, the leading lights of New Orleans jazz and funk in Columbus, get a busy week started with a doubleheader of sorts at Notes. At 7:30pm, NBBB guitarist Colin Lazarski will lead his New Orleans Quintet for a free show to get the party juices flowing, followed by a full New Basics Brass Band performance at 9:30pm, featuring all of your New Orleans favorites (tickets available here).
While many jazz venues are quiet on February 7th, Super Bowl Sunday, local churches are getting in on the act ahead of Ash Wednesday. Pianist Dave Powers will be playing jazz-themed services at Covenant Presbyterian (Upper Arlington) at 8:30, 9:30, and 11am, and all-star Dixieland band the High Street Stompers make their traditional appearance at Indianola Presbyterian Church (Campus) at 10:30am, followed by an evening show at Grace Lutheran Church (Westerville) at 7pm. On Monday the 8th, Chattanooga, TN-based old-time musical melting pot The 9th Street Stompers will stomp through town for two shows – a Jazz Dinner Series show at the Refectory at 6pm (reservations required – info available here), and a late night party at Dick’s Den, starting around 11pm. Also on Monday, the weekly Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra gig at the Clintonville Woman’s Club will be a special event celebrating Carnaval, the Brazilian version of Mardi Gras. The band will be joined by two vocalists, Barbara Knight and Natalie Adams, as they seize the opportunity to “dig way down in their archives of extensive Latin American charts – including some great Carlos Jobim originals.” After a couple days off, the New Basics Brass Band will hold their “Lundi Gras Ball” at the Vanderelli Room (Franklinton), combining more great tunes and delectable food (bandleader Rob Maccabee is cooking Red Beans, Chicken Etouffee, and Jambalaya) in a relaxed environment at 8pm. BYOB.
Tuesday, Mardi Gras proper, will be an all-day party at Yats, a Cajun and Creole restaurant in Grandview, but they will add jazz to the mix when the James Gaiters Trio plays from 6 to 9pm. Of course, it’s also probably the best night of the year to see the New Basics Brass Band in action, as they play a true doubleheader. Their local tour starts with a 6pm dinner show at Gallo’s Kitchen (Upper Arlington) – this is always a popular stop, so get there early! The band hits again at 9pm at Natalie’s for a special “Fat Tuesday Celebration” performance – get your tickets now! The party spills over into Ash Wednesday this year – the Refectory hosts another festive Jazz Dinner Series show, this time featuring the Colin Lazarski New Orleans Quintet, starting at 6pm (reservations required – info available here).
Shows To See This Week
Saturday, February 6th (3 – 4:30pm): “Tribute to Frank Sinatra” – Jazz at Lincoln Center Live-Streamed Concert at Bexley Public Library. The library continues their partnership with JALC in hosting this free concert, live-streamed from New York City. Come watch singer Kenny Washington with Andy Farber & His Orchestra as they “perform some of Sinatra’s most revered songs, delving into Sinatra’s sense of swing, impeccable phrasing, and signature rendering of ballads.” This looks to be another insightful way to keep the Sinatra centennial celebration alive.
Sunday, February 7th (3 – 5pm): Richard Lopez – “Jazz Master Sessions: The Nexus of Jazz and Classical Music” at the Columbus Museum of Art. Pianist Lopez’s series of concerts at the art museum resumes for 2016 with a high-level look at intersections of jazz and classical styles, utilizing a quartet highly qualified at both. Lopez will be joined by Andy Carlson on violin, Doug Richeson on bass, and Louis Tsamous on drums. Tickets are available here.
Wednesday, February 10th (8 – 11pm): Ryan Folger Octet at Brothers Drake. Drummer and composer Folger always brings something fresh to his Jazz Wednesday appearances, and this show is no exception. He is debuting a new octet which is playing all original compositions, mostly written by Folger himself. The band includes Alex Burgoyne on alto sax, Justin Dickson on tenor/soprano saxes, Steven Jacobs on trumpet, Katherine Luikart on French horn, Danny Bauer on keyboards, Zakk Jones on guitar, John Allen on bass, and Folger on drums. This free show is a wonderful opportunity to see some of Columbus’ finest young talent in action – don’t miss it!
Have a great week!