Big news in the Columbus jazz scene this week is that the SEMM Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP, received its official broadcast license, or “License to Cover,” from the FCC on Thursday the 12th. The station has been testing its broadcast since March 2016, and while some issues persist with coverage area for parts of Central Ohio, Columbus now has an official full-time jazz radio station for the first time since WJZA ceased broadcasting in August 2010. Stay tuned for news as the station “continues to improve [its] operations, broadcast quality, and coverage area,” as well as details of a new season of the Jazz Brew Concert Series that raises funds for the community station and other projects. Congrats to Station & General Manager Ron Johnson and his team on an important achievement!
Shows To See This Week
Friday, January 20th (8 – 10pm): “FLIPPO plays Steely Dan’s Aja and More” at McConnell Arts Center. After a very successful 2016, the Columbus-based fusion super-group returns in the new year with a new tribute to jazz-rock titans Steely Dan. The core band of Michael Cox on saxophones, Dennis Hodges on guitar, Erik Augis on keyboards, Andy Woodson on bass and Louis Tsamous on drums will again be joined by an all-star corps of vocalists: Kay Harris, Ron Jenkins, Dan Rowan, and Steve Kramer. Augis reports that the band will play the landmark 1977 album Aja in its entirety for the first set, followed by “as many other SD hits we have time to play” in the second set. This looks to be a great night of soulful jazz-rock-pop fusion – Tickets are available here and going fast!
Saturday, January 21st (10pm – midnight): SpeakEasy: “Happy Birthday Django Reinhardt!” at Natalie’s. The area’s leading purveyors of gypsy jazz are pulling double duty Saturday in honor of likely their biggest influence. The band starts the evening with an intimate Jazz Dinner Club performance at The Refectory at 6pm – menu details are here and if space remains, required reservations can be made by calling 614-451-9774. The band’s nightcap in Worthington is their official celebration of the January 23rd birthday of Reinhardt, one of the greatest guitarists of all time and a legendary jazz composer as well. Join the quintet of Andy Carlson (fiddle), Tom Carroll (guitar), Casey Cook (guitar), Doug Richeson (bass fiddle), and Seth Rogers (percussion) for a spirited, swinging night and get your tickets here.
Wednesday, January 25th (9pm – midnight): Sanctuary: “The Music of Miles Davis 1968-1975” at Rumba Cafe. Drummer Tony McClung and an all-star cast return to the stage to delve into a lesser-heard era of one of the all-time greats. McClung will share the stage with trumpeter Dwight Adams, keyboardist Bobby Floyd, guitarist Joshua Hill, bassist Adam DeAscentis, and percussionist Jim Ed Cobbs. Tickets are available here. McClung was kind enough to share his thoughts on this rare show by the band:
Sanctuary is a project I only do about once a year, but it’s one that is very important to me. Miles Davis’ music between 1968 and 1975 was ever-shifting (changing faster and further that at any other point in his career) and it produced great beauty, power, and mystery in ways the world had never seen. It’s often misunderstood and rarely played. My goal is to keep the concepts of that music alive. Of course, I can’t speak for Miles Davis, but I have to believe he would not want us to try to play the music like they did at the time. Miles never wanted people regurgitating what others had played before. We try to be honest and play it like us. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to walk through this great art again.
Have a great week!