The biggest Outdoor Jazz weekend of the summer! Before our preview of Jazz & Rib Fest, here are some other options for swingin’ fun in the summer sun (and heat)! On Friday, July 19th at Noon, the monthly Columbus Youth Jazz Summer Jam Session resumes at State Auto’s Pein Park (details here). Great options for Saturday, July 20th include the soulful New Birth Jazz Concert Series double bill of Jazz Patrol 2.0 & The L.A. Band at New Birth Christian Ministries (East Side) at 4pm (info), the hot Cuban fusion of Waves de Aché for the Local ‘n Live series at the Campus Gateway Beer Garden at 6pm (info), and the Jazz in the Park series at Maloney Park (Linden) return of the groovin’ fusion sounds of Groove Palette at 6pm (info). Waves de Aché makes a second outdoor appearance as part of the Sustainable Steps Launch Party at Land-Grant Brewing Company in Franklinton on Sunday, July 21st at 3pm (info). And there’s a prime outside doubleheader midweek: The Easton Town Center Sounds on the Town series presents the Tony Monaco Trio with the Byron Stripling Quartet on Wednesday, July 24th at⋅6pm (info)! Keep reading for festival options!
Jazz & Rib Fest Guide
We provided the full festival schedule here, but wanted to provide some more insight into this year’s offerings (NOTE: I will use BP to refer to the festival’s Bicentennial Park Stage and GP to refer to the Genoa Park Stage in the following rundown. Also, more details on all performers is available here). The festival gets off to a blazing start on Friday, July 19th at noon with great Columbus options: the full band swing of the Hot Tonic Orchestra (BP) – read our interview here – and the soulful fusion of Mark Hampton and the Jazz Experience with vocalist Sabrina Tutstone and many more (GP). Another soulful Columbus outfit hits the GP stage at 2:30pm – Kinfolk – and the 4:30pm time slot brings hot sounds from points south: funky Athens/Columbus outfit Largemouth Brass Band (BP) and organic modern jazz from Cincinnati’s Now Hear This (GP). Brooklyn’s Huntertones, a group with deep and vibrant Columbus roots, brings their modern brass fusion attack to the BP stage at 6:30pm, continuing a perfect setup for New Orleans funky brass headliners The Soul Rebels at 9pm (BP), who will be joined by special guest and hip-hop royalty GZA (Wu-Tang Clan). The day ends on the GP stage with the smooth jazz stylings of guitarist Norman Brown.
Saturday, July 20th: Great jazz options early on include the classic and modern vocal jazz styles of Columbus’ Laura Camara and her group at noon (GP) and the percolating jazz and fusion of the Alex Schrock Trio at 2:30pm (BP). Things continue to heat up as the day goes on, with the sax and electronic power of Pittsburgh’s Big Blitz at 4:30pm (GP) and Columbus’ own contemporary and smooth jazz masters Urban Jazz Coalition at 6:30pm (BP). The day again ends on a high note, with smooth jazz all-star Brian Culbertson headlining BP while 90’s swing revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers end the day’s GP schedule.
Sunday, July 21st: Get the final day of the fest started with Columbus jazz from the stars of tomorrow – Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra – at noon (BP) and the feel good tunes of pianist Dave Powers and his Trio at 2pm (BP). Veteran Columbus jazz acts abound at 4pm, with groove masters fo/mo/deep, now preparing new album SYZYGY for a fall release (GP), and the return of Tom Carroll’s Women in Jazz (BP) featuring esteemed vocalists Mary McClendon, Jeanette Williams and Tia Harris. The festival ends with 6:30pm headlining sets from long-running pedal steel archetypes Robert Randolph & The Family Band (GP) and the big band majesty of the mighty Columbus Jazz Orchestra (BP)!
Have a great week and enjoy the fest! Get ready with the new video from Huntertones: