As we move into the warmest months of the year (hopefully), it’s always exciting to see live jazz pop up in additional Central Ohio locales. Whether it’s the revival of outdoor concert series and patio parties or new venues offering jazz to their customers, summer is a great time to get out and see jazz in new (or old) places. The following are a few new options of which you might not be aware. The recently opened Walrus bar/restaurant downtown has plenty of jazz in its initial schedule, including a weekly Sunday night gig for the Nicole Sherburne Quartet, playing its “Noirscapes.” SuperChef’s Gahanna location has been running a rotating cast of bands on Thursday nights recently, with the Bobby Floyd Trio (June 4th) and Pete Mills Quartet (June 11th) playing next. Mills has his own new weekly starting this week in the Worthington area (see below). Finally, the Barbeque Shack in Westerville is running its Wednesday night “Jazz Under the Stars” series all summer, with Arnett Howard featured in June. Check out our calendar for all of your great live jazz options.
Shows To See This Week
Friday, June 5th (8pm – 11pm): Pete Mills/Zach Compston Quartet at Encore At Crosswoods, 7520 High Cross Boulevard. Tenor saxophonist Mills and drummer Compston, bandmates in Mills’ standing quartet, are kicking off a new event this week that will bring a variety of players and sounds to the Crosswoods area just north of Worthington. While Mills and Compston will play weekly, the rest of the band will rotate for the time being – this week will feature keyboardist Jon Eshelman and bassist Chris Berg. The plan is to play outdoors for the summer, but the bar also has an indoor stage in case of inclement weather. The music will be a mix of standards and Mills’ tunes, and the saxophonist looks to keep the event “upscale and fun,” so this should be an excellent choice for summer jazz enjoyment.
Saturday, June 6th: The DewDroppers Album Release Party at the Garden Theatre. This local sextet has been around since 2010, and while they see themselves as more of a pop band, their traditional jazz, ragtime, and swing (along with soul and punk) influences are hard to miss. With rotating lead vocals and a lively horn section, the band is well-equipped for both the studio and the dance floor. After retooling with a recent lineup change, they are now set to release their self-titled proper debut album, a varied collection of twelve tunes dealing with life and love. The album will be celebrated Saturday with a release party at this renovated Short North theatre. DJs from the regular Swank swing dance party will also be on hand to play classic dance tunes. Advance tickets are recommended – click here.
Sunday, June 7th (8pm – 12am): Michael Kahn Quartet at Dick’s Den. Kahn is a veteran saxophonist/bandleader who relocated to Columbus from Orlando in 2010 who has played with many jazz and soul greats in his career. Since moving to Columbus, his “latest project is focused on his love and respect for the rich tradition of the 50’s and 60’s Blue Note recording artists including the likes of Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson, and more,” which sounds great to me. Kahn has enlisted some of Columbus’ finest young talent for this outfit, as he is joined on stage by Robert Mason on piano, John Allen on bass, and Andrew Richard on drums. Come out early for a relaxed evening of classic jazz.
Have a great week! Here’s a sampler of the DewDroppers album to get you ready to dance on Saturday night: