JazzColumbus Weekly – May 18, 2017

I had an action-packed Jazz Night Out on Friday the 12th that started with the Dave DeWitt TRio’s last performance at Bungalow Jazz. As one of the final shows at Becky Ogden’s bungalow, the battle-tested group performed their inventive brand of piano trio jazz in front of a literal packed house of appreciative jazz fans and friends. Jazz Arts Group founder Ray Eubanks gave a loving tribute to Becky and the scene she created there, and promised to continue his tributes for the rest of the run. It was great to once again have the opportunity to appreciate the TRio’s well-honed ability to reinvent and reinvigorate classic standards and other favorites into arrangements that are often surprising, but always filled with respect for the original material. Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” was given a sly air of mysterious cool, with pianist DeWitt producing cascading runs and bassist Derek DiCenzo turning in a yearning solo before the pair shared the melody to close. DeWitt paid homage multiple times to Mark Flugge one day after the third anniversary of his death with spirited tunes inspired by Flugge’s style and passion. Drummer Aaron Scott held down the rhythm masterfully all night, including a crackling take on “Sweet Georgia Brown” that grew to be a barnburner! It was an excellent night of jazz and community spirit, and I implore you to see as many of the last three Bungalow Jazz shows as you can!

My next stop on Friday night was the Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP fundraiser show at The Idle-A-While featuring the Urban Jazz Coalition. This was my first time seeing Columbus’ smooth jazz superstars in a club setting, and I was wowed by the power and finesse of their grooves. On their last set of the evening, a mix of originals and jazz and R&B standards kept the crowd dancing until the end. I had a great time meeting more of the 98.5FM volunteers and supporters. If you didn’t get a chance to hit the Idle-A-While last weekend, remember that you can always donate to the station online here and help keep jazz alive on Columbus radio! My final stop was to meet friends at guitarist Brett Burleson’s “Songs For My Friends” CD Release Party at Dick’s Den. I didn’t get to stay long, but the quartet of Burleson, saxophonist Eddie Bayard, bassist Roger Hines, and drummer Shane Willis were locked in, and the appropriately hypnotic lines of “The Hypnotides” were quite mesmerizing. Check in next week for a review of the album!

Shows To See This Week

Saturday, May 20th (9pm – midnight): Marion Meadows with the Urban Jazz Coalition at the 2017 Kappa Wine Sip at Hollywood Casino. Columbus’ casino again plays host to this annual charity event presented by CAC Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Celebrating 22 years as a band in 2017, our own Urban Jazz Coalition has another busy weekend ahead! A night after the band plays an intimate show at Natalie’s (limited standing room tickets were available here at press time), our own urban contemporary jazz masters will again join forces with their friend, saxophonist and smooth jazz megastar Meadows, for a Saturday night throwdown. This combination should be quite entertaining – Get tickets and more info here to see this lineup before Meadows and UJC take the show to the Skyline Club in Indianapolis Sunday night.

Wednesday, May 24th (9 – 11pm): Kenia with Fa 2 at Natalie’s. This acclaimed Brazilian songstress joins forces with some of the finest like-minded musicians in Ohio for a lively Wednesday night performance. A native of Nova Iguancu, a distant working class suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Kenia arrived in the U.S. in 1980 and recorded her debut in the States with trumpeter Claudio Roditi on his album Red on Red before going on to produce four popular and critically acclaimed albums for the MCA and Denon labels. Performing with Kenia for this special show will be Cincinnati keyboard virtuoso Phil DeGreg, Antoine Fatout on drums, and Roger Hines on bass. The program will include “Brazilian jazz, standards, and original compositions from Kenia’s latest CD, On We Go.” Get tickets here now for a great night of internationally-minded jazz.

Thursday, May 25th (7 – 9pm): Columbus Community Jazz Band and Youth Jazz All-Stars in Concert at Clintonville Woman’s Club. The weekly Monday night home of the illustrious big band sounds of Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra presents another great jazz show this week. This concert marks the culmination of Jazz Arts Group’s Columbus Community Jazz Band spring season, which has been led by FJO saxophonist and educator Jay Miglia. The CCJB will be joined in the spotlight by a group of “teaching artists and students of past and present from Jazz Arts Group’s renowned Columbus Youth Jazz Program” for a doubleheader of exciting big band performances. Get tickets here – Proceeds will benefit the Clintonville Woman’s Club for capital improvements that will keep the club swinging well into the future!

Have a great week! Enjoy videos from the touring artists featured here:

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