JazzColumbus Weekly – May 21, 2015

As the school year wraps up and summer heads our way, we here at JazzColumbus would like to recognize the end of an era in local jazz education. Congratulations to Dr. William “Ted” McDaniel, Jr., on his retirement from The Ohio State University. As a professor of African American Music at OSU since 1981 and director of the Jazz Ensemble since 1990, the longtime director of the Jazz Studies department has educated and influenced generations of students, including mentoring many of the local musicians you read about at our site. Thank you, Dr. McDaniel, for your 35 years of service – best of luck in your retirement!

Shows To See This Week

Friday, May 22nd: Sonikora at The Walrus, 143 E. Main Street. This is (to my knowledge) the second show ever at this brand new downtown restaurant and music venue that opened this week. Promising “a full menu of delicious food and craft brews, a fresh, lively atmosphere, and some of the best local music in the region,” this looks to be a great addition to downtown nightlife. This is also the second show ever (again, to my knowledge) for Sonikora, a new instrumental improvisation project from the founders of jazz-jam band Hubbard Stew, which recently broke up after 4+ years of tunes. Sonikora includes Jason Miles on bass and percussion, Chris Haas on keys, percussion, horn, and slide guitar, and Bob White on drums and percussion. Miles told me that Sonikora’s “…shows are entirely spontaneous & 95% percent improvised – It’s never the same show twice.” This is good news, because The Walrus has already booked a solid slate of jazz shows for the coming weeks, including multiple gigs for the band, so check out our calendar if you can’t make it this weekend! And check out the band’s Soundcloud page for samples of their live work to date.

Tuesday, May 26th: Tim Cummiskey Band at Rumba Cafe. Veteran guitarist Cummiskey has been booked for recurring Tuesday night gigs to strengthen the jazz schedule at Rumba, with an all-star band in tow. He will be joined on stage by Christopher Brown (keyboards), Andy Woodson (bass), and Reggie Jackson (drums), a lineup that put on a great show there on May 12th, from all reports. This outfit mixes jazz, blues, and fusion, offering arrangements of jazz material as well as more mainstream numbers for a versatile jazz experience.

Wednesday, May 27th: Danny Bauer’s Safety Squad at Brothers Drake. Bauer has a knack for bringing exciting new programs to Jazz Wednesday when his name is on the schedule, and this show is no exception. Safety Squad is a ten-piece band that pays tribute to the music and spirit of jazz phenomenon Snarky Puppy, with plans to play 10 tunes by the band as well as a handful of originals. The fantastic lineup entails:

Danny Bauer – Keyboards and synths
Andrew Willard – Keyboards and synths
Zakk Jones – Guitar
Matthiessen Nisch Quan – Drumset
Kramer Sell – Auxiliary Percussion
Chase Potter – Bass
Justin Dickson – Saxophones
Wes Perry – Saxophones
Aroh Pandit – Trumpet
Doug Neel – Trombone

As Bauer told me, “This band features young talent, primary composed of OSU and Capital graduates (as well as one Berklee grad!). Snarky Puppy has a lot of love in Columbus and has been gaining national attention over the past few years and we want to emulate musicians that inspire all of us!” The band hopes to play again in the future, but as scheduling this many players is difficult, don’t pass up your chance to see them now!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Here’s some live video from the Tim Cummiskey Band’s recent appearance at Rumba:

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