Happy Thanksgiving jazz fans! This year I’m thankful for the support of our readers out there, and that this column is four years old and going strong! Coming to you a day early to make sure you know your jazzy options for the holiday week, so let’s get into our Thanksgiving Jazz Guide. On Wednesday, November 22nd, there are three great options in local bars for getting your celebrations off to a swinging start. Alex Burgoyne and Friends hit at 8pm for a free Jazz Wednesday show at Brothers Drake, where the saxophonist will be joined by a cast of Zakk Jones, Danny Bauer, Matthiessen Nisch Quan, and John Allen to play “tunes people like to hear,” and the second set will feature vocals by Rosie Wilson. Doors open at 7 at Woodlands Tavern for Thanksgiving Eve with Tony Monaco presented by Rhinegeist, but the organ maestro and his trio will kick off the first set at 9pm – also free! And Derek DiCenzo’s November residency at Dick’s Den continues with DiCenzo on guitar in a trio with Jeff Ciampa on bass and Jimmy Castoe on drums for a crowd-pleasing night at “The One And Only” – 9:30pm start, $5 cover.
Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 23rd): As usual, Dick’s Den is the reliable source for jazz on holiday nights and is presenting the only Columbus jazz show that we know of Thursday. Bassist Roger Hines will assemble his Jazz Pilgrims for a relaxed good time, featuring Jim Maneri on keyboards, Randy Mather on tenor sax, and The Governor on drums. Bring the family along or enjoy a jazz escape – $5 cover for an evening of fun jazz and cheap drinks starting around 9:30pm.
Friday, November 24th: Hopefully Black Friday shopping helps you work off your Thanksgiving dinner, because there are abundant choices for great food paired with excellent live jazz. The Bobby Floyd Trio swings The Refectory at 6pm (likely sold out, call 614-451-9774 for info/reservations), Dave Powers charms at his weekly Friday gig at Hyde Park Arlington at 6:30pm, smooth jazz saxophonist Andrew Waters entertains at Vittoria in Powell at 7pm, and vocalist Dan Rowan and his Trio will brighten the night at Black Point in the Short North also at 7pm. Dublin’s Emerald City Ballroom is a steady source of big band exercise over the holidays – see the Emerald City Swing Orchestra play their monthly dance gig there at 8pm. Veteran Brazilian jazz fusion band Canta Brasil will take their groove Downtown for a free show at The Walrus at 9pm. At 10pm, groove masters fo/mo/deep play Natalie’s for their final show of 2017 – only standing/bar tickets remained at press time, so buy them now! And Columbus-based Miles Davis tribute act Sanctuary makes their roughly annual appearance, this time at Rumba Cafe at 10pm, featuring an astounding lineup: Bobby Floyd, Dwight Adams, Adam DeAscentis, Josh Hill, Michael Cox, Jim Ed Cobbs, Willie Barthel III, and Tony McClung! Tickets are available here.
Saturday, November 25th: Two fun events pairing fine local alcohol with live jazz: Guitarist Gabe Koempel plays his weekly gig at Camelot Cellars in Olde Towne East at 6pm, and the Baker, (Tom) Davis and Moore Trio hits Loose Rail Brewing at Canal Winchester at 7pm. More exquisite jazz dining options are on the docket: Tony Monaco at The Refectory at 6pm (likely sold out, call 614-451-9774 for info/reservations), the always festive Dave DeWitt TRio weekly Hyde Park Arlington gig at 7pm, and excellent vocalist Emily Syring with her Trio at Black Point at 7:30pm. Crooner Brian Michael Smith and his band will present a holiday-themed Sinatra Night performance at La Scala in Dublin at 8pm. And jazzy soul vocalist Adria Shahid will be joined by bassist Mark Hampton at Notes for an uplifting presentation entitled Notes For The Soul, which starts at 9pm.
Sunday, November 26th: The only weekly jazz brunch in the Columbus area that we know of continues to start Sundays right – join the Erik Augis Trio at Third & Hollywood in Grandview starting at 11:30am. Westerville Library’s holiday Music in the Atrium series kicks off with a show by harpist Trista Hill at 2pm. New jazz/funk/soul trio The Nightfalls will help you imbibe locally brewed Scottish beer at BrewDog’s Dog Tap bar in Canal Winchester at 4pm (details here). Dave Powers presents The House Jazz Concert Series Annual Holiday Show featuring guitarist “Hurricane” Jerry Loos at the Clintonville Woman’s Club at 5:30pm. The weekly Bobby Floyd Showcase at Notes is thanking its fans by offering free admission, if you register in advance here ($5 otherwise), for a night featuring Floyd’s trio at 6pm. Keyboardist Vernon Hairston will be joined by vocalist (and Hairston’s daughter) Arianna Michelle for a lively duo show at Barcelona at 6pm. And your weekly Sunday night options in the Old North Columbus area continue to end weekends in style: The Wally Mitchel Jazztet plays a free show at Dick’s Den at 8pm, and the Hoo Doo Soul Band keeps rolling at Rumba Cafe at 10pm.
Have a great holiday! Alex Schrock’s Gradient Prophet beat project released side B of The Jazz Tape this week, so check out (and purchase!) both sides below for some jazzy vibes: