Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Now holiday jazz season is indeed upon us. Before we get into all of the details, there is news of exciting happenings at one of the city’s newest jazz jam sessions. After returning from a Thanksgiving break on the 29th, The Brewtet Jazz Jam Sessions at Zaftig Brewing Co near Worthington kicks off a star-studded December with an appearance by saxophonist Pete Mills on Thursday, December 6th, starting at 7pm. The house band plays the first set, followed by an open jam for the second set. Saxophonist Jay Miglia will be featured on December 20th (the jam is always off on the second Thursday of the month), and December 27th’s installment is a holiday jam. Stop by this month for great craft brews and live jazz with no cover, and grab your horn! Also, bandleader Korey Black recently released an album recorded with his fiancee to raise funds for their wedding – check it out here! Keep reading for a bursting slate of holiday jazz!
Holiday Jazz Guide
Wrapping up its first night as this article goes to press, Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s annual Home for the Holidays concerts continue Thursday, November 29th through Sunday, December 2nd at the Southern Theatre. This year’s concerts feature soulful vocalist Niki Haris, daughter of pianist Gene Harris and acclaimed talent in her own right. As always, Friday night’s concert is followed by a jam session in the Westin Hotel lobby, and Sunday’s 3pm matinee performance is preceded by the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra at 2pm. Details and tickets are available here.
On Friday, November 30 at 8pm, the Otterbein Jazz Holiday Showcase will be held at the Battelle Fine Arts Center on its campus in Westerville, and will feature “the Otterbein University Jazz Ensemble, the Neel Combo, and the pop and jazz a cappella choir Opus One” (more details here). There are three major events featuring homegrown stars on Saturday, December 1st. At 7pm, Jazz On The Avenue presents a Holiday Jazz Celebration featuring treasured Columbus vocalists – Mary McClendon, Jeanette Williams and Dolly King – backed by a high-powered band at the King Arts Complex (tickets and details here). At 7:30pm, A Jazzy Christmas at the Columbus Africentric Early College K-12 school on the East Side presents a blockbuster lineup of Urban Jazz Coalition, Christina Myles & Friends, Robert Mason Trio, E-Flat with Caroline Bennett, Barbara Fant and Judah Performing Arts Company (tickets and details here). And at 10pm, after you’ve finished your shopping in the Short North, the Holiday Hop party at Brothers Drake presents a double bill including soulful juggernaut Kinfolk (more details here).
On Sunday, December 2nd at 11am, the monthly Natalie’s Soul Sunday appearance by the Derek DiCenzo Trio, with Dave DeWitt and Aaron Scott, is a Holiday Brunch that is sure to be festive for the occasion (details here). And later at 2pm, the annual Music in the Atrium series at the Westerville Public Library will feature harpist Trista Hill providing her own twist on holiday cheer.
On Wednesday, December 5th at 8pm, The OSU Jazz Studies Holiday Concert at Weigel Hall brings a plethora of talented students to the stage, including The Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble, Art Blakey Combo, Jazz Fusion Combo, Ohio Jaztet and Ohio Show Band (more details here). Holiday-themed events on Thursday, December 6th: The Rick Brunetto Big Band “December to Remember” kicks off with an appearance by the Fred Astaire Dancers at its always swingin’ weekly gig at The 94th Aero Squadron (details here). Also at 7:30pm, a long-running smooth jazz holiday tradition continues with a tour stop for the 21st annual Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour at the Palace Theatre, which this year includes Mindi Abair, Jonathan Butler & Keiko Matsui (tickets and details here).
Have a great week!