With the bounty of great live jazz to see in Columbus, it is sometimes easy to forget that there is even more to experience within a short drive. The Northeast Ohio jazz scene is currently bustling, with great venues like Nighttown and Bop Stop in Cleveland and BLU Jazz+ in Akron, and the Cincinnati area is also swinging, with places like Urban Artifact bringing great shows (and sour beers) to the table. A reader pointed out to me that an extra special event slightly farther away, in Pittsburgh, is presenting some living legends this weekend. The ongoing University of Pittsburgh Annual Jazz Seminar and Concert reaches its peak on Saturday, November 7th with a 7:30pm concert at Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue, featuring, among other greats, pianist Kenny Barron, drummer Jimmy Cobb, and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. Tickets are available here. While there’s plenty to do in town this weekend, this show looks like a great chance to see some all-time greats without breaking the bank.
Shows To See This Week
Friday, November 6th (8 – 10pm): Tizer Trio at Garden Theatre. City Music Columbus continues its hot start to its 2015-16 season with a high-powered throwback to the 1970s fusion sound, supercharged for modern times. Led by Boulder, CO native pianist, keyboardist, and composer Lao Tizer, this trio version of his group TIZER also includes bassist Cheikh N’Doye and drummer Lionel Cordew, boasting a collective resume of collaborations with some of jazz and fusion’s greatest. A veteran of the 2010 Columbus Jazz and Ribs Fest, Tizer and crew will brew up a party with jazz, rock, classical, and jam band influences guided by Afro Cuban and world rhythms for an eclectic Friday night experience. Tickets and more info are available here.
Saturday, November 7th (8 – 11pm): Jazz Brew Concert Series: Rick Brunetto Big Band and St. Charles High School Jazz Ensemble at McConnell Arts Center. After some early venue issues, the inaugural run of the Jazz Brew Concert Series continues to gain momentum with the first of its concerts focusing on the “Classic Big Band Jazz Orchestra” subgenre. The 18-piece Rick Brunetto Big Band has played Thursday nights at the 94th Aero Squadron for over 26 years, solidifying its status as one of the very best big bands in the area. Saturday’s performance will feature vocalists Tia Harris, Chuck Gillespie and Michael Philips for the band’s tour through America’s best songs, ranging from 1930s swing to 1970s pop and soul. After a brief intro set by the Brunetto band, the St. Charles Ensemble will take the stage, giving the audience a taste of the up-and-coming talent in Central Ohio, before Brunetto’s outfit returns for a full performance. Tickets are available here.
Saturday, November 7th (9pm – 12am): Mo’ Mojo and New Basics Brass Band at Woodlands Tavern. This pairing of Akron’s “Pardi-Gras” band and Columbus’ own New Orleans-styled brass band will bring strong Louisiana musical flavors to Grandview Saturday night. The female fronted Mo’ Mojo is a full musical smorgasbord, with three-part harmonies, accordion, fiddle, guitar, rubboard, sax, trumpet, harp, bass, percussion, and drums. English and French lyrics guide the band’s twist on traditional Louisiana zydeco music, infusing it with a wide variety of American styles for a soulful blend as heard on their fourth album, We All Got the Same. One week short of its 20th anniversary celebration (check back here next week), New Basics will get things started with its funky party tunes, including plenty of new material. Tickets for this throwdown are available here.
Have a great week! Get a taste of the featured bands below: