The development of downtown jazz-focused venues is always a welcome sight here at JazzColumbus, so it’s great to see that new and old places are being (re-)dedicated to live jazz shows. While the calendar had been quiet of late at Denovo Bistro, 201 South High, plans are underway for the restaurant to relocate to an expanded site looking onto Columbus Commons. The owners, who were the creators of the dearly missed Vonn Jazz, are developing a national level jazz stage at the new location. In the meantime, a mix of jazz, blues, and R&B has returned to the schedule for every Friday and Saturday night at the current location alongside a great menu. Stop by this weekend for Mary McClendon on Friday the 25th and the Pete Mills Trio on Saturday the 26th, starting at 7pm each night. And stay tuned!
Shows To See This Week
Thursday, September 24th (9pm – 1am): Dynamo and Safety Squad at Brothers Drake. This Thursday night blockbuster brings two large and skilled forward-leaning bands to the meadery stage. Nashville’s Dynamo, who will open the night, blends jazz, rock and funk into an improvised party. Their new self-released album Find Your Way is highly recommended, with the occasional vocals of Dain Ussery adding soul to the energetic blend of instrumental voices. Taking the stage at 11pm is Columbus’ own Safety Squad, keyboardist Danny Bauer’s project that “embraces the music and spirit of Snarky Puppy through original music and inventive covers.” This approach has led to multiple gigs since the band’s formation less than six months ago, and plans for touring and recording are exciting for this star-studded amalgamation of young talent. Cover is $5.
Saturday, September 26th (10pm – 2am): Trio NOT at The Walrus. Originating in Northern Ohio, this modern organ trio is making its Columbus debut by bringing their groove downtown. The band includes Kyle Turner on keyboards, Nelson Overton on drums, and (now locally-based) Doug Neel on guitar and trombone. Neel told me to expect a very wide range of styles, “from straight-ahead standards to our arrangements of pop, rock, funk, soul, R&B, punk, etc. We’ll play anything from standards to songs by Larry Goldings, Marc Johnson, Bob Marley, Nirvana, Green Day, Al Green, James Taylor, etc.” The band’s sound is predominantly instrumental, but Neel tells me that he may add his voice to the mix on Saturday. While in a different setting, the three musicians sounded great when I saw them as the backing band for vocalist Michael Shirtz at the Jazz & Ribs Fest this summer, so I’m looking forward to this incarnation!
Monday, September 28th (6 – 9pm): Wexner Center Jazz Series Preview Party with the Bobby Floyd Trio at Natalie’s. This rare Monday night performance at Natalie’s celebrates the heavy duty jazz schedule at the Wexner Center this fall with a jazzy party. The event will include jazz-themed food and drink specials, ticket giveaways, prizes for new and existing members, and incentives to become a new member. Adding to the festivities will be a live performance by some of Columbus’ finest: Bobby Floyd at the piano, Derek DiCenzo on bass, and Jim Rupp on drums. The Wexner schedule starts on October 3rd with Linda Oh’s band (more details next week), so this preview will be a great way to get ready!
Have a great week! Here are some videos of Dynamo in the studio: