With temperatures dropping and the school year up to full speed, the fall Columbus Jazz Calendar is heating up! While there are many shows worth your time this weekend, I want to draw attention to a particular event led by a familiar name. After a summer voyage to points west, guitarist Stan Smith plays his first local show as leader since June on Friday, September 30th at 10pm at Dick’s Den. Smith will lead a quartet that also includes Lisa Bella Donna on keyboards/synthesizers (and more?), Roger Hines on bass and Danny Aguiar on drums. This will be a special night of jazz explorations for the open-minded listener – as Smith told me: “We will be playing a mix of group improvisation with some of my music. There may be some music from the Nova Madrugada repertoire but the focus will be the spontaneity of our voices based on what we have accomplished individually and as a group over the years. Listeners are encouraged to show up in order to find out what will happen rather than bring a list of expectations.” Cover is $4. Keep reading for more great jazz this weekend:
Shows To See This Week:
Friday, September 30th (7:30 – 10:30pm): 1979 OSU Jazz Ensemble Sextet at Bungalow Jazz. Family and friends are gathering at an earlier event to honor trumpeter and educator Tom Battenberg, who recently retired from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra after 50 years of service. The band for this intimate show is made up of members of an award-winning OSU jazz ensemble that was instructed by Battenberg during his 26-year tenure at the OSU School of Music. The lineup for the evening includes accomplished Jazz Ensemble alums John Fedchock (trombone), Kim Pensyl (trumpet), Randy Mather (tenor saxophone), Terry Douds (bass), and Jim Rupp (drums). Mark Rubinstein will be playing piano in honor of ensemble member John Emche. From Mather: “John Emche was a grad student at OSU, composing and arranging many of the charts for the OSU Jazz Ensemble. John went on to start the Jazz Studies Dept at UNC. John left us too soon in 1987 from brain cancer.” According to Douds, the band will play some of Fedchock’s sextet charts, some Pensyl tunes, and a few choice standards. Should be a great chance to visit the Bungalow for world-class jazz by some of OSU’s finest products! A $20 donation is requested at the door, all of which goes to the musicians.
Saturday, October 1st (9:30pm – 1am): Erin McDougald: “The Return Home” at Notes. Chicago jazz singer McDougald (photo by Brad Schade) returns to her native Columbus for the first time in almost a decade for a special one-time performance. More from McDougald:
Described as “one of the best voices in jazz OR pop today” (by Downbeat chief critic Howard Mandel), Chicago-based, internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Erin McDougald (a Columbus native) will be headlining Notes nightclub (520 South High Street, Columbus) on Saturday, October 1st at 9pm as they circle their one-year anniversary. It’s been almost a decade since McDougald has performed in-concert in Central Ohio; her quartet includes Grammy-nominated pianist/accordionist Don Stille – they will be performing her improvisational music with stellar, progressive arrangements of standards and bebop, obscurities and award-winning original compositions. An emotive, captivating presence, McDougald’s “evocative artistry” (Chicago Music Guide) is lauded for her multi-octave vocal range, precise pitch, rhythmic innovation and artistic nuance; she has recorded four highly revered albums and collaborated with living legends of the genre – ranging from Dave Liebman (Miles Davis Group), Ira Sullivan (John Coltrane), and multiple Grammy nominated and winning artists such as Nicholas Payton, Tom Harrell, Paul Wertico and several others. Erin has entertained everyone from John Malkovich, Bob Dylan and Clint Eastwood to former President Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou and international Royal families. Her signed posters and albums will be available for purchase at this one-night-only Saturday performance; tickets are $30 in advance (advance online ticket reservations are STRONGLY recommended) and $35 cash-only at the door. Doors open at 8:30pm, showtime is 9:30pm with 2-3 sets planned.
Sunday, October 2nd (3 – 5pm): Jazz Master Sessions – Too Far North at the Columbus Museum of Art. Pianist Richard Lopez is kicking off this year’s season of Jazz Master Sessions at CMA by reuniting an excellent fusion quartet of Columbus past. Lopez will be joined by Michael Cox on saxophone, Terry Douds on bass and Matt Wagner on drums. The group will be performing all original compositions by Lopez and Cox, highlighting the talents of this veteran ensemble. Learn and hear a bit more here. Tickets are available here and at the museum’s Admission Desk.
Have a great week! Here’s a promo to give you a taste of McDougald’s concert: