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Kevin Eubanks with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra

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by Mark Subel on October 24, 2011

Kevin Eubanks, the acclaimed jazz guitarist, and former Tonight Show bandleader, is in Columbus this week. The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) kicks off the new Swingin’ with the CJO season with “Lights, Camera, Action!” (October 26-30), a night of music from beloved TV shows and classic theme songs performed by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. The spotlight will also shine on acclaimed jazz guitarist, featuring music from his new release, Zen Food.

Audiences will surely be familiar with Eubanks, having tuned in to see him as bandleader on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For 18 years, he had one of the most prolific guitar gigs around. Armed with an array of custom
Abe Rivera guitars, Eubanks directed one of the most eminent and revered musical establishments on late-night TV.

In the spring of 2010, Eubanks decided to move on, although retirement was
the last thing on his mind. His current album, Zen Food, showcases Eubanks’
originality and reputation as a more adventurous guitarist. The album is a
step in another right direction for Eubanks, which had already been recorded
in his studio by the time he announced his departure from NBC.

Of his album, Eubanks says,

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to acknowledge
music as being food for your soul. The whole idea of it being Zen is that
it’s a state of ‘being,’ not an ambition to become something else. It’s
realizing everyone’s fingerprint is unique and expressing that uniqueness
with sound, with ideas, with music.”

A Philadelphia native born into a highly musical family, Eubanks first found
his love of music listening to fusion and progressive rock. He went on to
study at Berklee, developing a musical talent that would lead him to play
with such great names as Art Blakely, McCoy Tyner, and Roy Haynes.

In addition to the guitar wizardry of Mr. Eubanks, the Jazz Arts Group also
invites music lovers to come enjoy a new twist on familiar songs as the
Columbus Jazz Orchestra brings back memories with classic music from
favorite TV shows including I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H, and more.

Under the direction of Mark Donavan, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra
(CYJO) is proud to perform prior to each Swingin’ with the CJO matinee
concert. Comprised of premier players in grades 9-12 from central Ohio and
beyond, the CYJO provides opportunities for talented high school age
musicians to further their experience in America’s classical music – jazz.
Admission to the CYJO performance at 1 PM is included with each 2 PM Sunday
matinee ticket purchase.

Swingin’ with the CJO season subscriptions are available through the CAPA
Ticket Office at 39 East State Street or by calling 614-469-0939. Single
tickets are also on sale now for $49 (main floor), $46 (first balcony) and
$41 (second balcony) and available through the CAPA Ticket Office and
through all Ticketmaster outlets. Student tickets are available for $15
(over 18) and $10 (under 18) with valid ID at the door

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