There are many ways to celebrate 2017 with great live jazz in the Columbus area. We have prepared a list of the concerts and performances scheduled in Central Ohio to help with your holiday planning. This list is complete to the best of our knowledge at press time, and we will add updates if news of additional shows is announced. First of all, there is one NYE-themed concert taking place earlier in the week. On Thursday, December 29th at 8pm at the Lincoln Theatre, “JAG Presents: Swingin’ in the New Year with Byron Stripling” will showcase trumpeter and vocalist Stripling in a quartet setting, and the event will also include an appearance by JAG’s Columbus Community Jazz Band. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets. Here are your jazz options for New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2016:
5pm – 1am: Clave Sonic at Barcelona. The long running Latin jazz fusion outfit makes its annual NYE appearance at one of Columbus’ finest restaurants. The band will be playing sets throughout the night for your listening enjoyment while you dine. Click here for reservation info.
6:30pm – 1:30am: Great Gatsby Dinner Gala with Mark Goodwin and the Gatsby All Stars at de NOVO Bistro. The recently relocated downtown dining destination is preparing a lavish 20’s-themed extravaganza with a special coursed menu. Keyboardist Goodwin has assembled an excellent band for the occasion, with Rene Goodwin on vocals, Brett Burleson on bass, Joe Ong on drums, Randy Mather on saxophone, and Chris Young on trumpet playing 20’s era swing tunes. Visit de NOVO’s website for more info, and call (614) 222-8830 for reservations.
7pm – 9pm: In Full Swing at Franklin Park Conservatory. The local all-star big band returns to the lush environs of the conservatory for a swing dance party. For this performance, the band will feature vocalist Lisa Clark. The event is free with admission to the conservatory.
7pm – 10pm: Kelly McLennan with the Jacob Reed Trio at the Granville Inn in Granville. Vocalist McLennan, who recently participated in our interview series, teams up with drummer Reed and his trio at this historic restaurant and hotel. Call (740) 587-3333 for reservations – the inn is offering a guest room package as well, so make a night of it!
8pm – 12am: Dave DeWitt TRio with Phil Clark at Hyde Park Arlington. The TRio of DeWitt, Derek DiCenzo, and Aaron Scott will extend its regular weekly appearance at the legendary steakhouse and jazz venue for a festive celebration. With vocalist Clark, expect classic holiday tunes and Sinatra-style revelry. Call (614) 442-3310 for reservations.
8pm – 12am: Rachel Sepulveda Trio at Black Point. Part of the Hyde Park family of restaurants, this modern steakhouse and seafood restaurant in the Short North Cap is a central destination for lively trio jazz. Vocalist Sepulveda is home from grad school in Michigan for the holidays and will lead a trio for some warm seasonal favorites. Call (614) 221-5294 for reservations.
8:30pm – 12am: Richard Lopez Trio with Debra James Tucker at Sidebar Columbus. While Lopez leads a duo with a rotation of great area musicians on Thursdays at this downtown Mediterranean and South American inspired restaurant, he brings a heavy-duty lineup for this swinging party. Lopez will be joined by, in his words, “…the incredibly soulful, and at the same time, elegant and sensitive Debra James Tucker on vocals, Matt Paetsch (so creative) on bass, and Matt Wagner (a real virtuoso on the drum kit).” Call (614) 228-9041 for reservations.
9pm – 1am 8:30pm – 12:30am: Brian Michael Smith with the John Vermeulen Octet at La Scala, Dublin. Smith, one of the area’s finest Sinatra-style crooners, will be backed by Vermeulen’s swinging ensemble for a night of classic Italian cuisine, great music, and dancing. Click here for more info and call (614) 889-9431 for reservations.
9pm – 1am: Rick Brunetto Big Band: Swingin’ New Year’s Eve with Deana Martin at Blackwell Inn, OSU campus. Brunetto and his high-powered 17-piece orchestra present another great NYE party. The band will feature the vocals of Deana Martin, Dean Martin’s daughter, and after the show there will be dancing. The evening starts with dinner at 7:30. Click here for more info.
9:30pm – 12:30am: Shane D. Wilson with Mojo’s Muse at Club Diversity. For a more low-key, relaxed evening, New Orleans-inspired vocalist Wilson and her band will entertain at this welcoming martini bar in the Brewery District. Admission is free. Call (614) 224-4050 for more info.
9:30pm – 1am: Dave Powers Trio at Lindey’s, German Village. Pianist/vocalist Powers and his trio will bring holiday cheer to this late night gathering at one of Columbus’ best-regarded restaurants. Call (614) 228-4343 for reservations.
9:30pm – 1:30am: Urban Jazz Coalition at the Backstage Bistro at Shadowbox Live, Brewery District. Columbus’ internationally-renowned smooth jazz titans make their yearly appearance at this intimate bistro. The event includes a dinner banquet and over 3 hours of great contemporary jazz. Click here for more info and to buy tickets.
Here’s hoping you plan to have a jazzy, safe, and happy New Year!