While the Park Street Tavern Tuesday Jazz Jam is the place to be every Tuesday night for impromptu live jazz featuring some of the best players in town, the next installment will be extra special. On Tuesday, August 18th, from 8:30 to 11:30pm, the weekly jam will celebrate ten years at the venue with an anniversary party. Keyboardist Erik Augis will rejoin Pete Mills and the house band for the first set, other special guests are very likely, and some light snacks will be available. During its first decade, tenor saxophonist Mills and an evolving house band have maintained a place for players of various levels of experience to play together in a club, and a place for the local jazz audience to enjoy spur-of-the-moment performances in a casual environment, so here’s to many more years! Keep reading for reflections from Mills on the first decade:
Pete Mills: “We just want to celebrate and thank all who have made this past decade a great success. We are very blessed to have continued support from the fantastic owners Scott Schweitzer and Chris Huda and the great bar staff all the way from our beginnings – Stephanie, Jennifer, Leilani, Kayla, Stephanie (#2) and Zachariah. Really, we are all a team every Tuesday.
The house band has had some fantastic members since its inception – drummers Paul Francis (now playing with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett), the great Reggie Jackson, and swingin’ Cedric Easton, as well as the fantastic bassist Andy Woodson. Currently our lineup is Zach Compston (drums), Greg Wolfram (bass), and filling in for Erik Augis (as he gets back in action) is Danny Bauer (piano). We are really excited to have Erik back on the 18th and look forward to having him on the stand more frequently soon.
The regular opportunity to play has helped me grow as a musician and composer and I am very fortunate to have the continued opportunity to ‘workshop’ my tunes and musical ideas and the opportunity to continue to learn new repertoire and to learn from all who come in and play each week. It is something that we all really look forward to.
There are so many great moments from the past that come to mind. I must say that playing with Dwight Adams when he is in town is always a treat. When Bobby Floyd plays with us it is special…playing next to Bryan Olsheski or Rob Parton is fun…the great young bassist George DeLancey stopped through three weeks this summer and that was special…guitarist Josh Hindmarsh is fun to have around (when he is not in Australia or New Zealand). So many fantastic musicians have played with us. It is always different each week and we try to have fun.
We always try to welcome folks of all ages and abilities and do our best to make everyone feel comfortable. Erik is very good at this and I have learned much from him. It is also great fun to interact with the non-musician folks who come through. Many are now regulars and enjoy what we do. It is fun to see folks who show up periodically and when we get to know them we find out that they often are from out of town and when they are in Columbus for business, etc., they make a point of stopping by.
It is neat how with the help of the each guy in the band, all of the fantastic musicians who join us to sit in, and with the great support of the staff and the unwavering support of the owners we have made it into our second decade! In a recent conversation with one of the owners, he asked if we were ready to take on the second decade — my answer of course was ‘Yes!'”