Summer PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park 2019

The Jazz Arts Group’s Jazz Academy recently announced details for the 2019 summer season of PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park. This summer tradition offers “one-hour long interactive concerts designed to introduce jazz and American music to young children and their families.” Now in its 10th season, the PBJ & Jazz summer series presents four free monthly concerts at noon on the second Saturday of June through September, and each concert is accompanied by family story time and an art activity (see below). Such Sweet Thunder, a high-powered Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn tribute ensemble kicks off the schedule on Saturday, June 8th, and other performers for the new season include the Bobby Floyd Trio with Dwight Adams, Jazz Daddies featuring Maggie Green, and the Ben Crowder 6. Keep reading for details from JAG, and visit or for more info on this excellent chance to get your children interested in jazz!


Columbus, OH – The free PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park summer concert series returns to the downtown Topiary Park at 480 East Town Street in downtown Columbus for its 10th season presented in collaboration with the Jazz Arts Group, Friends of the Topiary Park, Columbus Metropolitan Library, and the Columbus Museum of Art.

PBJ & Jazz concerts are one-hour long interactive concerts designed to introduce jazz and American music to young children and their families.  Featuring some of Columbus’ finest musicians and ensembles, PBJ & Jazz concerts are hosted by music educator Rebecca Ogden — and are a great introduction to live music for the youngest audience member.

Artists for the 2019 summer season include: Such Sweet Thunder (June 8th), a tribute band performing the works of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn; Grammy Award-nominated keyboardist Bobby Floyd and his Trio featuring trumpeter Dwight Adams (July 13th); Jazz Daddies featuring Maggie Green (August 10th); and Ben Crowder 6 (September 14th).

The free PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park concerts follow a family story time at 11 a.m. in the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic and a blanket to the Topiary Park.  The noon concert will conclude with a hands-on art activity, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., presented by the Columbus Museum of Art.  In the event of rain, all activities will be held inside the Columbus Metropolitan Library, adjacent to The Topiary Park, at 96 South Grant Avenue in downtown Columbus.   Call 614-294-5200 x 117 or visit for more information.

PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park is presented by Jazz Arts Group and sponsored by the Jennifer Michel Keefer Memorial Fund at The Columbus Foundation and Friends of the Library.  In-kind support is provided by Columbus Recreation and Parks.  Media support is provided by WCBE 90.5 FM.

General funding is provided to Jazz Arts Group by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, and the Columbus Foundation.

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About the Jazz Arts Group:

Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s premiere not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz.  JAG consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Jazz at the Lincoln Theatre, a jazz and blues performance series featuring curated events, plus both local and nationally recognized artists presented at the historic Lincoln theatre; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

About Friends of the Topiary Park:

Established in 1991, Friends of the Topiary Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and promotion of the Topiary Park.  The Friends organize all fundraising and volunteer efforts for garden upkeep, general administrative duties, running the Visitors’ Center and providing docent-led tours.  The Friends have also been instrumental in raising funds to maintain and develop the park’s resources.

About Friends of the Library:

Friends of the Library is a group that builds awareness and resources to champion Columbus Metropolitan Library’s vitality in the community, funding critical programs such as Summer Reading Club, Homework Help Centers and Teen Read Week.  The Friends also support campaigns for the levies which provide public funding for the library.

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About Such Sweet Thunder:

Such Sweet Thunder features some of the Midwest’s finest jazz musicians paying loving tribute to the music of Duke Ellington and his musical partner Billy Strayhorn.  This project is a labor of love sparked by Ryan Hamilton and Tony Gayle McClung, and brought to life by the fantastic musicians they’ve lined up.  The band consists of Ryan Hamilton (trombone and arrangements), Jim Powell (trumpet), Michael Cox (alto saxophone, clarinet), Bryan Olsheski (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Mark Donavan (baritone saxophone, clarinet), Lucas Holmes (piano), John Allen (bass), and Tony Gayle McClung (drums, banjo).

About Bobby Floyd Trio featuring Dwight Adams:

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Grammy-nominated keyboardist Bobby Floyd and his Trio along with special guest trumpeter Dwight Adams.  These in-demand artists will have you tapping your toes and feeling the beat with their soulful set of live jazz.

About Jazz Daddies featuring Maggie Green:

Led by piano/organ sensation Jon Eshelman, the Jazz Daddies will provide a swinging set of music for kids, featuring vocalist and “Jazz Mommy” Maggie Green.  This group is made up of Columbus Jazz musicians who are also parents of children of a variety of ages.  Jazz Bear, an oversized stuffed bear that is the PBJ & Jazz mascot, will preside over this fun concert for all ages.

About Ben Crowder 6:

Ben Crowder 6 is a six-piece horn-driven jazz combo from Columbus, Ohio specializing in the music of pioneering hard-bop jazz greats Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Benny Golson, The Art Farmer Jazztet, Curtis Fuller, Sonny Clark, Horace Silver, and others.  The band also performs emotionally-charged, energetic original material inspired by the hard-bop era in jazz.

Ben Crowder 6 features some of the finest young musicians on the Columbus music scene today: Ben Crowder (trombone), Ian Harrah (trumpet), Terrance Farmer (tenor saxophone), David Swank (piano), Jeff Bass (bass), and Willie Barthel III (drums.)

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