There is a plethora of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day – Sunday, February 14th – in Columbus this year with jazz. Therefore, we have assembled a roundup of your options to spend the holiday in style, with hopefully ample time to make reservations if necessary. There are a few romantically-themed events over the weekend – Denovo Bistro downtown is offering a special 3 course menu all weekend, with the Pete Mills Trio playing Friday at 8pm and Tamara Ellis playing Saturday at 8pm. La Scala in Dublin will present some classic ensemble crooning with Brian Michael Smith and the John Vermeulen Octet performing on Saturday from 7 to 10:30pm. For a soulful smooth jazz extravaganza, visit Notes in the Brewery District for young saxophonist Elizabeth Mis with the Urban Jazz Coalition on Saturday from 9:30pm to midnight – advance tickets recommended and available here.
Brunch and Afternoon Shows
There are three jazz brunches to get your Valentine’s Day Sunday started right, as weekly gigs by Birdshack at The Crest in Clintonville and the Erik Augis Trio at 3rd and Hollywood in Grandview (both starting at 11:30am) are joined on the calendar by a duo of guitarist Tom Carroll and bassist Doug Richeson (both of SpeakEasy) playing Natalie’s at noon. As part of the 2015-16 CityMusic series, Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express will perform a tribute to Frank Sinatra at Via Vecchia in the Brewery District at 2pm. Lunch is served at 12:30 – details and tickets are available here. Also starting at 2pm is the St. Valentine’s Day Floor Show and Tea Dance at the resurgent Valley Dale Ballroom (1590 Sunbury Road) featuring the timeless big band stylings of the Rick Brunetto Big Band – $25 discounted tickets (price increases to $30 on February 6th) are available at 614-579-1150 or rickbrunetto.com. For a younger take on the sounds of romance, the OSU Jazz Lab Ensemble presents a program entitled “All About Love,” with selections including “Love for Sale,” “Con Alma,” “My Funny Valentine,” and more at Weigel Hall at 3pm.
Dinner/Early Evening Shows
There are four great Valentine’s-focused opportunities for jazz at the dinner hour. In addition to their normal Saturday night gig, top-notch piano trio the Dave DeWitt TRio will play Hyde Park Restaurant (Arlington) from 5:30 to 8:30pm – call 614-442-3310 for reservations. From 6 to 9:30pm, Clintonville Woman’s Club will host the Cyndi Black Big Band for a Valentine’s Day Gala – email email@example.com for tickets ($85/couple). Pianist Richard Lopez will entertain from 6 to 10pm at Barcelona, promising “romantic American songbook standards (well…and some French songs of course!)” – reservations recommended. For another strong big band option, In Full Swing plays the luscious setting of the Franklin Park Conservatory from 6:30 to 10pm – tickets available here.
Athens’ Local Girls will play a special Valentine’s Day Show at Natalie’s from 8 to 10pm, bringing three-part harmony versions of romantic classic swing, western, bebop, blues and standards material to life with their excellent backing band – tickets available here. If you’re looking for a relaxed setting to spend the end of your evening, stop by Dick’s Den to see an all-star quartet of drummer Maxwell Button, guitarist Derek DiCenzo, vibraphonist Nate Anders, and bassist Nathan Smith, starting around 9pm.