Vaughn Wiester’s New Musical Home in Clintonville

Original story via ThisWeekNews.

With nearly a 15 year tenure in German Village coming to an end last year, Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra’s 21 piece band was without a home. They were forced to find a new venue when the old Columbus Music Hall sold their building to Columbus City Schools, due to a severe drop in membership.

The Aug. 31, 2001 closing of the Columbus Mannerchor in German Village threatened Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra’s historic stay. The band first began performing at the old Columbus Music Hall starting in 1997 and then, after a dozen years, moved to the venue founded at 966 S. High St. by a German singing society.

Wiester had to plenty of time to find another place for his jazz orchestra to play, but he didn’t right away.

“There’s a lot of inertia in me,” the Clintonville resident admitted.

Meanwhile, at the Columbus Woman’s Club, director of sales and catering Kristen Steinhausser was wondering what to do with the catering facility’s slowest night of the week, a Monday. The place is booked maybe once a year on that night.

Little did they know, there might have been a perfect match in the making.

Scott Weddell, who helps set up for various events at the Woman’s Club, 3951 N. High St., was aware that Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra was about to become a band without a home. Aware that the group was already scheduled to perform for the annual spring gala at the Woman’s Club, Weddell suggested to Steinhausser that she might want to ask him to move the band there on Monday nights.

“I didn’t think he would ever consider us,” Kristen Steinhausser recalled

So she called.

“And he said, ‘Who is this?’ ” the catering manager said.

“It had never occurred to me to so much as knock on their door,” Wiester said. “I just about fell out of my chair.”

The Clintonville Woman’s Club, 3951 N. High St., was no more than a five-minute drive from Wiester’s residence. That’s how long it took him to show up to continue the discussion with Steinhausser.

Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra began performing Mondays from 7:30 to 11 at the Woman’s Club. The cover charge is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Snacks are available and customers may bring their own bottles.

After taking the month of February off, the band resumed Monday night performances recently.

“It’s working out very well, I think, for both of us,” Steinhausser said.

“She thinks we’re one of the best things to happen to them,” Wiester said. “I’m here to say that the Woman’s Club is one of the best things that ever happened to the band.”

More than twice as many people have been turning out Monday nights as the band was drawing at the Mannerchor, he added.

Vaughn Wiester and his Famous Jazz Orchestra performs almost every Monday night at the Clintonville Women’s Club.

3951 North High Street

Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 268-5525

1 Comment

  1. They play tonight.
    But next Monday, May 7, they have a gig in Ashland.
    Then the FJO will resume their regular Monday nights at the Clintonville Women’s Club on May 14.

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