Columbus, OH – The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is pleased to announce its 2014-15 season of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) and Inside Track small-ensemble series. Under the direction of world-renowned band leader and trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, now in its 42nd year, continues to break new ground while honoring the rich heritage of America’s classical music – jazz. With season after season of inspiring, uplifting performances, the CJO is making audiences stand up and shout for more!
The excitement begins at the Lincoln Theatre with a Motor City celebration featuring the legendary Mary Wilson of The Supremes in “Motown Medley” (September 19-20, 2014). Filling the charts with thirty-three Top 40 hits, Mary Wilson lived the life of a star as she, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard became the premier act of Motown and the most successful “girl group” in history. Joined by Byron Stripling & the CJO, this iconic dreamgirl will take center stage to present an evening of classic hits from Motown’s golden era that will have you swinging, swaying, and “dancing in the street!”
The Swingin’ with the CJO series returns to its home at the historic Southern Theatre for one of JAG’s best seasons ever including unforgettable performances from Hollywood actress and Broadway sensation Carly Thomas Smith in “A Night at the Movies” (October 23-26, 2014); platinum-selling singer/songwriter/saxophonist Curtis Stigers in the annual holiday spectacular “Home for the Holidays” (December 4-7, 2014); vocalists Dee Daniels, Dwight Lenox, and Phil Clark paying tribute to “The Chairman of the Board” in “100 Years of Frank Sinatra” (February 5-8, 2015); Grammy Award-winning bassist/composer/arranger John Clayton conducting the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra alongside the CJO, featuring a return appearance from pianist/composer Gerald Clayton in “Side by Side” (March 12-15, 2015); and Columbus keyboard wizard Dave Powers and “New York’s best kept secret” singer/composer/guitarist Becca Stevens in “James Taylor Meets Carole King” (April 9-12, 2015).
To round out the CJO season, Grammy Award-winning conductor/arranger/composer Maria Schneider brings her radiant charisma to the Southern Theatre stage to lead the CJO in an unforgettable evening of art and jazz in “Big Band Evolution (May 1-2, 2015). The music of Maria Schneider has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, and beyond categorization.” Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres placing her on a very short list of those who have received Grammy Awards in both “jazz” and “classical” categories.
“This season’s line-up takes us to our highest level ever!” shares Stripling. “We’ll continue to draw from diverse genres and musical disciplines while sneaking in delightful musical surprises at every turn! I encourage you to grab your subscription as soon as possible because this season we intend to push the envelope, raise the bar, and leave you with memories that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre.”
Audience members can join Stripling for a casual and engaging conversation with the wonderful guest artists of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a new workshop series at the Jazz Academy. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” provides participants a behind-the-scenes glimpse from the artist perspective on performing with the CJO – adding new perspective to being an audience member. In addition to the opportunity to learn something new, each guest artist will be asked to share what they are currently listening to on their iPods or CD players, introducing audiences to new and exciting music and artists. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” is free to CJO subscribers and $10 for general registrants. Pre-registration is requested and available at jazzartsgroup.org.
“Offstage at the Jazz Academy” 2014-15 season schedule:
Saturday, October 25, 2:00 pm – Carly Thomas Smith
Saturday, February 7, 2:00 pm – Dee Daniels
Saturday, March 14, 2:00 pm – Gerald Clayton (hosted by John Clayton)
Saturday, April 11, 2:00 pm – Dave Powers & Becca Stevens
The Inside Track series gives music lovers from all walks of life the chance to stretch their ears and stretch themselves at the newly restored and historic Lincoln Theatre. The revamped small-ensemble series will feature the avant-garde funk jazz of the Columbus/Brooklyn musician collective dw6 (Dan White Sextet) in an original JAG-commissioned production titled “Your Song” (September 12, 2014); the rising young talent of New York City trumpeter/vocalist/bandleader Bria Skonberg and her quintet (October 10, 2014); Grammy Award-winning saxophonist/composer/educator Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet (January 16, 2015); and the ear-bending Latin rhythms of Ritmos Unidos (March 27, 2015).
The Jazz Academy will also host companion workshops with Inside Track artists Bria Skonberg (Friday, October 10, 4:00 pm), Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet (Saturday, January 17, 12:00 pm), and Ritmos Unidos (Saturday, March 28, 12:00 pm). Registration is required and available at www.jazzartsgroup.org.
Season subscriptions are available through the CAPA ticket office at 39 East State Street or by calling 614-469-0939. Single tickets for the Swingin’ with the CJO series are available Monday, August 18 for $52 (main floor), $46 (first balcony), and $30 (second balcony). Single tickets for “Motown Medley” with Mary Wilson are available Monday, August 18 (with a CJO subscriber pre-sale beginning Monday, August 11) for $40/$30 (main floor) and $35 (loge). Single tickets for “Big Band Evolution” with Maria Schneider are also available Monday, August 18 (with a CJO subscriber pre-sale beginning Monday, August 11) for $52 (main floor), $46 (first balcony), and $30 (second balcony). Single tickets for the Inside Track series are available August 18 for $20 (general admission). Student and group rates are also available for all Swingin’ with the CJO shows. Call 614-294-5200 or visit jazzartsgroup.org for more information on individual shows and subscriptions.
The 2014-15 Swingin’ with the CJO season is made possible by ongoing support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, The Reinberger Foundation, and The Westin Columbus. Additional support for the Columbus Jazz Orchestra is provided by Grange Insurance, US Bank, Plante Moran, Ann & Tom Hoaglin, and Dennis & Marty Yacobozzi, with media support from The Columbus Dispatch, WOSU Public Media, and WMNI AM 920. The 2014-15 Inside Track season is proudly co-presented by State Auto and Sequent with additional support from up2drive and media support from WCBE 90.5 FM.
About the Jazz Arts Group:
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America's oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and 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; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.