THIS FRIDAY (9/5) | Columbus Jazz Orchestra featuring Helen Welch

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With very few performance opportunities available for jazz musicians playing in the big band scene, Columbus Jazz Arts Group formed the Columbus Jazz Orchestra over 40 years ago with no idea how successful it would come to be. To stop from becoming a thing of the past, audiences are led to return each and every season due to their new and modern arrangements of jazz classics, but with the same high energy and style that big bands have obtained since the 1920s. Byron Stripling, world-renown band leader and trumpet virtuoso, leads the Columbus Jazz Orchestra with the experience of playing with bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman and Lionel Hampton, traveling the world to play jazz festivals and being a featured soloist with groups such as the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, the National Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Even though Stripling has played with so many of the world’s finest musicians, so has the Columbus Jazz Orchestra; featuring high profile vocalists and instrumentalists on many of their performances, this show will prove to be no different. Enchanting crowds with her vocals and humor, we are excited to announce that Helen Welch will be joining the orchestra for this special performance. Welch, who is a native of England, got off to a fast start of starring roles in some of Broadway’s biggest productions—captivating audiences both in person and even on television (BBC). Her musical work eventually led to her working with the UK’s most talented big bands, as well as teaching students of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who are considered to be the best of Britain’s future musicians.

With over 20 subscribed season concerts given by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, we are thrilled to be able to host their debut in Bicentennial Park. Both with large and devoted followings, Helen Welch and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra will be sure to quickly engage the large audience and leave listeners holding on to every note!

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

ARTIST WEBSITE:
http://www.jazzartsgroup.org/


THIS FRIDAY (8/29) | BalletMet Columbus

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A sunset on the Scioto Mile is the perfect setting for a sensational performance by BalletMet dancers in Bicentennial Park! You’re invited to kick off Labor Day weekend with this FREE performance by BalletMet.

A varied bill of dances will be featured in the program. The performance will include a pas de duex from Don Quixote and will also feature a piece performed by the BalletMet Dance Academy students. BalletMet will then take the audience on an exhilarating journey through its upcoming season. This will be the general public’s first look at BalletMet Artistic Director Edwaard Liang’s programming selections for the 2014 – 2015 season.

“Rhythm on the River is such a unique performance series,” said BalletMet Artistic Director Edwaard Liang. “It allows us to bring dance, quite literally, outside the box and into the open air where the beauty of ballet can mingle effortlessly with nature.”

An excerpt from the highly anticipated Twisted: a Trio of Excellence will highlight dance premieres from Val Caniporali and Edwaard Liang and will also feature Columbus Opera singer Katherine Peterson. This collaboration between BalletMet, Opera Columbus and the Columbus Symphony and Chorus will “twist” three art forms – ballet, opera and symphony – together to highlight the best of Columbus’ arts.

Next, the classic fairytale Cinderella will be brought to new life through Edwaard Liang’s choreography for the sweet Cinderella and her wicked step sisters. Gerard Charles’ family favorite, The Nutcracker, will grace the stage with the exquisite Chinese Dance and Snow Pas de Deux, along with an inside look into how they were created.

The evening will also feature a sneak-peak of BalletMet’s new second company, BalletMet 2. Comprised of six highly skilled dancers ages 18-22, BalletMet 2 is a dance academy performing company that leverages dance training, performances and lectures to expand visibility, awareness and knowledge of dance as a profession.

About BalletMet

BalletMet Columbus, renowned for its versatility and innovative repertory, ranks among the nation’s largest dance companies. Since its inception in 1978, BalletMet has made the commission and performance of new works a core organizational priority, with more than 150 World Premieres and hundreds of Company Premieres performed throughout its history. BalletMet stages 60 to 70 performances each year at home and on tour. In the past, the company has toured 28 U.S. states and internationally to Russia, Poland, Egypt, Spain and Canada. BalletMet also developed DanceReach, a series of educational and outreach programs serving nearly 30,000 people annually. The DanceReach program offers up to 60 scholarships each year to talented youth, many from minority and underserved groups, who could not otherwise participate.

Be sure to come out and enjoy BalletMet’s skill, dedication and innovation this Friday night! See you there!

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
8:00 p.m. – Performance

ARTIST WEBSITE:
https://www.balletmet.org/


TONIGHT | Mavis Staples with special guest fo/mo/deep

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UPDATE (8/22 6:00 p.m.): The skies over downtown Columbus are clearing and conditions look favorable for tonight’s performance. Unfortunately, we are not able to reschedule performances canceled due to weather, so we will do our best to make it happen. Check back for updates.

With music running through her veins since day one, Mavis Staples was born straight into her family’s musical career in the heart and soul of Chicago’s music scene. Losing her mother at an early age, Staples and her three siblings were raised primarily by their father who spent the majority of his downtime picking the blues away on a guitar in their home. Realizing the goldmine of talent that he had in his family, Staples’s father formed The Staples Singers with his children—while she was just 8 years old. Performing for their family and friends in their local Chicago church, countless standing ovations scored Staples the lead singer role in the group and ultimately a record deal with Vee-Jay Records.

With success ultimately blossoming for Staples and her family in the 1960s and early 1970s, the impact their music would have on the Civil Rights Movement became clear. Showcasing her talents for figures such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, various presidents and members of The Beatles, while dating Bob Dylan throughout the 60s, it is no surprise that she has found a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll and the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Proving to be beyond her past, this GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award winner has rekindled her musical flame into a successful late solo career including multiple award nominations and a victory of the GRAMMY® for Best Americana Album in 2011.

The evening will open with fo/mo/deep, an eclectic groove oriented funky jazz collective. Seasoned professionals in defying the musical ordinary of 70s jazz, soul and funk, fo/mo/deep brings an unpredictable energy that is fun for all ages to listen and dance to. One of our most anticipated concerts of our 2014 Rhythm on the River season, we are proud and excited to invite Columbus to spend the night with musical legend, Mavis Staples, in Bicentennial Park. Staples’s three piece band and trio of back-up vocalists is sure to get you on your feet and moving to their sounds!

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Live Music Begins

ARTIST WEBSITES:
http://mavisstaples.com/
http://fomodeep.com/


THIS FRIDAY (8/15) | The Paul Thorn Band with special guest Grassinine

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The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is thrilled to host The Paul Thorn Band this Friday evening for Rhythm on the River! The Mississippi native has been a crowd pleaser for years as he speaks universal truths in his own bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern way.

Thorn has had an array of experiences from working in a furniture factory, to jumping out of airplanes and boxing. As a musician, he has toured and collaborated with Sting, Paul Carrack, Joe Diffie, Tanya Tucker, Ronnie Milsap and Carole King just to name a few. When Thorn and his band hit the stage, they will perform both his captivating originals as well as some favored covers, which he has an album dedicated to. The idea behind Thorn’s cover album is that he would hear certain tunes on tour or at a festival and would think, “That’s a great song, I wish I had written it!” explains Thorn on his website. He believes the thing all artists have in common is that they are real. They don’t just write songs in an effort to follow a trend or to become popular—they are true artists. In his mind, there are so many great artists whose songs must be heard.

The evening will open with Grassinine, a thigh slapping, toe-tapping band you will not want to miss! When grooving to this local impromptu band formed after a neighborhood jam session, you will hear instruments such as banjo, mandolin, washboard, spoons, a stringed “gut-bucket” and many more. Dance along to Grassinine’s “Mountain Rock,” consisting of equal parts rock, blues, bluegrass and a healthy serving of fun. See you there!

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Live Music Begins

ARTIST WEBSITES:
http://www.paulthorn.com/
http://www.grassinine.com/