Jazz Arts Group’s family-friendly concert series, PBJ & Jazz, returns
to the Topiary Park this summer for a three-series lineup of free live concerts. Cedric
Easton, Mary McClendon, and Bobby Floyd will each pay tribute to one of their jazz
heroes in an energetic and exciting hour of music.
This season, the theme is “A Letter to You,” inspired by the visual art of Aminah
Robinson and her use of envelopes as a drawing surface in her “Unwritten Love
Letters.” These live performances will feature the music of a different famous jazz
musician as we write a musical “letter” of gratitude to them for their contributions to jazz.
Each concert will be accompanied by an art activity inspired by Robinson’s work. July 10, 2021 – A Letter to Art Blakey featuring Cedric Easton
Cedric Easton is one of Columbus’ most dynamic and exciting drummers, known for his
passion for all things drumming! In this concert, he and his band will draft a musical
letter to iconic jazz drummer, Art Blakey, whose explosive drumming can be heard on
countless recordings with his band, The Jazz Messengers.
August 14, 2021 – A Letter to Ella Fitzgerald featuring Mary McClendon
Every jazz lover knows about the “First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald. In this concert,
we will shine the musical spotlight on Columbus’ own vocal jazz legend, Mary
McClendon, in this celebration of the music and life of Ella Fitzgerald. Mary and her
band will have the audience swinging and singing along during this exciting
September 11, 2021 – A Letter to Hank Marr and Gene Walker featuring Bobby Floyd
Every city has its own jazz sound, and for Columbus, it’s undoubtedly the sound of the
B3 organ and the tenor saxophone. Star organist Bobby Floyd and his band will tell a
musical story about two legends of the B3/tenor combination from Columbus – the late
Hank Marr and Gene Walker. From opening for the Beatles at Shea Stadium to making
countless audiences dance all night, there is so much to learn from these musicians!
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 the perfect way for families to
enjoy top-quality jazz music while children learn and play.
Summer PBJ & Jazz concerts are presented at the Topiary Park free of charge by Jazz
Arts Group in partnership with Columbus Museum of Art. The series is made possible
by the support of Encova Insurance. Each concert begins at 12 p.m. and attendees are
encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch. At the end of each show, children are invited
to pick up a “grab-and-go” style art activity from the Columbus Museum of Art.
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The Columbus Coffee Festival Returns!
The 6th Annual Columbus Coffee Festival returns on Saturday September 25th and Sunday September 26th!