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GCAC Presents: Don’t You Forget About Me

Scott Vezdos Scott Vezdos GCAC Presents: Don’t You Forget About MeMolly Ringwald performs with the CJO In “Don’t You Forget About Me” February 6-9 at the Southern Theatre.
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Molly Ringwald performs with the CJO In “Don’t You Forget About Me” February 6-9 at the Southern Theatre.

Under the direction of world-renowned band leader and trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) continues to break new ground while honoring the rich heritage of America’s classical music – jazz. In “Don’t You Forget About Me” (February 6-9 at the Southern Theatre), everyone’s favorite former teenager joins the CJO in a salute to the Great American Songbook.

From the big screen to the stage, Molly Ringwald has done it all. Making a name for herself as one of the greatest teen stars of all time in John Hughes’ classics like Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club, Molly has now made her imprint in the jazz world releasing her new album, Except…Sometimes. An homage to the Great American Songbook, Ringwald has crafted a carefully chosen selection of jazz standards which she caps off with her take on The Breakfast Club classic, “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

“Molly was inspired by classic jazz singers like Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald,” shares Stripling. “With the full CJO cookin’ behind her, Molly will dig deep into her vocal jazz roots while providing an entertaining evening bubbling with energetic swing!”

Said Ringwald, “I grew up in a home filled with music and had an early appreciation of jazz since my dad was a jazz musician [pianist Bob Ringwald]. Beginning at around age three I started singing with his band and jazz music has continued to be one of my three passions along with acting and writing. I like to say jazz music is my musical equivalent of comfort food. It’s always where I go back to when I want to feel grounded.”

Talk with Ringwald for even a short amount of time and it’s clear her grasp of jazz and its history comes from a lifelong study of the form and the great singers who inspired her, including Smith, Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie and Susannah McCorkle. “Blossom Dearie was the only one I got to see live. Susannah’s recordings have really influenced me. I think she was really special in her gifts of interpretation and how much humanity she brought to the songs.”

Even though she’s been singing since such an early age, the time wasn’t right until now. “Once I started to act I felt like I had to make that decision,” she says. Plus, during the ‘80s, “I didn’t think there was a place for the music that I was interested in,” she says. “There was no Madeline Peyroux, Diana Krall, Norah Jones… I didn’t feel like anybody was going to listen to the kind of music that I wanted to sing. I thought, I’ll just keep singing with my dad and focus on my acting.”

Ringwald can currently be seen starring in the breakout hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family where, happily, she is not the teenager. In addition to select tour dates promoting her debut album, Except…Sometimes, she is also on the road promoting her new novel, the national bestseller, When It Happens to You.

Audience members can also join Byron Stripling for a casual and engaging conversation with Molly Ringwald (Sat. Feb. 8 at 2 PM) and 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. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” is free to CJO subscribers and $10 for general registrants. Pre-registration is requested and available at JazzArtsGroup.org.

Single tickets for “Don’t You Forget About Me” are on sale now for $52 (main floor), $46 (first balcony – loge), $41 (first balcony – mezzanine), and $30 (second balcony) and available through the CAPA Ticket Office at 614-469-0939 and through all Ticketmaster outlets. Student tickets are available for $15 (over 18) and $10 (under 18) with valid ID at the door.

Call 614.294.5200 or visit JazzArtsGroup.org for more information.

GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.

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