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GCAC Presents: Jazzin’ Up the Holidays with JAG

Scott Vezdos Scott Vezdos GCAC Presents: Jazzin’ Up the Holidays with JAG
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The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus invites you to celebrate with us during this most wonderful time of the year with a packed schedule of holiday events. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s 2010-2011 Swingin’ at the Southern series continues December 1-5 with “Home for the Holidays,” featuring a return engagement with vocalist Carmen Bradford for the annual holiday spectacular.

The Count Basie Orchestra alum was previously featured in the Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s production of “Louis, Ella & Friends,” celebrating the music of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Back by popular demand, Ms. Bradford joins Artistic Director Byron Stripling again for a sleigh ride of holiday favorites done CJO-style.

Vocalist Carmen Bradford:

The holiday spirit continues with “The Gospel According to Swing” on Saturday, December 18 to kick off the 2010-11 Inside Track season at the Lincoln Theatre. Byron Stripling will also lead this gospel-themed show featuring the soulful voice of Nia Allen and the keyboard wizardry of Bobby Floyd. The daughter of Milton and Merlyn Ruffin, Nia Allen grew up in a strong musical and faith-based family. In addition to a gospel singer, Allen is also a songwriter, teacher, and minister. She wrote most of the material on her debut project, A New Thing and her upcoming sophomore release, Here Am I.

Holiday revelers can also join Ms. Allen at the Jazz Academy and sing the “Songs of the Season” on December 18, beginning at 2 PM. This holiday sing-a-long is for anyone and everyone who would like to gather together, sing, have fun and celebrate the season! Accompanying Nia will be Dr. Milt Ruffin – and, we may have other surprise guests, too! After the singing, enjoy cookies and punch and time to visit with one another at the Jazz Academy.

Nia Allen:

The Jazz Arts Group is also proud to partner with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for both the “Home for the Holidays” and “Songs of the Season” events. JAG encourages attendees to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the special 2 PM Sunday performance of “Home for the Holidays” on December 5 at the Southern Theatre and the “Songs of the Season” holiday sing-a-long on December 18 at the Jazz Academy. For 30 years, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has been working with grocers, food companies, Ohio farmers, the USDA, and community partners to obtain food and distribute it to more than 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs, and senior housing sites across central and eastern Ohio.

For tickets and showtimes for “Home for the Holidays” with Carmen Bradford, “The Gospel According to Swing” and “Songs of the Season” with Nia Allen, please visit www.jazzartsgroup.org.

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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