About Us

What is JAG?

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. The Jazz Arts Group (JAG) divides its resources among two areas: performance and education. JAG serves as an “umbrella” organization to the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), performance activities at the Lincoln Theatre, the Jazz Academy, and the JAG Affiliate Musicians program.

The Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) is led by trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling and presents over twenty concerts each season at the historic Southern Theatre in its Swingin’ with the CJO performance series. Over 2000 subscribers for this series makes the CJO audience the largest jazz orchestra subscription base in the United States. The CJO performs an outdoor summer concert series, JazZoo!, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The Jazz Arts Group believes in the power of music to transform lives and is committed to offering lifelong-learning opportunities for individuals of all ages, interests, backgrounds and abilities. JAG achieves this with our two Jazz Academy programs: Jazz in the Community and Jazz in Schools. In June, 2009 JAG opened the Jazz Academy’s community instructional space. With nearly 5,000 square feet, this is a premier facility for multi-generational and recreational music making, ensemble playing, after-school programs, and lectures with world-class musicians – a place where everyone can listen, learn and play. JAG makes a significant impact on thousands of people each year through in-school performances and residencies, professional development for educators, internships for young people and masterclasses with world-renowned musicians. These Jazz Academy initiatives are just a few of the ways the Jazz Arts Group is making a difference through music.

JAG has broadened its performance scope by presenting a contemporary music series, called Inside Track and the PBJ & Jazz family jazz series, both in the newly-renovated Lincoln Theatre, located in Columbus’ historic King-Lincoln District.

Our Affiliate Musicians program continues to work with area musicians on professional development and performing opportunities. The economic benefit for these musicians is significant, in that the “economy” for Columbus jazz musicians tends to be more vibrant and consistent than for musicians in Ohio’s other major cities.

One Comment »

  • Chris Wall said:

    Just making sure that you know Tommy Dale (trombone), one of the JAG’s founding members, passed away Wednesday morning. He told us students back in 1972-1973 that some of his fellow teachers and players decided to get together to rehearse and read down charts and that rehearsal band became the JAG.

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