Who We Are

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s premier not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting Jazz. Our mission is to advance and celebrate the art of jazz through performance and education. The Jazz Arts Group (JAG) divides its resources among two areas: performance and education.

JAG Performances includes Columbus Jazz Orchestra with Byron Stripling, our premiere series featuring guests from around the world all at the Southern Theatre, Jazz Arts Group Presents, a series dedicated to rising stars, local legends, national acts and more at the historic Lincoln Theatre, and the PBJ & Jazz family jazz series at the Lincoln Ballroom and Topiary Park.

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 JAG Education & Community programs and through our Jazz Academy activities.

Our Affiliate Musicians program continues to work with area musicians on professional development and performing opportunities for Columbus jazz musicians.



Our History

JAG began in 1973 as a vehicle for local professional musicians and educators to present high-level performances to audiences in a big band setting. Throughout the past 50 years, JAG has produced more than 500 world-class jazz performances featuring the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), the resident big band that developed from founder Ray Eubanks’ original group of musicians.

Fifty years later, the CJO is considered one of the world’s finest jazz orchestras, presenting big band jazz and world-renowned guest artists to thousands every year. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra consists of highly regarded musicians and educators from the Central Ohio region and performs more than twenty subscription concerts each season.

The Columbus Jazz Orchestra is led by world renowned band leader and trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, who is celebrating his 20th season with the band this year. Incorporating contemporary arrangements into its repertoire along with commissioning new arrangements and masterworks for jazz orchestras, the CJO strives to promote the future of big band jazz.

In addition to the performances of the CJO, the Jazz Arts Group presents local and national artists to the Columbus community in theatres and informal venues, and for more than 30 years, dedicated its efforts to educating people of all ages about jazz.

The Jazz Arts Group education and community engagement programming reaches thousands of students from pre-K to high school seniors each year. JAG also is home to the Jazz Academy at the historic Lincoln Theatre, where annually 200+ students come to participate in youth orchestras and ensembles, rehearsals, workshops, and summer camps.

JAG’s outreach efforts have brought jazz beyond the classroom to hundreds of students annually in collaboration with outstanding community organizations such as Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus Museum of Art, The Ohio State University, Capital University, YMCA, and more!

Katy Coy
Chief Executive Officer
Jazz Arts Group

Chief Executive Officer’s Message

Thank you for getting to know Jazz Arts Group! JAG is the home of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, led by the one and only Byron Stripling, performing five times each year in the historic Southern Theatre. We are also a national jazz education leader, offering professional development for music educators, interactive musical performances for students, and playing opportunities for young people and lifelong learners alike. We partner across the United States to bring today’s very best jazz performing artists to Columbus, keeping a long and rich jazz legacy alive in the heart of the midwest.

At Jazz Arts Group, we believe this great American music is not only wildly exciting to play and to listen to – it can also teach us, challenge us, and make our world a better place. Its rich history as part of the Black American story and America’s broader cultural tapestry is one we are proud to promote and celebrate. Where there is jazz, there is the fullness of human emotion – from heartbreak to happiness to triumph – with swinging rhythms and fresh energy that always leaves you wanting more.

We hope you will explore our concerts, educational opportunities, and community events and experience the music for yourself sometime soon. Consider joining our mailing list or following us on Facebook or Instagram to catch a glimpse of the hottest, most swinging music in Columbus. We can’t wait to welcome you and share the magic of jazz together.


Katy Coy

CEO, Jazz Arts Group