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 include the Swingin’ With The CJO series at the Southern Theatre, JazZoo at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Jazz Arts Group Presents at the Lincoln Theatre, Copious-Notes and Shadoebox Live, 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.

Press Southworth III

Press Southworth III
Chief Executive Officer
Jazz Arts Group

Chief Executive Officer’s Message

We are the Jazz Arts Group

Jazz has the power to uplift and inspire. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra is one of the finest jazz orchestras in the country today under Byron Stripling’s artistic leadership. Our masterful musicians are steeped in jazz tradition and many are ambassadors for Columbus and jazz through their performances at venues around the globe.

We at Jazz Arts Group are proud of all of our performance series for our 46th Anniversary Season for 2018-2019 fiscal year bringing excitement to our audiences, continuing to advance the art of jazz right here in central Ohio through dynamic and integrated programming. These included our Swingin’ with the CJO series at the Southern Theatre, Jazz At The Lincoln Theatre small-ensemble series at the Lincoln Theatre. JazZoo! summer concert series at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and our PBJ & Jazz family concert series at both the Lincoln ballroom and at the Topiary Park.

Our Jazz Academy expanded its class offerings and our Columbus Youth Jazz program continues to develop outstanding young talent. Our Jazz in Schools program impacted nearly 20,000 students this past year with our “All That Jazz” assembly performances at the Southern Theatre reaching over 4,500 students.

If you would like to bring a bit of the Jazz Arts Group’s magic close to home, we provide the area’s finest musicians to perform for corporate events, weddings and parties. Please consider our Affiliate Musicians for your next event.

We look forward to seeing you throughout this season! We welcome your donation to help us bring the jazz experience to our community. Please visit our website at www.jazzartsgroup.org, or call 614-294-5200 to learn how you can deepen your connection to the Jazz Arts Group family.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors July 2020 – June 2021

Gary Wadman

JAG President,
Managing Partner, BakerHostetler


Partner, The Behal Law Group

Jim Negron

JAG Immediate Past-President,
President, Corna Kokosing Construction

Tami Van Tassell

JAG Treasurer,
Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Kevin L. Murch

JAG Secretary,
Partner, Perez & Morris LLC

John Ammendola
President & CEO
Grange Insurance

Heather Brod
Executive Director of Faculty Affairs & FAME
OSU College of Medicine

Alessandro Ciaffoncini
Origo Branding Company

Steve Driver
Crowe LLP

Kevin Flanigan, MD
Director, Center for Gene Therapy
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Dale Gresson
Chairperson, Dept of Justice,
Safety & Legal Studies
Columbus State Community College

John Johanssen
Community Volunteer

Ron Johnson
SEMM Foundation
Executive Director

Bill Kiefaber
President & Partner
Marketing Works

Robert Lee
Touchtone Hospitality LLC

Therese McCann
Creative Director
Black Purse

Bob Breithaupt
Orchestra Representative
Columbus Jazz Orchestra

Michael Peddicord
Senior Vice President
PNC Capital Advisors, LLC

Milton Ruffin
Ft Hayes Metro Education Ctr

Larry Smith
Senior Project Manager
TheMannik& Smith Group

Press Southworth III*
Jazz Arts Group

Kelly Wilson
VP, HR Business Partner
Cardinal Health