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 Jazz at the Southern, our premiere series featuring your Columbus Jazz Orchestra led by Byron Stripling, Jazz at the Lincoln, a series dedicated to rising stars, local legends, national acts and more, JazZoo at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the PBJ & Jazz family jazz series at the Lincoln Ballroom and Topiary Park, and Community Jazz, a series dedicated to our community of local artists and ensembles.
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.
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!