Taking jazz to a wilder place this summer

Four Fridays: July 15 & 22 + August 5 & 12

The Columbus Jazz Orchestra takes jazz to a wilder place this summer with its outdoor concert series, JazZoo!, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus, OH – This summer, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) takes jazz to a wilder place with its outdoor concert series, JazZoo!, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. JazZoo! is presented by the Jazz Arts Group in collaboration with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and is presented by Cardinal Health.

The four-concert series returns to the Water’s Edge Events Park at the Columbus Zoo (4850 West Powell Road, Powell) providing a beautiful waterfront setting along the O’Shaughnessy Reservoir. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with concerts beginning at 8 p.m. The concerts will feature stunning performances by renowned guest artists appearing with the high-powered 16-piece CJO led by Artistic Director and trumpet virtuoso, Byron Stripling.

The 2016 JazZoo! Performance Schedule:

  • Friday, July 15 – “Bessie Smith, B.B. King & the Blues” featuring guest vocalist Miche Braden
    The CJO is joined by powerful guest vocalist Miche Braden to honor and celebrate the lasting legacy of two all-time blues greats – Bessie Smith and B.B. King in this opening concert of the CJO’s JazZoo Series.
  • Friday, July 22 – “A Hand Full of Keys: A Piano Extravaganza” featuring keyboardists Bobby Floyd, Dave Powers and Micah Thomas
    It can bebop, boogie-woogie, honky-tonk and serenade us. Many call the piano the king of instruments, and it will take center stage with the CJO when a trio of outstanding keyboardists “tickle the ivories” on this second JazZoo concert.
  • Friday, August 5 – “Big Band Classics” featuring guest vocalist Dee Daniels
    Basie, Dorsey, Ellington, Goodman gave “big band” its unmistakable sound. Now the Columbus Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition with a program of classic big band tunes and arrangements showcasing the sensational instrumentalists in the orchestra, and the outstanding four-octave range of guest vocalist Dee Daniels.
  • Friday, August 12 – “Sounds of the 70’s” featuring guest vocalist Helen Welch
    Classic 70’s sounds fill the air with the CJO and special guest vocalist Helen Welch performing unforgettable tunes by Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters, Elton John and more in this final JazZoo concert.

Ticket Information:

(Ticket prices include Zoo admission and concert. Parking is $10 per car for all but Columbus Zoo and Aquarium members.)

Single Tickets: $30 (advance) / $35 (day of)
CJO Subscribers/Columbus Zoo Members Single Tickets: $25 (advance)/$30 (day of)

Concert Series (1 Ticket for each of the 4 concerts): $99 per person (through June 18)

Concert Series (1 Ticket for each of the 4 concerts): $109 per person (after June 18)

Single Concert Table of 8: $350 (food not included – catering option available)

Concert Series Table of 8: $1,200 (table of 8 for all four concerts – food not included – catering option available)
All tickets — single and full series tickets and tables — can be purchased from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium online at www.columbuszoo.org or via phone at 614.724.3485. Advance catering options are also available and food vendors are available onsite at the events.

The 2016 JazZoo! concert series is presented by Cardinal Health. Media support is made possible by The Columbus Dispatch, Sunny 95 and WOSU Public Media.

About Our Guest Artists:

Miche Braden – A versatile singer/songwriter/actress/director, Miche Braden has starred in and directed numerous musicals including “Mahalia: A Gospel Musical,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith,” and Broadway’s “Movin’ Out,” the Billy Joel musical. A native of Detroit, Braden was one of the founding members of the all-female jazz outfit Straight Ahead at the end of the 1980s. She has collaborated frequently with leading saxophonist James Carter, and can be heard on his recordings, “Gardenias for Lady Day” and “At the Crossroads.”

Dee Daniels – Dee Daniel is gifted with an impressive four-octave range and a wonderful velvety tone. She is equally adept at singing gospel, blues and jazz, and has done so before heads of state and audiences internationally. Besides singing and touring extensively, Daniels is also an esteemed vocal coach who has established and been lauded for her many successful voice workshops across the country.

Bobby Floyd – Bobby Floyd has toured and performed extensively with Ray Charles, Rusty Bryant, Jeff Tyzik, Chris Howes, Byron Stripling, Sarah Morrow and his own trio. His current touring schedule includes performances as featured soloist with orchestras throughout the USA and Canada, including the Rochester Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Detroit Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Floyd is also a frequent soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra where his soulful sound has backed artist such as Chuck Mangione, Houston Person, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Mavis Staples, Gerald Wilson, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton and countless others. His recent performances in Europe and Japan have garnered high praise and he continues to accompany the top jazz, blues and gospel artists in the country.

Dave Powers – Two-time Emmy® Award-winning composer and performer Dave Powers has been a vital part of the Columbus music scene as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist, entertainer and educator. He has performed nationally and internationally with noted performers such as Steve Allen, George Benson, Rusty Bryant, Buddy DeFranco, Mark Farner (of Grand Funk Railroad), Eric Gale, Terry Gibbs, Ernie Krivda, Wilbert Longmire, Johnny Lytle, “Blue” Lou Marini (of the Blues Brothers), Joan Rivers, Arturo Sandoval, Grover Washington, Jr., and many others. Dave has performed with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and has, for the past six years, hosted a jazz concert series at the Clintonville Woman’s Club called “The House Jazz Concert Series.”

Micah Thomas – Jazz pianist Micah Thomas was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he was the pianist for the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra during his high school years. He has toured nationally with jazz violinist Christian Howes, and has appeared as a guest soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, alongside such luminaries as Tia Fuller, Lewis Nash and Gerald Clayton. Micah was a member of the 2013 Vail Jazz Workshop and the 2014 Brubeck Jazz Colony. Based now in New York City, Micah is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School, and is already performing with world-class musicians in venues in NYC including Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and Jazz at Kitano.

Helen Welch – Helen Welch’s performances have been praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Welch was born in England where she began performing at age three. Upon completing her studies at the London College of Music, Helen appeared in productions of “Hello Dolly!,” “Barnum,” “42nd Street,” “Oliver Twist,” “Calamity Jane,” “Show Boat,” and “Carousel,” and on Broadway in the Lieber and Stoller musical, “Smokey Joe’s Café.” She has also performed with some of the UK’s finest big bands including Opus One, Glen Miller Europe and the BBC Big Band, and in the US with The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s premier not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series presented at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium:

Home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 600 species from around the globe, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads and inspires by connecting people and wildlife. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Course. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; annually contributing more than $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.