The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus will perform a variation of Ol’ Blue Eyes songs during “Sinatra!” From Thursday to Sunday.
Jazz singer and pianist Tony DeSare will join the Columbus Jazz Orchestra as they cover the hits of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra at the Southern Theater, located at 21 E. Main St. Byron Stripling, bandleader of the orchestra, has said DeSare truly encapsulates the spirit of Sinatra through his music.
“There are three ways to approach learning and enjoying jazz,” Stripling said. “The first is where you imitate an artist; the second is where you take in everything they put together as an artist, plus other things that you like; and the last is to innovate, and you become an innovator by finding your own voice. That’s what Tony did.
Stripling said he considered “Sinatra!” to be more than just a cover of the singer’s music as the orchestra performs its music in its own style, which sets it apart from the originals.
“If you have a song that you like, we try to figure out how that would work in the context of a jazz band, because jazz is about making a unique impression,” Stripling said.
Zach Compston, executive director of programming and education at the Jazz Arts Group in Columbus, said Sinatra was an American icon who served as a bridge between pop culture and the musical aspects of jazz.
“He was loved as a film and pop culture icon and was a star around the world, but at the same time he was right there alongside Harry James’ orchestra and Count’s orchestra. Basie,” Compston said. “He was a musician’s musician first, but he also brought music to the world through his pop culture lens.”
One of the primary goals of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus is to teach and engage the community about and with jazz, Compston said. Frank Sinatra’s popularity and music provide the band with an opportunity to engage with members of the general public who may know Sinatra but not as much about jazz, he said.
“As a jazz organization aiming to engage the community as effectively as possible, ‘Sinatra!’ presents a great opportunity to bring in these people who know Sinatra and his music, and they can experience it live with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra,” Compston said. “It’s kind of obvious every time you have the opportunity to use the acclaim and notoriety of an artist like Frank Sinatra.”
Stripling said those who attend the show will be able to share and experience Sinatra’s music together as a community, and the audience’s interaction with the orchestra will lend itself to an even better performance.
“The theater is a sacred place – almost like a church to me – because all the music that’s happened there in the past and worked well stays there, so spiritually there’s something great to go into. a concert hall,” Stripling said. . “The feelings that music and art invoke in people motivate people and imbue them with hope.”
Performers featured by the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus travel to local schools to work with students in jazz bands, Compston said. DeSare is one of the artists soon to visit Whetstone High School and Westerville South High School as part of the program.
“Part of our mission is to advance music through performance and education, and these shows blend the two,” Compston said. “So you may come and see a show, but you may not realize that during the week there are students in the community who have also benefited from these performers.”
Tickets for “Sinatra! from $14, and more information on schedules can be found at Jazz Art Group’s website.