Week Five: Broadway Meets Hollywood!

This past week was very busy at Jazz Arts Group as we prepared for our second concert in the JazZoo series,  “Broadway Meets Hollywood.”

I had done a lot of preparation for Friday’s show, including securing the use of a red carpet for the entryway, which I got through a generous in-kind donation from Columbus event rental business Lasting Impressions.  It is very rewarding to see the event run smoothly because of the team’s hard work during the previous week.

Artistic Director Byron Stripling leads the Columbus Jazz Orchestra at the start of the concert!

It was a pleasure finally getting to meet guest artist Helen Welch, whom I had been working with via e-mail and over the phone.  Originally from the United Kingdom, Helen relocated to my own hometown of Akron, Ohio several years ago.  I had actually seen her perform in Akron a few years ago, and she was just as lovely in person as she is on stage.

Helen graciously accepts the audience's applause.

The set list ranged  from “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz to of course “All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago.  An arrangement of “Beauty and The Beast” was a big hit as well!

Byron and Helen look glamorous under the stage lights.

Alto Saxophonist and Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop (CYJW) instructor Hal Melia played a great solo in his feature, “Blue Skies” from the Irving Berlin musical, Betsy.  The CYJW is a part of JAG’s Youth Jazz Program, which provides a big band experience for students in middle school and high school.  Community education programs are an integral part of promoting JAG’s mission to “advance the art of jazz through performance and education.”

Hal Melia swings on the arrangement of "Blue Skies."

And, just for fun…

Orchestra Manager Karen Atria with an African Blackfooted Penguin!

 I am looking forward to seeing the other Fellows as they join me at the next JazZoo on July 22nd!

– Janelle, Jazz Arts Group

 * Photos courtesy of Stephen Pariser – www.stephenpariser.com
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