The 12th annual Gahanna Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival ran 3 days from June 18th through the 20th. It is one of the best kept secrets and best values of many of the local or community organized musical festivals in or out of the United States.
The festival was a fun family event for all. With over 50 musical groups and 90 hours of fantastic music packed into three days, the festival featured some of the best local, national and international blues and jazz artists on four stages.
The atmosphere was fun, vibrant, electric and friendly. The grounds were clean, the selection of food was inviting but above all else, the music and other entertainment made the entire event a smash! The Gahanna Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival appeared to be a community project that was well accepted by the people who call the area home.
One aspect that also showed community involvement and respect was the fact that the local businesses that might have either had their business interrupted or perhaps even benefited by the volume of people coming into the area, was that the festival made it possible to be inclusive by allowing the businesses to participate in the festivities.
Of the numerous events scheduled, local businesses participated in the festival offerings in helping to offer such events as an Annual Jazz Brunch in which this year, Mezzo Italian Kitchen & Wine hosted the family-friendly Jazz Brunch Buffet. Families could treat Dad to brunch before attending the festival and with a paid brunch, included free festival admission to the fathers.
A new addition this year also included a “Pub Crawl” that took place days leading up to the actual festival. Four Gahanna bars, J. Gumbo’s, Gatsby” Bar & grille, Signature’s Bar & Grille, and Dolphin Lounge hosted the event on June 12th. The event gave a glimpse or sampling of the type of music patrons could expect during the festival. Additionally three of the venues that participated in the pub crawl was joined by Old Bag Of Nails Pub to host live “after hours” music on Friday and Saturday night of the festival.
The festival offered a blues and jazz clinic with the blues clinic being hosted by Central Ohio blues man, Sean Carney and the jazz clinic hosted by vocalist and Jazz Arts Group faculty member Rachel Sepulveda. A “Families Helping Families” event was offered that gave people free admission during a brief period of the day for anyone that brought any non-perishable food items. There was also a “Jog For Jazz” race and a host, no make that a “plethora”, of daily children activities.
Over the three days, in addition to all the great musicians that performed, the festival featured a number of headliners that closed out the days performances on all four stages each evening to include: On Friday, Sarah Morrow with the Bobby Floyd Trio (Jazz Stage), Mudfork Blues (Creekside Community Stage), Jimmy D Rogers (Acoustic Alley) and Jimi Vincent Band (Blues Stage); On Saturday, The Urban Jazz Coalition, Woody Pines Band, Tab Benoit and Capital Sound; On Sunday, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Silver and Spruce, Sanhedrin Move Band and Sean Carney Band.
Our hats should go off to the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, event sponsors, volunteers, police department, citizens and visitors for pulling off a fantastic music and family event that was enjoyed by all that attended. A special salute should also go out to the staff, executive/planning committee and management.
If you missed this years Gahanna Blues & Jazz Festival, mark your calendars and make plans to visit and attend next years festival. I highly recommend it!
Remember to subscribe to this page for more great stories and information on your favorite local, national and international music events and artists.
Join me as a friend on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Read my R&B Music related articles