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“We Always Swing” – Celebrating 15 years of jazz

“We Always Swing” – Celebrating 15 years of jazz

The “We Always Swing” Jazz Series will mark its 15th anniversary with the return of Bobby Watson, Terrell Stafford, Branford Marsalis and other big-name acts, as well as the series’ annual pub crawl, a prelude to the Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ Festival.

The “Jazz, Wine & Beer” pub crawl Sept. 24 includes 16 venues with live music. The venues are divided into two groups: those to the east of 9th Street and those to the west. The East Side features Planet Jazz at Bambino’s and Chump Change at Mojo’s, while the West Side features John D’Agostino and Tony Lotvin at Addison’s and the Jack Schultz Trio at the Underground Café, formerly Cherry Street Artisan.

Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials

Participants must pick a side, and the $35 tickets include admission to a post-pub crawl party with Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials at The Blue Note.

Jon Poses, executive director of the jazz series, said it’s difficult to choose a highlight of the pub crawl, but involving Columbia’s downtown and tapping the collaborative energy are the best parts.

“The highlight is really just the spirit of it,” he said.

One certainty, Poses added, is Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials will be great.

“It leads perfectly into the Roots ‘N Blues festival,” he said. The festival begins the following day, Sept. 25.

Highlights of the jazz series include shows at the Missouri Theater and a film series hosted by Ragtag.

The “We Always Swing” Jazz Series will also host a New Year’s Eve party at Murry’s, where Bobby Watson & Horizon will reunite with Terrell Stafford, Victor Lewis, Edward Simon and Peter Washington.

As part of its eight-month celebration, the jazz series will present “Sundays @ Murry’s.” Acts include Christian McBride’s Inside Straight on Nov. 22 and Stefon Harris & Blackout on Jan. 31.

“We hope we add to the cultural mix of Columbia,” Poses said. “Tickets to our concerts and events seem to be selling well, which is exciting.” 

Information about the pub crawl and other jazz series events can be found at

Special Events:

  • Prelude to the Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ Festival: Annual Downtown Columbia “Jazz, Wine & Beer” Pub Crawl—Sept. 24
  • Jim Widner Big Band with special Guest Bobby Watson—Oct. 16, Missouri Theatre
  • Spotlight In Jazz: Diverse—Nov. 1, Murry’s
  • New Year’s Eve with Bobby Watson & Horizon—Dec. 31, Murry’s

“Sundays @ Murry’s”:

  • Christian McBride’s Inside Straight—Nov. 22
  • Kurt Elling with Laurence Hobgood Trio: “Dedicated To You”: Feat. Music of Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane—Dec. 6
  • Stefon Harris & Blackout—Jan. 31
  • Clayton Bros. Quintet with John & Jeff Clayton—April 11

“Body & Soul”: Jazz on Film Series (Produced with Ragtag Cinema)

  • Martino Unstrung—Nov. 3
  • Sweet & Lowdown—Jan. 14
  • Anita O’Day: Life of a Jazz Singer—March 16
  • Double Feature: The Universal Mind Of Bill Evans PLUS Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together—April 6

“Jazz in the District”:

  • Pat Martino Quartet Featuring Eric Alexander & Tony Monaco—Nov. 4
  • Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing: A Django Reinhardt Centennial Celebration—Dec. 21
  • An Evening with Branford Marsalis—Feb. 13
  • Rufus Reid Trio feat. Steve Allee & Duduka Da Fonseka w/ MU Concert Jazz Band—March 7
  • Conrad Herwig’s Latin Side All-Star Band: “Latin Side of Miles, ‘Trane, Herbie & Wayne”
  • Dr. Carlos Perez-Mesa Memorial Concert—April 17
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