By: Hannah Herner, In The Record Store staff writer.
Jazz is dead. Jazz is not dead. Which is it?
The Jazz Age was back in the 1920's, but jazz has definitely had its moments in American popular culture in my lifetime.
There was the swing revival — a subset of jazz — in the late 90's. Bands like Squirrel Nut Zippers, Royal Crown Review and even The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were inspired by jazz at this time.
When “The Great Gatsby” movie came out in 2013, jazz-inspired tunes came to the surface again, with the most popular being “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie.
Most recently, jazz came back into the spotlight with the popular award-winning film, “La La Land.” In it, Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, is a jazz purist, and whines that jazz is dying and that it doesn’t hardly exist in its purest form. The movie has been criticized for its overly-simplified, bleak view of the jazz scene.
For bands like The Huntertones, it’s been there all along. And it’s not just in a school ensemble or outdated venue. They’ve been playing music for over three years and successfully transplanted from Columbus and gained a following in New York.
When Dan and Jon of Huntertones sat down with Vince on an episode of In The Record Store, they discussed their OSU roots, the big move, and how the group has changed them.
Bands like The Huntertones prove that jazz doesn’t have to be played in the background while eating dinner, it can be participatory and lively, just like any other live act.
But they’re not the only ones. There are other places and people in Columbus keeping jazz alive, no help from Ryan Gosling needed.
Dick’s Den at 2417N. High St: The Den hosts live music nearly every night, most of it jazz. A bar that’s been around since the 1960's is hard to find in the campus area, and that’s what Dick’s Den contributes.
The Wexner Center for the Arts: Every year, the Wex brings in some of the movers and shakers of modern jazz for performances.
fo/mo/deep: Known for their regular live performances, fo/mo/deep is a quartet of seasoned pros spreading jazz around the city.
There’s even an entire website dedicated to Jazz in Columbus with a complete list of venues and musicians. So yeah, I’d say jazz is still kickin’.