Fischer's Fab Five

View Slideshow Buy This Photo
Trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg joins the Columbus Jazz Orchestra for its Bravo, Benny! concerts Thursday, March 13, through Sunday, March 16, at the Southern Theatre.

If you're going to pay tribute to "The King of Swing" Benny Goodman, it's only natural to look to clarinet master Ken Peplowski, which is exactly what Byron Stripling and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra have done.

With Peplowski in the title role of sorts, the CJO will offer up Bravo, Benny!, a re-creation of the Goodman band's landmark 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall. Joining the CJO and Peplowski is Canadian trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg.

Bravo, Benny! runs Thursday, March 13, through Sunday, March 16, at the Southern Theatre. Tickets start at $30 for adults, $10 for students. Visit


It's not difficult to hear rock 'n' roll songwriter Will Hoge's influences in his music -- Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, even Bruce Springsteen.

Hoge has been plying his classic-style muscle-rock for the better part of a decade, but more recently the Nashville native and resident has upped his notoriety quotient by penning hit songs for country acts such as Lady Antebellum and the Eli Young Band.

None of which is to suggest he's not a worthy concert in his own right, as his crew boasts a bar-band ethic led by a poet's heart.

Hoge will be in concert Saturday, March 15, at The Bluestone. Clare Dunn opens. Tickets are $10/$15. Visit


Neither member of Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is a son of recent Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Indeed, despite being from a car town -- and releasing their 2013 The Speed of Things album -- they have no relationship to the famous NASCAR family at all.

What Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott have come to realize is that their offbeat moniker affords them the luxury of musical experimentation (rather than, maybe, circling the same "track" over and over). The pair begins with a template that focuses on songwriting and production, but not on a particular style or sensibility. The Speed of Things traverses through old-school pop to electronica and hip-hop, with refreshing, hook-laden melodies a common thread.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. plays the A&R Music Bar Saturday, March 15. Chad Vally opens. Tickets are $15. Visit


SoCal quintet Young the Giant is among the more interesting breakout bands over the past five years -- its arty-yet-melodic pop-rock proving there's still an interest among artists and audiences for modern rock made with guitars first and then electronics, rather than the other way around.

After spending the better part of two years touring in support of their debut CD, members of YtG returned to the studio and came out with a well-thought-out sophomore album Mind Over Matter, continuing the group's alt-chart success with tunes such as Apartment and It's About Time.

Well into another two years of touring on this record, Young the Giant plays Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Monday, March 17. Vance Joy opens. Tickets are $25/$27. Visit


Drummer Matt Wilson's brand of experimental jazz is not atonal improvisational meandering, but an anything-goes approach to music-making that bridges traditional and modern forms. And it's fun -- Wilson is a virtuoso with a dramatic flair and irresistible charm.

Wilson's new album, with his quartet and guest keyboardist John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin and Wood), Gathering Call, careens from tune to raucous, grooving tune. The Matt Wilson Quartet is on tour in support, with a stop at the Bungalow Jazz House (an actual home -- it's longtime Columbus jazz supporter Becky Ogden's East Side residence). Suggested donation is $20. Visit