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Clint Eastwood’s son Kyle Eastwood set to make Columbus debut

Courtesy of Rob Shanahan

Kyle Eastwood is Clint Eastwood’s son, but his career path is a little different than his father’s – he’s a bassist and jazz artist.

Kyle Eastwood is set to play two shows with his band at the Short North Stage’s Green Room Saturday – one at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. He is promoting his album, “The View From Here,” which released in March.

While the father and son work in different media, the two have collaborated before.

California-native Kyle Eastwood has composed several film scores for Clint Eastwood productions, including “Gran Torino,” “An Unlikely Weapon,” “Invictus” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.” 

“I enjoyed working with (my dad), it was a good experience,” Kyle Eastwood said. “I’ve grown up watching him work, seeing him make films. I kind of know how (film-making) works and I know what he likes, so we have a good working relationship. He’s a good boss.”

Kyle Eastwood said his interest in jazz spawned from hearing it at home.

“That’s the music I grew up listening to around the house,” he said. “I really got into it when my parents took me to the Monterey Jazz festival when I was really young. I was fortunate to see a lot of greats in the ’70s and ’80s.”

He said his new album is influenced by many different genres.

“I listen to a lot of different stuff,” Kyle Eastwood said. “Everything from African, to R&B, to groove.”

Kyle Eastwood has played jazz for 15 years. He moved to Paris six years ago in hopes of generating more exposure to his music. 

“Jazz is widely appreciated in Paris and Europe compared to the U.S.,” Kyle Eastwood said. “I was looking for different opportunities to play.”

In line with Kyle Eastwood’s European influences, Noah Rogers, associate producer for the Short North Stage, said the Green Room is a favorite among jazz artists because of its European design.

“The sound circulates like wind and it fills the whole space,” Rodgers said. “It’s better than a standard room with hardwood floors … every surface in the room has potential to absorb sound and bounce sound back.”

Kyle Eastwood’s show is presented by Jazz Arts Group Columbus, an organization that promotes jazz in Columbus. 

The organization is celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month with its “Inside Track” series, designed to support smaller ensembles and cutting-edge artists, said Scott Vezdos, director of marketing and communications for Jazz Arts Group Columbus.

“We want to develop (an event series) that is more affordable and would appeal to a younger audience,” Vezdos said. 

With that concept in mind, Vezdos said Kyle Eastwood appeals to a wider range of audiences.

“He’s a younger artist,” Vezdos said. “A lot of jazz musicians we present are older. Kyle is not just a great musician, but he has that crossover appeal to many generations.”

The jazz cabaret atmosphere is intended to draw in many college students, Vezdos said.

“That younger audience … can come enjoy a drink, walk around and leave whenever they want,” Vezdos said.

This is Kyle Eastwood’s first time playing in Columbus, and tickets have sold well, Rogers said.

“The name recognition helps too,” he said. 

Kyle Eastwood said while his name does attract attention as the son of a famous actor and director, he is going to continue composing and playing shows. 

“I know the name gets attention, hopefully people judge music on its own merit,” Kyle Eastwood said. “I’ve been doing (jazz) for quite a while now. Hopefully I’ll just keep growing as a musician and composer.” 

Tickets are $20 for each show and can be purchased through Vendini.

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