Columbus and Cleveland are gearing up for a head-to-head battle. A jazz battle.

Columbus and Cleveland are gearing up for a head-to-head battle. A jazz battle.

On Saturday, June 5, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra will meet up with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra for an all-out "battle of the bands" at the historic Lincoln Theatre.

It's an NEA Jazz Masters Live event presented by the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus. This battle is actually a two-parter - the first round takes place in Columbus, and the second is set for the following Saturday in Cleveland.

For both matches, the orchestras will perform a new work written by Grammy-winning NEA Jazz Master Frank Foster, who will also declare the victor with the help of a panel of celebrity guest judges.

Both bands will be on stage, but they'll play separately first before joining forces for the finale.

Byron Stripling and Sean Jones, artistic directors for the Columbus and Cleveland orchestras, will host pre-concert talks in both cities prior to the performances.

Stripling and Foster performed together in the Count Basie Orchestra in the '80s, so his connection to Foster's pieces and influence should run rather deep.