Jazz Arts Group's Press Southworth is Hospitalized with COVID-19

Suzanne Goldsmith
Press Southworth in 2018

Press Southworth, the CEO of the Jazz Arts Group and a longtime leader in the Columbus performing arts scene, is in the intensive care unit at Riverside Methodist Hospital, trying to recover from COVID-19. According to an emailed statement from his daughter, Jennifer Southworth, he went to the hospital to be tested after suffering a cough and a slight fever for about a week. He was on a ventilator for three days, but it has been removed.

“He checked into the hospital on Monday, March 30 and is still there trying to recover. He has been showing signs of improvement,” says his daughter. She also writes that no family members or, as far as she knows, any close associates or colleagues are ill. Southworth’s wife, Joan Southworth, has been self-quarantined at home since he entered the hospital.

Southworth has led the Jazz Arts Group since 2012. Prior to that, he served as executive director of Opera Columbus from 2006 to 2011. He played a key role in stabilizing both organizations during times of financial distress. He also served two years as president of the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium.

A summa cum laude graduate of Ohio State University, Southworth worked for 27 years at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. He also is a decorated U.S. Army veteran who attained the rank of captain and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.