Music Director Tom Beard

By Alex Smith The music director in regional repertory theatre wears many hats, and is directly involved in a theatrical production longer than just about anybody aside from the producers and the director. It is a rigorous position for even the most talented musician to hold. Tom Beard, one of Columbia’s great musicians and music directors, came to the job the hard way. “I started out as a theatre undergraduate at USC, but I switched to philosophy... Read More

Dale Lam

By Bonnie Boiter-Jolley Dale Lam packs a lot of punch in her four feet and ten inch stance. Spending her life fighting to make a career for herself in the entertainment industry has instilled in her a passion and drive she hopes to pass on to her students. Owner and Artistic Director of Columbia City Jazz Dance School and Company, Lam finds herself in a position to use her guidance and instruction to do just that. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Lam grew... Read More

Marina Lomazov

By Cynthia Boiter Tall and elegant, her poise and demeanor reflecting the discipline of the Soviet culture into which she was born, Marina Lomazov takes the stage with all the finesse of the piano diva she is widely recognized to be. Described by reviewers as “a mesmerizing risk-taker” and “one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the international concert scene today,” there are many other places on the planet that an artist... Read More

Choral Arts in Columbia and Beyond

By Evelyn Morales Choral singing has come a long way from the days of Ancient Greek repertory and the Gregorian chant. Columbia itself has a rich history of vocal arts, which is exemplified in the works of the Arpad Darazs Singers, the Sandlapper Singers, and the Palmetto Mastersingers, among several other choral groups in the area. While these three choruses share a love and appreciation for singing as a group, they have different influences that... Read More

Lee Ann Kornegay: The Beat Goes On

By Kristine Hartvigsen Try to focus your lens on Lee Ann Kornegay, and you better be able to capture a moving target. One moment the Columbia producer and award-winning documentarian is reading research and sipping wine on her front porch; the next she is hundreds of miles away wailing on a djembe at a mountain-top drum circle or even riding bareback on a sandy beach in Cote d’Ivoire. Those who know Kornegay for her documentary work that has raised... Read More

South Carolina Hip-Hop on the National Stage

by Preach Jacobs The producer known as WillPower has only been in town for a couple of hours, but it’s already apparent that it’s going to be a long night. William Washington (also known as WillPower or Supahot Beats) has been working feverishly for this day: A hometown showcase of his most frequent collaborator, singer Nikkiya (full name Nikkiya Brooks), at the New Brookland Tavern. The show is of the upmost importance to Washington, who hopes... Read More

Josh Roberts and Pulling the Hinges Off Rock and Roll

“[The term] ‘Southern rock’ is a bit redundant; it’s like saying ‘rock rock.’” – Duane Allman Halfway through our winding conversation, singer/songwriter/guitarist Josh Roberts unconsciously paraphrases the legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman in concluding that “all rock is Southern.” We are sitting in a (temporarily) sweltering thrift shop in Lexington that’s owned and run by his wife and bandmate, Leslie Branham. It’s... Read More

Jay Matheson and the Jam Room

By Kyle Petersen The situation in which you first see Jay Matheson will invariably color how you think about him. Maybe the first time you met him was long ago when he was that thin, quiet, bespectacled punk rocker mixing the sound at a local show. Or maybe you saw him play bass in Bachelors of Art, one of the great Columbia bands of the late 1980s, which mixed metal, progressive rock, and pop hooks in a way that still seems surprising. Maybe you... Read More

The Eclectic Path of Danielle Howle

By Kyle Petersen There’s a song that Danielle Howle has taken to playing live over the last few years – a song by another musician from Columbia, Chris Connor, who died a while back, called “Being Poor.” It’s a tough, blues-based number with the refrain lamenting “what a bitch it is to be poor.” In June of 2011, members of the Jasper staff watched Howle play the song to less than two dozen people in the now-defunct listening room The... Read More

Camden Native Claire Bryant Finds her Dream in New York City

By Jeffrey Day Claire Bryant had a problem. Like many classically trained musicians, she wondered where her art form fit in 21st-century American life. “You’re trained and trained and trained to master your instrument. You play a concert and walk off the stage. What is a classical musician in this society? What is the value? How does our music tradition relate to the rest of the world? It’s a kind of a mystery we were facing together.” The... Read More

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