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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Columbia, SC Music Scene

The history of the Columbia music scene has included Hootie & The Blowfish, Rob Thomas and Young Jeezy. In the 2010 Census the metropolitan area had a population of over 767,000. The main campuses are University of South Carolina and Columbia College. Free concerts are held every summer at Finlay Park. The local scene is covered by The State and In 2009 Columbia was ranked 6th most affordable places to retire in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Columbia Music Acts

Crossfade * Erica Denham * Amina * Savear * Pan * Rachel Elise Kats * Weaving the Fate * The Papa String Band * Jeff Norwood * Charles Z. Williams

Columbia Local Music Scene History

In 2020 "nonessential businesses" were shut down across the country due to the coronavirus. Many restaurants, bars and music venues fell into this category. Columbia jazz musician Mark Rapp, who founded the Colajazz Foundation, was featured in a Columbia Business Report article on April 15, 2020 giving his responses to the mass cancellation of shows around the world. He said the income that most musicians rely on was taken away - almost overnight. Rapp said "a good two-thirds" of his colleagues he spoke with say they "had no savings to speak of, living gig by gig."

Columbia's Rhythm on the River spring concert series in 2018 kicked off in April at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre. Local acts scheduled in the series include Danielle Howie, Papa String Band, Back South, Flat Out Strangers, Sufferin Moses, Moon Pi, The Distributors, Whisky Tango, Kenny George Band, Bellavida, Adrian Michael Band, Travelin' Kline and Finnegan Bell.

Singer/guitarist Murray Baroody of Tootie & The Jones celebrated his 50th birthday in 2015 by writing and recording his own songs with his new band The Distributors. The project was recorded at the Jam Room Studio, featuring the studio's owner bassist Jay Matheson and drummer Steve Sancho. The blues-based rock band records in a 70s studio playing in a room together. Baroody has been playing Columbia gigs for many years doing covers with Tootie & The Jones. The Distributors played a free show at the Jam Room Music Festival on October 3, 2015.

The three day Hudson Music Fest was held August 9-11, 2013 Downtown brought in record traffic to merchants. In its third year, the festival was organized by Chad Weckler and Rob Johansen. The event has been called a boost for local culture and businesses such as Le Perche, Nolita's Cafe and Bakery, The Cascades, A Taste of India, American Glory, Park Falafel and Pizza and Hudson Wine Merchants. Some of the venues included Helsinki, the Spotty Dog and the Hudson Opera House. The festival was written about in this John Mason article 8/16/2013 in the Register-Star.

The most important indie venues in Columbia are Colonia LIfe Arena, where the South Carolina Gamecocks play basketball, the Koger Center for the Arts, the home of ballets and orchestras, the New Brookland Tavern, a bar in West Columbia and Horizon Records, a music store that presents in-store performances along with their neighbor the Bohemian Cafe.

Some of the live venues that feature contemporary pop, rock and jazz music in Columbia include Wild Wing Cafe, Tin Roof, World of Beer and Jillian's. Some of the artists who have played at these venues in 2013 were Jeff Lucero, High Maintenance, The Patchwork, Audioshot, Tokyo Joe, Jeremy Sakovich Duo, Dustin Brown, Southwood, Jagertron, John Frank, Matt MacKelcan Duo, Rival Brothers, Chase Asmer, Ellen Drive, Dave Love Duo, Jamie Salvatore, Interstate Exiles, The Tarlatans, Phonic Cafe, Scott Munns and Vince Mckinley Band.

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