THIS FRIDAY (7/31) ǀ The Spikedrivers

SpikedriversFeatured

For over a decade, audiences around the country have been engulfed by the infectious country twang, rock, and harmonic blues of The Spikedrivers. Pulling listeners to the dance floor with their intoxicating and gritty sound, The Spikedrivers balance a combination of down-home songwriting with an electrified and precise backing band. Along with their multiple studio albums, it is their high energy live performances that grab ahold of listeners and turn them into avid fans.

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

Artist Website:
http://www.thespikedrivers.com/


THIS FRIDAY (7/24) ǀ James Cotton

It is often said that the smallest voice can make the biggest difference. Tiny in stature, but boasting and howling with sound, when played correctly the harmonica can overpower an entire band. James Cotton, a Mississippi native, learned this at a very young age—taking the ‘past-time’ instrument and giving it the proper tender, love and care that he thought it deserved.

Growing up, Cotton spent his days working in the cotton fields beside his mother—who would make chicken and train sounds on the harmonica she carried. Cotton, who thought these were the only two sounds that the instrument made, received a harmonica of his own for Christmas and quickly mastered all that it was capable of doing. However, at age nine, Cotton lost both parents; taken in by his uncle, he was introduced to his harmonica idol, Sonny Boy Williamson. Williamson listened to Cotton play his repertoire, still only a child, and soon the two became inseparable like father and son. Eventually when Williamson was ready to move on from his musical endeavors, he handed his band down to James—who struggled to hold the group together at such a young age. Without a family or home, Cotton was left with just his harmonica, playing for tips and shining shoes on the streets of Memphis.

At the age of fifteen, Cotton cut his first four songs at Sun Records (where artists like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash got their start). This feat not only landed James a radio show of his own, but an introduction to what would be a lasting friendship on the stage with legend, Muddy Waters. Leading Waters’ band, and playing harmonica, Cotton would later go on to work with artists like Janis Joplin, Santana, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Grateful Dead, Charlie Musselwhite, Gregg Allman, and many others. Aside from his contributions to so many artists’ work, Cotton is a GRAMMY winner, and member of the Blues Hall of Fame.

The evening will open with the Mark May Band, a recognized and well received guitarist in the blues community. Perfecting his craft playing rough and tumble biker bars and blues clubs in Houston, Texas for over 20 years, Mark May’s confident vocals and technical guitar work once were the driving force for Dickey Betts and Great Southern. Mark’s current album is receiving heavy national radio play, and his music has been featured in major publications including Blues Review, Guitar Player and Guitar World.

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

Artist Website:
http://jamescottonsuperharp.com/


Jazz & Rib Fest | July 17-19

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with hot ribs and cool jazz. Jazz & Rib Fest, presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, returns to the Arena District riverfront area for three days. The aroma of hot ribs and sounds of cool jazz will fill the air on July 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and July 19 from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Check out this year’s Festival Guide:

For more information, visit HotRibsCoolJazz.org.


THIS FRIDAY (7/10) ǀ Sammy DeLeón Y Su Orquesta

2011 Tri-C JazzFest

One of the most recognized Latin bandleaders in Ohio, Sammy DeLeòn is a timbale player—performing professionally since he was just 13 years old. At this young age, Sammy was not only introduced to the greats of his instrument, but he was also performing with them too. The eighth child of a large Puerto Rican family (thirteen children all together), DeLeòn grew up in a family with no professional musicians—just parents that enjoyed the musical styling of Puerto Rico. His older brother, Robert, became responsible for introducing Sammy to his timbales, a twin set of metal-encased drums that includes a cowbell and cymbal on the side. His other brother also began taking up percussion and is currently a successful percussionist and band leader in Kansas City, Missouri.

Featuring his 12-piece ensemble, Sammy has gained popularity for his danceable groove-oriented music in the styles of Latin jazz, salsa, and merengue for nearly 30 years. Once called the “hottest and most innovative timbalero” by legendary Latin jazz percussionist Tito Puente, Sammy’s credits include collaborations with salsa greats El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Tito Rojas, Tony Vega, Hector Tricoche and Rey de la Paz, among others.

Fronting his Sammy DeLeòn Y Su Orquesta for the past decade, the group has grown to become one of the best multi-cultural musical groups in the area. With an extensive discography, Sammy is sure to provide Columbus with endless toe-tapping, hip-shaking, groove oriented music.

Before the performance, sign up to join Mayor Michael B. Coleman and fellow cyclists for an evening bike ride through the heart of Columbus promoting the benefits of active living. This unique tour takes riders through the vibrant downtown area, with views of parks, city landmarks and a wide variety of architecture in scenic neighborhoods. Proceeds from the Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale will help to fund bikes and helmets for kids in need and support bicycle safety initiatives. The Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale will be begin on the Rich Street Bridge and return to Bicentennial Park where participants can enjoy the Rhythm on the River performance by Sammy DeLeón Y Su Orquesta.

For more information or to register for the Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale, please visit http://www.m3ssports.com/events/mayors-twilight-ride.htm

EVENING SCHEDULE:
6:30 p.m. – Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale begins
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance