Music festivals are great, but require a bit of a commitment. Most are held outside, rain or shine, and require a lot of standing and walking.
Then there’s Columbia’s Winter Jazz Festival, which kicks off Friday continues through Sunday. Since it will be held at The Township and the Columbia Marriott, you’ll be dry and comfortable, no matter the weather, and seats mean you only have to stand when you want to.
Then there’s the music, which features award-winning musicians from across the United States. Friday’s headliner is saxophonist Boney James, who spent a childhood growing up between New York and LA listening to old R&B and pop tunes. Although he’s known for a smooth sound, he says that his live show is full of energy.
“I’ve got an R&B show band background, and it shows,” he said. “Expect to be up out of your seat!” He’ll be joined Friday by Philadelphia’s Pieces of a Dream and Columbia’s own J Michael Peeples, a guitarist and author.
Saxophonist Najee, who toured with Prince for three years, leads Saturday’s lineup. Celebrating 30 years as a soloist this year, Najee said he’ll play a full range of works, both old and new.
“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to play with so many artists and so many different settings,” he said. “My music has a wide range of styles and emotions.” Two Columbia musicians, guitarist Terence Young and saxophonist Dante Lewis, also will perform Saturday.
Sunday’s event is a jazz brunch at the Columbia Marriott featuring Swiss pianist Alex Bugnon.
Doors open at 6 p.m.; performances begin at 7 p.m. Single-night tickets range from $39-$89; two-day packages are $70-$160. Brunch tickets are $50.
For more information, visit www.columbiawinterjazzfest.com