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Meet some of Columbia’s music makers

Dave Britt
Dave Britt awest@thestate.com

Make Music Day is an international celebration of music – and it’s spreading to Columbia.

On Sunday, you’ll find local musicians of all genres, from hip-hop to classical, busking at corners and in business districts throughout town.

Some will be outside; more will be at familiar music venues such as Conundrum Music Hall, and unconventional places such as Drip on Main Street.

For a complete list of music events on June 21, visit makemusiccolumbia.org.

We asked five of the performers to share their thoughts about live music, busking, and competing with today’s technological overload.

Betsey Guzior

Eric Brickey, West Columbia

Instrument/genre: Hammond B3 Organ.

Have you ever busked before? Yes. In high school the show choir I was in (The Dutch Fork High School Showstoppers), went through local neighborhoods singing for donation to help raise funds for our trip to New York City.

What’s the best way a musical fan can show appreciation for your performance? Enjoy it!

I very much play what I feel and hope to convey that feeling to anyone listening.

What’s your guilty musical pleasure? Mystikal.

With all the options to hear recorded music, is the notion of live performance outdated? No. Few things in life rival the feeling of being in a large crowd at a concert and singing along with thousands of people. People will always want a chance to see their favorite artist live and in person, be they local or legend.


Dave Britt, Columbia

Instrument/genre: voice/guitar/piano; rock, pop.

Band name: Dave Britt Band.

Have you ever busked before? Not yet, but I have been considering the doing it at the Soda City Market sometime for fun.

What’s the best way a musical fan can show appreciation for your performance? I would say buying a piece of their merchandise if they have it. Instruments, PA systems, music lessons, marketing, CD recording, manufacturing and on and on, all make for some substantial costs to artists, and any financial support is greatly appreciated. If not that, then I would say a little bit of applause or a encouraging word for an artist can go a long way in helping them stay motivated to make music. Making music and putting your art in a public space can be very emotionally challenging.

What’s your guilty musical pleasure? I listen to a lot of EDM(electronic dance music). I love the incredible production value that those producers obtain with their recordings. The clarity of the mix and the fidelity of the recordings are incredible.

With all the options to hear recorded music, is the notion of live performance outdated? I don’t think that recorded music can ever replace the live concert experience. There is a connection between artists and fans that happens during a live show – an unspoken emotional bond between the two entities that only exists in the physical space of that live show moment. A video or recording can never truly capture the excitement of experiencing an artist’s music that you are passionate about in a live setting.


Marina Lomazov, Columbia

Instrument/genre: Steinway piano; classical.

Teaching: Artistic director, Southeastern Piano Festival; Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts at USC School of Music

Have you ever busked before? When my family and I were immigrating from the USSR to the USA, we had to stay in a small Italian town en route to America. I wouldn’t call it basking per se, but I played popular Russian and Italian songs for 2 lira an hour on a little electric keyboard for the kids and adults at a community building.

What’s the best way a musical fan can show appreciation for your performance? If you enjoy someone’s performance, please come backstage and tell them so – there is no higher reward for a musician.

What’s your guilty musical pleasure? I like listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber rock operas.

With all the options to hear recorded music, is the notion of live performance outdated? Nothing will ever replace the sheer magnetism of live music-making. This is what Make Music Day is all about.


Joseph Rackers, Columbia

Instrument/genre: Steinway piano; classical.

Teaching: Co-director, Southeastern Piano Festival (running until June 21); Professor of Piano, University of South Carolina.

Have you ever busked before? During college in Missouri, I played regularly in a shopping mall. It was one of my favorite jobs. You get to meet many people and learn how generous people can be.

What’s the best way a fan can show appreciation for your performance? By being there.

What’s your guilty musical pleasure? I enjoy working on a piece of music for a very long time and often return to past repertoire even while learning new works.

With all the options to hear recorded music, is the notion of live performance outdated? The musical communication between a live performer and audience is irreplaceable and can’t be fully duplicated by recordings. A live performance is physical, and that process of communication is unique to each performance.


Vincent Sanders, Columbia

Instrument/genre: Keyboard/organ; gospel.

Teaching: Director of music at Greenview First Baptist Church and keyboardist/organist for recording artists The Chosen Ones (aka TC1). Music is in my blood. Everyone in my family either sings, plays multiple instruments or preaches. I’m blessed to do all three! My father, Aaron Sanders, started teaching me piano when I was about 4 or 5. In high school, I played saxophone. I started playing in church when I was about 12 years old, and I was hired as a director of music at the age of 18.

What’s the best way a musical fan can show appreciation for your performance? Someone can show appreciation for the music that I play, which is gospel, by just showing that you are feeling the message in the music. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. So the way you act when you hear good news is by (telling) someone about what you heard, how it made you feel, so they can hear it too and experience the same thing you have.

What’s your guilty musical pleasure? My guilty music pleasure is really not anything to be guilty about. But it would be playing music with The Chosen Ones or the TC1 Musick Group. Playing with these guys helped restore my love for music after being burnt out from going strong week in and week out for 18 years straight! We are all cousins to each other, so it was refreshing to play with other musicians who were not only skilled, but have the same love for music that you have! Iron sharpens iron, and it brings great joy to my heart to be able to do what I love with people I love.

With all the options to hear recorded music, is the notion of live performance outdated? I don’t believe that the idea or even the appeal for live music is outdated. I think it’s really left up to the individual listener as to what their preference is. I do think that as a musician or performer in whichever genre you are in, your goal in recording should be that people will want to see you live. For me as a musician, I feed off the energy of the crowd I’m performing in front of. It has the ability to bring the absolute best out of a musician or performer. There are several musicians that I know that are great recording artists, but are just as great or even better when they are live – guys like jazz guitarist Terrance Young and saxophonist Dante Lewis, and even local gospel artists like John Lakin to my group The Chosen Ones. The city of Columbia is full of creative and innovative musicians in any genre that makes a live experience memorable, so much so that it makes you want more.

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