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ColaJazz Fest Main Street Jazz

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Join us Downtown Columbia on the 1700 block of Main Street for our world-class outdoor ColaJazz Fest on October 1st, it's Sunday Funday!

Featuring a phenomenal line-up of legendary artists, food trucks, arts & crafts, VIP offerings and more, Sunday, October 1st will be an exceptional, all-star, super fun, jazz fest! 

We're celebrating the iconic Main Street Jazz Fest!



Held outside on the 1700 block of Main Street (between Laurel & Blanding Streets), you'll experience incredible live jazz performances, amazing food, drinks and an outdoor jazz fest that is exciting for all! 


  Your general admission ticket includes:  

 1.  access to food trucks, bar & concessions, 20 arts & craft vendors
 access to 4 world-class jazz concerts
 ages 5 and younger enter FREE 
There is something amazing for everyone and something everyone to be amazed by.


  VIP tickets includes:  

 1.  all the above plus...
 2.  table seating (up to 6) close to stage in designated VIP area (yours all day!)
 3.  access to private bathrooms inside Ambrosia Taverna
 4.  access to buffet-style meal inside Ambrosia Taverna
 5.  1 free drink ticket each for Ambrosia Taverna bar
 6.  food/drink servers from Ambrosia Taverna 



  3PM   Cottontown Soul Society
Mitch Butler Group
 Legendary Houston Person & Joe Alterman Quartet
 Legendary Fred Wesley & Friends



This is a fun, outdoor festival event. We suggest comfort over fashion. Keep it real. Keep it soulful. Enjoy yourself! 
General Admission ticket holders can bring small, light-weight chairs. Do not block obvious walkways and be considerate of each other.

See FAQs:



Use our partner link with Cambria Hotel to get 20% OFF your hotel reservation:


photos of sunday jazz artists



Fred Wesley

If you know James Brown, than you have heard Fred Wesley's trombone stir your soul! 

Trombone star Fred Wesley Jr. is best known for his work as a sideman with James Brown in the 1960s and 70s, when he helped move Brown's sound from soul to funk. But Wesley is also a legendary R&B, soul and funk veteran, whose musical career spans five decades. He's made major musical contributions to acts and artists such as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, George Clinton's Parliment/Funkadelic, Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he was a pivotal member of James Brown's bands, playing on many hit recordings including "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," "Mother Popcorn" and co-writing tunes such as "Hot Pants." His slippery riffs and pungent, precise solos, complementing those of saxophonist Maceo Parker, gave Brown's R&B, soul, and funk tunes their instrumental punch. In the 1970s he also served as band leader and musical director of Brown's band the J.B.'s and did much of the composing and arranging for the group.

Wesley became a force in jazz in 1978 when he joined the Count Basie Orchestra. In the early 1990s Wesley toured with his colleagues from the James Brown band, Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker, as the JB Horns.

Wesley's 35-year career includes playing with and arranging for a wide variety of other artists including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Randy Crawford, Vanessa Williams, The SOS Band, Cameo, Van Morrison, Socalled and rappers De La Soul, to name a few! Read more...



Houston Person

Jazz, blues, classical, funk, pop, soul, bossa nova, gospel, rock, Afrobeat, disco and country. These are just some of the styles of music that tenor saxophone great Houston Person has performed in his storied career, which includes numerous solo albums and memorable collaborations with Lena Horne, Horace Silver, Lou Rawls, Joey DeFrancesco, Ron Carter and other luminaries.

Ever since recording his first album, Underground Soul, for Prestige Records back in 1966, tenor saxophone master Houston Person has been widely considered the standard-bearer of soul jazz. Born in 1934 in Florence, South Carolina, Person grew up surrounded by music and began by playing the piano before taking up the tenor saxophone as a teenager.

Person has recorded more than 75 albums over the past five decades featuring everything from disco and gospel to ballads and swing, but his blues-based sound is still considered quintessential soul jazz.

Person is, without a doubt, a jazz legend, and it’s an honor that he has agreed to take our stage! Read more about Houston Person...

Atlanta native Joe Alterman expresses a certain upbeat naivete, with a broad smile and bright eyes that make you feel welcome. One would not guess that this is a man hailed by greats; Ramsey Lewis describes his music as "happy music with tasty meat on the bones," Les McCann states "Joe's on a 'blow your mind' level," and Ahmad Jamal calls him "a very special artist." Journalist Nat Hentoff championed three of Alterman’s albums, as well as his writing (Joe wrote liner notes to three Wynton Marsalis/JLCO albums), calling one of Joe’s columns “one of the very best pieces on the essence of jazz, the spirit of jazz, that I’ve ever read, and I’m not exaggerating.”

Joe Alterman began at NYU with a BA and Masters in Jazz Piano from NYU and has since performed at many world renowned venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Birdland and Blue Note alongside Houston Person, Les McCann, Dick Gregory, Ramsey Lewis, and his own trio, among others. Downbeat describes his sound as “rooted in the blues, and with a touch reminiscent of the great pianists of the 1950s—Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans.” It is clear Joe hits all of the necessary points for Jazz critics and fans alike. Read more about Joe Alterman...



Mitch Butler

Dr. Butler has been the trombonist and arranger for a number of musical groups including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. In February of 2017, Dr. Butler added the role of producer to his resume, as he teamed up with Grammy Award winning producer Richard Seidel, where he co-produced, arranged, and served as musical director for critically acclaimed vocalist Tiffany Austin. Dr. Butler has also been a trombonist for the international award winning jazz group JazzBonez and has performed and/or recorded with musical greats such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Curtis Fuller, Tia Fuller, Derrick Gardner, Robert Glasper, Slide Hampton, Andre Hayward, Conrad Herwig, Brad Leali, Branford Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, Melton Mustafa, Dick Oates, Kenny Rampton, Rufus Reid, Herlin Riley, Stephen Riley, Darius Rucker, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Gregory Tardy, Fred Wesley, and many others. 



Cottontown Soul Society

The members of Cottontown Soul Society are on a mission: to create music that unites people. Every performance advances this cause — bringing joy, acceptance and a musical connection to both their community and the world at large.

The band was formed as a promise kept to the late Skipp “Pops” Pearson, South Carolina’s Ambassador of Jazz and the mentor with whom bandleader, Shelley Magee, first shared her vision. Pearson believed strongly in music as a force for good, and charged her with making her vision for the band a reality. While he didn’t live to see the band onstage, his spirit shares the spotlight in each and every performance. (And if you look closely, you’ll find his portrait at every show.)

By bringing a diverse family of Columbia music-scene veterans together, Cottontown Soul Society blends its members’ individual styles and experiences through their shared touchpoint with Pearson. With deeply funky rhythms and soaring vocals, the band’s style transcends time and genre to connect individually with every listener. The result is a fun and soulful show the audience won’t soon forget.


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Refunds are available up to 7 days prior to the event