This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
A great example of collaboration between Arlington County and the Community, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization presents the Columbia Pike Blues Festival for the 24th year.
It’s a collaboration with Arlington Arts, that celebrates artists for this highly anticipated annual event. As ever, the lineup is designed to get you on your feet, headlined by soul/blues vocalist and veteran Marine, Sugaray Rayford. Admission is free.
In addition to an array of available food and beverages and plenty of kids’ activities, the Festival will showcase a new Arlington Art Truck installation — Guggenheim Fellow and Baltimore artist Neil Feather’s interactive sound sculpture Futura Percussion 1860 featuring only mid-19th century technology and built from reused materials.
GRUMP is bringing local arts and crafts vendors from the area to show and sell their handmade work, from watercolor art to handmade soy candles to small batch silk screened shirts.
The Festival covers three blocks at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive.
- Sugaray Rayford — Rayford is nominated for two 2019 Blues Awards: “Soul/Blues Male Artist” and the “B.B. King Entertainer of the Year” Award. The Desert Storm veteran spent ten years in the Marines and says, “…I’m proud of the time I served. I wouldn’t have my wife and the life I have right now had I not served.”
- Thornetta Davis — In such a musically ‘storied’ city as Detroit, it speaks volumes that in 2015 Thornetta Davis was crowned “Detroit’s Queen of The Blues” by official city proclamation. The winner of over 30 Detroit Music Awards, Thornetta’s 1996 debut solo album Sunday Morning Music (Sub Pop) received raves in the national media. Her song “Cry” from that album was featured on the HBO hit “The Sopranos.”
- Hardway Connection — The smooth, passionate, sometimes funky and extremely “tight” sound of The Hardway Connection will make you get up and dance! The D.C.-based band has opened for everyone from Johnny Taylor and Toni Terry, to Chuck Brown.
- Lauren Calve Band — Washington, D.C. area singer-songwriter, guitar and lap steel player Lauren Calve’s dynamic voice, Bonnie Raitt’s smoky aura and Ben Harper’s unique slide style. She released her debut EP, “Between the Creek and the Tracks” in 2014, for which she earned a Washington Area Music Association nomination for Best Roots Rock Vocalist.
- Funky Miracle — Funky Miracle is an exciting collective that brings a unique organ trio + vocals lineup and an improvisatory approach to classic Soul, Funk and New Orleans tunes. Members of the group have performed with some of D.C.’s funkiest outfits including The Funk Ark, and Three Man Soul Machine.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) is a coalition of businesses, civic associations, property owners and the Arlington County Government. Our Mission: To champion and connect business and community along Columbia Pike, Arlington’s oldest and newest main street, where authentic diverse neighborhoods connect to the world.
Arlington Arts, a Division of Arlington Economic Development, exists to create, support and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington County.
Taking place at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Walter Reed Drive, the 24th Annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival takes place on Saturday, June 15, from 1-8:30 p.m.
Click here for more details.