Columbia Festival of the Arts: Day Two at the Lakefront

It was a hot day and a hotter night at the Lakefront but that did not keep the crowds away. Good music, especially free for the listening, is always a way to attract an audience. Folks listened while they bought hand crafted jewelry and pottery and admired the art work whether they bought or not. Others sat at outdoor cafes at Clyde’s, the Tomato Palace, Sushi Sono, and Petit Louis. For some the heat got too much at the peak of the day so they ducked into the café at Whole Foods.

The music today reflected the multi-ethnic population that resides in Columbia. The eclectic music spanned the age diversity of the community as well.

Andy Poxon. Photo by Alan Grossman Photography,
Andy Poxon. Photo by Alan Grossman Photography.

Arriving at 2PM, there was a chance to browse before The Andy Poxon Band came on stage. Poxon is about 20 years old but a very accomplished musician. His music is a mix of B. B. King, Little Richard, The Everly Brothers and some ‘60’s Keith Richards/Mick Jagger.

Poxon captures that real bluesy sound.

Photo by BK Willis.
Elikeh. Photo by B.K. Willis.

Following that was Elikeh with Serge Massama Dogo, the lead singer and guitarist. Dogo is from Togo, Frank Martins from Nigeria is on guitar and Michael Kweku Owusu from Accra, Ghana is on percussion. These 3 give a very African sound to the group. Sometimes, it sounded like the reggae of Bob Marley, but then, Jamaicans have their roots in West Africa. So, it is not surprising that the music from these two areas have had a similar evolution. There was also a refreshing Caribbean sound, and again much of the Latin music from that area, as well as American jazz, grew from this very primal beat. Rounding out the group are Clayton Englar on sax, Scott Aronson on bass guitar, Aaron Gibian on drums, and Marty Pell on organ and piano.

Sitting at one of the restaurants, it was pleasant to listen to the funky organ funk of Ray Paczkowski with drummer Russ Lawton as part of the duo Soule Monde.

Soulemode. Photo courtesy of their Facebook page.
Soulemode. Photo courtesy of their Facebook page.

Their sound is attributed to Booker T., Jimmy Smith and even the Beastie Boys, among others.

Finally, the last group of the night was Pigpen Theater Company. Their music is reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as well as Gordon Lightfoot.

 Pigpen Theater Company. Photo courtesy of their website.
Pigpen Theater Company. Photo courtesy of their website.

Some it was blue grass, but close your eyes and you could be at a folk festival in the sixties. Banjos, an accordion, guitars and drums combined with wonderful vocal harmonies. The members include Curtis Gillen, Matt Nuerenberger, Ryan Melia, and Ben Ferguson on guitar, Dan Weschler on accordion, Alex Falberg on banjo, and Arya Shahi on drums.

If you did not get there today, try to get there Sunday, especially if you enjoy jazz band music.

The fun begins at noon and goes on until 7PM. If you cannot come, tickets for the next two weeks of the festival are still available.

logocolumbia festival


[Note: This review does not include earlier acts, Chaquis Maliq and Shane Gamble, or the late afternoon performance of Broke Royals.

Schedule and ticket information visit the the festival’s website. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone from, or by calling (800) 955-5566.

Columbia Festival of the Arts Part 1: Opening Night at the Lakefront by Susan Brall.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here