Four concerts in July to celebrate Columbia’s bicentennial


You can’t turn 200 without throwing yourself more than one party. These are the rules.

As Columbia celebrates its bicentennial, several bashes will take on sonic form – concerts with lineups of local and regional stars. Here are four offerings on the way in the first days of July.

July 1: Sam Griffith Tentet and Ben Colagiovanni Quartet

The “We Always Swing” jazz series invites listeners to sit under an open, star-studded canopy and enjoy one of the most authentic musical sounds of the region and the country. Two groups led by artists linked to the University of Missouri will explore the different facets of jazz. The school’s current director of jazz studies, trombonist Sam Griffith, will lead a 10-piece group featuring such notable players as Greg Aker and Ken Kehner.

Pianist Colagiovanni leads a formidable group which includes fellow MU alumnus Mike Neu on saxophone and Sam Copeland on bass; Kansas City drummer Jim Lower rounds out the group. 7 p.m. at Rose Park; $ 10 to $ 12.

July 2: Odyssey Chamber Music Series

Columbia’s remarkable chamber music series celebrates the bicentennial with a distinctly diverse repertoire, culminating in a performance of George Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue”, arranged for 13 instruments. Other selections include “Sonata No. 3 for Two Pianos” by Fred Onovwerosuoke and a selection of songs by Florence Price. 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church; free.

July 2: “Blind” Boone Bicentenary

A remarkable trio of performers – pianists Reginald Robinson and John Reed-Torres as well as singer Jolie Rocke – will honor one of Columbia’s true cultural icons, the late ragtime giant John William “Blind” Boone. 7 p.m. at the Second Baptist Church; free.

July 3: The Missouri Symphony

As part of its annual Hot Summer Nights festival, the Missouri Symphony presents “City That I Love”. That evening, the symphony will retrace “the historical chronology of Colombia with music from each era”, the site notes of the ensemble. 7 p.m. at the Missouri Theater; tickets range from $ 35 to $ 45.

Aarik Danielsen is the Articles and Culture Editor for the Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or by calling 573-815-1731.

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