Focus on JAY Finalists - Sean Rayford in Visual Art

We're chatting with the 2017 JAY Awards Finalists as we enter the last few days of voting and preparing for the JAY Awards (& Retro Christmas party!) coming up on December 5th

 

Photographer Sean Rayford - 2017 JAY Visual Arts Finalist - photo by Forrest Clonts

Photographer Sean Rayford - 2017 JAY Visual Arts Finalist - photo by Forrest Clonts

Jasper: What made the past year so great for you as an artist?

Sean: This past year was great for me because I feel I’ve been able to get a better grasp of balancing work and personal projects and allowing them to interplay when appropriate. I’ve come to trust my instincts more. In my game, preparation meeting with opportunity is everything and I’ve been much better prepared and have had many more opportunities

 

Jasper: How have you grown as an artist over the past year and to what do you attribute that growth?

Sean: In 2015 I stepped into a lot of new responsibilities and it gave me and it challenged me to take my craft to another level. But at the same time I was experiencing so many new things and just feeling my way through it. I felt like I was still winging most things. Like when you’ve been snowboarding only a few times and getting down the slope without dying is still a regular challenge. This past year I’ve been able to apply what I learned during that whirlwind and it’s provided me with a lot more poise.

 

Jasper: How have you seen your arts community grow over the past few years and to what do you attribute that growth?

Sean: Columbia now has established live music venues of all different sized rooms. The Jam Room Fest is amazing and a host of regular concert series in the city have been able to work well with the local, regional and national acts. I can attribute growth to perseverance from members of the community who embraced their city instead of fleeing to another one. 

 

Jasper: Why is art so important right now?

Sean: Art can bridge divides and we’re pretty divided.

 

 Jasper: What role does art play in your life?

 Sean: My life is consumed by the process of making images and learning first hand about the world through that process. Most of what I do has something to do with an attempt at becoming a better visual storyteller. I’m always observing and always framing scenes. Hopefully their is music around most of the time

 

Jasper: Who have been some of your major influences?

Sean:  William Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gerry Melendez, Jill Freedman

 

Jasper: Who are some of your favorite local artists from an arts discipline other than your own?

Sean:  Jon Warf, Jake Luhrs

 

Jasper: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support of your arts career?

Sean: Mom and Dad, The Gamecock Newspaper, WUSC and the photo department at the State Newspaper during the turn of the century. 

 

Jasper: Why should folks come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party?

Sean: Folks should come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party because Those Lavender Whales are an amazing band and amazing people.

VOTE at http://jasperproject.org/jays

BUY Tickets at https://2017jays.bpt.me/

GIVE as part of #GIVINGTUESDAY at https://www.facebook.com/JasperProjectColumbia/

THANKS!

Focus on Jay Finalists - Those Lavender Whales in Music

We're chatting with the 2017 JAY Awards Finalists as we enter the last few days of voting and preparing for the JAY Awards (& Retro Christmas party!) coming up on December 5th

Those Lavender Whales - photo by Forrest Clonts   

Those Lavender Whales - photo by Forrest Clonts

 

Jasper: What made the past year so great for you as an artist?

TLW: We were really happy to release our album, “My Bones Are Singing” this past spring and get to travel to a lot of new places playing those songs with friends.

 

Jasper: How have you grown as an artist over the past year and to what do you attribute that growth?

TLW: We’ve felt more focused as a group. That could be just having an album coming out, but it feels like we’ve really made an effort to move closer musically when we perform making things tighter and playing more as a family (less as individuals).

 

Jasper: How have you seen your arts community grow over the past few years and to what do you attribute that growth?

TLW: My favorite thing is seeing more murals around town. I love seeing murals in other cities. Seeing public art seems to scream to the average passerby that there is a thriving and working arts community.

 

Jasper: Why is art so important right now?

TLW: With so much negativity and uncertainty floating around, creating is a good response to express and process your views and feelings.

 

Jasper: What role does art play in your life?

TLW: There’s art on the walls of my house, I make up songs about doing dishes and going to work, my daughter performs dances for my wife and me in our house. I can’t speak for everyone, but art seems to always surround me and be intertwined with every part of my life. I just recognize it more at random times.

 

Jasper: What role does community play in the execution of your art?

TLW: From our meager beginnings emailing dorm room recordings to friends, to having our wider web of friends and family produce, mix, and master our last album, community has always played a huge role in our music.

 

Jasper: Who are some of your favorite local artists from an arts discipline other than your own?

TLW: Trahern Cook is a live painter who is always around local events. The way he uses the energy of where he is and allows people passing by to influence his painting is really amazing.

 

Jasper: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support of your arts career?

TLW: We love Columbia, and don’t think we could make the sounds we make in any other city. There’s such a vast array of different sounds and art coming out of this place that it’s great to be a part of it and be supported by it.

 

Jasper: Why should folks come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party?

TLW: You get to sing along to some fun Christmas songs (if you want), get to dress up in some silly Holiday wear (if you choose), and get silly with a bunch of fun and friendly Columbia folks!

 

VOTE at http://jasperproject.org/jays

BUY Tickets at https://2017jays.bpt.me/

GIVE as part of #GIVINGTUESDAY at https://www.facebook.com/JasperProjectColumbia/

THANKS!

About the 2017 JAY Finalists

2017 JAY Finalists in Visual Art

Nicole Kallenberg Heere * Sean Rayford * Cedric Umoja

Nicole Kallenberg Heere   Through December 2016, Nicole’s painting "Mommy's Little Helpers" was used by Theatre Lazina Nowa to advertise the play  All About My Mother  on billboards and posters in the city of Krakow, Poland. She continues to be an Artist in Residence at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia, South Carolina where her artwork was presented at "Figure Out" art exhibition in 2016. Her work was included in the Columbia Artists Guild inaugural show, "Our Art: A Celebration of Life and Creative Freedom," at City Art gallery in Columbia. In October 2016 she was selected as the cover artist for the fall issue of  Jasper Magazine  and was featured along with magazine editor Cindi Boiter on ArtsWACH for WACHFox news. From October 2016 - May 2017, Nicole showed with French Art Network at Galerie Rue Toulouse: New Orleans, LA and was honored at an artist meet and greet at Galerie Rue Toulouse in December. In January 2017, she enjoyed a solo show at Kershaw County Arts Center in Camden, SC and in February 2017 she was featured in  French Quarterly Magazine , New Orleans, LA. In April 2017, she had a solo show at Patriot's Hall Performing Arts Center (Formerly Jasper John's High School) in Sumter, SC, and from May 2017 – present she has been represented by Mitchell Hill Gallery in Charleston.   

Nicole Kallenberg Heere

Through December 2016, Nicole’s painting "Mommy's Little Helpers" was used by Theatre Lazina Nowa to advertise the play All About My Mother on billboards and posters in the city of Krakow, Poland. She continues to be an Artist in Residence at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia, South Carolina where her artwork was presented at "Figure Out" art exhibition in 2016. Her work was included in the Columbia Artists Guild inaugural show, "Our Art: A Celebration of Life and Creative Freedom," at City Art gallery in Columbia. In October 2016 she was selected as the cover artist for the fall issue of Jasper Magazine and was featured along with magazine editor Cindi Boiter on ArtsWACH for WACHFox news. From October 2016 - May 2017, Nicole showed with French Art Network at Galerie Rue Toulouse: New Orleans, LA and was honored at an artist meet and greet at Galerie Rue Toulouse in December. In January 2017, she enjoyed a solo show at Kershaw County Arts Center in Camden, SC and in February 2017 she was featured in French Quarterly Magazine, New Orleans, LA. In April 2017, she had a solo show at Patriot's Hall Performing Arts Center (Formerly Jasper John's High School) in Sumter, SC, and from May 2017 – present she has been represented by Mitchell Hill Gallery in Charleston.

 

Sean Rayford   Sean Rayford is a freelance photojournalist and commercial photographer working during the last year with  The New York Times, The Washington Post, Getty Images, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Associated Press  and more. His commercial clients include the ACLU, Chernoff Newman, and the Columbia Visitors Bureau. Sean produces  The Angry Whale , a photography webzine focusing primarily on local narratives with a heavy emphasis on the local music scene, along with national stories including a look at street protests in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He won the Best Photo Story from the South Carolina Press Association in 2016 and the Atlantic Institute Peace and Dialogue Award: Media and Communication in 2017. He enjoyed a Solo exhibition called “Documents” at Anastasia and Friends, a book release,  Inundated , and was named one of 51 Instagram Photographers to Follow in the US by Time Magazine, all in 2016. He won the  Free Times  Best of Instagram Honorable Mention, in 2017. In 2016 Rayford had extensive coverage of rioting in Charlotte, NC for Getty Images, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolina’s for  The New York Times , Getty Images and The European Press Agency. After the election of Donald Trump Sean’s storylines have often intersected with the resulting protest movements including contentious congressional town hall meetings.

Sean Rayford

Sean Rayford is a freelance photojournalist and commercial photographer working during the last year with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Getty Images, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Associated Press and more. His commercial clients include the ACLU, Chernoff Newman, and the Columbia Visitors Bureau. Sean produces The Angry Whale, a photography webzine focusing primarily on local narratives with a heavy emphasis on the local music scene, along with national stories including a look at street protests in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He won the Best Photo Story from the South Carolina Press Association in 2016 and the Atlantic Institute Peace and Dialogue Award: Media and Communication in 2017. He enjoyed a Solo exhibition called “Documents” at Anastasia and Friends, a book release, Inundated, and was named one of 51 Instagram Photographers to Follow in the US by Time Magazine, all in 2016. He won the Free Times Best of Instagram Honorable Mention, in 2017. In 2016 Rayford had extensive coverage of rioting in Charlotte, NC for Getty Images, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolina’s for The New York Times, Getty Images and The European Press Agency. After the election of Donald Trump Sean’s storylines have often intersected with the resulting protest movements including contentious congressional town hall meetings.

Cedric Umoja   Cedric Umoja has enjoyed the following exhibitions over the past year: Afrofuturism (a group exhibition) at 4th Wall Gallery in Charleston SC, as part of the Spoleto Arts Festival; "WE BLEED TOO!" a solo exhibition at the Goodall Gallery in Columbia; "Libation," a three person exhibition at Charleston City Gallery in Charleston SC; and, the MOJA African American / Caribbean Arts Festival. Cedric has completed a number of murals including "The space I'm in" in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA and "23 Million miles" on Millwood Avenue in Columbia. He has performed live art at MOCAD (Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit) and performed in the film,  Bridge (Refrain)  as an actor/co-producer, and music supervisor, shot in Columbia. He has also completed commission work for Radio Krimi, Experience Columbia, LuLu Lemon, USC, and Coach Michael and Chantal Peterson.

Cedric Umoja

Cedric Umoja has enjoyed the following exhibitions over the past year: Afrofuturism (a group exhibition) at 4th Wall Gallery in Charleston SC, as part of the Spoleto Arts Festival; "WE BLEED TOO!" a solo exhibition at the Goodall Gallery in Columbia; "Libation," a three person exhibition at Charleston City Gallery in Charleston SC; and, the MOJA African American / Caribbean Arts Festival. Cedric has completed a number of murals including "The space I'm in" in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA and "23 Million miles" on Millwood Avenue in Columbia. He has performed live art at MOCAD (Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit) and performed in the film, Bridge (Refrain) as an actor/co-producer, and music supervisor, shot in Columbia. He has also completed commission work for Radio Krimi, Experience Columbia, LuLu Lemon, USC, and Coach Michael and Chantal Peterson.

 

*****

 

2017 JAY Finalists in Theatre

Chris Cockrell * Mandy Applegate Bloom * Bakari Lebby

 

Christopher Cockrell   Christopher Cockrell is both a musician and actor, with most of his musical contributions being offered to the theatre. In July, 2016 Chris musically directed the Trustus season opener  American Idiot , nominated for the  Free Times  Best Theatrical Production award.  In October 2016, after 15 years of playing Riff Raff, Chris musically directed  The Rocky Horror Picture Show  which won the  Free Times  award. In December he was the sound guy for the  Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical . And in February 2017 he musically directed the  Love is Love  cabaret. During March 2017 he was the artist in residence at Hammond School and musically directed  Into the Woods .  In May he competed in the Vista Queen Pageant as Raven Black for which he won the Judge’s Choice award. He reprised his role in July for the Jasper Summer Lovin’ Lip Sync Battle and won.  June 2017 saw him musically directing  Rock of Ages .

Christopher Cockrell

Christopher Cockrell is both a musician and actor, with most of his musical contributions being offered to the theatre. In July, 2016 Chris musically directed the Trustus season opener American Idiot, nominated for the Free Times Best Theatrical Production award.  In October 2016, after 15 years of playing Riff Raff, Chris musically directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show which won the Free Times award. In December he was the sound guy for the Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. And in February 2017 he musically directed the Love is Love cabaret. During March 2017 he was the artist in residence at Hammond School and musically directed Into the Woods.  In May he competed in the Vista Queen Pageant as Raven Black for which he won the Judge’s Choice award. He reprised his role in July for the Jasper Summer Lovin’ Lip Sync Battle and won.  June 2017 saw him musically directing Rock of Ages.

Mandy Applegate Bloom   Mandy offered a burlesque performance featuring a body positivity, sexuality, and autonomy talkback at Hoechella Music Festival in August 2016, and was presented in an article and podcast with Auntie Bellum on Burlesque in August 2016. She also taught the Burlesque Beginners Dance Class Series at Tapp’s Arts Center in October 2016. Mandy was a singer and performer in the PALSS Torch Cabaret Benefit at CMFA October 2016 and was choreographer/movement coach for  The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical  at Trustus Theatre in December 2016.  Her most outstanding performance though was the dual leading roles in (and choreographer for)  Grey Gardens  at Trustus, March 2017. Mandy also judged the annual Vista Queen Pageant at Trustus Theatre this year.

Mandy Applegate Bloom

Mandy offered a burlesque performance featuring a body positivity, sexuality, and autonomy talkback at Hoechella Music Festival in August 2016, and was presented in an article and podcast with Auntie Bellum on Burlesque in August 2016. She also taught the Burlesque Beginners Dance Class Series at Tapp’s Arts Center in October 2016. Mandy was a singer and performer in the PALSS Torch Cabaret Benefit at CMFA October 2016 and was choreographer/movement coach for The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at Trustus Theatre in December 2016.  Her most outstanding performance though was the dual leading roles in (and choreographer for) Grey Gardens at Trustus, March 2017. Mandy also judged the annual Vista Queen Pageant at Trustus Theatre this year.

Bakari Lebby   In August 2016 Bakari was inducted as a Trustus Theatre Company Member where, the month before he had performed as Gerard in  American Idiot . He is an actor, sound designer, and writer for The Mothers Sketch Comedy troupe. He ran projection and did video design for  Hand to God  at Trustus Theatre, directed, did sound design, projection design, and graphic design for  some girl(s)  at Workshop Theatre, assisted with costume design for  Sex on Sunday  at Trustus Theatre. Bakari was also selected to direct  One Another  (Jon Tuttle) for Syzygy: Eclipse Plays.  His podcast,  Soda City Sessions , boasts more than 70 interviews online, and his band, Sandcastles, released the album,  Die Alone , in 2016.

Bakari Lebby

In August 2016 Bakari was inducted as a Trustus Theatre Company Member where, the month before he had performed as Gerard in American Idiot. He is an actor, sound designer, and writer for The Mothers Sketch Comedy troupe. He ran projection and did video design for Hand to God at Trustus Theatre, directed, did sound design, projection design, and graphic design for some girl(s) at Workshop Theatre, assisted with costume design for Sex on Sunday at Trustus Theatre. Bakari was also selected to direct One Another (Jon Tuttle) for Syzygy: Eclipse Plays.  His podcast, Soda City Sessions, boasts more than 70 interviews online, and his band, Sandcastles, released the album, Die Alone, in 2016.

*****

2017 JAY Finalists in Music

Those Lavender Whales * Fat Rat * Tyler Matthews

Those Lavender Whales   The group was mainly focused on releasing and supporting their second full length "My Bones Are Singing" (which came out in April) which garnered some national and international press, a  Free Times  cover story, and a good amount of touring up the east coast and around the southeast. Before the release of their album, they played an Arts & Draughts last fall, a special stripped down set with upright bass and electric guitar at the Nickelodeon for a Magic Hour in January with Valley Maker, and a songwriter event at Deckle Edge literary festival earlier this year.   

Those Lavender Whales

The group was mainly focused on releasing and supporting their second full length "My Bones Are Singing" (which came out in April) which garnered some national and international press, a Free Times cover story, and a good amount of touring up the east coast and around the southeast. Before the release of their album, they played an Arts & Draughts last fall, a special stripped down set with upright bass and electric guitar at the Nickelodeon for a Magic Hour in January with Valley Maker, and a songwriter event at Deckle Edge literary festival earlier this year.

 

Tyler Matthews   One of Tyler Matthews’ goals for the last 12 months was to gain music coverage beyond state lines. Producing his first full-length album in the form of the soundtrack for Exit 8 achieved just that — generating positive reviews, commentary, and interest from music blogs across the country. Along with scoring Exit 8, he served as the video editor for the film which gave him the opportunity to create a film trailer. This led to scoring and producing an additional composition which subsequently went on to receive a Gold Addy Award for Original Music at the Addy Awards. Tyler was one of 2 freelancers to win a gold award out of 250 professional entries. He was recognized by the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands as the member of the year for the video he volunteered to make promoting the Addy’s.  He was a selected filmmaker for the 2nd Act ( Mr. Wonderful ) Film Festival in October 2016, which involved creating original music for the film as well as tapping into music industry contacts Skylar Spence and Niilas who gave me the green light to use their music for  Mr. Wonderful . He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to submit  Mr. Wonderful  to the short film festival circuit, and supported other musical artists and organizations around the community through video and audio production. He played shows around Columbia for Jasper, Scenario Collective, and miscellaneous house parties. However, the vast majority of his music work was done in the studio setting on a Macbook Pro - Writing, Recording, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering, etc.  He was the producer of Insanity Podcast and was selected “Who to Stream” by  Cola Daily , after being named New & Noteworthy on iTunes earlier in the year. He produces the music and all multimedia for the podcast.   

Tyler Matthews

One of Tyler Matthews’ goals for the last 12 months was to gain music coverage beyond state lines. Producing his first full-length album in the form of the soundtrack for Exit 8 achieved just that — generating positive reviews, commentary, and interest from music blogs across the country. Along with scoring Exit 8, he served as the video editor for the film which gave him the opportunity to create a film trailer. This led to scoring and producing an additional composition which subsequently went on to receive a Gold Addy Award for Original Music at the Addy Awards. Tyler was one of 2 freelancers to win a gold award out of 250 professional entries. He was recognized by the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands as the member of the year for the video he volunteered to make promoting the Addy’s.  He was a selected filmmaker for the 2nd Act (Mr. Wonderful) Film Festival in October 2016, which involved creating original music for the film as well as tapping into music industry contacts Skylar Spence and Niilas who gave me the green light to use their music for Mr. Wonderful. He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to submit Mr. Wonderful to the short film festival circuit, and supported other musical artists and organizations around the community through video and audio production. He played shows around Columbia for Jasper, Scenario Collective, and miscellaneous house parties. However, the vast majority of his music work was done in the studio setting on a Macbook Pro - Writing, Recording, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering, etc.  He was the producer of Insanity Podcast and was selected “Who to Stream” by Cola Daily, after being named New & Noteworthy on iTunes earlier in the year. He produces the music and all multimedia for the podcast.

 

FatRat Da Czar   As South Carolina’s godfather of hip hop, Fat was the Invited speaker/panelist at 2017 Charleston Music Confab and a performer at Charleston Music Confab (Charleston Music Hall). He was named the  Free Times  Best Hip Hop Artist and the 2017 Free Times Writers Pick for Best Annual Event or Festival for Love, Peace & Hip-Hop Festival, which he previously founded. He established a hip-hop headquarters at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street, and was an invited participant in EdVenture’s 100 Men Who Cook for Kids fundraiser. He executive Produced hip-hop artist Cole Connor’s album: SODA (Sometimes Our Dreams Align) and was an invited speaker at Richland Library’s Music Entrepreneur Seminar: Find Your Voice. Fat released the album,  RailRoad , co-authored the book  Da Cold Warrior , released the Cold Warrior double CD, performed at Freeway Music Festival (at the Music Farm Columbia) and performed at the Indie Grits opening party.                                                      *****                              2017 JAY Finalists in Literary Arts                        Al Black * Nicola Waldron * Don McCallister

FatRat Da Czar

As South Carolina’s godfather of hip hop, Fat was the Invited speaker/panelist at 2017 Charleston Music Confab and a performer at Charleston Music Confab (Charleston Music Hall). He was named the Free Times Best Hip Hop Artist and the 2017 Free Times Writers Pick for Best Annual Event or Festival for Love, Peace & Hip-Hop Festival, which he previously founded. He established a hip-hop headquarters at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street, and was an invited participant in EdVenture’s 100 Men Who Cook for Kids fundraiser. He executive Produced hip-hop artist Cole Connor’s album: SODA (Sometimes Our Dreams Align) and was an invited speaker at Richland Library’s Music Entrepreneur Seminar: Find Your Voice. Fat released the album, RailRoad, co-authored the book Da Cold Warrior, released the Cold Warrior double CD, performed at Freeway Music Festival (at the Music Farm Columbia) and performed at the Indie Grits opening party.

 

                                                 *****

                           2017 JAY Finalists in Literary Arts

                    Al Black * Nicola Waldron * Don McCallister

Al Black   Al Black is a northern born Southern poet who is trying to make up for 50 years of hiding his poetic life beneath a layered costume of respectability. He publishes in journals, online blogs and anthologies, most recently in  Fall Lines  2017. He organizes and hosts a weekly poetry venue called Mind Gravy and three monthly poetry venues called Magnify Magnolias, Poems: Bones of the Spirit, and Blue Note Poetry as well as two monthly poetry workshops, in addition to organizing and hosting a monthly lyric singer/songwriter event called Songversation. Al co-founded the Poets Respond to Race Initiative with the poet, Len Lawson in May 2015 on which Len and Al continue to tour organizing and hosting readings and events connected with the initiative and, in February 2017, they co-edited,  Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race  published by Muddy Ford Press.   

Al Black

Al Black is a northern born Southern poet who is trying to make up for 50 years of hiding his poetic life beneath a layered costume of respectability. He publishes in journals, online blogs and anthologies, most recently in Fall Lines 2017. He organizes and hosts a weekly poetry venue called Mind Gravy and three monthly poetry venues called Magnify Magnolias, Poems: Bones of the Spirit, and Blue Note Poetry as well as two monthly poetry workshops, in addition to organizing and hosting a monthly lyric singer/songwriter event called Songversation. Al co-founded the Poets Respond to Race Initiative with the poet, Len Lawson in May 2015 on which Len and Al continue to tour organizing and hosting readings and events connected with the initiative and, in February 2017, they co-edited, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race published by Muddy Ford Press.

 

Nicola Waldron   Nicola Waldron has enjoyed a number of essays being accepted for publication or published in nationally-recognized magazines and websites this year, including "Ictus, or 1984 Redux" which was shortlisted for the Proximity personal essay prize in July 2017; “If Plan 'A' Don’t Work Out”: in  About Place ; and “Containing the Chaos: Spiral Form in Memoir” in  Assay . “Spill” which was published in  Marked by the Water  in October, 2016 was performed as a staged oration at Tapp’s Art Center as part of the Marked by the Water commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 year flood. An excerpt from her book,  River Running Backwards,  was published in  Fall Lines , summer 2017, and she was selected as a playwright for the Syzygy: Eclipse Plays project in spring 2017 for which she wrote the play  Visitation . Her poems “Dream” and “Birthday in October” were published in in  California Quarterly,  July 2017; “Walking the Sawmill” in  California Quarterly,  in fall 2016, and “Crawlspace” and “After a Flood” were published in  Marked By The Water , 2016. (“Crawlspace” was also published in  Jasper , October 2016.) Nicola also participated in Bones of the Spirit, Mind Gravy, and Magnify Magnolias.

Nicola Waldron

Nicola Waldron has enjoyed a number of essays being accepted for publication or published in nationally-recognized magazines and websites this year, including "Ictus, or 1984 Redux" which was shortlisted for the Proximity personal essay prize in July 2017; “If Plan 'A' Don’t Work Out”: in About Place; and “Containing the Chaos: Spiral Form in Memoir” in Assay. “Spill” which was published in Marked by the Water in October, 2016 was performed as a staged oration at Tapp’s Art Center as part of the Marked by the Water commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 year flood. An excerpt from her book, River Running Backwards, was published in Fall Lines, summer 2017, and she was selected as a playwright for the Syzygy: Eclipse Plays project in spring 2017 for which she wrote the play Visitation. Her poems “Dream” and “Birthday in October” were published in in California Quarterly, July 2017; “Walking the Sawmill” in California Quarterly, in fall 2016, and “Crawlspace” and “After a Flood” were published in Marked By The Water, 2016. (“Crawlspace” was also published in Jasper, October 2016.) Nicola also participated in Bones of the Spirit, Mind Gravy, and Magnify Magnolias.

Don McCallister   Over the past year, Don began his own indie publishing company, calling it Mind Harvest Press, to publish his own backlog of material including  Let the Glory Pass Away  which launched in February 2017. His short story, “Eye of the Vandal” received an Honorable Mention from the  Short Story America  Fiction Contest and his short story, “Ruby in the Dust,” was published in  Fall Lines 2017.  In addition, his papers from the publication of  Fellow Traveler  were selected for the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz.   Don teaches creative writing at Midlands Technical College. 

Don McCallister

Over the past year, Don began his own indie publishing company, calling it Mind Harvest Press, to publish his own backlog of material including Let the Glory Pass Away which launched in February 2017. His short story, “Eye of the Vandal” received an Honorable Mention from the Short Story America Fiction Contest and his short story, “Ruby in the Dust,” was published in Fall Lines 2017. In addition, his papers from the publication of Fellow Traveler were selected for the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Don teaches creative writing at Midlands Technical College. 

*****

Vote

Jasper Artists of the Year

2017

http://jasperproject.org/jays

 

Then join us on Tuesday, December 5th at 7 pm in the 701 Whaley Market Space for the

2017 JAY Awards & Retro Snow Ball

and

Caroling with Those Lavender Whales

Retro Family Photos

Pop UP Art Show & Silent Auction by Thomas Washington

Silent Auction of Original Christmas Ornaments Created and Donated by Columbia-based Fine Artists in Support of Jasper Magazine

Cash Bar by The Whig

and more ....

 

2017 JAYS.jpg

Show Preview: Washed Out Plays Benefit Show for Aaron Graves at the Columbia Music Farm by Caitlyn McGuire

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured. To the dreamers, the explorers, those who sink their minds fully into what’s coming out of their headphones and let the music take them to an entirely different place, we’ve got the soundtrack to your life. The music of Georgia-based artist Ernest Greene, who records under the name Washed Out, is a unique blend of soothing vocals and flowing rhythms along with cool electronics and the sounds of almost unrecognizable instruments.  The title of Washed Out’s most recent effort, Paracosm, references an imaginary world that’s created inside one’s mind, takes listeners on a full journey to escape reality. It’s an appropriate allusion given the immersive effects of the music contained within.  Although each song is brilliantly different than another, the theme of escaping is apparent in every carefully written lyrics and tune, allowing the listener to continuously drift away. Even the music video for their single “Weightless” maintains this aesthetic, allowing listeners to completely disconnect from the real world and delve into the one created by Greene.

And if we haven’t obsessed over Washed Out enough, his upcoming show on September 16 at the Music Farm Columbia is full of additional good local vibes and connections. Greene and his live band, which features Columbia musicians Chris Gardner (bass), Cameron Gardner (drums), and Dylan Lee (guitar), is paired with the quirky indie folk-pop of Those Lavender Whales and the sly singer/songwriter Keith Mead, two of the city’s finest young talents. The show is also for a good cause as well. Earlier in 2014, Those Lavender Whales front man Aaron Graves was diagnosed with a grade 2 brain tumor, causing the Columbia music scene to band together to help Graves and his family. All the proceeds from Tuesdays show will go to Tumor-Schumor, Graves’ effort to raise funds and support for his life-threatening illness. On tumorschumor.com, fans and friends can keep track of Graves’s progress through his blog, donate and learn more about the cause. If there’s one show to go see at the Music Farm in the near future, this is probably it. Good music plus a great cause is reason enough to see these musical minds in action.

Tuesday’s show is at the Music Farm, 1022 Senate Street. Tickets are $15-$20, doors open at 8 p.m. and anyone 16 years and older is welcome.

To donate to Tumor-Schumer or follow along with Aaron Graves’ journey, please visit tumorschumor.com

--Jasper Intern, Caitlyn McGuire

 

Why You Should Go To Shows Vol. 3: Valley Maker CD Release @ New Brookland Tavern 8/10/13

1) Valley Maker himself (itself?), of course. VM is the recent songwriting nom de plume of Austin Crane, who released a few quite-excellent records under his own name and the Valley Maker moniker before departing for graduate school in 2010. Crane only plays a few gigs a year, and all of them mostly here in Columbia on his brief returns. His last record (and first under the VM name) came out in 2010, and is still one of the most-downloaded South Carolina records on Bandcamp to date. All of which is to say that each show he performs becomes a near must-see. Plus, his new full-length Yes I Know I’ve Loved This World is pretty killer.

2) Opener Amy Godwin, who provides the haunting, mood-setting background vocals on Valley Maker records, started the show off my using extensive vocal loops to harmonize with herself on her traditional folk-meets-dream pop sound that is absolutely enchanting.

3) Let’s Go Coyote! frontman Pat Wall (Free Times music editor and Those Lavender Whales guitarslinger Pat Wall) takes a visceral joy in playing the electric guitar as oddly and brashly as he wants, and in the process demonstrates exactly what rock and roll played live should be about.

4) The stage banter bromance of Wall and drummer Aaron Graves, who fronts Those Lavender Whales, also gave LGC an appeal which really only comes through on stage.

5) Those Lavender Whales were co-headliners, and hearing them shoot through songs on their new EP, entitled Parts & Pieces/Goose and Geeses, was worth the ticket price alone. I called their last record my favorite local release of last year, and I’m pretty sure some of these songs are even better.

6) The gang vocals on Valley Maker’s final song (the new record's closing number, “Goodness”). While perhaps not strictly necessary, it was a striking reminder of how the camaraderie of local musicians and their uninhibited affection for each other’s songs is what makes a music scene in the first place. And, of course, just how good of a songwriter Crane is. Musical moments that combine the warm-and-fuzzy with goosebumps are rare, but they happen, as this loveable moment proved.

-K. Petersen

Why You Should Go to Shows is a projected blog series that describes the specific joys of certain live performances rather than providing a strict review of the show in question or speaking of the joy of patronage in the abstract. Kind of.

Kyle Petersen's Badass Local Music Video Series: Those Lavender Whales – “Growth in Question”

Those Lavender Whales, the quirky indie rock/folk/pop project by Fork & Spoon leader Aaron Graves which also includes Jessica Bornick and Chris Gardner, make some of the most honest, revealing, and beautifully human music in Columbia today.
Their new full-length, Tomahawk of Praise, was just released this past week on vinyl and CD, and the trio has already taken off for a mini-tour up the East Coast.  The record is full of poignant thoughts on family, faith, and on every other emotionally wrought question about growing up that seems like it doesn’t have an answer—and its quickly becoming one of Jasper’s favorite local releases of all-time.
So, having said all that, we really are just encouraging you to check out their new music video for the song “Growth in Question,” which recognizes the beauty of community, friends, and having fun that we all know is what makes Columbia such an awesome place to live, and, if you like it, to buy one of the many versions of the record available from Fork & Spoon Records.
The video was put together by a group out of Charleston called lunch + RECESS who did an absolutely fantastic job as well.
Check out this badass video by clicking on this magic button.

 

Kyle Petersen is the music editor for Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts. Contact him at jpetersen@jaspercolumbia.com and stay tuned for more of his

Badass Local Music Video Series -- only at Jasper

www.jaspercolumbia.com

Show Preview: Free Times Music Crawl

 

Every year Columbia’s (rather under-appreciated) alt. weekly puts on a locals-centered music festival designed to illustrate just how much music gets made around these parts. This year, the crawl spans 2 days, features 41 bands, and takes place across 6 stages—all of which means any reasonably interested music fan is gonna have a hard time not finding some local music to blow their socks off. With so many options though, how does one choose where to be and when? Well, this week’s Free Times has provided extensive coverage to give you a feel for the bands here, but we thought we’d also tell you what Jasper recommends…

 

Friday Night: Arts & Draughts at the Columbia Museum of Art

 

This is the easy night, since none of the bands overlap. However, Jasper would like to HIGHLY recommend coming out tonight for the following reasons: 1) Arts & Draughts is always a good time—good beer on tap, the Bone-In BBQ food truck will be there, and you are supporting our thoroughly awesome art museum, 2) Jasper’s editor-in-chief is giving a unique perspectives tour of the museum’s permanent collection tour (see previous blog here), and 3) these bands are just awesome.  The night kicks off at 7 pm with a great buzz band out of Denver, CO, The Lumineers, who remind us of The Head and the Heart mixed with Mumford & Sons.

 

Listen to the Lumineers here.

 

Following them up are Columbia’s own Say Brother, who play amped-up blues and country tunes with punk rock fervor.

 

Listen to Say Brother here.

 

Mac Leaphart and his Ragged Company take the stage at 9 pm, and Leaphart’s songs are written with the poignancy and humor of John Prine, but this a band that takes it cues from Gram Parsons and The Rolling Stones.

 

Listen to Mac Leaphart here.

 

And, most, importantly, South Carolina’s most badass musical duo closes the show, Charleston’s Shovels & Rope. I could go on for pages about Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, the husband-and-wife team who power through their amazing songs with minimal accompaniment in a way that is simply breathtaking. Seriously, you only need to hear Ms. Hearst’s voice once live to be forever taken with the band’s music.

 

Listen to Shovels and Rope here.

 

 

Saturday Night: Free Times Music Crawl, the Main Event

 

Alright, where to begin? First off, it is worth noting that the stages are set up roughly to accommodate a music fan’s particular interests. Wet Willie’s features R&B and Hip-Hop acts (including joke rappers Sweet Vans, who might actually appeal more to the indie rock crowd), Flying Saucer has mainly bluegrass/alt. country bands (with Myrtle Beach’s new wave-ish Octopus Jones being the odd man out), and Art Bar, Kelly’s, and the Tin Roof are the primary rock stages, with each venue having a pretty thorough mix of acts. Jasper always has a difficult time getting down to Wet Willie’s at these events despite best intentions, largely because the distance between that stage and the rest of the venues eats up valuable time. Anyway, let’s get down to the schedule:

 

7:10-7:40pm – Pinna (Kelly’s)

 

Even if you are the kind of person who hates jam bands, this is still an act worth checking out. Lead guitarist and singer George Fetner (who has a degree in music composition from USC) is one of the town’s most gifted guitar players, and he and his band mates, more than most jam bands, actually engage and surprise their listeners with their adventurous improvisational forays.

 

7:30-8:00pm – Those Lavender Whales (Art Bar-indoors)

 

A quirky indie pop act who don’t quite sound like anyone else, this is a group also worth checking out because they run Fork & Spoon records, one of the most admirable record label/collectives in town.

 

Check out Those Lavender Whales here.

8:10-8:40pm – Ye Mighty! (Kelly’s)

 

Although it might seem silly to call a band “buzz worthy” within the confines of a local scene, it’s easy to call Ye Mighty! just that. Featuring the wonderful vocals of Beth Dickerson and a cast of well-known scene members backing her up, the group plays swirling post-punk that threatens to burst into full-blown anthems.

8:40-9:10pm – Marshall Brown (Tin Roof)

 

Brown is a singer/songwriter whose music is absolutely drenched in 60s and 70s psychedelia, mixed with a bit of the bedroom pop eclecticism that sprouted up in the 90s. Even in a town with a music scene as diverse and quirky as Columbia’s, Brown stands out for forging his own, singular path.

 

Here's some Marshall Brown

 

9:20-9:50pm – Fayth Hope (Wet Willie’s)

 

Hope makes music in the neo-soul tradition, which means an earthy mix of soul and R&B with a decidedly retro feel. She has a gorgeous voice, and the advance tracks from her forthcoming LP are positively tantalizing.

 

9:30-10:00pm – Death Becomes Even the Maiden (Art Bar – indoors)

 

This overlaps a bit with Hope, and could not be more different, but Jasper is also equally excited to see the heavy, complex post-rock of DBETM again as well—although, full disclosure, guitarist Heyward Sims is our design editor. Even if he wasn’t, though, it would be hard not to champion dark, propulsive tunes and formidable chops.

 

Listen to DBETM here.

 

10:10-10:40pm – Elonzo (Kelly’s)

 

A Rock Hill family band with a definite Southern vibe, these guys make dreamy, grandiose indie folk-pop with a hint of Americana. This is the kind of music that tends to disarm even the most cynical of us with its buoyant, cathartic musical releases into the stratosphere.

 

10:50-11:20pm – The Unawares (Flying Saucer)

 

Jasper has previously reviewed the band’s new record  here, and we are psyched to see some of these new songs played in action.

 

11:00-Midnight – Magnetic Flowers (Art Bar outdoors)

 

Kinetic, literary indie folk/rock at its finest.  Built around three songwriters, four singers, and the dizzying keyboard parts of Adam Cullum, the band’s well-layered sound and penchant for capturing the unvarnished truth about their generation (for better or worse) in their lyrics makes them one of the scene’s most powerful acts.

 

12:10-12:40am – Junior Astronomers (Kelly’s)

 

Built upon the ferocity and dynamics of emo, Charlotte’s Junior Astronomers can credit their success to incorporating classic rock arrangements and energetic, prog-like guitar parts. That, and the unfettered passion of lead singer Terrrence Richard’s vocals and on-stage charisma.

 

Here's some Junior Astronomers.

 

1:00-1:45am – The Restoration (Art Bar – indoors)

 

This is where we are closing out the night (unless John Wesley Satterfield is still playing over at Kelly’s). The Restoration are one of our favorite bands in the city. Their 19th century concept is heartfelt  and authentic, the stories are told with complexity and death, and Daniel Machado and Adam Corbett just write great songs. This ambitious, chamber pop-meets-old-time folk band deserves to be a national name—and we here in the Capitol City should just count ourselves lucky that they happen to sprout up here, and are willing to share with us their tunes in the wee hours of Sunday morning…

 

And it's The Restoration

 

-- Kyle Petersen is the Music Editor of Jasper -- The Word on  Columbia Arts