Columbia Festival of the Arts announces Winter Fall Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival musicians Raul Midon, Nicholas Payton and Ravi Coltrane. (credit R.R. Jones)

Columbia, Maryland (January 6, 2016)Columbia Festival of the Arts officially announces their Winter Fall Festival line up.  Embracing the theme “Beyond The Blues,” Columbia Festival of the Arts will present ten (10) dynamic events which include headliners MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL ON TOUR, the music of ‘Trane, Miles & Mingus with Vince di Mura and James Brandon Lewis, August Wilson’s play GEM OF THE OCEAN, two Sundance Award Winning Films FRUITVALE STATION & 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, six short plays from New Theatre Movement BLACK LIVES, BLACK WORDS, an Art Gallery Reception and Blue Concert with Samuel James, plus insightful lectures including a conversation with Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, play readings, and more. Tickets & information available via website

Thursday, February 4, 2016 7 – 8:30pm  
LECTURE ON AUGUST WILSON |”The Ground on Which He Stood” by University of Maryland Doctoral Candidate Khalid Yaya Long Oliver’s Carriage House – Kittamaqundi Community Church

EventGraphicAugustWilsonLecture212Discussion of this country’s greatest African-American dramatist August Wilson, his play Gem of the Ocean, and the search for Black Identity.  Born in 1945, August Wilson grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, and his childhood experiences in this community would later inform his dramatic writings. Over his career Wilson earned a Tony Award, Olivier Award, two Pulitzer Prizes, five New Play Awards/Citations from the American Theatre Critics Association, seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and an Emmy nomination.  FREE EVENT

Friday, February 5, 2016 7-10:30pm
August Wilson’s GEM OF THE OCEAN | A Journey of Truth, Freedom, and Justice By The Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Mark Clayton Southers, Founder and Producing Artistic Director Celebration ChurchEventGraphicGEM212

“Southers and his company give vitality and depth to Wilson’s play” – WRCT Radio, Pittsburgh

GEM OF THE OCEAN is a critically-acclaimed play is filled with memorable characters, gentle humor and soulful poetry. Set in 1904, this play is the first episode of August Wilson’s epic cycle of African-American life in the 20th century.  Tickets: $25

Saturday, February 6, 2016 6 – 8:30pm
SAMUEL JAMES | Art Opening and Blues Concert Gallery exhibition private showing, followed by Blues Concert. Columbia Art Center

“Wildly individualistic…a powerhouse of intensity…Samuel James is a man that packs ferocity in his virtuosity in what is unabashedly deep roots, old time.” – Samuel EventGraphicsSAMUELJAMES212James is in a class by himself. With a voice of grit and gravel, roots musician Samuel James sings with an authenticity lost in time. A modern guitar master, James’ skill has a depth and range that seems impossible for a man with only two hands. Among the most creative guitar players performing today, this blues-based singer/songwriter has dazzled audiences around the world for the better part of a decade. Tickets: $15

Friday, February 12, 2016 7– 9pm
| Visionary Artistic Director Oliver’s Carriage House – Kittamaqundi Community ChurchEventGraphicsKWAME212

“He’s on track to make a real difference in Baltimore.” – Randall Vega, Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts

Live interview with Kwame about Baltimore’s Center Stage, their new $30+ million capital campaign, and other issues that affect professional theatre in America. Kwame Kwei-Armah is a scribbler, director, actor, theatre leader and sometime recording and broadcast artist with a razor-sharp intellect, and yet wows people with his warmth. He’s an acclaimed writer who holds the elite-sounding title of “Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”—and yet, at Center Stage, he has striven to make inclusiveness the prevailing vibe. Tickets: $10

Saturday, February 13, 2016 4 – 6pm
AN AFTERNOON OF JAZZ | Music of Trane, Miles & Mingus Monteabaro Recital Hall, Howard Community College

“People who know Vince di Mura’s playing know to expect something special.” –

EventGraphicVINCEDIMURA212Veteran jazz pianist, composer, arranger and musical director Vince di Mura performs with saxophonist/composer James Brandon Lewis. Vince di Mura is a veteran Jazz pianist, composer, arranger and musical director who has appeared on concert stages and theatres throughout North America, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Saxophonist/composer James Brandon Lewis has earned a reputation in the gospel, R&B, and jazz worlds. Tickets: $15

Saturday, February 13, 2016 7– 9pmEventGraphics20FEET212
FILM: 20 FEET FROM STARDOM | Sundance Film Festival Winner Monteabaro Recital Hall, Howard Community College

Academy Award Winner “Best Documentary Feature” Grammy Award Winner “Best Music Film”

Award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. Tickets: $10

Sunday, February 14, 2016 6 – 8pm          VALENTINE’S DAY JAZZ!
MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL ON TOUR | Longest Consecutively-Running Jazz Festival In the World Jim Rouse Theatre

EventGraphicsMONTEREY212Featuring Raul Midon, Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Payton, Gerald Clayton, Joe Sanders and Gregory Hutchinson. “Nothing less than Jazz Nirvana.” – San Jose Mercury News

The longest consecutively running jazz festival in the world, the Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates their unique brand of jazz-with-a-purpose exuberance while expanding the boundaries of jazz presentation. This year’s lineup reflects Monterey’s “traditional-untraditionalist” attitude, and is a who’s-who of critically-acclaimed and Grammy-recognized top artists. Tickets: $36-$51

Saturday, February 20, 2016 4 – 6pm
FILM: FRUITVALE STATION | Sundance Audience and Grand Jury Prize Winner Monteabaro Recital Hall, Howard Community CollegeEventGraphicsFRUITVALE212

Best Independent Film” 2013 African-American Film Critics Association “Top-10 Films of the 2013” American Film Institute “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture” 2013 NAACP Image Awards

“Fruitvale Station” is the true story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and gets a head start on his resolutions. He strives to be a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, a better partner to his girlfriend, and a better father to their beautiful 4 year old daughter. The day ends with events on the Fruitvale Station train platform that shook the San Francisco Bay Area to its core. Tickets: $10

Saturday, February 20, 2016 7 – 9pm
BLACK LIVES, BLACK WORDS | Six Short Plays From a New Theatre Movement Monteabaro Recital Hall, Howard Community College

“Empowering, diverse, unapologetic, forceful, dramatic, poignant, highly entertaining and thought provoking.” – NewWritersBlog, London

EventGraphicsBLACKLIVES212Short works by up-and-coming black playwrights from Chicago and London, exploring the black diaspora of experiences in some of the largest multicultural cities in the world. This project gives voice to contemporary black writers from the US and the UK, asking them to explore the question “Do black lives matter today?” These plays not only discuss these important issues but also seek to provide solutions to the many problems that our community is struggling with. Tickets: $15

Sunday, February 21, 2016 4 – 6pm
COLUMBIA VOICES | Staged Reading Of Act One by Gwydion Suilebhan, Directed by Todd Olson Oliver’s Carriage House – Kittamaqundi Community ChurchEventGraphicsCOLUMBIA212

“Every great community has an origin story, and behind every story there are people. Our community has an origin story, too, and the Columbia Voices Project will bring that story to life.” – Gwydion Suilebhan

In 2014 The Columbia Festival of the Arts awarded a commission to playwright Gwydion Suilebhan for the creation of a new play inspired by Columbia’s founding in 1967. With an eye on Columbia’s 50th Birthday in 2017 (which is also The Festival’s 30th Anniversary), we are again showcasing this work-in-progress with a staged reading of select scenes. Tickets: $10


Saturday, February 6, 2016 4 – 6pm
PARTNER EVENT | HoCoPoLitSo presents Poetry and Percussion With Poet Steven Leyva – Kittleman Room of Duncan Hall Howard Community College

EventGraphicHOCOPOLITSO212(Visit for more information or tickets to this specific event)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7 – 9:00pm
POSTSECRET: THE SHOW | Trust Your Story The Horowitz Center Smith Theatre

PostSecret-The Show

An immersive, poignant journey through the humor and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves, and on rare occasions, share with others. Projected images, videos, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through crowd-sourced narratives revealing the true stories behind the secrets. See the hopeful, shocking, painful and sexual secrets that brought hundreds of millions to the PostSecret blog, became six best-selling books and are currently in a Smithsonian art exhibition.  PostSecret: The Show is a breakthrough in audience sourced storytelling that reaches beyond the confines of the stage, reminding audiences that secrets can be both walls and bridges. Tickets: $35-$45

Columbia Festival of the Arts

Founded in 1987, Columbia Festival of the Arts is Howard County’s largest ongoing arts event. Columbia Festival of the Arts “Arts For Every Season” presents four weekend-long arts festivals throughout the year, featuring world-class performances, exhibitions, concerts, music, theatre, family activities, master classes, workshops and community dialogues. The Festival brings together the arts community, businesses, local schools, and individuals to create events that shine a spotlight, not only on the arts, but also on the Howard County community as a Maryland showplace. For more information, please visit