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To-Do List: Columbia arts and entertainment picks (June 16-23)


"Akilla's Escape" is available to watch in the Nickelodeon Theatre's Virtual Screening Room.


Juneteenth Freedom Fest

This Saturday is Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, were informed that they had been granted their freedom. Comic TP Hearn hosts this Columbia commemoration of the holiday, which also features headlining musical act The Legendary Manhattans. The festival, which goes from 1 to 8 p.m. at Dutch Square Mall, will also feature historical awareness and enactments, health information, an award ceremony honoring key figures in the state’s Black community, local food members and more. Head to for more info. JORDAN LAWRENCE


Reggaetronic: Lake Murray Music Festival

Listen up because this is important. Reggaetronic is not, in fact, an electronica/reggae band. Rather, it’s a music festival on Lake Murray where one could see an electronica/reggae band playing live. This celebration of all things reggae-lectro-tastic kicks off at 11:30 a.m., and will feature performances from Sun Dried Vibes, Tropidelic, Little Stranger, and Lefty at the Washout. (And it’s not Drift Jam, the other festival on Lake Murray that took place a couple weeks ago.) The stage floats on the water, and you’ll watch from the water (find a friend with a boat). Access is otherwise free, unless you want VIP boat parking. Find out more info at reggaetronicsc.comVINCENT HARRIS


The NiA Company

This week brings an opportunity to see what it will be like to experience programming at the 1013 Co-Op, the space now shared by the children’s programming innovators in the Darion McCloud-led Magic Purple Circle, the Columbia Children’s Theatre, and The Jasper Project, and formerly occupied by Indie Grits Labs. The NiA Company, the more adult-focused theater company also led by local theater fixture McCloud, will present performances at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the backyard on June 19 and 26. The company’s energetic all-ages and call-and-response-heavy “HOLLA!!!” series returns for the morning, while the evening’s feature the premiere of “Eavesdropping” by Crystal-Elisa Aldamuy, a series of five vignettes that happen around the same table and two chairs. All performances are free to attend. Find out more at LAWRENCE


Richard Goode

USC’s Southeastern Piano Festival has been scoring great guest artists for years, but Richard Goode might just be their biggest yet. The Grammy-nominated Goode is a titan of classical piano music, perhaps best known for performing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s sonatas. But he has also played the five Beethoven concertos with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, appeared as a featured artist with Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and served as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His performance at the Johnson Performance Hall on June 17 will feature selections by Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, and Debussy. Show time is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20. Visit for info about the concert, and the festival’s other offerings, which continue through June 20. VINCENT HARRIS


”In the Heights” and “Akilla’s Escape”

The Nickelodeon Theatre is back open for in-person audiences, and this week Columbia’s lone arthouse cinema has one of the summer’s most anticipated films on offer. “In the Heights” is the big-screen adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda-led musical set in the largely Dominican New York neighborhood of Washington Heights. In the film, directed by Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Anthony Ramos takes over the starring role. And while the movie’s soft $11.4 million debut has some worried, the critical response has been overwhelmingly positive (to the tune of a 97 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes). “In the Heights” remains at the Nick through June 27. And for those not yet ready to return to the theater, the Nick continues its Virtual Screening room, presenting “Akilla’s Escape,” a neo-noir that “confronts a cycle of generational violence,” per the Nick. Similarly well-liked by critics, it has a score of 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s available through June 24 at nickelodeon.orgJORDAN LAWRENCE


E.Z. Shakes, Brandy and the Butcher

At long last, live music returns to Art Bar this Saturday. And who better to do so than E.Z Shakes, and Brandy and the Butcher? The former brings atmospheric and emotionally charged country-rock that has the capacity to blow the doors off the place, while the latter’s whole punk ‘n’ roll raison d'être is to blow the doors off the place. This show just screams, “We're back!” The Eybrows open the June 19 show, which starts at 9 p.m. KYLE PETERSEN


Summer Sol-Fest

The NoMa Warehouse in Cottontown is getting into the live music game in earnest with Summer Sol-Fest, an event that matches their usual vendor-centric festivities with food trucks and a performance lineup that features some burgeoning out-of-town indie pop acts, including the Athens duo Hotel Fiction and Jacksonville’s Solafide!, along with jangly locals Homemade Biscuits and performance artist 6ixx. The doors open at 6 p.m. on June 19, and the music starts at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $15. Head to for more info. KYLE PETERSEN


Meet the Artist: Sollie "Puddin'" Jennings

This online-only event is a Q&A with the University of South Carolina’s Quarantunes artist for June, Sollie “Puddin’” Jennings. The Orangeburg native began playing guitar and drums at age 12, and he has apprenticed under and toured with Columbia blues legend Drink Small for more than a decade. Sollie also spent time playing with The Tams, The Tymes, Eddie Floyd, and The Charleston Connection, to name a few. Jennings’ music is a blend of blues, roots, and beach favorites, and the Meet the Artist program will explore his experiences and growth as a musician. Visit to register for the Zoom event at 7 p.m. on June 18. VINCENT HARRIS


The Soda City Pop-Up

This ongoing live music series that features local rappers alongside alt-rock acts returns with a June 17 pop-up at Uncle Fester’s that features a full slate of music. Performers include familiar hip-hop scene figures like KOS and Dawso Lee, with local alt-rockers Tripping on Bricks headlining. The nine-act lineup kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 or $20 for a party of four. Find more info at PETERSEN


Disco Biscuits

Taking its name from a slang term for recreational drugs, Disco Biscuits was spawned on the University of Pennsylvania campus in 1995. From frat parties in Philly, the band has graduated to spots at festivals, including their own Camp Bisco. The Biscuits add jazz, soul and electronica to their sprawling jam band template. They perform on June 18 and 19 for the still socially distanced Cola Concerts series at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center. Tickets cost $30. More info is available at colaconcerts.comPAT MORAN


“The Supper Table” and the South Carolina Philharmonic

The Arts Center of Kershaw County has a new executive director in Dolly Patton, who will be charged with keeping up what has become an impressive stream of programming in the small Midlands town of Camden. This week, for instance, the center will play host to “The Supper Table,” an arresting installation from The Jasper Project that highlights 12 of the state’s “largely uncelebrated, yet ground-breaking women in history.” It opens with a reception on June 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Also bound for the center this week is the South Carolina Philharmonic, which will deploy some of its musicians in a Patriotic Performance spanning “classical favorites and patriotic tunes.” The concert at 7 p.m. on June 22 costs $15. For more info, head to artscenterofkershawcounty.wildapricot.orgJORDAN LAWRENCE


Make Music Day

Make Music Day in Columbia arrives in 2021 in a state of transition. As One Columbia has moved away from leading efforts to put musicians in parks, non-traditional spaces and street corners around the city, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still complicating the business of booking performers, the musical celebration of the summer solstice will mostly live at the Koger Center. The venue presents an interactive gong installation on Main Street, an Instrument Petting Zoo in the center’s lobby at the corner of Green and Assembly, and a video release party and performance from tradition-blending singer-songwriter THE Dubber. Find more info at kogercenterforthearts.comJORDAN LAWRENCE

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