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To-Do List: Columbia arts and entertainment picks (June 23-30)


The Luminal Theater presents a free preview screening of "Summer of Soul" this week.


“Summer of Soul”

“To rewrite history”? No. “To right history.” That’s the mission set out by the trailer for “Summer of Soul,” the new documentary directed by Questlove, Roots drummer and all-around music expert. The subject is the Harlem Cultural Festival, the celebration of Black culture and music that featured Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone, and many others, and which is often frustratingly reduced to being the “Black Woodstock” because it also took place during the summer of ’69. This corrective intent and focus on Black creativity make it a perfect fit for The Luminal Theater, a nomadic cinema project now based in Columbia, which looks to highlight film and other media from the Black/African diaspora. This week, Luminal hosts a free preview screening of the documentary, which comes to Hulu on July 2. The June 25 showing takes place at 7 p.m. at the Spotlight Cinemas Capital 8. Find out more at JORDAN LAWRENCE


Trampled by Turtles, Tedeschi Trucks

Right now, there are only two Cola Concerts left on the schedule at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center before September, but they’re significant. Future Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonetti was a rock ‘n’ roller until someone stole all his electric gear. Switching to acoustic instruments, he formed bluegrass juggernaut Trampled by Turtles, assembling his team from other newcomers to the genre. The result is a crack acoustic crew that plays with the frenetic speed and firepower of a hard rock crew. Fronted by married guitarists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, the Tedeschi Trucks Band mixes southern soul, gospel, funk and rock, recalling 60s roots rockers Delaney and Bonnie. The Tedeschi Trucks Fireside Live tour finds the namesake duo closing out this year's COVID spring in stripped-back fashion. Trampled by Turtles is joined by Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country Club at a June 24 concert that starts at 7 p.m. Tedeschi Trucks’ June 26 show also starts at 7 p.m. Tickets to the two dates range from $40 to $60, and must be bought in groups of at least four due to the venue’s socially distanced seating coves. Find out more at PAT MORAN


“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”

Longtime Free Times theater critic August Krickel loved Katrina Garvin as jazz legend Billie Holiday in Trustus Theatre’s first live production since the COVID-19 shutdown. “‘Lady Day’ is first and foremost a chance for a star turn by a gifted vocalist, recreating a club performance by a long-gone icon for a modern audience,” he proclaimed in his review. Lucky for you then that this week brings unexpected chances to see the show, as Trustus has extended it through June 26. Tickets range from $30 to $35. Head to for more info. JORDAN LAWRENCE


A Midsummer Night’s Swing

Columbia is a city with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its jazz scene, and one of the true treasures is composer and musician Dick Goodwin. The longtime University of South Carolina music professor with a diverse and eclectic array of experience brings his long-running Carolina Jazz Society outfit to the Koger Center for a (late) “summer solstice jazz event” that will bring the best and brightest of traditional swing tunes to the performance hall lobby on June 27. Tickets are $18. Doors open at 7 p.m. Find out more at kogercenterforthearts.comKYLE PETERSEN


Darby & Saul in the Round

What we’ve got here is a sort of best of both worlds situation. Darby Wilcox, a Greenville singer-songwriter, is teaming up with Saul Seibert of the Columbia swamp-punk band Boo Hag for an acoustic gig at Curiosity Coffee Bar. Wilcox started in the folk style but has added some country twang and serious attitude over the years, and Seibert has shown that he’s a versatile writer that can mold his songs into any style. It should be fascinating to see the common ground and contrasts between the two performers, especially in the song-trading format promised here. All of which make it a fine first concert back for Curiosity as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its slow exit. The June 24 show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $10. More info is available at VINCENT HARRIS


Deray Davis

Comedian Deray Davis has acted in films and TV, lent his voice to Kanye West albums and he’s also the older brother of R&B singer Steph Jones. He may be better known for his side hustles than his comedy, and that’s a crime. His standup weaves together deeply personal routines about race, poverty, growing up in the Chicago south side projects, and speaking truth to power. He’s at The Comedy House from June 25 to 27. Tickets cost $30. Find out more at PAT MORAN



Cracker frontman David Lowery previously founded alt-rockers Camper Van Beethoven and he’s lectured on the music business at the University of Georgia in Athens. In this last guise, he rattled music industry cages, taking streaming services to task for paying pitiful royalties to musicians. He’s still going strong with Cracker’s 10th studio album, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” a collision of The Flamin’ Groovies and Merle Haggard. The band is at The Senate on June 25. Show starts at 8 p.m. and costs between $25 and $29. More info available at PAT MORAN


Rose Hotel, Rex Darling

So you messed up and didn’t get tickets for the sold-out SUSTO Rogue Acoustic show at New Brookland Tavern on June 26, wherein singer-songwriter Justin Osbourne showcases the gravely power of his voice, and bitter but hopeful wit that burn at the core of the mercurial Charleston folk-rock band while bedecked in Castro-esque military garb? Well, you can at least catch the opening act — Rose Hotel, the richly lo-fi and cozily emotive songwriting project of Atlanta’s Jordan Reynolds. She plays at 3 p.m. the same day at Scratch N’ Spin, joined by local band Rex Darling, who invert indie rock by grounding it on the classical-guitar-girded lounge stylings of core duo Catherine Hunsinger and John Vail. The in-store concert is free to attend — and if you’re lucky, you might even win the free SUSTO tickets that are among the prizes Scratch N’ Spin is offering. For more info, head to JORDAN LAWRENCE


Let's Talk Race: A Conversation with GB Tran

Richland Library continues to show itself as a vibrant respondent to culture nationally and locally with its events amid America’s current (continuous?) tense racial dynamics. The latest is a conversation with acclaimed author GB Tran, who was born in South Carolina in 1976, one year after his parents fled Vietnam. His most famous book, the graphic memoir “Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey,” digs into this history. His virtual visit with Richland Library takes place at 3 p.m. on June 27. Find out more info and register at JORDAN LAWRENCE


Violent Life Violent Death

With each of their four EPs, Charlotte’s Violent Life Violent Death have continued to hone their moody brand of metalcore to strong effect. Drawing comparisons to acts like Converge and Integrity, VLVD embraces atmosphere and textural nuance to drive their tense riffs and guttural howls. “Roseblade,” from 2020’s “The Color of Bone,” holds a driving, midtempo throb as it shifts between chugging hardcore riffs and scathing ambience. On June 27, the band headlines New Brookland Tavern, with support from Backslide, Circle Back and Severed by Dawn. The show starts at 7 p.m. and costs between $8 and $12. For more, go to BRYAN C. REED


Nashville Nights

This inaugural edition of the summertime Nashville Nights series at Steel Hands Brewing hosted by Michael Haney features singer-songwriters Chris Canterbury and Zack Logan. Canterbury is a troubadour in the folk story-song tradition, a performer whose songs feature lonely hearts, liquor stores, truck stops, low-rent motels, and the grifters and transients that frequent them. Logan takes more of a wry, cynical approach, taking his cues from Townes Van Zandt and John Prine and throwing some biting humor into his music. Showtime on June 25 is 6:30 p.m., and it’s free. Visit for more info. VINCENT HARRIS

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