Dave Powers: Up Close and Personal at the 2017 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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The Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau is prepping for the city’s BIGGEST signature event of the year this weekend (June 16-18, 2017).  Richie Cole and the Dave Powers Trio will take the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival Jazz Stage (presented by Heartland Bank) from 4:30-6 pm on Sunday to close out the 2017 event with an outstanding performance. We caught up with Dave Powers for a little Q & A about how he became one of Central Ohio’s most acclaimed Jazz musicians.  

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When did you discover your passion for music?
I discovered my passion for music as soon as I heard my first note. I’ve had the same passion for music all of my life.

What influenced you in the beginning?
The record player was by biggest influence, and I would listen to whatever I could get my hands on. By playing records and listening to all forms and styles of music, my own playing style is shaped by whatever I’m listening to. If I wasn’t playing music and entertaining and performing, I’d be just as happy playing and listening to records.

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Who inspires you now?
I’m inspired by anybody with a musically open mind. There are so many “genres” and labeled styles that pigeon-hole different classifications of music. My personal philosophy is that of Duke Ellington who said, “There are two types of music – good and the other kind.” My approach to playing and making music should transcend musical genres and styles. In other words, I’m just as happy playing polka as I am playing jazz, rock, soul or pop.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe my music as interactive, inclusive, creative, vintage, positive and emotional. Again, “transcending” styles, just like our country being a melting pot of different cultures with many different influences.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date is winning two EMMY® Awards – the first one for work that I did on the PBS TV Series “The Piano Guy,” and the second one for music for a documentary film about television pioneer Ruth Lyons. There are many other great achievements too, like producing album projects and traveling around the country doing corporate events and conventions. I really enjoy those too!

Do you have a favorite number that you like to perform?
I have many favorite songs that I like – it’s hard to pick one favorite number. It depends on what’s playing in my head that day, or what mood I’m in.

 If you had to pick a personal theme song, what would it be?
I don’t know if I would have a personal theme song, but my phrase that describes me is “Listen To This,” because that’s what I always say when I want to play a piece of music for somebody. It’s my often used catch-phrase. I have a CD release titled “Listen To This,” and my record label is LTT Records – the LTT stands for “Listen To This.”

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What can Creekside Blues & Jazz Fans expect from your performance this weekend on the Jazz Stage?
It’s always a fun time playing at the Creekside Blues and Jazz Fest, and I’m sure that the people that come to see us will enjoy the energy and creativity that we will bring to our performance. This year’s performance will be especially exciting because the legendary alto saxophonist Richie Cole will be performing with us. I brought Richie to Columbus in February as a featured guest for one of my “House Jazz Concert Series” events at the Clintonville Woman’s Club, and I’m glad Richie was available to play Creekside with us.

Tell us about the artists who will be performing with you?
Our guest artist, alto saxophonist Richie Cole (originally from Trenton, New Jersey) currently lives in Pittsburgh after living on the west coast for many years. Richie has developed a trademark style of playing called “alto madness” and his background consists of having played with Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Doc Severinsen and has recorded albums with Eddie Jefferson, Mark Murphy, Nancy Wilson, Tom Waits, The Manhattan Transfer and Boots Randolph to name just a few.  Dayton, OH bassist Chris Berg and drummer Louis Tsamous will round out the group along with yours truly on the piano.

Where can fans find you online – to learn more about your background and music?
My recordings are available on iTunes, amazon and CDBaby.com (keyword: Dave Powers), and my performance schedule, bio, pics and videos (also recordings) can be found on my website – davepowers.com

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For a full schedule of 2017 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival bands and artists (and their bios), visit CreeksideBluesandJazz.com.  The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival celebrates it’s 19th anniversary in the Creekside District of Gahanna, Ohio (117 Mill St.), June 16-18, 2017.  It is presented annually by Visit Gahanna (the Gahanna Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau). 

Austin ‘Walkin’ Cane Brings “Fine Blues” to Gahanna, Ohio

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Austin Walkin’ Cane is a blues singer, songwriter and slide guitarist who performs acoustic solo, duo & electric band sets. He has toured Australia, Nepal, Colombia, France, Germany, England, Wales, and the US, from New Orleans, Louisiana to Juneau, Alaska with only a guitar & suitcase in hand. Austin walked for 10 years with a cane due to an arterial venous malformation at birth. While performing on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a homeless man called out “Hey Walkin’ Cane got some spare change for a brother?!” Austin took the jibe as his nickname. In 1996, after years of battling the inevitable, his left leg was amputated below the knee. A year after the surgery, he returned to the music scene stronger and without need of a cane. Austin brings his own brand of ‘Damn Fine Blues’ to the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival at 5:45 pm Saturday, June 18 on the Electric Blues Stage (presented by Benchmark Bank).

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When did you discover your passion for music? (And when did you start expressing yourself through music?
I discovered my passion for music around the age of five. I used to hang with the older neighborhood kids and they would turn me onto different rock bands like the Beatles, Stones, The Who, Hendrix, etc. On Christmas Eve ’84, I bought my first guitar, a Gibson SG, at Sam’s Music & Golf on Prospect Ave. in Downtown Cleveland from a cool guy named Maceo. On New Years Eve ’84, the power trio was born when a couple of my best friends bought their instruments. Musical expression began at that moment.

What influenced you in the beginning?
I was influenced by the radio, neighborhood kids and a strange obsession with slide guitar. The intro to Led Zeppelin’s version of In My Time of Dying was the first slide song I learned note for note.

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Who inspires you now?
I listen to all kinds of music but the blues is my deepest inspiration. People like Blind Willie Johnson, The Kings (Albert, B.B., Freddie), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Professor Longhair, Snooks Eaglin, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Robert Johnson, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, Leadbelly, Robert Pete Williams, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley…

How would you describe your music?
DAMN FINE BLUES!

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What’s your greatest achievement to date?
My album ONE HEART WALKIN’  was nominated “BEST NEW ARTIST ALBUM” by the 2015 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards) in Memphis. I didn’t win but I was honored to perform on the main stage. It was an amazing feeling to perform in front of musicians who I’ve listened to their albums for years. There were some funny bits.

Bobby Rush – “Looking good! Sounding good Young blood! Keep it up.”

Keb Mo – “I dig what you do.”

Elvin Bishop – I was backstage and I shook Elvin’s hand after my performance. He said with a smile, “I watched you. Who the hell are you?!” That made my day. Ha!

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What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during a performance?
There have been numerous weird stories over 31 yrs. of playing music. A lot of them I can’t or won’t tell you about today. Here are some of the weirdness from the early years…

Age 16 – We played a party in the basement of St. Patrick’s Church and a fight broke out. Some guy’s eye was lying on the floor surrounded by blood.

Age 17. I played a biker pig roast. When the food was done, some guy carved it with a chainsaw. There was pig all over that guy!

Too many too tell!

If you had to pick a personal theme song, what would it be?
Taj Mahal’s version of the Fishin’ Blues has been a part of my show since I was sixteen. I still enjoy it!

The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival draws blues and jazz fans from throughout the region. What are you most looking forward to that weekend?
I’m looking forward to playing with harmonica master, Dave Morrison and reconnecting with some Columbus friends I haven’t seen in some time.

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What do you hope fans “take away” from your performance?
I hope they take away a CD! $10

Where can fans find you online – to learn more about your background and music?  www.walkincane.com

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Check out the entire 2016 Creekside Blues & Jazz Schedule, and learn about other activities for all ages at: www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com or the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau (presenters of the CBJF) at 614/418-9114.  $15 Weekend wristbands for the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival are available online only, prior to the event.

 

2015 IBC Best Guitarist Headlines Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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Noah Wotherspoon has been immersed in the blues and mesmerizing audiences with his soulful guitar playing since he was a teenager. Wotherspoon and his band have earned top honors at the International Blues Challenge. This year, the band released its debut studio album entitled “Mystic Mud,” which was selected by the Cincy Blues Society as the Best Self-Produced CD for entry into the 2016 IBCs. The release was was presented a “Jimi Award” for Best Blues/Rock Album of the Year by Blues411. Wotherspoon and his band will take the Electric Blues Stage (presented by Benchmark Bank) at the 18th Annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival in Gahanna, Ohio at 9:30 pm on Friday, June 17.  We interviewed Noah to learn more about his blues journey.

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When did you discover your passion for music?
I started playing guitar at the age of 11 and was out playing gigs when I was 13. From early on, I was attracted to music and just naturally became more & more immersed. Music has been a vehicle to meet a lot of beautiful people and led to experiences I couldn’t have imagined. It’s served as a medium to be creative and grow spiritually.. not too mention it’s also been a lot of fun and therapeutic.

What influenced you in the beginning?
Music was always around. My mom would listen to a lot of 50’s rock n’ roll and reggae. Around the time I was 10 years old, my older brother Adam’s best friend started bringing over recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and other guitar-oriented music to the house. I remember it was around that time I felt a burning desire to get a guitar. When I was growing up, my mom always had a lot books/classic literature on the shelves, and I think that would end up informing and inspiring a lot of my song-writing and creative endeavors down the road.

Who inspires you now?
Musically, my listening is all over the map. Lately, I’ve been paying closer to attention to the trail-blazing blues guitar players like Gatemouth Brown & Otis Rush, and trying to take a deeper look at the way they would phrase and speak with their instruments. I also listen to song-writers like Dylan, Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt. I like old movies and try to read as much as I can; right now I’m reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth which is really phenomenal. I try to fill my brain with a hodgepodge of imagery and ideas that I can hopefully channel into song-writing.
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How would you describe your music?
All along, my music has always been rooted in the blues. Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, all the classic blues performers, the folklore & mystique surrounding the music. It’s what really pulled me in when I was first learning to play. Just the other day, “I Ain’t Superstitious” by the Wolf came on the radio.  I still get transported to another dimension. Over the years, I’ve been introduced to a lot of different musical styles. I have a love for everything from the Beatles & Harry Nilsson, to world music and vintage country. In effect, that probably all goes into the hopper and my writing/guitar playing is a cross-pollination of things. It’s always been my hope to stay connected to my roots & the things my teachers generously showed me, and balance that with creativity and giving something new.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
In 2015, I received the Best Guitarist award at the International Blues Challenge and my band came in 2nd Place in the Band Category. It was a huge honor and still surreal to think about.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during a performance?
This wasn’t at one of my shows, but was one of the wildest things that’s ever happened to me in a musical setting. When I was about 16, I had long blond hair. Bobby “Blue” Bland was in town and performing at Gilly’s (legendary blues/jazz venue in Dayton, OH). I went to the show and found a seat up in front of the stage. They introduced Bobby, and the very first thing he did was start singing “You’re Red Hot Little Mama”.. right to me (assuming I was girl). The table of ladies I was sitting with were breaking up with laughter and shouted up to Bobby, “He’s a boy.” He abruptly stopped the song, and it turned into this whole little scene. They then shouted up to him that I also play guitar and he ended up inviting me on stage. His guitar player handed over his guitar and we went into “Stormy Monday.” He ran me through the paces … asking me to “play like T-Bone Walker,” “play like Wayne Bennett” etc.  I still talk to his son Rodd who was on drums that night; we still laugh about it.

If you had to pick a personal theme song, what would it be?
I’d want to say Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey)… but that goes to Elvis! Mine would probably be a bit goofier.. maybe the Looney Tunes theme?

The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival draws blues and jazz fans from throughout the region. What are you most looking forward to that weekend?
Of course I’m really looking forward to playing; but I’m also really looking forward to seeing our friends Deuce & a Quarter who are on right before us. They’re awesome people and put on a great show.

What do you hope fans “take away” from your performance?
It’s always my hope that people have a fun and that we’re able to offer an escape in that window of time. Thinking back to my favorite performances I’ve gone to see, the ones that stayed with me were ones that I walked away from feeling inspired and rejuvenated somehow. Rob Thaxton (bass), Brian Aylor (drums) and I, always try to give our best and have a good time on stage. I want to show my gratitude and hope to make a connection with the people that take the time & energy to come out to watch and listen.

Where can fans find you online – to learn more about your background and music?
noahwotherspoon.com. All of our band dates are listed there; you can also order our album “Mystic Mud” (digitally &/or physically) in the store page.

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Check out the entire 2016 Creekside Blues & Jazz Schedule, and learn about other activities for all ages at: www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com or the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau (presenters of the CBJF) at 614/418-9114.  $15 Weekend wristbands for the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival are available online only, prior to the event.

 

Last Minutes Tips for Attending Gahanna’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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We’re just hours away from Gahanna, Ohio’s largest event: the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (#2015CBJF). With 5 stages, 55 bands, a Family Fun Zone, Amusement rides, 60+ food/retail vendors and ALL the good stuff that an event this size brings. Here are some quick-and-dirty FAST FACTS to help you get the most out of the event. For more info, visit: www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com

• Event: 17th Annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival
• Event happens on RAIN OR SHINE!
• Dates: Fri-Sun, June 19-21
• Times: Friday, 5-11 pm
Saturday 11 am-11 pm
Sunday (Father’s Day) 12-6pm
• Location: Creekside Plaza & Olde Gahanna
• Admission: $5 per person (with the exception of 5-11 pm Saturday when admission is $8/pp)
• Weekend passes: $13 (available online ONLY )
• Children under 12 and military personnel (and their immediate families) are free
• FREE admission on Sunday, 11:30 am-12:30 pm with donation of non-perishable food donations for Mid-Ohio Food Bank

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• Parking: FREE Park and Ride. Complimentary parking & shuttle service is available in 4 Gahanna locations:
o Giant Eagle (1250 N. Hamilton Road)
o Gahanna Lincoln High School (140 S. Hamilton Road)
o 101 S. Stygler Road (corner of Rte. 62 and Stygler Road)
o Gahanna Lincoln High School Clark Hall, 300 Granville Street.
o Handicap-accessible shuttles will be (in the Clark Hall parking lot, 380 Granville Street.)

• Stages include the Electric Blues Stage (presented by Benchmark Bank and Scioto Downs); The Jazz Stage (presented by Heartland Bank); The Creekside Community Stage (presented by Mount Carmel Health); Acoustic Alley (presented by Lew Griffin Insurance and Grange Insurance); and the Musical Discovery Zone Stage (part of the Giant Eagle Family Fun Zone.) The full line-up AND a downloadable schedule can be found on the Festival website.

• Be a VIP. Avoid the lines and standing-room-only crowds. Take advantage of a VIP package to make the most of your #2015CBJF experience. Options include reserved seating in Club Blues (adjacent to the Electric Blues Stage), reserved seating in the NEW All That Jazz Club (adjacent to the Jazz Stage), or a pass to the Festival’s NEW Hospitality Center. All packages can be reserved online at www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com or by calling 614/418-9114. And all packages include VIP parking, VIP shuttle and admission.

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• SUPERFANS: Several lucky fans will snag free weekend wristbands and T-shirts just by using the #2015CBJF hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Random #2015CBJF SuperFans will be identified daily through the Festival weekend.

• NEW TASTINGS: Stop by the Festival’s “Tasting experiences” on Creekside Plaza to sample a new cocktail or savor your favorite beverage!
• On Friday, June 19, meet the owners of Watershed Distillery. Sample 4 new cocktails created especially for #2015CBJF. Seatings are every 45 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. 4 Samples – $15/person
• Certified Spirits Specialist “Whiskey Pete” returns to the Festival on Saturday, June 20. Sample a flight of 3 whiskeys or bourbons for $12, or a flight of 5 /$15. Tastings begin at 2 p.m. and are scheduled every half hour.
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• Explore the world of local craft beers on Saturday, June 20, while sampling offerings with expert brewers from the Columbus Brewing Co., Four String, New Belgium, and Sweetwater. Hour-long tastings begin at 2 p.m. 6 samples/$12.
• On Sunday, June 21, treat Dad to a “Drink Local” tasting, with samplings of wines from Gahanna’s own Wyandotte Winery. Seatings begin at 12:30 p.m. and run every 45 minutes.

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• NEW Little Kids Zone. Even the smallest festival fans can “get a jump” on the fun with inflatables and more! NEW LOCATION: Parking lot behind Tenza Eye Associates (78 Mill St. Gahanna). (NOTE: this activity may be cancelled in case of inclement weather. Visit the Creekside Blues Facebook page for updates or call 614.418-9114). Tenative hours of operation: Saturday: 12 p.m. to dark Sunday: 12-6 pm Admission: “Jump ‘Til You Drop” Wristbands: $8/each, or 2/$15, 3/$20

To Learn more, visit: www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com

Visit Gahanna Welcomes 2015 with Big Plans

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Suddenly, we flipped the calendar and it’s 2015! For the Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau (also recognized as “Visit Gahanna” to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest followers), this means exciting things are on the horizon.

The GCVB staff and Board are proud of the many successes we were able to achieve in 2014, including the launch of the new VisitGahanna.com website, publication of an award-winning Gahanna Ohio Visitors Guide, reinvigoration of Gahanna’s presence within the group tour market and recruitment of multiple new tourism partners.
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In addition to these destination marketing accomplishments, we programmed and achieved record-setting attendance at the 2014 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival–implementing an award-winning social media campaign for the Festival and engaging hundreds of new and devoted CBJF “Super Fans.”  We successfully introduced a new approach to the popular Holiday Lights Celebration programming that included a new parade route, unprecedented business and civic involvement and incorporated a tree lighting ceremony.

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And it’s just going to get better this year. The CVB Staff and Board are eagerly looking forward to introducing initiatives in 2015 and expanding upon the organization’s 2014 accomplishments.  Some of the plans for the new year include:

  • The launch of a new marketing campaign around the CVB’s “Herbal Trail,” introducing new offerings for visitors and new business/ attraction partners;
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  • An expanded role and presence at the City’s popular Herb Day Celebration (May 9), with an experiential focus on the “Herbal Trail” and its partners;
  • Expanding marketing efforts (and incentives) for group tours, weddings and meetings that choose Gahanna;
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  • Participation in the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy, presented by the Ohio Travel Association;
  • Hosting Certified Tourism Ambassador classes in Gahanna through our partnership with Experience Columbus;
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  •  Introduction of a brand new website for the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (to be launched in April 2015), which will include detailed imagery, audio and bio information on the artists performing at the event, further engaging the Festival’s devoted fans through interactive and social media applications, and offer pre-event ticketing opportunities;
  • New and expanded offerings during the 2015 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (June 19-21), including new reserved seating areas, a new hospitality area, and expanded bourbon tastings throughout the weekend;
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  • Programming and presenting the Holiday Lights Parade & Celebration, which will officially kick off the holiday season in Gahanna on Sunday, November 22, 2015.

And that’s just the beginning. With a new marketing plan in place and strong partnerships within the community, city and state, we’re excited to welcome 2015 and promote Gahanna as a great visitor destination.

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~Post by Laurie Jadwin, Executive Director of the Gahanna Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Top 8 Insider Tips for Attending Gahanna’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Fest

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If you’ve never attended the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (CBJF) in Gahanna, Ohio, THIS is year to make it happen! This weekend (June 20-22) marks the 16th Annual CBJF and is expected to draw thousands of festival fans, foodies, families and, YES, blues and jazz fans … rain or shine. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Creekside Park (with its meandering trails and paddleboats floating down the Big Walnut Creek), the Festival is beloved by many for its manageable size, idyllic setting and outstanding musical line-up. (Did we mention the great location just east of Columbus, off the I-270 outer belt?)

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This year’s event will feature 52 bands, 90 hours of music, 26 food + 32 retail vendors, five stages and three days of family fun. Here are a few Insider Tips to help you navigate the event with ease …

1) Cheap fun. Festival wristbands are just $5/ per person per day. Children under 12 and members of the military (with immediate family) are free. To save a little money on admission, pick up a $1 discount coupon at AAA’s Gahanna office (5073 N Hamilton Rd, Columbus, OH 43230) or come on Sunday (between 12-1:30 pm) for FREE admission when you bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

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2) Nonstop Music. CBJF offers five stages, all with great musical line-ups! Devoted Jazz fan? Hardcore blues buff? Lean toward a bluegrass vibe? We got that. Visit CreeksideBluesandJazz.com to check out the full schedule and chart your “must see” list. Many great bands play at the same time on the different stages, so be sure to plan ahead so you don’t miss your favs.

3) Get there early. The festival runs from 5-11 pm Friday, 11 am-11 pm Saturday and 12-6 pm Sunday. And the activity heats up throughout the day. Is there a specific band you are coming to see? It’s best to arrive early to find a seat. (You can also bring your own lawn chairs, but no coolers. No pets either—Fido will have to listen to his/her jazz/blues at home. Sorry.)

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4) Parking & Shuttles. Let’s face it, parking can be an issue at ANY festival. We’ve tried to ease the hassle by providing four park-and-ride FREE shuttle locations throughout the Gahanna area. These are located at Giant Eagle (1250 N. Hamilton Rd); Gahanna Lincoln High School (140 S. Hamilton Rd.); 101 S. Stygler Rd. (at the corner of Rt. 62 and Stygler Rd. across from City Barbeque) and at *Clark Hall (300 Granville St.—behind Panera).

*Handicap accessible complimentary shuttles are located at the Clark Hall lot. Additionally, the Creekside Parking Garage (located at the corner of Mill and North Streets) will be open and will offer parking adjacent to the Festival for $5 per car. NOTE: Admission to the Festival will be charged at the entrance to the garage.

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5) Family Friendly Fun. This year, the number of children’s activities at the Donatos Family Fun Zone has DOUBLED! This area, located at Veterans Memorial Park (on the south side of SR 62/Granville St as you enter Gahanna from I-270). Families can enjoy FREE crafts and activities by Kya’s Crusade, Ohio Origami and Piano Lessons in Your Home; experiment with musical instruments, visit a petting zoo and much more. Go HERE for a full schedule of kid friendly fun. In addition, visitors can buy tickets ($1 each) or wristbands ($15-18) to ride a variety of amusement rides.

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6) Hungry? Good! CBJF is a culinary paradise. Here you can find a variety of food vendors offering something for every taste. How about Bourbon chicken, BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, Irish nachos, mac & cheese, French fries, donut/bacon cheeseburgers, chicken teriyaki, fried rice, deep fried veggies, funnel cakes, fudge puppies, gyros, pizza, Greek salad, wings, hot dogs, Bahama Mamas, cream puffs, ice cream, cookies, caramel corn, kettle corn, lemonade, beer, pop, cotton candy, wine, snow cones, rootbeer, chips, red potatoes, gourmet apples, egg rolls, chicken fingers or fried bologna? In addition to the food vendors, there are at least a dozen restaurants located in or near the festival footprint, that offer a little A/C and great dining experience.

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7) Boutique Shopping. CBJF is like a mini-outdoor market with artisan treasures, surrounded by a great live soundtrack. Shop for jewelry, handbags, clothing, skin care products, tie-dye clothing, scarves, Chinese fans, flowers, planters, caricatures, wooden boxes, sunglasses and more. Additionally, the Creekside District offers great retail vendors like Honey Grove Botanicals (where you can find some hand-crafted gifts to take home).

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8) Become a #2014CBJF SuperFan. Use the official hashtag (#2014CBJF) and join the conversation via Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram while at the Festival. We’ll be on the lookout for ya’ll (both virtually and in person) to share your feedback, photos and just maybe you’ll snag some of our cool swag just for helping carry the CBJF flag!

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For more info, visit CreeksideBluesandJazz.com. Follow @VisitGahanna on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; @CreeksideBlues on Facebook and Twitter.

~Post by Mary Szymkowiak, Communications & Tourism Manager, Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau

Q and A with Angela Perley: Singer, Songwriter and Columbus Music Scene “It” Girl

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We caught up with Angela Perley–the “it girl” of the Columbus Ohio music scene–for a quick interview before she and her band (Angela Perley and The Howlin’ Moons) take the Community Stage at Gahanna’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival at 7 pm THIS Friday, June 20. Their music has been causing quite a buzz throughout the Midwest lately. Demure and quiet off stage, the performer usually shocks people when she tells them she is the lead singer in a band.

Q: How would you describe your music?
Rock and Roll music rooted in country and blues. A lot of the songs revolve around love, heartbreak, the moon and rambling, and at times get pretty dreamy and psychedelic. 

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Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
 I always grew up singing and writing but didn’t really know that I wanted to be a musician until high school when I first starting writing songs and performing at talent shows. I loved the feelings of fear, excitement and all the emotions that happen while playing in front of an audience. It becomes addicting. It just snowballed from there and I started playing more often. That’s when I began realizing how important it was for me and how it was really the only thing I felt truly comfortable and happy doing.

Q: Where/when was your first big break?
I would consider my first big break just landing the deal I have with Vital Music USA in 2009. They had heard some of my homemade demos, believed in me and reached out to professionally record my songs. They ended up introducing me to the guys that later became my band (Chris Connor, Billy Zehnal and Jeff Martin) and I wouldn’t be here without my amazing band that has dedicated countless hours of their lives to this project and my songs. Since 2009 they have recorded four of our EPS and our debut full-length record Hey Kid (just came out this January).

The band also has been really lucky to have a couple of our CDs do really well in the UK. We have gained a lot of radio play over there and some pretty good grass-roots radio play and press here in the U.S., which has helped to get our music out there lately. We still have a long way to go, but we keep hitting dreams and goals of mine along the way. Each year keeps getting better.

Q: What’s your favorite song to perform (right now)?
Right now my favorite song to perform is “Athens.” It seems whenever we play that song, there are many people in the audience that either went to school at Ohio University or have spent a lot of time in Athens OH. I just feel like there is an immediate connection and feeling we have in common that makes that song so emotional to perform. It also has a huge ending that is really fun to perform live. We usually close our sets with it.

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Q: Name one thing that most people don’t know about you.

That I have a fear of talking on the phone. It’s not a crazy fear, and it sounds weird coming from someone who is on stage all the time singing and performing, but it just makes me uncomfortable to talk to people on the phone. I have no idea why… haha. 

Q: Who inspires you?
Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Wanda Jackson, Loretta Lynn. Wow … there are so many artists and bands that inspire me to do what I do. Life and people that I meet, books I read, movies I watch … you name it. I am inspired every day by something or another. Currently this warm weather has been inpsiring me to write a whole new batch of songs- it is amazing what the change of seasons can do to my songwriting and psyche. 

Q: What can we look forward to during your performance at Creekside Blues & Jazz Fest?
I think one of the things that most adults and children get a kick out of is when I play the musical saw. They just can’t believe a sound comes out of it. We will actually be debuting a new saw song at the Creekside Blues & Jazz Fest so that will be fun and something new to look forward to. Might throw a couple other new ones in there as well- we are hoping to get back into the studio this fall to record our next full length record so will be testing out some songs live in the next couple of months. 

Q: What’s the BEST part of your job?
The best part of my job is being able to connect and share an experience with people at our shows. Free beer is also a plus. 

Q: When people talk about you & your music, what’s the one thing you hope they say?
I hope they say they dug it and that they want to come see us again (and bring all their friends .. muah hah hah)! We are always evolving and writing new songs as a band so really pumped when we start seeing familar faces at our shows singing along to the lyrics. 

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To learn more about Angela, visit http://www.angelaperley.com. For more information about the Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (and to see the musical line-up), go to www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com

Photo credit: Eric Petersen