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). 

Chalk Goblin Scares up Artistic Fun at Gahanna Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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Chalk-dragonsNew this year at Visit Gahanna’s 19th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (June 16-18) is the Buskers’ Bayou area (presented by Gahanna Rotary) featuring magicians, painters and chalk artist Chris Fry, the “Chalk Goblin.” We wondered …  how does one build a career creating temporary chalk masterpieces on pavement? So we caught up with Chris for a little one-on-one:

When did you start doing chalk art? 
I’ve drawn with chalk and pastels for years, but I first started drawing on the ground around 13 years ago.

What inspires your work? 
Mostly my own imagination — my head has always been full of trolls, dragons, and other weird creatures.  My daughters give me a lot of inspiration as well — I try to create images that they’ll think are fun and cool.

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How long does it take (on average) to create one of your works? 
Depends on the size of the piece… On average, it takes 3 to 4 hours to get it to the point where I can call it finished.  If time (and weather!) allows, I’ll keep adding on until it becomes something more than I first pictured, which is when it gets to be fun.

Where have you created your works? (ie. Festivals/ events/ etc.) 
I’ve done chalk festivals like Via Colori in Columbus, Chalk About It in Dayton, the Columbus Arts Festival, and Chalk the Block at Easton every fall.  I’ve done chalking at other art or community events all across Ohio, from a food truck rally in Kenton to the Fourth of July celebration in Hudson to the Sternwheeler Festival in Pomeroy.  Last year, I did two nights of chalk art for Highball Halloween, which was a lot of fun.  I also do a lot of promotional and advertising chalk art for local concerts and events around Cleveland and Columbus. 

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Which of your designs has garnered the most attention? 
My first year of the Easton Chalk the Block event, I did a large, bright red phoenix being ridden by three colorful explorers (my three daughters); to this day, people still recognize me for that piece, which makes me smile.  However, I once drew a concert promo featuring the logo for the band Journey, which they then shared on their Facebook page, earning me 12,000 likes, which was also pretty cool.  🙂

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What are your favorite subjects? 
I like drawing dragons and other fantastical creatures.  Subjects like that allow you to have fun with color and composition without having to worry about it looking “realistic” enough.  I try to steer away from things that are too serious when drawing on the ground.

What can visitors expect to see from you on Saturday during the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival? 
 Something fanciful and maybe just a little bit off-beat.  Something that will hopefully fit the mood of the music.

Any tips for folks who might want to try their hand at chalk art? 
Just go out and do it.  Don’t be afraid to not have a plan, and don’t be intimidated by the size of the space.  Just start drawing and coloring, and go with what feels right.  If it doesn’t turn out, no big deal; it’ll wash away soon and you can try again.

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Do you have a favorite design that you created? 
Each time I finish a piece, that tends to be my favorite, until the next one.

Does the fact that your art is temporary ever prove discouraging? 
Only if the rain comes and it starts disappearing before I’m done (which has happened more than once).  Once I’ve finished, I just want it to stick around long enough for folks to enjoy it.  After that, I’m ready to move on to the next one.

Where can you be found on social media?
http://www.chalkgoblin.com   /  Facebook.com/chalkgoblin
Twitter @chalkgoblin.  I sometimes post to Instagram using @chalkgoblin, but I hate hashtags, so no one can ever find my stuff there.  🙂

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See Chris work his artistic Chalk Magic in Buskers Bayou (located at South Mill & Granville St.) from 5-8 pm Saturday, June 17 at the Gahanna, Ohio Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (117 Mill St.)  For tickets and a full 3-day event schedule, go to www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com

 

Community Volunteers Needed for Gahanna’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival

Volunteers have extraordinary hearts. They offer the gift of their time and expect no pay in return, yet the value of their work knows no limits. Volunteers are people who make a difference in their community. The value of their service is priceless.

Last year I watched something magical happen during Gahanna’s largest signature event, and I cannot wait to witness it again in just a few weeks. The 17th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival will be presented June 19-21, by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau.

I have the good fortune of being part of the committee that plans the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival—and I’m always amazed at how the event comes to life. In the course of just hours, empty streets become filled with stages, chairs, sound and people. Vendors bring their delights and the scents of wonderful foods fill the air. The Family Fun Zone teems with activity as the amusement rides begin, and activities, games, and crafts appear. Music fills the air at every turn.
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Hosting an event for 35,000 guests is no easy feat. It takes many hands and many people to deliver an event that can only be described as magical. During last year’s event, more than 800 volunteers took part in the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, helping with setting up stages and chairs, hanging banners, moving musicians from their cars to the stages, staffing gate admissions and beverage booths, delivering ice/water to vendors, and teaching children about music and gym skills. They greeted attendees and laughed as they performed these vital festival jobs.

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And now the 2015 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is quickly approaching. Would you like to be part of the magic? Volunteer for one four-hour shift or all weekend. Greet attendees, share in the laughter at the Family Fun Zone, tap your feet to the rhythm of the music, and create a memorable experience for our guests and for yourself! There are a variety of jobs to suit all talents.

Volunteer by yourself and meet new people, or volunteer with co-workers, friends or family. It’s a great way to start a new tradition.
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#2015CBJF volunteers receive a Festival wristband, VIP Parking Pass and shuttle ride, water and snacks and more. Go HERE to register to volunteer. Then mark your calendar for the Volunteer Orientation at 6:30 pm Tuesday, June 2, in the cafeteria at Gahanna Lincoln High School (140 S Hamilton Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230).

Questions? Just call the Gahanna OH Convention & Visitors Bureau (614/ 418-9114) or visit www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com 

Meanwhile, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news, updates, contests and special announcements!

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~Post by Susan Peters, Business and Events Manager at the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau