ColaJazz’s mission is to grow, elevate and support the jazz community in and around Columbia, SC through events, education, recordings, advocacy and providing a resource for all things jazz. We’re determined to elevate our music scene and create a thriving culturally rich community.
Jazz at Lincoln Center effectively captures our same belief: Jazz embodies the highest ideals of Democracy. They write, “Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.”
ColaJazz and the ColaJazz vol.1 & vol.2 CDs are the brainchild of jazz trumpeter Mark Rapp. Mark had a desire to highlight the wonderfully talented and accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around Columbia, SC. Additionally, Mark wanted to give back to the fans, supporters, and venues which give us places to play. With the invaluable help of Paul Bodamer, Jangly Records and an initial round of funding by fans, friends and family, we created a “Columbia All-Stars” recording where each bandleader around Columbia received studio time to record. With additional monies and a phenomenal commitment of time and effort by Paul Bodamer, we recorded 13 groups comprised of 27 different musicians and even recorded an entire CD by our jazz ambassador Skipp Pearson! We have created a successful summer jazz camp, jazz festival and presented dozens and dozens of events, jam sessions and so much more.