ColaJazz’s mission is to support and grow jazz in and around Columbia, SC through events, education, recordings, advocacy and providing a resource for all things jazz. ColaJazz promotes the values of friendship, community, passion and unity. ColaJazz is determined to elevate our music scene and create a thriving, culturally rich community in our capital city and throughout our State.
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 is the brainchild of jazz trumpeter and SC Jazz Ambassador Mark Rapp. Mark had a desire to highlight the 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 (See Vol.1 & Vol.2). 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 late SC Jazz Ambassador Skipp Pearson!