ColaJazz Festival

Tia Fuller, Don Braden, Alea Tarantino, Brittany Turnipseed

Buy Tickets

  • Saturday, April 4
  • Door: 6:00PM, Show: 6:30PM
  • $25 Early Bird // $35 GA // $75 VIP

All Ages

Bag Policy:

  • Clear bag that does not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" 
  • One-gallon clear plastic bag
  • Small clutch bags with a max size of 4.5" x 6.5" 

On Saturday, April 4th, the 3rd annual ColaJazz Festival will light up our capital city with a supercharged lineup of world-renown jazz talent! 2020 is the centennial year of the great saxophonist and bebop innovator Charlie Parker. What better way to celebrate one of jazz music’s most influential improvisors than to bring to Columbia, SC not one, but three fiery saxophonists: Tia Fuller, Don Braden and the young up-and-coming Alexa Tarantino.

Tia Fuller is a GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist winning JazzTimes Jazz Critics Poll for best alto saxophonist (2018), and Downbeat Critic’s Poll-Rising Star two years in a row in the categories of Soprano Sax in 2014 and Alto Sax and Flute in 2013. Fuller appointed as the 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA and is a full-time professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Having toured extensively with pop icon Beyoncé, Fuller also has performed with luminaries such as Wycliff Gordan Septet, T.S. Monk Sextet, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Kelly Rowland, Jay-Z, Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, Sheila E, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick, Janelle Monáe, Patrice Rushen, Erykah Badu, and the late Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, and Geri Allen.

Don Braden he has toured the world with Jazz greats Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, and many others. Braden has composed music in various styles for ensembles ranging from duo to full symphonic orchestra, for recordings (including 21 CDs as a leader and over 80 as a sideman), film, and the television networks Nickelodeon and CBS ("Cosby"). He recorded with Betty Carter on her Grammy Award-winning album, "Look What I Got" (Verve-Polygram). For over 17 years he has served as Music Director of the renowned Litchfield Jazz Camp, and for 15 years was the Music Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program. Braden is the proud recipient of a Doris Duke Foundation (in conjunction with Chamber Music America) Jazz composition grant. His list of sidemen reads like a Who's Who of Jazz: Christian McBride, Benny Green, Kenny Werner, Carl Allen, Cecil Brooks III, Jeff "Tain" Watts & Billy Hart, David "Fathead" Newman, Vincent Herring, Dave Liebman, Terell Stafford, Tom Harrell & Randy Brecker, Steve Turre, Jack McDuff, Kyle Koehler & Larry Goldings, Dave Stryker, Russell Malone… the list goes on!

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “lovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Alexa performs and tours regularly as a leader and sidewoman with Wynton Marsalis & The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cécile McLorin Salvant's OGRESSE, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Alexa is an artist on the Posi-Tone Records label. Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Youth Programs and previously served as Jazz Saxophone Instructor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music.

Our 2020 ColaJazz Festival opener is Brittany Turnipseed, a Columbia native, is a sultry jazz/soul songstress and 2018 top winner of the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night Competition. She easily navigates from the neo-soul sounds of Jill Scott to the purity of voice of Sarah Vaugh. Brittany is definitely a star on the rise.

All artists will be backed by top local and regional talent! The ColaJazz Festival gives our local and regional jazz musicians an opportunity to work intimately with international jazz stars.