ColaJazz Co-hosts 90th Birthday Celebration and Concert for Drink Small

Columbia, S.C. — The ColaJazz Foundation (ColaJazz) is co-hosting “A Shot of the Blues, Drink Small: 90 Proof” to celebrate Drink Small's 90th birthday at the Koger Center for the Arts on Wednesday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m. The celebration concert features on-stage seating and will be filmed and recorded for South Carolina ETV (SCETV) and South Carolina Public Radio. Tickets can be purchased at

Hosted by ColaJazz, the Koger Center, and SCETV and SC Public Radio, the concert will include performances by:

• Brittany Turnipseed
• Randy Lucas Trio
• The SC State University Choir
• Drink Small

Known as the Blues Doctor, Drink Small was born in Bishopville, S.C., where his family sharecropped. At 7 years old, he taught himself to play guitar on his uncle's one string. Beginning as a gospel performer, he first recorded The Spiritualaires in 1956 on Vee Jay Records. He later toured with The Staples Singers and Sam Cooke. By 1959, he turned his focus to blues, becoming famous for his basso profondo voice, his Piedmont-style guitar and his stage banter referred to as "Drink-isms." Small was named a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow in 2015.

“This event is immensely special for ColaJazz, our city and for the entire music community,” says ColaJazz Board Chairwoman, Shelley Magee. “It is an honor to help celebrate Drink Small’s incredible journey and musical legacy. He is a true legend and treasure to us all.”

Founded in 2014 by Mark Rapp, the ColaJazz Foundation (ColaJazz) is dedicated to growing, supporting and promoting jazz in the Midlands through events, education, recordings, resources and advocacy. A Governor Award-winning, community-minded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ColaJazz brings world-renowned jazz educators and performers face to face with students and the public offering diverse and exciting experiences. ColaJazz produces an annual season of programs and events including the ColaJazz Summer Camp, ColaJazz Fest, Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts), ColaJazz Presents (South Carolina Public Radio), Rapp on Jazz (South Carolina Public Radio), after-school curriculum, and more. For more information, visit

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