We Love Music: Five Reasons To Check Out The Columbia Pike Blues Festival

Photo courtesy of
‘Guitar being played by Tom Walton: White Springs, Florida’
courtesy of ‘State Library and Archives of Florida’

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is celebrating the Columbia Pike Blues Festival‘s 15th year on June 19. Jazz and music lovers alike are in for a hands-on, interactive, outdoor musical experience should they chose to embark upon the event. Here are a few reasons to not miss the 15th anniversary of Arlington’s famed CPBF.

1. There’s an instrument petting zoo

Sounds fun, no? Ever wanted to try and be big a rock superstar. Live large? Have a big house? Five cars? Well, whether or not you’ve ever wanted to shine bright in the limelight is of no consequence. Try something new or revisit the glory days of your musical youth by partaking in the instrument petting zoo. If anything else, how awesome would be to go into the office on Monday and say “What did I do this weekend? Oh nothing really, except rock out at an instrument petting zoo!” For those about to rock, We Love DC salutes your efforts should you choose to partake.

2. These folks are serious about music education

This year, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is trying something new – a partnership with Guitars Not Guns. GNG is a non-profit specializing in guitar education. Their mission is to ensure that all children, no matter the circumstances, receive the opportunity to learn and play guitar. Which leads directly into reason #3.
Photo courtesy of
‘Kids guitar busking’
courtesy of ‘peter.bryant’

3. The kiddies can rock if they want to

Got kids? No big deal! Bring ‘em along. Take them to the petting zoo to try out an instrument or better yet, let them partake in one of the on-going 8-10 minute guitar lessons available thanks to this year’s partnership with Guitars Not Guns. Students ages 8-18 are welcomed to lessons throughout the day. It’s a whole lot better than having a kid say, “Oh yeah, I’m great at guitar … I play Guitar Hero EVERYDAY.” Well, guess what — Guitar Hero isn’t real guitar, but with a few lessons on the real thing who knows!  The next big name in music could pick up their first real axe, but that’ll only happen if you bring the kids. Which leads to reason #4.

4. Meet the Blues version of Stephen Strasburg, only this kid’s younger

Thought you were wow’d by last night’s magical performance from the mound? Well Strassy ain’t got nothin’ on Jazz boy wonder Matt Wigler. Wigler is 16 and has the soul of an old-time Jazz cat. The kid is a self-proclaimed Jazz, Blues and Boogie pianist, organist, singer and composer hailing from Baltimore. It’s not exactly Strasmas but it’s a pretty close musical equivalent.

5. Raise a glass, it’s summertime

The Blues are universal and a lot of people can relate to the genre when they hear it, but nothing says “relax and enjoy” more than the knowing that it’s summertime. Come kick-off the summer season with the Columbia Pike Blues Festival. Help commemorate its 15th year by being there to bare witness to young, emerging talent and the best Arlington can muster as far as live Blues is concerned. There’ll be music. There’ll be food. There’ll be libations. If there anything else you could possibly want at a Blues festival then you must be mistaken.

The Columbia Pike Blues Festival will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. on June 19 at S. Walter Reed Drive near the intersection with Columbia Pike in the heart of South Arlington.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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5 thoughts on “We Love Music: Five Reasons To Check Out The Columbia Pike Blues Festival

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  4. I went a couple of years ago, and it was great. I heard some good music, and learned a few guitar techniques. It’s a really good time.

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