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Try This: Columbia Museum of Art’s ‘More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series’

More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series is back for a second season at the Columbia Museum of Art, taking attendees on a journey of history and culture to celebrate Black music.

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Ethnomusicologist and series host Dr. Birgitta Johnson, pictured here with blues artist and SC native Adia Victoria, leads each conversation in the series.

Photo by Drew Baron for the Columbia Museum of Art

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Hey, GVL — Michaela here. 👋 I recently joined the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) in Columbia, SC for a celebration of Black music. More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series dives into the history, evolution, and influence of Black music across all genres.

Featured artist Adia Victoria spoke about her journey to discovering the blues and leaning into her identity as a Southern Black woman. The conversation was followed by a performance of Victoria’s original poetry with guitarist Mason Hickman featuring dance interpretations by Columbia-based dancer Erin Bailey.

Here’s more on the series + how you can Try This.

What we tried (with pricing):

I reserved my spot in advance on the CMA’s website — although admission is free, attendees must RSVP to secure a spot. The galleries and cash bar open at 6 p.m., which gives guests a chance to explore the museum, grab a beer or glass of wine (~$5), and mingle before the event.

What not to miss:

Series host Dr. Birgitta Johnson did a great job leading the conversation with Adia Victoria. Their dialogue provided fascinating insight into how Victoria’s Southern upbringing paved the way for her journey to music, and was a thought-provoking celebration of Black music, culture, and history.

Adia Victoria concert-17.jpg

Adia Victoria mentioned how special it is to perform for an intimate crowd in her home state.

Photo by Drew Baron for the Columbia Museum of Art

What we’re still talking about:

Adia Victoria’s performance was amazing. Her soulful voice combined with rhythmic melodies and insightful lyrics made for a beautiful performance. Victoria’s poetry is both highly personal and broadly relatable, in that it speaks to what it means to be a Black woman in the South.

How you can experience this:

The next installment of the series, More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series Featuring Nicole Neely and The Black Exchange, is happening on Thurs., Dec. 8, 2022.

Things to know if you go:

  • Experience: More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series
  • Price: Free, but RSVP
  • Website:
  • Address: 1515 Main St., Columbia, SC
  • Hours: Galleries + bar: 6 p.m.; conversation: 7 p.m.; performance: 8 p.m.

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