(Arlington, VA) Celebrating its 25th Anniversary with its first fully in-person event since the pandemic, vocalist Shemekia Copeland (2021 Blues Foundation “Entertainer of the Year”) headlines The Columbia Pike Blues Festival on Saturday (1:00 – 8:30 pm) June 18th. The special anniversary lineup will showcase a variety of blues, R&B, and funk performers of national and regional note, including Eric ScottRobbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18, Shakin’ Woods, and Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark.

The Silver Anniversary celebration expands to an array of events and activities throughout the weekend: from pop-up music events at local eateries (Jun17 and 19), and the Columbia Pike Farmers Market (Jun 19), to a Juneteenth History Walk (Jun 19),  and a screening of The Blues Brothers at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (Jun 19). Hailed as “Arlington’s best block party” (Arlington Magazine), the Festival draws thousands of blues fans to the Pike each year. Ready to celebrate big-time for our Silver Anniversary, the event is presented by the Columbia Pike Partnership and Arlington Arts.

“Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar…she can do no wrong.” –Rolling Stone

“Shemekia Copeland is one of the great blues voices of our time. No one comes close to the sheer firepower that Copeland conjures at will.” –Chicago Tribune

Shemekia Copeland never holds back. Her latest CD Uncivil War was named #1 Blues Album of The Year by the influential Mojo Magazine, which opined “There’s an unrelenting power to Shemekia Copeland’s performance on her tenth album; her rich, grainy vocals, sitting midpoint between Ruth Brown and Mavis Staples have never sounded so forceful…” Her wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach.

When Shemekia broke on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. News outlets from The New York Times to CNN praised Copeland’s talent, larger-than-life personality, and true star power. With each subsequent release, Copeland’s music has continued to grow. From her debut through 2005’s The Soul Truth, Shemekia earned eight Blues Music Awards, a host of Living Blues Awards (including the prestigious 2010 Blues Artist Of The Year), and more accolades from fans, critics, and fellow musicians. 2000’s Wicked received a Grammy nomination. Two highly successful releases on Telarc (including 2012’s Grammy-nominated 33 1/3) cemented her reputation as a singer who, according to NPR’s All Things Considered, “embodies the blues with her powerful vocal chops and fearless look at social issues.”

The Blues Festival Weekend kicks off on Friday, June 17th with the live performance of blues musical band the Lenny & Tim Duo and Chef curated Blues specials at William Jeffrey’s TavernThe Columbia Pike Blues Festival starts on Saturday, June 18th at 1:00 pm with the performance by Anthony “Swampdog” Clark, followed by Shakin Woods at 2:10 PM, Robin Kapsalis &Vintage #18 at 3:30 PM, Eric Scott at 4:50 PM, and Shemekia Copeland at 6:30 PM, interact with the Arlington Art Truck from 3:00 – 7:00 PM and enjoy food, beverages, arts and family activities throughout the event.  On Sunday, June 19th, enjoy a Historic Juneteenth Walk through the neighborhood in collaboration with the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington and Walk Arlington from 10:00 – 11:00 AM, visit the Columbia Pike Farmers Market for the live performance of Rick Franklin from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, followed by a special “Blues Brunch Menu” at Café Sazón with the live performance of blues musical artist J Chris and closing the weekend with the free screening of the musical-comedy The Blues Brothers (a classic packed with blues and R&B legends from B.B. King and Ray Charles to Aretha) at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse at 3:00 PM.