Richmond gathering offers music, culture
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 15:10
RICHMOND — Revitalizing Historic Downtown Richmond was the message proclaimed at the 4th Annual Spirit and Soul Festival here Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the Richmond Main Street Initiative and coordinated by its Executive Director Amanda Elliott, offered a very positive and fun environment for Richmond residents.
“This is the reflection of the Richmond transformation,” Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said. “We are rising up and changing our city. We have a wonderful community and today’s event showcases Richmond’s true spirit and soul.”
The event took place on Harbour Way and included good food, dancing and live music played by bands whose members are native to the city.
Tia Carroll, lead singer of the band Blues Diva, put on a show with her music.
Carroll said she loves playing for her hometown of Richmond and that she would like to perform in the city more often.
“I was born and raised in Richmond and I hardly get to stay here anymore,” Carroll said. “I will play in Richmond every time they ask me to.”
Andre Thierry and The Zydeco Magic is an old-school blues band.
Thierry, the lead singer, also plays the accordion during his performances that goes well with the band’s music. His back-up singer plays on an instrumental washboard that he wears on his chest.
Thierry, who has been playing at the Spirit and Soul Festival for the last four years, said he loves the atmosphere that the Richmond audience brings and he likes playing in his native city.
Thierry said it is hard to find live music that is good in Richmond and he wants people to enjoy what the band puts out.
“After the four years I played here I can tell the audience knows what my music is all about,” Thierry said.
Outreach Coordinator Alicia Gallo was there to help promote improving the downtown area so people can both shop and eat there.
“Our event is to help promote our community,” Gallo said, “to have a safe event for the Richmond area.”
Gallo said that Richmond gets a lot of negative publicity about being a violent city, but the festivals show all the positives and that there has always been a good community in the city. She said the residents can make a difference in their city.
“I want them to see the importance of making their city the best it can be,” she said. “I want them to be informed on how their involvement makes a difference.”