Grammy winner, former O’Jay to perform at Market Street Festival

May 2, 2010 12:16:00 AM

Jan Swoope - jswoope@cdispatch.com

 

Those who have met Nathan Best in his role as pastor of Full Armour Church in Columbus, or perhaps as their personable host at Trinity Caribbean Café, may not even be aware. But Best is a Grammy winner, as well as a Country Music Award winner. 

 

As a member of the Fairfield Four, the Miami native earned the coveted awards for his role on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack. The former O''Jay was lead vocalist on "Lonesome Valley," heard in the film and on the eight-time platinum album. Best also appears in the movie''s documentary film, "Down from the Mountain." 

 

The industry veteran has put together a band and show for Market Street Festival''s Main Stage May 8, one of many high caliber area performers scheduled.  

 

"There is some wonderful talent here," he said. "I''d like to bring some attention to that." 

 

Bandmates assembled for Saturday include Edwin Dotson on keyboards, Brandon White on bass, Freddie Edwards on drums and "Chawan, the Great" on guitar. Nathan will perform lead vocals and add some of his signature keyboard work. 

 

"I''m honored to be working with these musicians; they''re representing Columbus and they are really, really talented," praised Best, who is also a songwriter. 

 

Gospel hip-hop artist Frederick Bigg Tone Price will appear in the set, as well as dancers Clifford Robinson and Rico Williams. 

 

"I would describe this show as just a little bit of my history, with some of the hits with the O''Jays and then the ''O Brother'' track, along with some of the other things I''ve done." 

 

 

 

Shedding retirement 

 

After years of performing nationwide and touring internationally (including to Japan about every other month), Best stepped back from the hectic schedule a few years ago. His last solo concert was in Japan in 2006. He moved to Columbus with his wife of 30 years, Sherry.  

 

But the music has always been an integral part of the artist. Recent opportunities in his musical career have prompted him to rethink the self-imposed retirement from commercial music. He is already in collaboration on a series of shows in Iowa, as well as a recording project. And he looks forward to performing in his adopted hometown. 

 

"If I can help bring attention to Columbus musically, I want to bring whatever I can to the table, because I love this city."  

 

Best''s sets begins at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on the festival''s Main Stage, in front of The Commercial Dispatch.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.