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Published on July 22nd, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Robert Newton, III Musical Memorial

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Robert Newton Memorial Foundation and the Five Points Association invited patrons to the fountain in Five Points to enjoy a free tribute concert honoring the late Robert Newton, III.  The free concert was open to the community and internationally known artists and local musicians performed to honor Columbia’s Guitar Guru.

Entertainment for the tribute concert was provided by Brian Conner and His Amazing Friends, Jeff Kozelski of the Outervention, Cheri Maree, Les Hall, the Herbie Jeffcoat Projekt, Lee Barbour and more.  Newton’s former students also provided open-mic performances.

Dubbed “Columbia’s Guitar Guru” by The State newspaper, Newton was a well-known and well-loved master guitarist,  During his career, Newton was a force in the Columbia music scene, playing alongside artists such as Percy Sledge, Brook Benton, Spyro Gyra, Dizzy Gillespie, The O’Jays and Patti Labelle, to name a few.  Newton also gave the gift of music, teaching students who went on to perform with Prince, Ani DiFranco, Cameo, Chaka Khan and more.

Newton passed on July 8 and this tribute concert will serve in lieu of a funeral, memorializing one of Columbia’s finest in a way he would truly appreciate.  “Music and the celebration of life were his two passions,” said Stephaun Newton, son of Robert Newton, III.  “He always said the best way to grieve him would be a big party.”

“Robert was an integral part of the Five Points music scene for decades, and it is fitting that we honor him here,” said Amy Beth Franks, Executive Director of the Five Points Association.  “He played in the bars and clubs here, taught music at Pecknel and showcased his students’ successes at our Five After Five events.”

For additional information, please visit the Robert Newton III Musical Memorial:  A Celebration of Life, Music and Spirit Facebook page at


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