Stephen. "Darryl" Mendelson has been a Hot Times Organizer for decades. He loved lining up the bands for the Main Street Stage and audience members always comment on his talents in bringing diverse and interesting music and acts to the stage. He also was on the stage as the drummer for the"Mendelsonics" a band he shared with his brother Ro-Z and many friends. "Darryl" was a longtime Comfest Organizer and founder of the Peace and Healing Pavilion, and a co-owner of Monkey's Retreat in Columbus, Ohio and SohoZat in New York City.
Barbara "Wahru" Cleveland was the founder of the Porch Swing Stage now re-named after her as Wahru's Porch Swing. Wahru also was the leader of the Hot Times Opening Drum Circle that kicked off the event each year. Her ready smile and willingness to take the most inexperienced student and patiently teach them drumming rhythms and techniques is legendary.
Charles "Is Said" Lyons was a longtime major Organizer of Hot Times, founder of the Hot Times Poetry Slams, and performed annually with his group Advance Party. Is Said has written over 60 books and 40 plays having discovered his passion for writing at an early age and shaping his life around the Arts. "Is Said" inspired and empowered audiences though his powerful and spiritual works and his impact on the world was significant and far-reaching. His works still continue to inspire and inform audiences.
Delton Boyd was a beloved neighbor and long time Hot Times Volunteer. He opened a studio and taught us how to hand print t-shirts which we did for Hot Times for years. His generosity and ready smile was legend in the Community and his favorite hang out was Upper Cup.
James Brown loved music and fullfilled his dream performing to packed houses as one of the founding members of the group “The Four Mints.” The Group traveled all over the US, opening for Bands like One Way, The O’Jays, Ray Charles, Stylistics, Delfonics, Chi-Lights, and the Intruders. The Band continued to tour with Bobby Hendricks from the Drifters up until 2019 while coming home to perform at local festivals such as Jam-N Jefferson Park, Jazz N Rib Fest, Southfield Reunion, Hot Times.
The Four Mints were Capsule Recording Artists.
A.C. Collins left a career at the post office to pursue his passion, a career in music. A.C. did what he loved for the next 40 years and performed up to his last day. He was a gifted musician, skilled on multiple instruments such as the flute, oboe, piano, and most impactfully, the saxophone. He was also a talented songwriter and composer. A.C. has written and performed numerous original pieces, including some never heard publicly. Throughout his career, A.C. Collins made significant contributions to the Columbus music community and the industry as a whole. He received many accolades for his work, most notably, he was a 2021 Columbus Blues Hall of Fame inductee.
Chip Willis was playing saxophone with "Wild Bill Graham and the Escalators" at the age of 14 years old, and by the time he graduated from East High school in 1967 he had recorded a tune titled "Ooh-Poo-Pa-Doo for Atlantic Records. Chip collaborated with artists including Sam & Dave, Ike & Tina Turner, Edwin Starr. and many others. Chip returned to Columbus to lead several bands and perform as a regular at the Lemon Drop then in the Short North. Chi graced the Hot Times stages in the Listen for The Jazz Jams and several other groups.
A true community champion, Kim Barrett was dedicated to the Near East neighborhoods and her impact on so many causes and organizations will be remembered.
As a Hot Times Street Fair Coordinator and Sponsor, a Linwood Ave Garden Caretaker, a member of the Franklin Park Civic Association & Historic Neighborhood (and former FPCA Board Member), and an active participant in Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association highlighted her passion for making the Community a better place. Her interests and passions were evident in everything she did.
Kim's involvement extended far and wide, including her contributions as a devoted volunteer at the Hot Times Community Arts & Music Festival and countless other initiatives.
Reggie Roundtree had a passion for any kind of music but making music through Djembe drumming was his favorite. At any given time he could be seen teaching the art of African drumming to the youth. He loved giving back to his community whether it was through mentorship, activism, or assisting with community activities.
Kim Crawford was most well known at Hot Times for rocking out with Willie Phoenix. "Definitely at rockstar in the Columbus music scene" said Donna Mogavero in the ComFest program guide, "not many women rocked like Kim". She had performed in such legendary venues as New York's CBGB, founded bands, served as a dedicated volunteer for ComFest and is remembered as "a woman with a searing wit and enthusiasm for making music" by Myke Rock.
Andy Hudson taught and worked in education his entire adult life but he was always truly an artist at heart. He taught at Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD), The American Animal Hospital Association and finally at The Ohio State University. He retired as Associate Director of the Office of Medical Education at OSU in 2012. Andy was a painter, print maker, sculptor, photographer, film maker and art collector, but he found his true love in glasswork at OSU. Andy became a founder of Glass Axis, which is still a thriving art gallery and instructional glass studio in Columbus. Andy never tired of exploring the many things that can be done with the Arts and became na active member of the Columbus Art Car Community with ihis Haider Ali painted "Tie Dye Van".
From dancing on the keg trough to managing volunteers Eugene Wise always had a huge smile. Eugene had a magnetic personality and a kind, gentle manner. His smile was like brilliant sunshine. He will be missed by many.His Eastmoor High School ('76) friends shared that no one could lead a marching band like Eugene, and "Eugene would often say to me "No man is an island, but Eugene is a city in Oregon." Eugene loved life, helping his neighborhood and community and pursuing all avenues open to him.
Charles Martin was a US Army veteran and retired from Columbus Police Department after 32 years of service. Sergeant Martin was the personal liaison to Chief James Jackson, Sr. During his carrier he was the first police officer work at Hot Times Festival and was instrumental in teaching how to take care of and secure a public event. His work with P.O.E.R. (Police Officers for Equal Rights) was pivotal in winning their case agains the Columbus Police Department for promotions and better assignment for African Americans and women.