What’s that? You don’t want to hit the Inauguration Week festivities up at the Lincoln Memorial and elsewhere? Fear not! U Street’s oldest musical establishment, Bohemian Caverns, offers its own inauguration gala in the comfort of the indoors! Mostly jazz, of course, but you’ll find a generous helping of hip-hop, go-go, R&B, and even a bit of Afropop to round things out.
To start things off, jazz legend David Murray will be performing on Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 and 10:00. “Legend” may actually be an understatement in this case: Murray is a major, major figure, and the $25 admission to see him is an absolute steal.
Also, Friday through Tuesday after 1:00 am, there’ll be a late-night jam session featuring keyboardist Federico Gonzalez Pena (Cassandra Wilson, Meshell Ndegeocello and drummer Sean Rickman, as well as alto saxophonist Alex Han Friday thru Sunday. This is jazz with R&B grooves, and other special guests may be stopping in.
Sunday night the Caverns are closed, but upstairs at Liv will be a tribute to Marvin Gaye, hosted by go-go god Chuck Brown and featuring local musicans Anthony David, Russell Taylor, N’Dambi, and Tony Rich.
Monday the 19th begins with the 11th anniversary of the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, followed by the 2009 edition of Wonderfull—the annual all-night tribute to Martin Luther King and Stevie Wonder (this time with Barack Obama added to the list of honorees) featuring Bobbito, DJ Spinna, DJ Salah Ananse…and, since he’s in town, Stevie himself just might show up.
Inauguration Day itself is an all-day extravaganza hosted by Brightest Young Things. Acts include Wale, Fatback, The Art of Junk, Team Facelift, Mathematicians, Team Robespierre, Love Language, Laughing Man, True Womanhood, Mixtape DJs, and more. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and the music keeps on coming until 4 am. Find more information here.
Finally, to wind things down, Wednesday and Thursday feature two nights of African musicians: West African singer LuLu on Wednesday, and Ethiopian R&B vocalist Wayna on Thursday.
And that, folks, is how you inaugurate a president.