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Veteran D.J. and legendary music scenester Tom Terrell passed away Nov. 29, Bobby Hill, program director for WPFW says, and he will be greatly missed.
“He was a musical genius,” Hill says. “He knew dates, he knew facts. Music was his love and he knew a lot about it.”
Terrell, who hosted a program for WPFW before moving on to WHFS, was planning a return to WPFW when he succumbed to cancer last week. “We were making plans in that direction and he was very much looking forward to it,” Hill says.
Hill last saw Terrell on July 29, when the 9:30 Club held a benefit in his honor. A press release circulated before the event described Terrell as “a close friend to and an early moving force for d.c. space and its non-profit off-shoot, District Curators Inc., as well as WPFW and the Nightclub 9:30.”
According to the release, he was a graduate of Howard University, an accomplished D.J., a radio programmer, concert promoter, tour manager, photographer, and music journalist for a slew of publications that included the Washington City Paper.
“In Washington he’s known for pioneering radio ‘Stolen Moments’ (WPFW), ‘Sunday Reggae Splashdown’ and ‘Cafe C’est What’ (WHFS), and is currently the jazz reviewer for NPR’s ‘All Things Considered,'” the release says.
“Tom’s passion for music transcended boundaries and was, as Duke Ellington used to say, beyond categories,” longtime friend and Birchmere promoter Michael Jaworek says. “He helped promulgate music wherever he encountered it.”
Details about services to be held in Terrell’s honor to follow.