“I created a playlist highlighting several artists from the DMV area who speak to the importance of peace, community, and the beauty of Blackness through song.”

Kayla Boone, Summer Intern

OnRaé LaTeal Says “Black Joy Is Essential”

LaTeal, founder of the Freedom Futures Collective, is focusing on Black joy as she mentors a "new generation of liberation music makers."

One Sunday in late June, activist, music producer, and educator OnRaé LaTeal assembled some friends and community organizers at the newly established Black Lives Matter Plaza. She also brought in a videographer to capture their afternoon, which was filled with purpose. They posed for the camera, standing still with fists raised. They chanted, “Middle finger […]

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, A Unique Northeast Club, Has Closed

"It reminded me of the places I would go when I first started playing jazz in high school: the old-school, folksy type of neighborhood place,” says saxophonist Paul Carr.

At this point in 2020, it’s hard to be surprised by bad news, but Brookland jazz musician and venue owner Deandrey Howard’s Dec. 3 announcement on WPFW-FM was a surprise nonetheless.  “Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society has been closed [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] and we’re going to stay closed,” Howard said on Aaron Myers’ […]

Live Music Venues Closed in March. How Are Employees Doing?

“I keep thinking about that, how I used to take for granted that I’ll just catch the next [show], and there wasn’t a next one.”

Live music venues shut their doors almost as soon as COVID-19 hit D.C., and nine months later, they show few signs of reopening. Independent venues were especially vulnerable—most had to furlough employees. After the weekly federal unemployment benefit of $600 ended in July, workers began searching for new ways to make ends meet. Five people […]

Go-Go Artists Wanted to Thank Donnie Simpson—So They Recorded a Song for Him

More than two dozen local performers came together for "I Wanna Thank You," recorded in honor of Simpson's induction to the Radio Hall of Fame.

Even a well-loved radio and television personality like Donnie Simpson is not inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame every day. In honor of his late October induction, the go-go community surprised Simpson with an unexpected gift: the new track “I Wanna Thank You,” by 26 local performers recording as Go-Go Artists United.  The project […]

The National Philharmonic’s New Season Is Virtual, But Its Musicians Are Playing in Person

The Montgomery County orchestra won’t have a live audience this year, but the 2020-21 season will go on in an amended format.

This fall, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery County residents will still be treated to a season’s worth of classical music from the National Philharmonic, the orchestra based out of the Music Center at Strathmore. Viewers will be watching it from home, as they might be used to doing by now. But the musicians will gather […]

Local Go-Go Artists Put Out Music to Reflect This Fraught Moment

The songs of this summer have been driven by activism.

The first weekend after George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police, when Americans across the country marched against systemic anti-Black racism and police brutality, TCB keyboard player Brandon “Bee” Smith watched news footage of the protests late into the night while Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” played on repeat in his head. “For me, […]

Go-Go Activism, Both Personal and Political, Is Coming Into Its Power in D.C.

"They understand that they’re right here in the nation’s capital, and that they have a voice that can echo across this nation.”

In late August, on the night before Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the House of Representatives about service cuts designed to manipulate the upcoming presidential election, ShutDownDC and Long Live GoGo organized a protest in front of his Kalorama apartment building.  Go-go bounce beat band TOB performed on a flatbed truck in front of […]

Kenilworth Katrina Speaks on Putting Together a Massive New Rap Collaboration

The music video is available now on YouTube.

In 2015, local rapper Kenilworth Katrina hand-picked 20 elite female rappers from the D.C. area and remade the classic hip-hop anti-violence song “Self Destruction.” Katrina is back in 2020 with a similar undertaking, featuring 24 of the best male rappers in the city. This time the collective is called Black Kingz United and they have […]

Local Singer-Songwriter Art Auré Speaks About Her Uplifting Music and Its Influences

Her recent song "Keep On" has struck a chord with listeners.

Soulful rising star and D.C. native Art Auré has a voice and energy that are unmatched. A singer-songwriter who attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, she recently released her motivational single “Keep On.” She spoke with City Paper about the message behind the song, and provided a glimpse into her musical influences.  Washington […]

How a Big Collaboration Between Rare Essence and Snoop Dogg Came Together

New single "Hit the Floor" premieres this Saturday.

It all started with an Instagram post. Back in the summer of 2018, Snoop Dogg shared a brief video of himself seated in a car, blunt blazing as he cranks to Rare Essence’s go-go classic, “Hey Buddy Buddy.”  Bicoastal discussions ensued, and months later, when Snoop brought his stage play, Redemption of a Dogg, to […]


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