“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

End of an Ear-a: The Legendary Inner Ear Studios Closes a Chapter

Inner Ear Studios, where Don Zientara recorded some of the most iconic music made in the D.C. area, closed this month after more than 30 years.

Anyone who thinks peer pressure only happens to teenagers has never been in a recording studio. On a Friday evening in early September, a couple of punks are pressuring Michael Reidy, former lead singer of D.C. rock band the Razz, to sing on a track.  “I’ve had throat cancer!” he protests. It’s rare to hear outbursts…

D.C. Jazz Giant Howard “Kingfish” Franklin Has Died

Engage him on a musical level, and you could unlock all the best parts of him at once: generosity, kindness, fierce intelligence, humor, and joy.

Several years ago, I was listening to a classic jazz album when I became preoccupied by a drum figure. The album’s liner notes described the figure with great complexity, but what I heard was rudimentary—in fact, it was a literal rudiment. Seeking clarity, I dropped a text to one of my go-to experts on the…

Go-Go Musicians Remember and Mourn Producer Chucky Thompson

“He was one of a handful of artists/creatives from D.C. who wore the city on his sleeve, always putting D.C. and its music first.” 

In the days following the death of music producer Chucky Thompson on Aug. 9, his prodigious musical contributions, particularly in the realms of hip-hop and R&B, were roundly celebrated. Thompson had worked with some of the biggest names in those genres, including The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Nas, Faith Evans, and TLC. And while…

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society Has Reopened in Brookland

In December 2020, the neighborhood jazz venue said it would be closing permanently. Good health and “popular demand” helped bring it back.

The seats at 2813 Franklin St. NE were nearly full on Sunday evening, Aug. 8; the room, decked out with African art and photographs of jazz musicians and African American notables, looked (save for a large hole in the black acoustic-tiled ceiling) just as it did in February 2020. Nevertheless, the masked man sitting on…

The Newly Announced NEXTFest Ties Together D.C.’s Rich Musical Heritage

The festival, a partnership between CapitalBop and Long Live GoGo, will feature jazz and go-go artists playing in Malcolm X Park on Sept. 25.

A newly announced music festival taking place at Malcolm X Park next month will use the evolution of Black music in D.C. as a lens to examine how the events of recent years—from the pandemic to social justice movements to the ongoing changes in the city’s demographics—will shape D.C.’s musical and cultural landscape in the…

The War and Treaty Are Headlining Wolf Trap. It’s a Triumph and a Homecoming.

The husband-and-wife duo with roots in D.C. are playing the Filene Center July 29. It’s the culmination of a long journey of adversity and resilience.

There was a moment during The War and Treaty’s performance of “Jubilee,” toward the end of their January 2021 Austin City Limits set, where singers and husband-and-wife team Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter, Jr. gazed playfully at one another. They weren’t merely singing the lyrics “You’re the kind of joy that I need,” they were…

How Local Puerto Ricans Resist and Celebrate Through Music

Local musicians are dropping plenty of bomba and plena.

On Tuesday, while the D.C. Council voted for economic relief for child care workers, folks experiencing homelessness, and low-income families, a revived White House task force met for the first time to discuss economic relief for another vulnerable group: residents of Puerto Rico. Like D.C., Puerto Rico has no voting representative in Congress and its…

On Dr. Ooze, Tae Dawg Shows Off His Limitless Versatility

Tae Dawg released his most recent project, Dr. Ooze, in April 2021. It reflects the years of work he’s put into developing a sound.

Prince George’s County’s Tae Dawg had one of the most exciting musical resurgences to observe this past year. The self-proclaimed “Ooze God” has been present in the local hip-hop community since 2016, landing features on early tracks from Q Da Fool, Shabazz, and Rudy Cash. He was also one of the first frequent collaborators of…

D.C.’s Next Big Nightlife Venue, Capital Turnaround, Opens in August

Find the 850-seat room in the former Navy Yard Car Barn. The team behind Union Stage will book the acts.

The juxtaposition of old and new hits you like a bass drop when you walk through the doors of D.C.’s cavernous new concert and live entertainment venue. Capital Turnaround will host its first show in early August, featuring a yet-to-be-named comedian. The locals that book talent for Union Stage, Jammin Java, Miracle Theatre, and Pie…

Here’s Where To Dance, Sing, and Watch Live Music This Weekend And Beyond

D.C. is fully reopened. Now let’s party.

Today’s the day: D.C. fully reopens. Bars, large venues, and nightclubs can welcome back patrons without any capacity limits. That means concerts and clubbing are back across the District.  These venues were the first to close during the coronavirus pandemic and are the last to reopen. Some of these spots were welcoming customers. But per…

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