Cue the Mu­sic

With top-notch venues for ev­ery­thing from sym­phony or­ches­tras to pop head­lin­ers and in­die acts, D.C.‘s in the groove.

Where Washington - - CONTENS - BY BROOKE SABIN

Jazz, clas­si­cal, pop, blues, even D.C.’s own home­grown funky go-go can all be found in our top­notch con­cert halls and clubs.

If you, like Duke Elling­ton, have “an un­quench­able thirst for sharps and flats,” be sure to drink in D.C.’s sto­ried and thriv­ing live mu­sic scene. The jazz great, born in Wash­ing­ton in 1899, played many a gig in the city’s so- called “Black Broad­way,” a stretch of night­clubs along and near U Street NW, where sev­eral other big-name AfricanAmer­i­can en­ter­tain­ers took the stage. ( Think home­town boy Marvin Gaye, plus Ella Fitzger­ald, The Supremes and Louis Arm­strong.) Some of these his­toric venues still book top ta­lent, like the famed Howard Theatre, which re­opened in 2012 af­ter a $29 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion and is now graced by a statue of Elling­ton perched on a tre­ble clef and play­ing a curved key­board.

An­other na­tive son, John Philip Sousa led the U. S. Ma­rine Band for 12 years in the late 1800s, writ­ing salute-wor­thy com­po­si­tions like “The Stars and Stripes For­ever” and “Sem­per Fidelis.” Ad­mir­ers can visit the grave of the “March King” at Con­gres­sional Ceme­tery and en­joy free con­certs around the re­gion by the Ma­rine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force bands. Foo Fight­ers front­man Dave Grohl grew up in subur­ban D.C., tak­ing in hun­dreds of shows at the leg­endary 9:30 Club. Now he’s one of the acts draw­ing crowds there. He also helped found 14th Street’s in­die club Black Cat, where his band has thrilled fans by pop­ping in for a sur­prise show.

D.C.’s even got an in­dige­nous sound: a funk genre called “go- go,” the syn­co­pated, getup-and- dance mu­sic played most fa­mously by Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers on their hit “Bustin’ Loose.” And just about ev­ery other genre can be found here, from clas­si­cal mas­ter­pieces played by sym­phony or­ches­tras to the lat­est pop sin­gles belted out by head­lin­ing di­vas. So tune in, and drink up! (For more venue de­tails, see the en­ter­tain­ment guide, start­ing on page 32.)

Kennedy Cen­ter Con­cert Hall

In the city’s so-called “Black Broad­way,” big-name African-Amer­i­can per­form­ers took the stage—in­clud­ing Louis Arm­strong, who played The Howard Theatre.

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