Author Archive for Steve Kiviat

Honoring Marian Anderson, 75 Years After Her Historic Concert

Seventy-five years ago, on April 9th, 1939 (Easter Sunday), African-American opera and gospel singer Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial after being barred by the Daughters of the American Revolution from singing at Constitution Hall because of her race. Anderson ended up being heard by 75,000 in-person listeners and millions of others on the [...]

Brazil’s Luisa Maita on Samba, São Paulo, and Speedy Beats

Brazilian Luísa Maita’s alluring, samba-rooted vocals may conjure up for most Americans images of Rio beaches, but Maita, who performs at Artisphere Saturday, is a city girl who has spent more time on the streets of her hometown of São Paulo, Brazil. This daughter of a parking lot owner/musician father and a record producer mother [...]

Imarhan Timbuktu and Tinariwen Talk Malian Desert Music and Western Pop

Tonight, Malian desert band Imarhan Timbuktu performs at Bossa and on Saturday Tinariwen, the well-known Saharan desert combo, plays Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. While the appearance of guitar-toting Tuareg musicians with long, flowing robes and oft-covered faces isn't quite a novelty in D.C. anymore, thanks to a number of such groups touring here in recent [...]

Cantigas Chorus Connects Jewish, Latin American, and Arabic Music

On Sunday night at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Cantigas, which bills itself as "Washington's premier Latino chorus,” will present “Connecting Hearts and Minds: Music From the Jewish, Latin American, And Arabic Traditions.” Cantigas (also known as Coral Cantigas) will be joined by Intercultural Journeys, a Philadelphia instrumental ensemble. So who are Cantigas and how will [...]

Remembering Paul Hawkins, Pioneering D.C. Percussionist, Bandleader, and Dancer

Paul Hawkins, a D.C.-born percussionist, bandleader, and dancer who was for decades a mainstay of Washington's Latin jazz scene, died on Feb. 9 of congestive heart failure in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was 79.
A life-long D.C. resident, Hawkins was involved in the D.C. music scene from the 1950s—when he was winning dance contests at Turner’s [...]

D.C. Poets and Spoken-Word Heads Reunite at Kennedy Center

From February 1994 to August 1996, D.C.'s poetry and spoken-word scene had a home at It's Your Mug Café. Located at 2601 P St. NW in Georgetown, the former café—now an antique store—hosted a weekly Tuesday night open mic that drew some of the best and brightest in the poetry community. Tonight, seven wordslingers and two [...]

The Library of Congress’ Jazz Film Fridays, Explored

The 19th annual Library of Congress jazz film series (aka Jazz Film Fridays) includes such notable moments as: a young Warren Beatty as a comic on the run from the mob with Stan Getz’s sax acting as his alter ego; documentary footage of the late trumpeter/composer/ conductor Lawrence “Butch” Morris; free jazz filmed in D.C.; [...]

Trouble Funk Premieres New “Hump Day” Video

After more than 30 years in the group, Trouble Funk leader Big Tony Fisher decided his band needed something new. A fresh track, something to get them back out there. So he used the same method he's used as long as he's been in the business.
"I got the band together at rehearsal, and we start[ed] off [...]

Tropicalia Drops Booker Jim Thomson, Citing Financial Reasons

After a year and a half booking U Street venue Tropicalia, Jim Thomson is out of a steady job. The self-styled "global dancehall" tucked beneath the Subway sandwich shop at 14th and U streets NW can no longer sustain a full-time booker, says club owner Aman Ayoubi. "Unfortunately at this point, we cannot afford to have [...]

Mauritanian Singer Noura Mint Seymali on Her Band, Playing Weddings, and Arab Idol

Last September, Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali and her band delivered an impressive set at the Festival in the Desert II touring show at Tropicalia. The ensemble's sound seemed one-of-a-kind, with its mix of traditional vocals, '60s psychedelia, '70s funk, and instrumentation similar to that of other contemporary West African desert groups.
Seymali and her band, led by her guitar-playing husband, [...]

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