February 25, 2017  1-3pm

Nat King Cole:  Unforgettable

Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, AL in 1919; at the age of 4 his family moved to Chicago.  His father was a minister; his church organist mother taught him to play at an early age.  Popular on radio from the late 30’s, Cole had his first radio show in 1946 and his TV show debuted in November 1956, running throughout 1957.  He became a major icon in America music with his prolific body of work and his public engagement in politics and social issues of his concern.

Full 2017 Schedule will be published soon!

Previous TAJ Events

February 27th 2016
Gloria Lynne:  I Wish You Love

Raised in Harlem, becoming a pioneering diva with immense talent, her career was stilted by bad business deals and unscrupulous recording executives.  Enduring as a “royalties victim” she relied on live performances for her livelihood; still her music captivated a multitude of jazz lovers and lives on.

April 30th
Wes Montgomery:  Six String Wonder

Unquestionably the most significant jazz guitarist to emerge during the 1960s.  By the '70s and '80s he had, like Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt before him, become a major influence on other guitar players. Elements of his style are discernible in many of today's finest players as his fame endures and his legacy expands.

June 25th
Cannonball Adderley:  Walking Tall

Breaking into the New York jazz scene in 1955 and the hard bop era, Cannonball was quickly cast as the successor of Charlie Parker.  But always evading being typecast he broke many molds leaving an amazing legacy of jazz.

August 27th
Sarah Vaughan:  The Divine One

From her early 20’s she worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Billy Eckstine and others in developing bebop.  For another 45 years she reigned supreme as a giant in jazz and pop, managing a personal life complicated by personal excess and financial mismanagement but holding devotion to family.

October 29th
Horace Silver:  Getting to the Nitty Gritty

One of the last giants of bebop he rose to fame in New York then settled into a comfortable life “after the road” in California.  Throughout he generated a huge repertoire of music becoming standards and classic albums.  His intense sense of humor combined with deep spirituality in making a fascinating life.

January 7th 2017, 1-3pm
Miles Davis:  Enigmatic Visionary

The shy son of an Illinois dentist Miles Dewey Davis III would undergo several transformations before becoming the image of the cool.  Change was the driving force in his life and music.  Thriving on close musical relationships still the enduring image of Davis is of a lone figure, famously turning his back on the audience.  Musical genius, visionary artist, enigma, at his peak he withdrew becoming a recluse yet still looms large as a cultural icon.

Thinking About Jazz is a public service brought to you by Southwest Renaissance Development Corporation (SRDC)--a cultural ministry arm of WestminsterDC. 

This free educational experience happens every other month from 1-3pm  on the 4th Saturday (except December).  Each one focuses on a different giant or genre of jazz and features vintage video footage and select audio recordings delivered by experts in the subject matter.

The material along with Q & A allows participants to go deeper into the history, stories and power of the art form and those who have created it.

Light refreshments are served and door prizes are given.

  • Rev. Brian Hamilton, President
  • Lloyd Jordan, Chair
  • Dick Smith, Jazz Night Program Director

Marilyn Abraham, James Besley, Yolanda R. Coleman, Vyllorya Evans, Gwen Fleming, Wilma Goldstein, Sue K. Gresham, Blanche Hamilton, Alicia Hetzner, Donald Roe, Tangela Roe, Brenda Wilder, Von Deleah Williams
The Thinking About Jazz Committee
holds a planning meeting the last Saturday of January, March, May, July, Sept, Nov, 10am to noon at Westminster.  You are invited to join this committee!  Check the calendar for the next meeting.  You will enjoy your welcome to the committee and the opportunity to be part of planning another great Thinking About Jazz event.


Westminster Church, 400 I Street, SW, Washington, DC  202-484-7700

Copyright 2016. Westminster DC. All Rights Reserved.

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