Building Rhythm Together for Christ's Love

April 19, 2019

Howard University
   Jazz Ensemble
Fred Irby, director

April 27, 2019


Billy Eckstine:  Mr. B
Born July 8, 1914, Billy Eckstine was born and raised in Pittsburgh before moving to Washington, DC where he attended Armstrong High and Howard University.  He left Howard in 1933 after winning first prize in an amateur talent contest.  By 1939 he went to Chicago and joined Earl Hines orchestra with whom he played trumpet and was a featured vocalist until 1943.  Already establishing himself as a significant artist he formed his own band the next year which welcomed rising stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Fats Navarro and Sarah Vaughan.  The Billy Eckstine Orchestra is considered the first bop big band which generated a sound incorporating the new wave of jazz emerging during this time.  He created two million-selling hits in 1945 (Cottage for Sale and a revival of Prisoner of Love) which set the stage for his future career.  He became a solo artist in 1947 and recorded over a dozen hits in the late 40’s.  His 1950 performance at New York’s Paramount Theatre drew a bigger audience than Frank Sinatra’s appearance there.  A LIFE magazine profile that year portrayed Billy in a jovial moment with a group of white female admirers, one with a hand on his shoulder, another laughing while resting her head on his chest.  The backlash caused protest against the magazine and damaged his career significantly.  Nevertheless, he continued to record and perform; in later years he made numerous appearances on TV variety shows and as an actor on other shows.  Strikingly handsome, he was a fashion icon, famous for his “Mr. B collar,” a high roll collar that formed a “B” over a Windsor-knotted tie.  These collars were worn by hipsters in the late 40’s and 50’s.  After suffering a stroke in 1992 he never performed again, dying at age 78 the next year.  Jazz scholar and radio programmer, Guy Middleton, will deliver this fascinating presentation.

March 29, 2019

Maurice Lyles’
Black History Celebration
Carl Cornwell, sax
Wade Beach, piano
Pepe Gonzalez, bass
Tony Green, drums

Allison Keyes, vocals

March 22, 2019

Antonio Parker & Friends
Antonio Parker, sax
Kenny Rittenhouse, trumpet
Vince Evans, piano, vocals
Cheyney Thomas, bass
Keith Killgo, drums

April 26, 2019

Tribute to Billy Eckstine

Thad Wilson Quintet
Thad Wilson, director

Paul Carr, sax

William Knowles, piano

Michael Bowie, bass

Keith Killgo, drums

Steve Washington, vocals

Jazz Night in D.C. on Fridays presents some of the area's finest jazz musicians in a lively presentation of classical, straight-ahead jazz. 

April 5, 2019

Jeanine Carter Sings!
Jeanine Gilbert-Carter, vocals
Marshall Keys, sax
William Knowles, piano
Wes Biles, bass
Jeffrey Neal, drums

March 15, 2019

Flute Summit
Bill Haymon, flute
Arch Thompson, flute
Jamal Brown, flute
Allyn Johnson, piano
Herm Burney, bass
Mark Prince, drums

Doors open at 5pm. Admission $5. Dinner served by Southwest Catering from 5:30 - 8pm    (Visa, Mastercard, Cash accepted)

A Weekly, Straight-Ahead Jazz Experience Every Friday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Jazz Calendar

April 12, 2019

Afro-Blue Vocal Ensemble
Connaitre Miller, director