740 Water Street SW
CONCERTS UNITE US
Concerts Unite UsThe We Have a Dream concert promotes equal justice and opportunity for all Americans.
The We Have a Dream mission is inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and by other leaders of the civil rights movement. The concert promotes legal, educational, and economic justice.
An event with performers and speakers will be held at the Union Stage in Southwest Washington, D.C. on August 25. Performers represent the best D.C. Metro area artists. Proceeds will go to selected organizations that promote legal, economic, and educational equality.
Phil WigginsWashington, D.C. native Phil Wiggins, a Takoma Park, Maryland, resident, blues musician, teacher and artistic director, a two time winner of the prestigious WC Handy Blues Foundation awards, is only the third harmonica player to receive the lifetime honor of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship. Today he is the only living player of the instrument to hold the prestigious honor of being a “Master of Traditional Arts.” Often referred to by its unofficial designation as “Living Cultural Treasure” award, the fellowship honors and preserves the diverse cultural heritage in the United States. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) annually awards one-time-only NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, to recognize lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage.
The NEA National Heritage Fellowship has been bestowed on some of the greatest luminaries in traditional and folk music. In the traditional blues genre, past winners include some of the most important figures in blues history: B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland Slim, Elizabeth Cotton, Clifton Chenier, Robert Lockwood Jr., Honeyboy Edwards, Brownie McGhee, Jack Owens, Mavis Staples and her father Pops Staples, and many more. Harmonica players Sonny Terry and Elder Roma Wilson are the only other harmonica instrumentalists to receive the honor.
Phil Wiggins now joins the ranks of his eminent elders, friends and compatriots in the Washington, D.C area traditional Piedmont blues scene to win this distinguished award. His former duo partner, the Piedmont blues singer and guitarist John Cephas, received the National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1989. Phil’s friend and early career catalyst , the great blues singer/guitarist and songster John Jackson received the honor in 1986. The blues singer/guitarist and songster Warner Williams, who took the award in 2011, is now the only other living practitioner of the regional traditional blues besides Phil Wiggins with this recognition.
Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. He plays the diatonic ten-hole harmonica in the country blues style, cupping both hands around the instrument and playing acoustically. His sound is not shaped by the gear, the microphone or amplifier when performing on stage, instead by his complex syncopated patterns, breath-control and rhythm, stylistic virtuosity and fiery solo runs.
As a teenager living in Washington D.C. in the 1970s, he played at the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival with street singer Flora Molton, sitting in with blues greats Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Sam Chatmon, Robert Belfour and Howard Armstrong. By the time he graduated from high school in 1973, D.C. blues elders John Jackson, John Cephas and Archie Edwards had embraced him. He joined the Barrelhouse Rockers, a band fronted by pianist and singer Wilbert “Big Chief” Ellis, where John Cephas played guitar. They toured regionally until Ellis retired in 1977, when John Cephas invited him to join in the duo ‘Cephas & Wiggins’.
With John Cephas as guitarist and primary singer, the duo performed together for 32 years as internationally renowned stars of the country blues, and a staple on blues radio, ever present on the concert and festival circuit – all with the help of National Council for Traditional Arts director Joe Wilson. Cephas & Wiggins played Carnegie Hall, Royal Prince Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House, as well as small venues worldwide, touring every continent except Antarctica. They recorded more than a dozen critically acclaimed albums, including on Flying Fish and Alligator Records, winning the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Award in 1984 for Best Traditional Album of the Year and in 1987 as Entertainers of the Year. They even performed at the White House with B.B. King. Phil Wiggins as well as Cephas & Wiggins have been featured in major music magazines, including on the cover of Living Blues, and the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and many more. University of Maryland professor, author, blues historian and producer Dr. Barry Lee Pearson has released numerous Cephas & Wiggins tracks on his Smithsonian Folkways album collections, in addition to his frequent writings over more than 30 years, which also featured the duo and John Cephas’ autobiography.
Since the 2009 death of John Cephas, Phil has performed with numerous musicians including Nat Reese, Corey Harris, Australian guitarist Dom Turner, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Sherman Holmes, the Rev. John Wilkins, Jerron Paxton, and longtime friends Eleanor Ellis and Rick Franklin. He fronts the acoustic swing/roots/blues ensemble, the Chesapeake Sheiks, and is actively engaged in reuniting the Piedmont blues with its origins of African American buck and tap dancing.
Phil Wiggins has taught thousands of burgeoning harmonica players and actively continues to teach and lead as artistic director in workshops, such as at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia and the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop in Washington State. Plus, he continues to play an active role on the board of the National Council for Traditional Arts.
Additionally, he performed in the feature film Matewan about the coal mining wars in West Virginia, written and directed by John Sayles. Phil appears in the film and contributed music to the soundtrack. He also appeared in Blues Houseparty , a documentary produced by Eleanor Ellis that captures a wonderful celebration of music and culture that takes place at the home of John Jackson. Phil appears in the film and supplies the voiceover narration. Plus: Portland Mojo: How Stumptown Got the Blues Written and produced by Bob Lietch, a documentary film about the blues scene in Portland, Oregon, narrated by Phil. Letters from Mound Bayou A documentary film about the establishment of a community health center for the rural community of Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Produced by an activist group in Washington, D.C. called Video
Action, Phil wrote and performed the music for the soundtrack.
Sharón ClarkWashington, D.C. standout Sharón Clark has brought festival and concert audiences to their feet across the U.S. and Europe. Her New York run drew raves from the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, and she won New York’s Bistro Award for Best Vocalist.
Ms. Clark has made multiple international tours in recent years, making her debut in Israel and returning to Russia, where she has developed a major following. Her most recent release, “Do it Again — My Tribute to Shirley Horn,” is on its third printing, and she grabs top honors wherever she goes.
Ms. Clark won the Gold Medal and $10,000 top prize at the Savannah Music Festival’s American Traditions Competition. She then took first place in the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, which offers a $2,500 prize along with a featured appearance with the Baltimore Symphony.
Ms. Clark appears regularly in DC at Blues Alley and Loews Madison Hotel. A featured soloist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony, Clark has headlined the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, the Cape May Jazz Festival and the Savannah Music Festival. Both the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and The Ludacris Foundation chose Ms. Clark to perform for their separate tributes to Quincy Jones.
“New and amazing . . . an absolute triumph!” — Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
“You can’t underestimate the transformation of what seems like an ordinary song when an interpreter like Sharón Clark tears it apart and peers inside.” — Stephen Holden, New York Times
“A revelation” — JazzTimes
Daryl DavisDaryl Davis is an international recording artist, published author, actor and leader of THE DARYL DAVIS BAND.
Born in the Electric Blues Capital of the world, Chicago Illinois, DARYL absorbed the influences of the South from musicians who traveled North from the Mississippi Delta, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Missouri to this Blues Mecca. Today, he resides in Maryland, just a few minutes from Washington, DC.
DARYL DAVIS earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from Howard University in Washington, DC where he was a member of their world famous and renowned Jazz Vocal Ensemble. In addition to being a vocalist, guitarist, and composer, DARYL is a keyboardist extraordinaire. Upon graduation, DARYL went on to work with such artists as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Platters, The Drifters, The Coasters, Bo Diddley, Percy Sledge, and Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), to name a few.
Both Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson, considered to be the greatest Blues & Boogie Woogie and Blues and Rock’n’Roll pianists respectively, both have claimed DARYL as their godson. They have both praised his ability to master with authenticity, a style that was popular 20 years before he was born, progressing through the styles of many pioneers including Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and beyond. It was this ability that landed DARYL in the piano slot for The Legendary Blues Band (which was the Muddy Waters band) and the piano slot for Chuck Berry. Both positions were once held by Perkins and Johnson.
As a recording artist, DARYL DAVIS was the featured pianist on the Cephas & Wiggins Grammy-nominated album Flip, Flop & Fly. As a composer, in addition to his own hits, I’m a Boogie Man and Broadminded and many other originals, DARYL scored the music to the children’s story, Abigail. His own CDs are titled, American Roots, Alternate Routes and Greatest Hits.
After having been with so many others, helping them to do their thing in nightclubs, concert halls, festivals, recordings, films, radio & television, from the United States to Europe, don’t miss seeing DARYL DAVIS with his own group doing his own thing!
Area 301Area 301 is Maryland’s own, home grown, high energy hip hop rock band bringing together a multitude of music genres to create a live experience that takes you to a whole new dimension. From the smooth and sultry melodies of R&B to the deep street rhymes of Hip Hop and topped with the edgy ‘in your face’ sounds of rock all together bringing to the stage a vibe that projects their pride as Maryland’s own.
Their up-tempo rhythm, funky dance tunes and hardcore rhymes bring everyone out to the dance floor. playing all original music with songs that the crowd can relate to, like, “Can I Still Hit It”, “Oh My”, “Gotta Have Your Love”, “Stressed” and the ever so popular, “Dear America”. Area 301 brings it front and center with a passion for showcasing their unbeatable talent and love for music while keeping it real and close to home.
CARGO & THE HEAVY LIFTERS
Cargo & The Heavy LiftersCargo & the Heavy Lifters formed in the Summer of 2015 and met with immediate success. In less than six months CHL transitioned from performing at small nightclubs to selling out concert venues and performing at festivals. The powerful and soulfully irresistible voice of Randy McCargo is supported by the Heavy Lifters, veteran musicians who play slick-tight compositions and arrangements of standards that shatter the expectations of any audience. CHL aggressively tackles any genre from any decade with the same energy and mastery. On any given night they can be as good as the best Rock, Blues, Country, and Soul bands, all at the same time. CHL released their first CD, Live at Jammin’ Java a year after the group’s debut. The hit single Hello Josephine! can be heard on over one hundred broadcast radio stations and a dozen internet stations worldwide. Cargo & the Heavy Lifters are currently producing two videos of original Blues and Rock songs commissioned by four-time Emmy winning producer Mike Audick. These videos will be broadcast and released as audio singles in the Summer of 2018.
“With groovy guitar licks and bursting soulful lyrics, Cargo & The Heavy Lifters provide an exemplary look at what American music sounds like. With covers and originals, the group focuses on the old school aspects of blues, rock and even country. The booming voice of Randy McCargo make this group a must see, as his dynamic voice is a rarity in the modern scope of music. From the sound to their attire, this band is wonderfully old school, and as their website exclaims “awesome.”” - On Tap Magazine (Nov 01, 2016)
BUSHMASTER FEATURING GARY BROWN
Bushmaster featuring Gary BrownGary Brown, lyricist, composer, guitar player, and vocalist for Bushmaster, is in an energetic, enthusiastic, and natural performer. Born in Washington, DC, and growing up in the DC suburbs of Palmer Park, MD, along with the record collections of his parents, Brown was surrounded by the sounds of such local artists as Chuck Brown, Bobby Parker, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Link Wray, and others too numerous to mention. As a teen Brown learned guitar by jamming with other local talent and musicians. In 1992 Brown took the leap and formed his own band, Bushmaster. The band’s funky, guitar-centric, blues-rock music enlightens as well as entertains. You can hear the influence of such artists as Funkadelic, and Jimi Hendrix among others in their music. Bushmaster’s new CD, “Revolution Rhapsody aka: Uprising Music”, debuted at #41 on the Roots Music chart, at #21 on the Living Blues Magazine Radio Chart, and has received reviews, interviews, and radio airplay from Croatia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and The U.K., as well as across the United States. Gary was also named “Best Up and Coming Blues Rock Artist” for The Rock Over America Magazinerica Magazine Music Awards 2012.
Eric SchlamA native of Northern Virginia, Eric has been playing guitar and keys for over 40 years. Well versed in all styles from rock to pop to classical and jazz, his emotive expression is unique and well respected. Whether performing as a solo artist or part of an ensemble, his musical ability is unparalleled. Recent projects include Hit by Pitch an acoustic duo, a Beatles cover band The Apple Core and the classic rock group The Darby Brothers. Whether he’s playing the guitar or keyboard, Eric has mastered the classics from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Santana, Boston, Badfinger, B.J.Thomas, Harry Chapin, James Taylor, Van Morrison and other great artists from the 60’s & 70’s.
C WiredA ’57 Aquarian incarnated in Detroit Michigan. A true renaissance man who has been successful in technology, enterprise sales, as well as a diverse entrepreneur creating over 7 successful companies.
C returned to his inner creative self and launched into the music business in late 2013. His songs are written from direct experiences with recovery, spiritual teachings, and sexual expansion.
“We are spiritual-sexual beings. Not being comfortable with that fact is the primary cause of most of the trauma and drama we witness on the planet.”
“We are meant to be free. No boundaries, no rules, no limitations…”
“When it’s my time to exit the planet I will be rocking, sharing my experience and hope with my brothers and sisters….”