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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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Music City, DC

Session 2 of 3-Session Evening Series on Zoom

Monday, February 22, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0067
$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member

Left to right: The Ellington Apartments on U Street, NW; Howard Theater (Photo: Kevin Rutherford); "The Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown, 2011 (Photo: Mark Taylor); The Stoneman Family band, courtesy of Roni

Save when you purchase all 3 sessions of this Music City, DC series!


Washington, D.C., has given much to the musical world beyond its best-known exports Duke Ellington and the punk and go-go scenes. Join musician, broadcaster, and historian Ken Avis as he explores the area’s lesser-known, remarkable, and fascinating musical avenues and why they could only have developed here. Film and recordings bring legendary musicians to life as Avis examines how social change, technological development, and business innovation shaped the sounds that emerged from D.C.—a political town with a serious music habit.

Avis is a regular presenter at Strathmore Music Center and the DC Music Salon and performs with the acoustic world-jazz band Veronneau.


The Country Music Capital

Before the Nashville Sound emerged in the 1960s, the Washington area was a major focus of what was termed "hillbilly" music. In fact, the term "country music" is said to have emerged here, and some of the biggest stars of the genre made  greater D.C. their home. Why did it happen in this particular place and time—and what happened next? Explore the under-sung and almost-forgotten history of Washington as the country music capital.


If you are interested in additional Music City, DC programs, view the upcoming schedule:


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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.