Politics & Art Jam Session at the Wilson Building Nov 19th

Politics and Art Jam

POLITICS & ART – A Jam Session at The Wilson Building

Wednesday November 19 6:00pm – 9:00pm

John A Wilson Building

1250 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC

FREE – RSVP at marsarts@washingtonperformingarts.com to reserve a spot



Join Washington Performing Arts and Councilmember David Grosso for an evening of politics and art devoted to the wonderful performing arts scene of Washington, D.C. Come and network with local/national elected officials, local musicians, dancers, and other performance artists. If you are a performer, we invite you to bring your instrument to help us celebrate D.C.’s unique performing arts culture!

Councilmember Grosso:

“Please join me and the Washington Performing Arts on Wednesday, November 19 from6 p.m. – 9 p.m. as we host “Politics and Arts: A Jam Session in the Wilson Building.”  The event will showcase local musicians and also provide musicians from different genres and backgrounds with an opportunity to network and share their own passion for the arts. Special performances of the night will include SynchroniCity, Roof Beams, and for an added bonus a dance selection by SerendibDance.

This spectacular event will be the third in a series of arts events that I have hosted. The events are used as an opportunity to showcase the thriving arts community and also serve as a continuing effort to provide community engagement opportunities at the John A. Wilson Building.  Prior events have been held in my office but I wanted to expand the event to welcome the arts community and members and staff.  The event will be held on the first floor (foyer) and will consist of a “mix and mingle” with light refreshments followed by a program with several local musicians.”

Hope to see you all next Wednesday.  More musical guests TBA.

Listen Local First at Future of Music Summit


First things first!  If you are a musician and you live in DC.  You need to do whatever it takes to clear your schedule and get to this Summit at Georgetown Business School next Monday and Tuesday.  Artist Scholarships are still available.  Technically the deadline is today but I am sure the kind FMC folks will let some stragglers sign up late.  SIGN UP NOW!  https://futureofmusic.org/summit2014/scholarships-working-musicians

LLF has been a huge supporter for the FMC Summit for the past three years.  If you do not know what we are talking about check out the link below and view the schedule kicking off on Sunday October 26th and going through Tuesday October 28th.  https://futureofmusic.org/events/future-music-summit-2014

Below you will find a brief run down of the events and panels that LLF is involved with…

 SUMMIT KICKOFF AT COMET PING PONG – Sunday October 26th 8pm

Summit at Comet

Event Post - https://www.facebook.com/events/871960036156620/

SpokesBUZZ, a Colorado-based music nonprofit, will help kick off the 14th Future of Music Policy Summit with “Summit at Comet”, a party featuring community networking and live music performances on Sunday, October 26, at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C. Starting at 8 p.m. and presented in partnership with the Future of Music Coalition, Listen Local First, Metro Music Source and Sasha Lord Presents

8pm – 9pm – Metro Music Source – Networking Hour 
The focus topic of the networking hour will be Fair Trade Music DC (The FTM Summit Collaboration and meeting will be discussed at this networking session)


Since Fair Trade Music DC is still in the middle of our data collection phase, we will be located throughout Summit at various booths conducting interviews with DC based musicians about best practices in the DMV live performance space.  Look for our tweets and signs.

PANEL DISCUSSION – BRIDGING THE GAP: Building Connections Between Local Music Advocates and the Public Sector presented by SpokesBUZZ

Panel Discussion – Tuesday October 28th 1:30pm – 2:15pm – Salon H at Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center

While many people talk in terms of a music industry, FMC focuses our language on the music community – the vast network of community leaders, volunteers, small businesses and others who provide the critical infrastructure that supports music and musicians. In an increasingly digital world, innovators across the country are developing new models for local organizing and support. A primary goal over the next decade is to align these organic, grassroots passion project with both policies and resources to maximize their impact. This panel features innovators from across the country and asks how we more effectively integrate with local, regional and federal policymakers.
Michael Bracy Co-founder and Board Member, Future of Music Coalition
David Freedman WWOZ-FM New Orleans
Lisa Gedgaudas Program Administrator, Create Denver
Dani Grant Founder, SpokesBUZZ; Owner, Mishawaka Amphitheater (moderator)
Chris Naoum Co-founder, Listen Local First (moderator)
Ellen Stanley Executive Director, Minnesota Music Coalition
Karin Wolf Arts Program Administrator, City of Madison

DC Music Wednesdays Fall Edition

LLF Oct Image Claire

October is Listen Local First’s three year anniversary.  We have been doing our best to promote local musicians and create alternate avenues for local music exploration.  Whether through our Kennedy Center shows, local music festivals, panel discussions or Fair Trade Music focus groups we have been championing our local music community for over three years.
As some of you might know, we started with a featured artist monthly stream that was distributed to local businesses.  In August we brought the stream back after a year hiatus.  Using Spotify we are featuring 8-10 DMV artists every couple months and making the playlist public.  Anyone who wants to listen to the stream can follow it HERE or play it in their local business.
We are labeling this initiative DC Music Wednesdays and trying to get local businesses and blogs to highlight the stream every Wednesday.
The NEW Fall Music Stream launches today! To listen click –  LLF Fall Stream
Local businesses and blogs are listed on our website www.listenlocalfirst.com
This month we want to double and even triple that number. If a local business or blog wants to host the stream they should:
  1. Email us a logo so we can put it on the website
  2. Click on this link and either stream the playlist in their business or host it on their blog all day on Wednesdays (Either shuffle the playlist or play each album all the way through – up to you)
  3. Go on social media and tell the world you are streaming the LLF local music playlist for DC Music Wednesdays
  4. Feel free to post the name of the 8 artists featured on the stream
  5. Feel free to share the image of the local artists that is attached.
This month we selected 8 local bands/ musicians who released their new albums in the late summer or fall.  The artists and their albums are listed below…
Ex Hex – Rips – http://www.exhexband.com/
Young Summer – Siren – http://youngsummermusic.com/
Sean Barna – Cutter Street – http://www.seanbarna.com/
The Cowards Choir – Cool Currency – http://thecowardschoir.com/
Laughing Man – Be Black Baby – http://laughingmanmusic.com/
She Keeps Bees – Eight Houses – http://shekeepsbees.com/
The Funk Ark – Man is a Monster – http://www.thefunkark.com/
Diamond District – March on Washington – http://www.mellomusicgroup.com/pages/diamond-district
The albums selected represent a diverse selection of local artists who have recently released new music.  The playlist covers many genres including folk, jazz, funk hip hop, post punk and indie rock.  It is a representation of local musicians who have their music available on Spotify.

LLF and Funk Parade presents The Funk Ark “ Man is A Monster” Album Release Show

Funk Ark Show

The Funk Ark is about to release their much anticipated 3rd full length album, “Man is A Monster” and we are going to help them celebrate the right way!!!

On Friday October 10th The Monster will be released at The Black Cat. Dragons…Godzilla…King Kong… Cthulu…Cookie Monster… BEWARE! The Funk ArkBlack Masala, Hung Tao Choy Mei Lion Dancers and special guests will forge a soul shakin psychedelic voyage to celebrate The Spirit of Funk and DC Music.  Funk Parade and Listen Local First will be co hosting this evening of Funk, Rock, Afrobeat, Monsters and Dance

When: Friday October 10th

Where: The Black Cat DC – Doors 9pm

Tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/686677?utm_medium=bks

Performers Include:

The Funk Ark



Album Preview Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgYSJ4Bm41k

Man is a Monster track – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy48Vum36lk#t=98

Black Masala




Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Academy




AND Many Special Secret Guests!!!

About The Funk Ark:

A native of the Washington D.C. area, Will Rast (Antibalas) grew up listening to old music. Rast has been composing and playing professionally since the age of 14. A love of vintage Funk and Soul, as well as a wide range of instrumental jazz styles were the ultimate impetus behind the formation of the group in 2007.

As a member of Washington DC’s fast growing community of artists, it was easy to find a set of incredibly talented instrumentalists to form a band big enough to create the range of sound he was looking for. The band began with some compositions that were reminiscent of Lonnie Liston Smith, or Herbie Hancock, but it was Rast’s growing interest in the Afro Beat music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Mono Mono, of Nigeria, Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed of Ethiopia, as well as the legendary Salsa ensemble The Fania Allstars, that caused the band’s direction to shift towards a more polyrhythmic funk sound.

Each of the many rhythm instruments you hear in The Funk Ark’s songs is playing a small, but integral role in the overall groove. Like the various gears and springs in a clock, each player performs their role with precision to create an intense and driving beat that acts as a bed for soaring melodic improvisation and tight, rhythmic horn lines.

“Man is a Monster is a collection of songs from a period of two years during which I traveled more than I ever had before, spending time in countries, most of which, I had never visited. The songs were conceived in that spirit of exploration, in a global sense, but also of our musical and technical abilities. This album’s eclectic sound is an indication of the many influences and experiences of the group, as well as our intent to take the emphasis away from traditional 4/4 rhythms and channel those influences into something deeper and more challenging than our previous work.” – Will Rast

About Listen Local First:

LLF Is a local music initiative that aims to create alternate avenues of local music exploration.  For three years LLF has worked with local businesses, cultural organizations and musicians to raise awareness for the vibrant, talented and diverse music scene within our beltway.  LLF currently, distributes a bi monthly local music stream which can be found playing in local businesses throughout our region, hosts monthly DMV artists on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and co-produces two of the city’s largest all local music and art festivals: Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival and Funk Parade.

About Funk Parade:

Funk Parade is a one-of-a-kind parade, street fair, and music festival to celebrate U Street, the District and the spirit of funk. Funk Parade exists to make good things happen by bringing people together and making them feel all right through music, dance and the visual arts.

Union Kitchen and LLF Team Up on Art Under the Stars – Sat Oct 4th

art under stars


Art Under the Stars is a collaboration between Monroe Street Market,Arts Walk at Monroe Street,Union Kitchen and Listen Local First.  This evening of food, beer, music, art and theater is a celebration of all things DC and all things Fall.

Date: Saturday October 4th

Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Monroe Street Market, 625 Monroe Street NE WDC 20017

FREE but reserve your drink tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arts-under-the-stars-tickets-13210818915


For additional info please contact:



Gypsy Sally’s One Year Anniversary DC Music Showcase and Benefit

Gypsy Sallys Banner


On Tuesday September 9, Listen Local First, Atlas Brew Works and Gypsy Sally’s  will co host a spectacular evening of local music and art to celebrate the musicians fans and friends who have supported Gypsy Sally’s throughout this past year. The “All Things Local “ Anniversary week kickoff show will feature TEN OF THE DMV’S TOP SINGER-SONGWRITERS for a night of amazing stories, music and celebration.

Our friends at Atlas Brew Works will be serving up all sorts of specials, and a portion of the night’s ticket proceeds will be donated to Living Classrooms, a regional non-profit that inspires kids to achieve their potential through experiential learning. VA artist Brandy Sommers will open a new exhibit of music photography “O’ Be Joyful” in our Vinyl Lounge. Our 9/9 lineup features: Alan Barnosky, Dave Kitchen, Natalie York, Justin Trawick, Tom McBride, Jonny Grave, Letitia Van Sant, Jackson Edwards, Bobby Thompson, and The Hummingbyrds. These folks deserve a party, so expect a rollicking good time and collaborations galore.

Where: Gypsy Sallys – 3401 K St NW Washington DC 20007

When: Tuesday September 9th

Doors at 7pm/ Show starts at 8pm

Website and Ticket Link: http://www.gypsysallys.com/event/659263-all-things-local-anniversary-washington/

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/events/1480066275575647/

Artists and Set Times:
8-8:15      Alan Barnosky
8:20-8:35  David Kitchen
8:40-8:55  Natalie York
9-9:15      Justin Trawick
9:20-9:35  Tom Mcbride
9:40-9:55  Jonny Grave
10-10:15   Letitia Van Sant
10:20-10:35 Jackson Edwards
11-11:15      The Hummingbyrds

DC Music Wednesday’s are BACK!

10 albums1 (2)

Listen Local First is releasing its first music stream in over two years.  Having had some time this summer we have compiled a list of 10 DC Albums released in 2014 for your listening pleasure.  DC Music Wednesdays are BACK!

You can check out the stream by clicking on the link HERE or go visit any local businesses that will be playing the stream over the next month.  LLF hopes that we can release a stream at least every couple months and hopes you will visit these artist’s websites, purchase their albums and buy tickets to their upcoming concerts.
The albums we are featuring for our End of Summer/ Fall Local Music Stream Include:

This new version of the stream is being launched in collaboration with Blind Dog Cafe and Union Kitchen.  Please check www.listenlocalfirst.com to find an updated list of local participating businesses who should be streaming the playlist in full every Wednesday. If you are a local business and would like to participate please email listenlocalfirst@gmail.com

Chuck Brown Week Is Here


This week DC will celebrate the Godfather of Go Go, Chuck Brown.  Chuck Brown’s final album titled “Beautiful Life” was released today and kicks off a weeks long celebration of the life and music of the Godfather.  This week’s festivities include outdoor movie screenings, special events and deals at local businesses like Industrial Bank, Ben’s Chili Bowl and Tryst Coffee shop and am Album Release Concert at The Howard Theatre this Friday!

Check out the Press Release below for more info on the release and related activities around the city.



Many Special Events and Ribbon Cutting of Chuck Brown Memorial Park Scheduled for August 2014 in Tribute to the Godfather of Go-Go

(Washington, D.C.) In honor of the late music legend and Grammy nominated recording artist Chuck Brown, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Vincent C. Gray proclaimed August 22nd “Chuck Brown Day” in the District of Columbia, which would have been Brown’s 78th birthday. In August 2014, the Mayor will also unveil Chuck Brown Memorial Park, a memorial to the artist, who died in May of 2012, located in Langdon Park in Northeast Washington D.C. This memorial will include an impressive memorial wall with 11’ tall iconic images of Chuck Brown and will be a third of a football field in length.

Moreover, the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown’s final album, entitled “Beautiful Life” will be released on August 19th. The new album contains an intro by Doug E. Fresh, collaborations with rapper Wale, R&B diva Faith Evans, R&B star Raheem DeVaughn, local DC icon Sugar Bear, Gospel Singer and winner of BET’s 2009 Sunday’s Best Y’Anna Crawley, as well as three new songs by the Chuck Brown Band featuring his daughter KK, Frank Sirius, and Ms. Yendy. The new album will be available at Best Buy, Walmart, FYE, DTLR, Sports Zone Elite, among other retailers and on iTunes and all digital outlets. Also, attendees of the Spirit Festival on Aug 2 had the opportunity to make history and appear in the final Chuck Brown music video.

“Beautiful Life” Album Track Listing:
1. Doug E Fresh Intro
2. Beautiful Life – Chuck Brown featuring Wale
3. Best In Me – Chuck Brown featuring Faith Evans and Raheem DeVaughn
4. Lighters – The Chuck Brown Band featuring Ms. Yendy
5. Pop That Trunk – Chuck Brown featuring Sugar Bear and KK
6. Still Crankin’ – The Chuck Brown Band featuring KK
7. Love Is My Religion – The Chuck Brown Band featuring Frank Sirius
8. Oh Happy Day – Chuck Brown featuring Y’Anna Crawley and The Howard University Gospel Choir
9. You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine – Chuck Brown

Tour dates of The Chuck Brown Band and special tribute events leading up to the album release are as follows:

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – Official Chuck Brown “Beautiful Life” Album Release date
  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014 –  Screening of Put Your Hands Up! The Tribute Concert to Chuck Brown at U Street Outdoor Movie Series at Harrison Park. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/ustreetmovieseries.
  • Friday, August 22, 2014 – Chuck Brown Band Performance – Album Release Event and Birthday Show for Chuck Brown at Howard Theatre. http://thehowardtheatre.com/show/2014/08/22/the-chuck-brown-band-2/
  • Friday, August 22, 2014 – Official Chuck Brown Day in Washington, D.C.
  • August, 2014 (TBD) –  Ribbon Cutting of Chuck Brown Memorial Park

In addition, to celebrate the release of Chuck Brown’s “It’s a Beautiful Life” CD, Industrial Bank in collaboration with Full Circle Entertainment is sponsoring a promotion in which anyone who opens an Industrial Bank Steady Saver certificate of deposit account will receive a free CD, while supplies last. Details are available at all Industrial Bank Banking Centers.

Washington, D.C. Radio One affiliates, WKYS 93.9, MAJIC 102.3 and Praise 104.1, have also partnered with Full Circle Entertainment to host the “Share Your Beautiful Life” contest in
conjunction with the album’s release. For contest details and rules visit http://mymajicdc.upickem.net/engine/Rules.aspx?contestid=141380. Join the social media conversation with the hashtag #BeautifulLife.

Despite his death, the spirit of the Go-Go Legend, Chuck Brown remains present among countless fans. Chuck Brown is the founder and creator of Go-Go music, a genre deeply rooted in funk and soul that he developed in the early 70’s and the only form of expressive culture to originate in the District of Columbia. The Chuck Brown Band has continued to perform regularly to full houses in the DMV area, as well as packed shows in Atlanta, GA and Richmond, VA.

To purchase tickets for ticketed special event or for Chuck Brown memorabilia got to; http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/chuckbrown


Follow the Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown on Facebook and Twitter!

Website: www.windmeupChuck.com,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chuck-Brown/93060411418?ref=hl,

Twitter https://twitter.com/chuckbrowndc

For more information please contact; Tom Goldfogle, President, Full Circle Entertainment, Inc., Phone 301-879-9811, Email. tom@fullcircleentertainment.net

Media Contact: Priscilla Clarke, Clarke PR, 202-723-2200, priscilla@clarkepr.com





4th Annual Ben Tufts & Friends Concert August 16th at Jammin’ Java

Ben Tufts Show Poster

As a general disclaimer we do not normally use this blog to post about individual events.  Unless the event is an LLF sponsored event there are too many awesome local music shows happening on any given night.  All of our posts would be show promotion and then why would anyone use Facebook?  Right?

Anyways, we wanted to do a separate post about this show because this event is an awesome example of community.  If our goal as a creative community is to build something powerful for the fans and loved ones around us then this show/ benefit is an excellent example.  Perhaps the respect for this event is in part due to our respect for Ben Tufts himself.  Ben is a drummer extraordinaire, a teacher, a mentor and a friend of the DC music community as a whole.  If you do not know Ben, get to meet him, but if you are free this Saturday, the show supports a great cause and has an unbelievable line up of the DMV’s most talented musicians.

The press release for the show reads…

4th Annual Ben Tufts & Friends Concert to be held August 16th at Jammin’ Java in Vienna

In June of 2009, Craig Tufts, Chief Naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation in Vienna, lost a year-long battle with brain cancer.  Craig spent his 30+ years at NWF championing conservation and gardening for wildlife.  It was his wish that any money donated after his passing be set aside for children to study nature.  His friends and family established the Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund, which each year sends one youth and an accompanying parent/guardian to attend a week-long summer outdoor adventure nature camp, part of the Family Nature Summit Program.

This August 16th, Craig’s son Ben hosts his fourth annual charity concert at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, the profits from which will go to the Craig Tufts fund.  Ben Tufts is a prominent DC musician, having played in dozens of bands in the metro area.  Each August, Ben curates a stylistically-varied show consisting of up-and-coming talent and established acts, both local and regional.

The show takes place from 1:00pm – 8:00pm on Saturday Aug 16th at Jammin’ Java

Event Page – https://www.facebook.com/events/821183684562632/

Lineup Includes:

The Cowards Choir
Derek Evry & His Band of Misanthropes 
Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray
Lauren Calve Band
Rebekah Todd
Simone & the Spectrum
Ed Jackson of The WeatherVanes
Alex Vans
Ryan Walker of The Beanstalk Library
Andrew Gaddy
Dr Robinson’s Fiasco
Classified Frequency
Jasmine Gillison
Lowercase Letters
Emily Henry
Kid Claws
Jacqueline Francis
Jamie and James
Mary-el Music

New Record Store In Town

Mobius Records Logo

Local Music Friends!

It has been a while!  After a crazy spring packed with events activities and excitement we decided to take a couple months off from posting.  Now we are back with a vengeance and hopefully there will be a lot more material coming from the LLF front in the next couple months.


Mobius Records is coming to the Fairfax neighborhood this August and they want to build an awesome DMV music section.  Here is a little blurb from the owner, Dempsey Hamilton.

“Mobius Records will be opening on Saturday August 23rd. Mobius is an all vinyl record store located in the heart of historic downtown Fairfax City near the intersection of University and Main. We sell new and used vinyl and will also buy your records. Local artist are fully supported here and if you are a local band we will gladly sell your records on consignment.

Mobius Records
4007 University Dr
Fairfax,VA 22030

Monday – Closed
Tuesday through Saturday – 11-7
Sunday – 12-5″

DMV Musicians, if you are selling vinyl make sure to get some copies over to Dempsey.  Also set aside some time to stop by and say hello!