Jazz Musicians Head to the White House
The French are doing their part for Washington's Duke Ellington Jazz Festival avec enthousiasme -- with gusto.
Last night at the French embassy on Reservoir Road, Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band treated an audience to the down-home rhythms of New Orleans. Accompanied by award-winning Cuban American clarinetist (and all around ham) Paquito D'Rivera, the band's amazing performance included "Summertime" from the Gershwin classic Porgy and Bess, as well as an upbeat, inspiring original tune called "Sunday Morning" about personal recovery after Hurricane Katrina.
D'Rivera told the Sleuth before the show that he's among a group of lucky jazz musicians who have been invited to the White House, where he very much hopes to meet President Obama. What will he perform? Who knows.
"Being a jazz musician is a lot like being the president -- you never know what's going to happen," he said, giving himself a big chuckle.
The unpublicized event at the White House will take place on Monday.
Tonight, the French are at it again. Ambassador Pierre Vimont is hosting an intimate party for musicians, politicians and other jazz-loving movers and shakers at his glamorous chateau in Kalorama. D'Rivera says he'll be there. So will teenage jazz phenom Tony Madruga.
Among the members of Congress who are expected to attend tonight's fete are: House Majority Whip James Clyburn and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, sponsor of the Congressional Jazz Resolution; and Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio); Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), among others.
Unfortunately, we don't expect to see the Marsalis family or Harry Connick, Jr. sipping Bordeaux at the chateau this evening. They aren't expected to arrive in town until later this weekend for their joint grand finale performance Monday night at the Kennedy Center.
Posted by: MikeK3 | June 11, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse
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