The Jumpin’ Sound of D.C.’s Very Own Fiesta: Empresarios Has More Latin-Inspired Music Coming this Year

Empresarios Press Photo

D.C. is quite far from anything even remotely tropical, but fortunately, the capital city is a hotbed of “tropicaliente,” a fusion musical style with Latin roots that has taken hold here. Empresarios has been at the forefront of that Latin sound in the District since forming in 2007. Javier Miranda, the Puerto Rican-born frontman of the group, said that he, his brother, and some of their friends got together to remix the sounds of Latin America but give it that unique capital twist. Learn more about Empresarios’ exciting journey in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Bringing ‘60s Heat to the 21st Century: de la Parra Continues Legacy of His Woodstock Band

Canned Heat - Press Photo

Fito de la Parra is likely one of the few people on earth who can say he helped hijack a helicopter—without getting arrested. The Canned Heat drummer fondly recalls how he and his bandmates were desperately trying to make it to Woodstock for their set in the summer of ‘69, but all roads to the upstate New York hamlet were impossibly jammed. In the years that followed, Canned Heat has since become an acclaimed international act. Learn more about the band’s exciting journey, as contributing writer Eric Althoff sits down with de la Parra in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, including details on their upcoming Annapolis show.

Mames Babagenush Returns to the U.S. for the First Time since 2019

Mames Babegenush - Dennis Lehmann

Jewish music from Denmark? Coming to D.C.? See it to believe it on July 27 at Bossa Bistro & Lounge when Mames Babagenush, returns to the U.S. for the first time since 2019. Denmark has an extremely small Jewish population of under 10,000—in a country just shy of 6 million in total. Thanks to Mames Babagenush, the traditional, uptempo “klezmer” music of Eastern Europe’s Ashkenazi Jews is finding a more worldwide audience—even if all but one of the members of the group are Gentiles. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff, as he discusses the band’s upcoming show, the history of their musical tradition, and more.

Toronzo Cannon Brings His Chicago Blues to the Birchmere

Toronzo Cannon - Photo by Mike White

Toronzo Cannon’s song “Insurance” might very well likely drive you to fits of painful laughter. The song, off his 2019 album “The Preacher, the Politician Or the Pimp,” pokes more-than-gentle fun at the need to get coverage lest a health emergency befall you—if you can afford it (ditto for the eventual bill). It’s that unique ability to make blues fans laugh through their tears that has granted Cannon a most unique career in music. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with Toronzo Cannon to discuss Chicago’s sound, playing with a certain guy called Buddy, and Cannon’s upcoming show on July 19 at the Birchmere.

The Queen of the Blues Is Back on the Road, and Heading to D.C. – Shemekia Copeland Headlines Columbia Blues Festival

Shemekia Copeland performs in Los Angeles on March 18, 2022 - Photo by Victoria Smith

Shemekia Copeland took a necessary break to give birth to and begin raising her son. However, she had no way of knowing the furlough would be exacerbated by the pandemic. Copeland is now ready to be back in front of audiences, including at the Columbia Pike Blues Festival in West Arlington on June 18. In honor of Black Music Month, join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with Copeland to discuss the show, preview her upcoming album, and delve into topics of motherhood, America’s violence problem, and more.

All the Colors of the Human Voice: This D.C. Conductor Rounded Up a Stellar Cast for PBS Pride Month Special

Morgxn peforms "Wonder"

The programmers and artists involved in PBS special, “True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs,” had a novel idea: Music could be the ultimate leveler. In celebration of Pride Month, join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he goes behind the scenes to explore the songs and stories of “True Colors” with members of the star-studded cast, including Founder and Artistic Director of the American Pops Orchestra, Luke Frazier; Grammy Award winner and Broadway veteran André De Shields; and Black trans operatic vocalist Breanna Sinclairé.

Caitlin Min Fa: ‘It’s Important to Drive the Awareness that All Walks of People Can Succeed in This Music Industry’

Caitlin Min Fa

Pop singer-songwriter Caitlin Min Fa has led a life constantly influenced by music. From a young age, the native of Melbourne, Australia, had a dream to not only be heard, but to ensure that the music she wrote could be shared around the world, and that’s exactly what she’s living out. In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Min Fa spoke with contributing writer Eric Althoff about her inspirations, how she comes up with her unique music, and what we can expect of her with the world once again opening up.

No Bull: Cathy DiToro Plans to Take 2022 by the Horns

Cathy DiToro

Cathy DiToro is a staple of the DMV music scene. In addition to performing as part of fan favorite cover ensembles, including The Legwarmers, she manages ProjectHERA, a nonprofit she founded to push more visibility for female musicians, as well as HERAFest, which aims to “showcase women being badass musicians at any age in all genres.” This year, DiToro is embracing a major personal transition: releasing more of her own solo work and building her own brand. Learn more with contributing writer Eric Althoff, including the reason why DiToro is approaching the new year boldly with a “now or never” attitude.

West African Griot and Trailblazer Sona Jobarteh Brings the Sounds of Her Culture to D.C.

Sona Jobarteh Profile

The West African griot, a traveling poet-musician who shares stories in song, goes back many centuries—but until now, it has largely been the provenance of male artists. Sona Jobarteh, a native of The Gambia, was born into a family of griots, and she travels the world spreading the joy of this ancient tradition from the Manding region. Learn more about Jobarteh’s upcoming show at City Winery with contributing writer Eric Althoff, where she will present a one-of-a-kind experience – keeping alive a legacy that goes back nearly a thousand years.

Singer-Songwriter Tom Rush, after a Frightening Run-in with COVID-19, Returns to the Birchmere

Tom Rush - Elizabeth Cohon

Credited with ushering in the era of the singer-songwriter, acclaimed artist Tom Rush continues to have a profound impact on the American music scene. Throughout his successful career, he has championed a number of emerging musicians, including well-known female artists such as Joni Mitchell, Nancy Griffith, and Shawn Colvin. Learn more about Rush’s journey with contributing writer Eric Althoff, including his reflections on the evolution of music in the 21st century and details on his upcoming show at the Birchmere.