Considering the rocky road she has traveled, award-winning D.C. blues artist Jenny Langer is remarkably upbeat in conversation. She laughs often and is extremely frank, even when relating the routine health checkup that likely saved her life. Langer’s cancer scare lit a fire under her and pushed her to make some necessary changes in her life, including dedicating herself fully to music, no longer content to wait to be discovered. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he learns more about Langer’s journey, including her roots and work as a solo artist, and as a member of Honey Larks and the Boneshakers.
“I had a dream one night when I was 15,” DMV-based guitarist and singer Gordon Sterling recalls, “that I should start playing music because I would be part of a movement that would remind people of a side of themselves that they had forgotten.” A young, eager Sterling got himself a guitar the very next day and started playing everything he heard, gravitating toward blues. Jump forward to today, and Gordon Sterling and the People, the musician’s band, has found its drive deep in political and philosophical thoughts about race and truth inspired by Sterling’s identity as a Black man. Learn more about Sterling’s empowering mission as a creative with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.
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.
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.
There are many musicians in the world who take an enormous of time to write and develop music between big releases. Meanwhile, there are other artists like LG (Team Genius) who have constant flow that seems never-ending. The insatiable drive of the Black, queer, Philadelphia-based rapper is undeniable, and she has worked hard to channel that flow into a seamless string of singles, EPs, and albums over the last several years, never failing to put her best foot forward. In recognition of Pride Month and Black Music Month, learn more about LG’s exciting journey with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.
The Queen of the Blues Is Back on the Road, and Heading to D.C. – Shemekia Copeland Headlines Columbia Blues Festival
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.
Joseph Michael Jones: ‘Just Because Someone Isn’t Seeing You As Something Doesn’t Mean You’re Not That’
Multifaceted creative and DMV native Joseph Michael Jones is one of a kind. Blending the roles of visual artist, author, playwright, actor, musician, and industry professional, he demonstrates the freedom that comes from creating a life on your own terms. Learn more about Joseph Michael Jones’ journey with contributing writer Cynthia Gross, including his favorite DC9 Nightclub memory, how he navigates his identity as a queer Black man, and the most important lesson he has learned during his growth process.
A proud product of “the hood,” Bronx-based artist $avannah Hannah is one of the hottest rising talents in the area rap scene, captivating the attention of a growing list of industry heavyweights, including Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. Learn more about $avannah Hannah’s exciting journey with contributing writer Cynthia Gross, including the heartbreaking circumstances that led to her starts as a full-time musician; the most important thing she learned as a featured artist on Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow; and her special message in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month.
Baltimore is a city that can produce a variety of responses when brought up in conversation depending on who you are talking to. Outsiders will likely bring up the hit television show The Wire and subsequently get on a tangent about the city’s crime rates. But for insiders like Kris Funn, a jazz musician, composer, and teacher (as well as a Baltimore native), the city’s cultural offerings are rich and full of life. Learn more about Funn’s exciting journey with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.
More to Watch By Jaci Jedrych 23-year old Trapdollazmanny’s latest project is his most recent bedroom-grown masterpiece. Growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, his sound is distinct of the culture and energy of one of the richest African-American communities in the United States. “I got involved with music through my grandfather who was in […]