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District Jazz

DC Jazz Festival 2012: In Memoriam Chuck Brown

By Published: July 22, 2012
Just when it seemed the energy level couldn't get any higher, Turner next welcomed a gathering of guest artists who had performed with Brown over the years to the stage, including Gregory "Sugar Bear" Elliott, and Milton "Go Go Mickey" Freeman. Already on their feet and dancing, the crowd proceeded to go truly wild as the band played tune after tune drawn from Brown's repertoire, including "We the People," "Blow Your Whistle," and many more. With the aid of Freeman and Elliot, the show poured forth distilled attitude and 150-proof entertainment until the entire room was on its feet, pressing forward toward the stage. In the end, no seat was still occupied and audience members from every age group, color, class, and background were dancing together as the band played on throughout the night. It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate way to honor Chuck Brown.


In keeping with the its track record, the 2012 DC Jazz Festival offered plenty of diversity and continued to expand its reach into the city's clubs and many performance spaces. Once again it maintained a focus on jazz, in contrast to many other festivals, and succeeded in delivering a fair number of surprises over the course of its nearly two-week run. Most importantly, however, the festival continued to ground itself in a sense of community and openness that is one of its distinctive hallmarks. Never too big to shine a light on a local artist or to honor a local hero like Chuck Brown, the DC Festival makes sure that, even as it brings in ever more voices from outside the city, it remains true to its name.

Photo Credit All Photos: Courtesy of JF Kalka Photography

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