Elegance, Style and History came together last night at the relaunch of Washington DC’s famed Howard Theatre, which originally opened in 1910. The once eye-sore is now one of the most beautiful venues in the city. The Howard Theatre located on T Street, NW was one of THE places to catch Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, the Supremes, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Mr. Dynamite himself James Brown.
As the crowd filed into the venue, eyes were amazed and jaws dropped as some of the older patrons sparked stories of the Howard Theatre they remembered. While the DJ cleverly mixed old tunes and newer ones while never missing a beat; the elders decided to take it to the dance floor –one lady who had a sliver grey bob and some killer high heels, nearly knocked me over to get her boogie on –trust me she still had it!
Some of DC’s heavyhitters were in attendance such as Washington Redskin Darrell Green, Poet Holly Bass, Promoter Jill Newman –who has a stellar line up of programming at the Howard, as well as Steven Bensusan, president of New York’s legendary Blue Note Club. As the hors d’oeuvres kept coming and the open bar kept flowing, the new owners of the Howard Theatre welcomed the crowd, gave a brief address then started the show by announcing Danny Ray, James Brown’s show announcer to welcome Trombone Shorty to the stage, midway through his set out walks George Clinton with the P-Funk All Stars; Clinton brought the funk, the whole funk and nothing but the funk with songs like “Flashlight”, “One Nation Under A Groove” and “Tear the Roof Off”.
Trombone Shorty ended the set in true ‘Nawlins fashion with “When the Saints Come Marching In”, as the audience filed out many exclaimed that the Howard got its groove back.