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My culminating experience project is a 5 song tribute to the many people and places that shaped Washington DC’s unique musical identity. Each song is dedicated to a location or person that is significant to the city’s musical history. Initially, I wanted to discuss the effects of black American music on Washington DC’s political and social culture. However, over the course of my research it became clear that I was discussing the effect of the political and social structures on the music. Themes of development, protest, liberation, courage, grief and struggle are expressed through the music. I talked to educators, musicians, historians, advocates for the arts and residents of the city during my research to help develop a holistic sense of how the city’s music scene had changed from the 1950’s to now. The project was inspired by the continued closing of jazz clubs such as Bohemian Caverns, SOTTO, and Twins Jazz. Venues I had aspired to headline that closed due to increased property values and taxes. I’m hoping the project will serve as a reminder to the world of how culturally rich the city of DC is despite the many challenges faced by artists.

Publication Date



Boston Campus


Project Components: paper (.pdf), presentation (.pdf), audio files (ZIP file containing 5 .wav files), scores (ZIP file containing 3 .pdf documents, 2 .jpg files), videos (ZIP File containing 3 .mp4 files, 2 .mov files).

Empty Caverns: DC Social/political effects on the music