Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Road trip music in the district: Washington DC

Before the city of Washington and the District of Columbia came into being, the area around the shore of the Potomac River was a crossroads. It has remained so as the city, and the country, have changed over the years.

The many programs of the Kennedy Center are places where the arts cross and intertwine. Kim and Reggie Harris are part of the Kennedy Center’s workshop program where they offer teachers training in ways music and the arts can help them connect with their students.

African American heritage music is part of what they teach, and they've recorded several albums on music related to the underground railroad of slavery times. On Steal Away they focus on songs such as Go Down Moses, and Follow the Drinking Gourd, which often had dual meanings of spiritual uplift and practical direction as slaves made their way to freedom. On Get on Board! they continue this and continue into songs of the civil rights era, with guest appearances from Guy Davis, Bernice Johnson Reagon (you’ll learn more about her music as the road trip travels to Georgia), Danny Glover, and others.

you may also wish to see

Listening to Irish and Scottish music in Old Town Alexandria
Music Road: Billy McComiskey: Outside the Box
Lonely Planet's Washington DC Encounter guidebook

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. see the suggestions for films and books on Washington DC. For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous jessiev said...

great resource, kerry! thank you for sharing this.

9:00 AM  

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