The jazz man embodies the abiding legacy of Duke Ellington and future of the genre in DC.
“As the founder of the DC Jazz Lobby and artist-in-residence at Mr. Henry’s, I take all the art and passion of performance and channel it into writing policy. We’ve had [many recent] victories—we have an open dialogue about how the District approaches its artists. Through our efforts to lobby the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, we’re seeing DC performers getting screen time. We’re showing the government the impact creative folks have on the economy, and that allows us to lobby for things like affordable artist housing and better pay. When we started being intentional about this advocacy, conversations were hard to start. Artists had the attitude that the city and its politicians didn’t care. We’ve learned that the city does care, and we’ve made progress. We found enthusiasm. Other cities are adopting our models of advocacy. People need to know that this is not just a political city. When it comes to entertainment, DC is a competitor.”
Shot on location at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society; Wardrobe by designer Malcolm Staples at Malcolm’s Custom-Made to Fit