Grab a picnic and a blanket because the annual free Fort Dupont Concert series begins on Saturday July 10 and continues each Saturday night at 8 p.m. until the summer is out.Â Fort Dupont Park is a large wooded area in Southeast D.C on the site of one of the Civil War Defenses of Washington.Â The concert series in the Summer Theater starts out with some jazz and neo-soul and finishes up with several weeks of 70’s and 80’s R&B hit makers.
July 10: Jazzin’ with Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and Julliard, featuring Frank Kimbrough, Randall Hayward and youth from 11 states. This is an opportunity for young jazz musicians to show their stuff playing with seasoned pros like pianist Frank Kimbrough.
July 17: Kindred the Family Soul with Cops Come Knockin’.Â The husband and wife duo will make the trip down from Philly with their big band to display the fantastic songwriting and excellent musicianship that’s helped keep real soul music alive for the past decade or so.
July 24: Roy Ayers with Brian Lenair. Roy Ayers vibraphone playing has always been deeply rooted in jazz, but he’s never had any problem coming up with crowd pleasing R&B hits like “Running Away.”Â Even if Ayers never sold another record, he should still make a good living if he’s getting paid by the hip-hop artists who sample his songs.Â “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” alone was a hit for Ayers before showing up on songs from 2Pac, Brand Nubian, Mary J. Blige, Scarface and probably quite a few others. Â Smooth jazz saxophonist Brian Lenair is the opener.
July 31: Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes with Motown Philly Fantasy and H.A.L.O. They were at the center of The Sound of Philadelphia in the early seventies.Â Â Even though Melvin and former lead singer Teddy Pendergrass are gone, this version of the group continues to bring the smooth and soulful sound they’ve had for decades.Â Â Local male vocal group H.A.L.O. (Heaven Allows Love Only) opens.
This version of the Ohio Players is led by vocalist Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner who sang most of the bands 70’s hits.Â Expect to hear funky versions of “Sweet Sticky Thing,” “Love Roller Coaster,” and “O-H-I-O.”Â Â Clones of Funk put on a great stage show that will have you thinking you’re flashing back to a Parliament show in 1974.
Aug. 14: Midnight Star with Be’la Dona.Â Midnight Star will bring their 80s hits like “Freakazoid” and “Operator.”Â Be’la Dona is a talented all-girl go-go band featuring members of Chuck Brown’s band, Pleasure, and Precise.
Aug. 21: SOS Band with Kinda Blu. More 80s hits from the SOS Band including “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” and “The Finest.”