Category Archives: Presenting

Presenting Will Eastman @ Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds is truly honored to present DJ, producer and DC legend Will Eastman at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for our June #DCmusic showcase.

Leader of numerous indie bands since age 15, Eastman pushes boundaries, melding house, techno, disco, and left-field sounds in his DJ sets and productions. His DJ career began in 2000 when he started Bliss, a monthly resident night focused on emerging dance music. Held in a no-attitude/no velvet rope setting, his Bliss residency, meant to be a temporary creative project, set him on course for a career in music. Growing over time in popularity and stature, Bliss helped shape D.C.’s expanding dance music scene and became the city’s longest-running emerging dance music club night, lasting 15 years and eventually morphing into the popular dance music website Blisspop. Building on his experience, Eastman dedicated himself to a full-time DJ and music production career in 2007 and found immediate success with his 2009 disco/house debut single, “Feelin’”, which received endorsements from dance music legends Fatboy Slim and Donald Glaude. More original productions and remixes followed, receiving broad support from artists as diverse as Daniel Avery, Aeroplane, and Tiesto, earning Will features on BBC Radio 1 and NPR. From 2011 to 2013 he was a member of the group Volta Bureau whose song, “Alley Cat”, topped Beatport’s Indie Dance chart for an unprecedented 11 straight weeks.

After nearly two decades as a DJ, in which he helped transform the D.C. dance music scene, he released his debut full-length album Hilo in 2017, which featured collaborations with Patrick Baker, Eau Claire, and Outputmessage.

In addition to making and playing music, Will is owner of U Street Music Hall, a music-focused venue that hosts DJs and live bands and is equally revered by its clientele and the talent that performs there. Named one of America’s top 10 dance clubs by Rolling Stone and best dance club in the region by the Washington Post, U Hall’s laid-back environment with no dress code, 1,200 square foot cork-cushioned floor, award-winning sound system, and internationally-recognized programming—from on-the-rise acts to veteran crowdpleasers—have helped make it a music lover’s paradise since opening in 2010.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday June 23rd!

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Presenting Color Palette @ Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds is way beyond delighted to present synthpop band Color Palette for our May #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Color Palette takes experiences like heartbreak and love, and together turns them into something mystical and inviting. The band, comprised of Jay Nemeyer, Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea, is an electro-rock/synthpop band from Washington, DC. Since their first release on June 1, 2015, Color Palette have garnered hundreds of press hits worldwide. Press highlights include features in NME Magazine, USA Today, NPR, and Impose Magazine. Locally (Washington, DC), they were nominated for three 2015 Washington Area Music Awards – (Best) Pop Rock Duo/Group, Pop Rock Recording, and Pop Rock Vocalist. Color Palette released their debut full-length album ‘Vaporwave’ in May 2016. They have shared bills with many notable national artists including Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr Little Jeans, The Kickback, Spirit Animal, and VanLadyLove.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Tuesday May 30th!

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Presenting Olivia Mancini @ Millennium Stage

DC’s finest podcast Hometown Sounds is excited to present Olivia Mancini and the Mates at our next #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Olivia Mancini’s sense for melody will make any songwriter jealous. Versatility is her true charm – she can stretch the boundaries of musical genres without sounding as if she’s out of place. Olivia Mancini is one of the few female live acts coming out of Washington, D.C. that is equally appealing to a male audience as well as a female audience. Olivia Mancini‘s folk-pop roots combined with her true Rock ‘n’ Roll aesthetic embraces every sense of American culture.

Olivia Mancini has been touring the U.S. and Europe for more than 10 years, performing her original songs as a singer-songwriter, or with her bands, Olivia & the Mates, and Astra Via. Olivia Mancini has performed with top acts like The Hold Steady, STARS, Matthew Sweet, and Melissa Ferrick. Her music has appeared in Gossip Girl, Entourage, ER, and Live wih Regis and Kathy Lee. With years of grassroots development, and now a collaboration with accomplished producer, Jarrett Nicolay (Virginia Coalition), audiences will be seeing her in a light brighter than ever imagined.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday April 16th!

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Presenting Kokayi @ Millennium Stage

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Your favorite #DCmusic podcast Hometown Sounds is back on Friday March 3rd at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage to present Grammy-nominated emcee and producer Kokayi.

Throughout his career he has garnered rave reviews and new fans, with over a decade in music industry experience and a catalog that reflects his prolific nature and ability to cross genres as both a vocalist and producer, Kokayi maintains the mantra, “5. 500. 5,000 or 50,000. I give the same show, with the same intensity.” Adhering to this ethos has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate and share stages with: MacArthur Fellows; Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer and Dafnis Prieto, as well as, Yael Naim, Little Dragon, Meshelle Ndgeocello, Janelle Monae, Pharoahe Monch, Ravi Coltrane, Jean Grae, Black Milk, Wale and The Roots.

With his exploration of soundscapes his work has ranged from the interpretation of social subtexts surrounding, race, religion and patriotism and their affects on the human psyche (Pro Deo et Patria), voted as one of the best records of 2012 by the Washington City Paper, Bold As Love.us and RoxFontaine.com, Pro Deo et Patria’s lead single Birdus Ghetti was featured on MTV’s Hive.com. His reflections on ageism and the changed landscape of the music industry were made present in Robots and Dinosaurs whose songs found their way into Kevin Hart’s “Laugh at my Pain”.

Kokayi is a recipient of the Sister Cities Grant for his work in Senegal with Nomadic Wax, has served as Artist in Residence in Nijmegen, Netherlands, collaborates with both Nomadic Wax and 1beat Music fellowship to mentor artists, continues to work as music emissary with the US State Department, serves as DC Grammy Chapter President and as adjunct faculty with the School of Improvisational Music at NY all while functioning as the Co-Creator and Chief Curator of BeatsNBeans: a study in creative spaces and their effects on creativity and ideation. Kokayi was featured on Bandcamp.com for his BeatsNBeans series. Kokayi has been a featured speaker and panelist for events presented by The State Department, Music Cities Conference, DCTV, and the Congressional Black Caucus.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday March 3rd!

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Presenting Wylder @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds loves DC music like no one else around, and this month we’re rather excited to present indie folk upstarts Wylder for our February #DCmusic showcase.

Embracing the best elements of indie pop and folk, Wylder instills clear and memorable melodies against a layered acoustic backdrop. Through an eclectic mix of stormy orchestral movements and fun, infectious energy, Wylder evokes emotional peaks, where lyrics of longing and loss take center stage. Their debut album Rain and Laura, released in April of 2016 to enthusiastic reviews, proving them an emerging voice in the independent music scene.​​

We’re told there is some sort of American football game going on this day as well, but we’re confident you won’t miss anything good seeing this show!

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday February 5th!

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Presenting Aaron “Ab” Abernathy @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds continues our partnership with the Kennedy Center in presenting soulful vocalist and keyboard player Aaron “Ab” Abernathy and his live band Nat Turner for our January #DCmusic showcase at the Millennium Stage.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Abernathy comes from a long-line of historical pioneers including Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and student of the same high school music program as the late R&B great Gerald Levert.

He joined the ranks of artists like Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack as a graduate from the prestigious music program at Howard University, where he sharpened his vocal abilities and musicianship. With outstanding talents as both a pianist and a vocalist, he has acted as musical director for global touring acts Black Milk and Slum Village and collaborated with Grammy-nominated artists including Jack White, The Foreign Exchange, and Eric Roberson.

In the Spring of 2015, Abernathy and his band Nat Turner opened up for Black Milk on his “Play Like Hell European Tour” to rave reviews from European audiences. Ab’s aggressive combination of gospel-inspired vocals, tight change-ups, and raw funk vamps has been compared to D’angelo’s Voodoo tour. Ab’s performance on stage reveals his diligent study in the Prince and James Brown schools of showmanship. Abernathy co-produced his band Nat Turner’s collaborative effort with Black Milk titled “The Rebellion Sessions” and has toured most of 2016 for the Rebellion Tour with Black Milk, to support the album. In addition, this summer he co-headlined the 2016 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival with Chick Corea.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday January 13th!

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Presenting We Were Pirates @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds is stoked to present We Were Pirates for our December #DCmusic showcase on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

We Were Pirates is the musical brainchild of Mike Boggs, a multi-instrumentalist who writes and records songs in his home studio in the DC area. Boggs has released three albums, an EP, and a film score for ‘Dear Mr. Watterson.’

Wired magazine featured We Were Pirates in their March 2012 issue following the release of the second album, Change. The feature said, “You heard this band’s public radio-friendly pop on This American Life and you heard its tracks on MTV’s: The Real World: DC. So don’t miss ‘Better Off Without You’ from the new album. Catchy synths will have your crew dancing a jig.”

2016’s Matter finds Boggs exploring a mellow, electronic aesthetic. A return to simple, melodic songs. Existential questions are asked about life, loss, and love.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday December 9th!

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Presenting The Cowards Choir @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds is honored to present The Cowards Choir for our November showcase of DC music at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Andy Zipf, The Cowards Choir crafts exquisite chamber-folk music with Ryan Walker on bass & keys, Dayana Yochim on cello, Alissa more on violin and Logan Lamons on percussion. After a successful PledgeMusic campaign earlier this year, The Cowards Choir released their debut full length album Name The Fear with an ambitious accompanying ‘visual score’ by NC filmmaker Will Davis of Small Creatures.

Our show caps off Thanksgiving weekend on Sunday November 27th at 6 PM. Like all Millennium Stage shows, there’s no cover charge and plenty of seating starting at 5:30. RSVP here! & bring your whole family!

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Presenting Stronger Sex @ Millennium Stage

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The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage has presented free live performances 365 days a year for nearly two decades. Expanding their commitment to showcase rising stars in the DC music community, the Millennium Stage now partners with Hometown Sounds in a monthly series of musical performances.

For our inaugural performance, Hometown Sounds is proud to present Blight Records artists Stronger Sex. Stronger Sex is an electroexotic experimental post-croon cabaret duo brought to you by DC’s Johnny Fantastic and Leah Gage. That may seem like a random stringing together of strange words, but it’s only because Stronger Sex is a wild stringing together of strange sounds. Born out of a love for the classics with an eye toward the electronic revolution, the band tries to make bedfellows of the most unlikely genres. At times, you feel lost in the foggy haze of an 80s night club only to be called back by the familiar croon of Frank Sinatra. With beautiful soundscapes and infectious beats, Stronger Sex often feels like a dream where anything is possible and the universe isn’t big enough to hold your imagination. “Making music this way is like rummaging through an old woman’s closet,” says Johnny, “So many colors, such a wide range of materials and textures, the trends of many decades past, all to be combined any way you wish. I guess it’s no surprise that a lot of our threads come from old women’s closets, too!” When this dynamic duo isn’t performing with Stronger Sex, they can be seen playing in other popular DC bands. Leah plays drums with BRNDA and The North Country; Johnny has toured extensively with Paperhaus and Pree, and currently plays in Dais and Loi Loi.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday October 23rd!

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