Ever walked past the 9:30 Club at 10 am on a Saturday morning and heard the sound of 60-plus drums? That’s the drum corps I play with, Batala Washington, having our weekly practice session. You might have seen us otherwise at the Marine Corps marathon, at the AIDS rally with Wyclef Jean, at the annual Cherry Blossom festival or just playing a guerilla show at 14th and U Streets NW.
Most recently, Batala participated in three separate shows in New York and New Jersey as part of the 50th anniversary tour of The Rolling Stones. You read that right, The Rolling Stones. Yep, we were in the same show as Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and The Black Keys!
Batala Washington is an all-women percussion band that empowers women through drumming & promotes Brazil’s dynamic music & culture. Currently, we have over 60 members from the greater DC area, playing Afro-Brazilian / Samba-Reggae rhythms as part of the international collective of Batala bands. Batala Washington was voted by City Paper as DC’s 2012 Best Local Band.
On Saturday, January 12, we will be joined by percussionists from the National Symphony Orchestra in a demonstration and workshop as part of NSO in Your Community. The FREE event, from 11 am to 1 pm at the 9:30 Club will be an interactive workshop with the audience. For you fellow musicians, you are welcome to bring your drums and play with us. If not, just bring yourself, your friends, your kids, and your participation and we will have some spare drums.
Come out and support the NSO, Batala Washington and the community as we fill the U Street Corridor with music! Or, just come out to have a good time!
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will host a week of free activities in the U Street, Shaw, Howard and Logan Circle neighborhoods January 8 through 14. The week long program is called “NSO In Your Neighborhood.”
Throughout the week, members of the NSO will break into small ensembles and perform chamber music and educational activities at local venues, such as the Howard Theater, the Lincoln Theater and Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium.
“The rich musical history of the U Street area, Howard and Shaw immediately attracted us,” said NSO Executive Director Rita Shapiro in a press release. “We are grateful for Irene Pollin’s generosity, which allows the Orchestra to go out into the local community and offer free admission to all events.”
Special guests at the events include WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi, Howard University’s Afro Blue, Kennedy Center Creative Advisory for Jazz Jason Moran, NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach and several others!
All of the performances and events are free of charge, and a detailed schedule of the week’s programs are available online.