Tom Goss is a gay singer-songwriter who lives in D.C. If you were at the 17th Street Festival last September, you might have caught his performance. A native of Wisconsin, he moved to the area in 2004 to enter Catholic seminary. He later abandoned his quest to become a priest and began performing in local coffee houses in 2006.
Goss is also still program manager at Charlie’s Place, an organization that works with the homeless; it is based at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at 1830 Connecticut Avenue NW.
Today, he is a successful musician with two full-length CDs, two LPs, a live DVD and four music videos. Next month his latest CD, “Turn It Around,” releases, which will be followed by a 10-week, 50-city tour. For more information about Tom and his music, visit his website.
Borderstan: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Goss: I describe my music as Acoustic pop. Lots of folks call it singer-songwriter but I try to really focus on writing pop songs more in the vain of The Beatles rather than folk songs. People often compare me to Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, David Gray or Dave Matthews.
Live music is on tap at the 17th Street Festival this Saturday afternoon with four performances scheduled between 2 and 6 pm. The festival–from P Street to Riggs Place NW–will also include local artists, 17th Street restaurants, pet zone, kids’ zone, an auction tent and a Beer Garden at JR’s Bar and Grill. (Look for the Borderstan.com will have a table–we’ll be there, too.)
Three of the four bands have been scheduled for the music stage, which will be at 17th and Church Streets NW near the Beer Garden.
- 2 pm: Djseben. The band’s name (pronounced JESS-ben) comes from a 1920s word meaning “jazz band.” The band says their music style has been described “Rock and roll for little kids,” “Iconojazz,” “subtle, like honey mustard sourdough pretzels” and “Massage table music.” You can check out Djseben’s music on YouTube.
- 2:40 pm: To be announced.
- 3 pm: Double Life. This six-member group covers songs ranging from Maroon 5 to Natasha Bedingfield to Queen and George Michael, and utilizes innovative vocals and intense instrumentation–“two couples, a twist of B-school and shake with a few degrees of separation, and you’ve got Double Life.”
- 5:20 pm: Tom Goss. The young Wisconsin native “offers up dynamic acoustic rock featuring muscular guitar, hooky melodies and a uniquely powerful voice.” Goss has releases The Politics of Love, which he describes as “ore than an EP or music video, more than one person. The Politics of Love is a broad curriculum that gives you the tools you need to teach marriage equality where you are. Perfect for college clubs, church congregations, high-school classrooms and even your home….” Goss has cuts on his website… check out his Facebook Page.
Artists and Kids
- A total of 46 local artists will have vendor tables and displays at the 17th Street Festival. Check out the list at the festival page.
- Festival organizers (Ross School PTA is the lead organizer) are promising a kid-friendly event this Saturday with a “Kids Zone” on the grounds of Ross Elementary School, 1730 R Street NW. They promise games, arts and crafts, food and other activities for current Ross students and parents as well as prospective students/parents and children. There will be a meet-and-greet at 2 pm at Ross School with the principal.
Sponsorships and Beneficiaries
The 17th Street Festival (also on Facebook) is being organized by the Historic Dupont Main Streets project, Ross Elementary School PTA and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA). Festival organizers are selling sponsorships to individuals, businesses and organizations. Items are also being solicited for a raffle.
Proceeds from the sale of festival sponsorships will be used to purchase flowers and plants for 17th Street’s of tree boxes, as well as flags for the new light posts. The light post flags will promote local groups, organizations and upcoming events.
Additional funds from sponsorships will go toward a fund for future 17th Street projects and festivals, as well as to the Ross Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Anyone interested in making a raffle donation should contact Nina at [email protected]. Potential festival sponsors should contact Jennifer at [email protected]