The 9:30 Club will host a thriller on Saturday as Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band brings its King of Pop experience to D.C.
“It’s a party and a celebration,” said Jackson impersonator and original band member Taalib York. “I just want people to come and have a good time.”
The group was founded in 2003 by jazz musician and high school music instructor Vamsi Tadepalli. York said he was originally trying to create an '80s cover band, but eventually decided a Jackson tribute band would work better.
York had a mutual friend who put him in touch with Tadepalli, and the rest is history.
“I was reluctant [at first] because Michael is my idol,” said York. “I was afraid to touch his genius. But I auditioned and it was kind of magic from there. It started with a very small idea and went over to being quite a big deal.”
York has been a Jackson devotee ever since he saw his “Another Part of Me” video.
“From then on I became his defender and protégé,” he said. “I always thought of myself as my own musician, but I thought of him as the blueprint of perfection and success. He seemed so loving in addition to being so talented.”
Like any true Jackson fan, York misses his idol. But he believes he is doing everything in his power to represent him and celebrate his life.
“It’s amazingly scary and beautiful at the same time,” said York. “I love what I do, I love him and I love giving the audience memories. Those are beautiful things.”