Who says the nation's capital must only be known as a political town?
It may be years before D.C. has the reputation of a music city like Austin, Texas, Chicago, Nashville, Tennessee, New Orleans, New York or Los Angeles. Yet the foundation has been laid with a rich history, from the jazz of Duke Ellington to the go-go of Chuck Brown, the R&B of Screamin' Joe Neal to the telecasters of Link Wray, and the punk scene of Dischord Records.
Today, the D.C. music landscape is as vibrant as it has ever been. From big stadium shows to a variety of intimate venues popping up all over town, this buffet of options paints a stark artistic contrast to tired Beltway stereotypes of stuffy lobbyists and pretentious politicians.
"The DMV is exploding with music," Wolf Trap President Arvind Manocha told WTOP.
The creative economy means booming business. Marketing company Destination D.C. said the city saw a record 22.8 million visitors in 2017, spending $7.5 billion and supporting 75,000 jobs. Of the "eclectic cultural travelers" surveyed, 86 percent were interested in "music in nationally known venues," while 68 percent noted "headliner entertainment" as important.