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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Washington, DC Music Scene

Washington DC has been the home of the most famous military music on Earth, with marching band music having a huge effect on the early history of the recording industry. One of the oldest record companies, Columbia, was named after the District of Columbia, where the label was originally based.

John Phillip Souza was an early popular recording pioneer from the nation's capital as his 'Stars and Stripes Forever" and other songs have become marching band standards. Al Jolson also came from the area as did Duke Ellington, who became a leading figure of the big band era.

Since that time the region has produced many notable artists including Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Patsy Cline, Billy Stewart, Peter Tork, Tim Buckley, Link Wray, Scott McKenzie, Roy Clark, The Orioles, Fugazi, Stacy Lattisaw, Blackbyrds, Clovers, Ginuwine, Amii Stewart, Tori Amos, Van McCoy, Dave Grohl, Joan Jett, Starland Vocal Band, Bad Brains, Deep Dish, Hot Tuna, Johnny Gill, Mya, BT and Minor Threat. Washington DC is also known as "the bluegrass capital."

Arlonzo * Army of Me * Babylon Doggs * BT * Chelsea Lee * Claudette Monet * Coolfire * Corleon Montana * Dane Riley * Darrin Carter * DJessa * Doctor Steve * Elle Marchelle * Fort Knox Five * Heather Haze * Jay Mills * John Kadlecik * Kenyatta Fire * Kevin Ross * Liz Lohnes * LX * Marcus Johnson * Margot MacDonald * Mbandi * Miss Kymmi * Miss T * Monir Sider * MTS * Mya * Niki Barr Band * Qwanell Que Mosley * Scythian * Seei * Shanita Rush * Side FX and Kim Cameron * SOJA * Sol * Southern Fury * Steve Palmer Band * Super Bob * Teisha Marie * Tom Goss * Tristate *

Washington DC Local Music Scene History

During the 2020 pandemic Washington City Paper published a March 19 story called "Local and Regional Performers Reflect on Life Without Live Music in the Wake of Coronavirus." The article gives short accounts of various local artists who were deeply affected by the outbreak and subsequent shutdowns. Musicians mentioned in the article included Steven Gellman, Phil Wiggins, Alex Boatright, Becky Hill, T-Mart Rounders and others.

The top local musical acts in Washington, DC, according to ReverbNation in February 2016, are folk group Scythian, jazz artist Aaron L Myers II, rock band The Sometimes, hip hop artist Corleone Montana and folk group The Capitol Heights

In 2014 artists that ranked high on ReverbNation for Washington DC included Boom Boom, jazz musician Marcus Johnson, jazz artist Aaron L. Myers II, alternative artist Kenny Wesley and country singer Kelsie Kimberlin. Other notable local acts include pop singer Nicole Nirvana, rock singer Peter Tork, hip hop artist Dugee F. Buller and jazz musician Matthew Shell.

Tiffany Thompson is one of the top ranked singer-songwriters in the region. Her music is in the melodic pop/folk realm and her songs sound like they can be appreciated beyond the region. She is unsigned, self-managed and writes her own material. She originally came from Iowa then moved around to places like Moscow, Russia and Austin, Texas, where she graduated from high school. She has toured both the east and west coast as a solo performer.

Chelsey Green and The Green Project is a unique blend of classical-styled violins with soul. The band is ranked number one in Takoma Park, MD in the instrumental category. The track "Groove Ready" is a strong representative of the group's elegant sound. Chelsey performed at Carnegie Hall when he was 16 years old. He has since performed at many festivals.

Fresh Independence is a blog that covers the Washington, DC music scene. The site covers other music scenes as well and photos and blogs about the local scene. The site also interviews up and coming artists from various regions.

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