If you’ve got something against live music, you would have been miserable at yesterday’s 32nd Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival. It was one of the most jam-packed, joyful, multifaceted and downright happening events that D.C. has seen in a long time.
There were a number of music stages at the festival, one of which featured jazz performances all day long in Kalorama Park. At that stage, the music was always righteous — from the Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet‘s breezy renditions of standards to the Jolley Brothers‘ captivating post-bop explorations.
But most of the day’s action went down on 18th Street, where thousands of people poured in to hear music ranging from Afrobeat to Salsa as they shopped at the food and merchandise tents. Afrikan Rhapsody, a stellar group led by drummer Tosin Aribisala, played a fusion of Afrobeat and traditional African song on the stage at the top of 18th Street. The crowd couldn’t help but dance along.
But the dancing was on a higher level at 18th Street’s southern stage, where the Latin band Bemcha played host to a spirited Salsa dancing competition.
Meanwhile, Columbia Station held its customary Sunday afternoon jam session, sending the sounds of bebop out of the club’s front windows, and a karaoke booth had people singing songs like Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.”
Adams Morgan Day is the longest-running festival in the city, and it drew more people than this neighborhood has seen — at least before 11 p.m. — in a long, long time. Even mayoral candidates Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray showed up.
But not everything was positive: Unfortunately, a dog was shot and killed by police at around 1 p.m. after they tried to interfere with a fight it was having with another dog.