As a part of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ (DCCAH) Black History Month celebrations, the agency will be exploring the history and origins of go-go music with a screening of the documentary Straight Up Go-Go and a performance by the band Rare Essence at the Lincoln Theatre on February 22, 2013.
The documentary, which was released in 1992, traces the development of the “go-go sound” in the 1970s – from early influencers, Cab Calloway, James Brown, Fela Kuti, and Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – through the 1980s with Black Heat, Experience Unlimited, Rare Essence and Junkyard Band, up to the new generation of artists including Pleasure Band, C. J.’s Uptown Crew, Casual Al & The City Groovers. There are many theories as to where go-go originated and how it was developed, but on two points all factions agree – it evolved from African rhythms and it’s unquestionable mark as the music of Washington, D.C.
Following the screening of Straight Up Go-Go, the go-go band, Rare Essence, will perform. Rare Essence, founded in 1976, began when four childhood friends decided to form a band to play music by their favorite groups – Parliament/Funkadelic, Cameo, and Confunkshun in their basements. The original four members were Quinten Davidson, Andre Johnson, Michael Neal and John Jones. Rare Essence went on to achieve relative success with the hits “Body Moves”, “Lock It”, and “Work the Walls.”
The screening will begin at 8:00 PM on Friday, February 22, 2013. Additional information on the screening and concert can be found at thelincolntheatre.org.