Beltway Buzz

Around Town: Black Music Month Celebration taps all genres during spectacular concert

Black Music Month was celebrated in grand style on Thursday, June 21 at The Tab in Washington, D.C.  The night was the brainchild of  Jerome Bell, who also hosted the evening. Bonita White served as the night’s narrator. The music was from a variety of genres from classical to gospel. There was even some go-go in homage to DC’s own, Chuck Brown. Many of the area’s most prolific singers and musicians took to the stage.

Our colleague, photojournalist Alicia Adams was on the scene and captured many of the night’s big moments and graciously shared them with

Songstress Ronnette Harrison pay tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, with her rendition of “Summertime.”  Harrison, is a powerhouse not only vocally, but on the keys, sang and played to much acclaim by the crowd.

Ronnette Harrison sings at Black Music Month celebration

Bonita White and The Vintage Gospel Singers paid tribute to Gospel pioneers and queens: Albertina Walker & The Caravans (“Lord, Keep Me Day by Day”) and Mahalia Jackson (“How I Got Over”).  It was a perfect tribute that harkened back to many of the gospel roots that inevitably should anchor and Black Music Month celebration.

A big highlight of the night was Jerome Bell singing the songs Sammy Davis, Jr,, including Mr. Bojangles.” Bell pulled out the stops with his dapper style and showstopper moves. Dancer Ashanti Blanks brought to life the poignant ballad of Bojangles.

Jerome Bell sings 'Mr. Bojangles' at Black Music Month celebration


Ashanti Blanks dances to "Mr. Bojangles'

Tre’ Thomas was in the house as well and brought his good singing.

Tre' Thomas singing

Perhaps Bonita White summed up the Black Music Month celebration best when she posted, “It was enjoyable, entertaining, educational and excellent…simply a 4E kind of night.”

Let’s hope that there’s another glorious celebration next year!

Check out other photos from the night by Alicia Adams:

©2017 Photos by Alicia Adams, All Rights Reserved.

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of, founded in 2011. The site was recently named among Feedspot's Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites.  Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association.
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