July 10, 2002 Chuck Brown to Perform at the Library of Congress

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-5510

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress presents legendary Washington, D.C., musician Chuck Brown on Wednesday, July 24, at noon, on the Neptune Plaza of the Jefferson Building, First and Independence Avenue, S.E.,Washington, D.C. In case of rain, the concert will be held in the Jefferson Building's Coolidge Auditorium. The Jefferson Building is located close to Metro stops at Capitol South (orange and blue lines) and Union Station (red line).

The free outdoor concert is the fifth in the center's new series, "Homegrown 2002: The Music of America," monthly presentations of traditional music and dance from April to November. Performances are drawn from communities across the United States and arranged with the help of state folklorists. Co-sponsoring the concerts are the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. The American Folklife Center's "Homegrown" series is part of "I Hear America Singing," a Library of Congress project celebrating America's music.

Brown was born in Garyburg, N.C., in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C., from Gaston, N.C., when he was three years old. He began his musical career more than thirty years ago, in the 1970s. Affectionately referred to as the "godfather of go-go," Brown performs in and around the district and has headlined several tours throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is beloved by three generations of fans and continues to win new followers by staying true to the tradition of the music he created. During his musical career, he recorded several hit tunes, including "Bustin' Loose," his most popular, and "Chuck Brown Live at the 9:30 Club," his most recent.

Go-go music is best described as a fusion of African beats, Pentecostal church call and response, and the feel of rhythm and blues, with doses of jazz, rock or hip-hop. The "beat" that Brown developed from this fusion came to be called the go-go beat, and arose as an alternative to disco and as a way for bands to make a living playing music. The district has a history of live bands providing musical entertainment at cabarets or "dance halls" that dates back nearly forty years. The phrase "Going to the go-go" replaced "going to a dance" during Brown's reign.

Subsequent concerts for the "Homegrown 2002" series include:

August 28: Campbell Brothers--Sacred steel gospel

September 19: TBA--2002 NEA National Heritage Fellow

October 8: Old New England--Contra dancing

November 13: Cellicion Family--Traditional Zuni music and dance

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to "preserve and present American folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival presentation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs, and training. The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world.

The Millennium Stage is part of the Kennedy Center's Performing Arts for Everyone initiative and helps fulfill the center's mission to make performing arts widely accessible. The Millennium Stage introduces the performing arts to the local community and to millions of people who visit the center each year. Its own concerts are offered at 6 p.m., free of charge, 365 days a year. Daily broadcasts of Millennium Stage concerts are available on the Internet. For a schedule and information on how to access the broadcasts, visit the Kennedy Center Web site: http://kennedy-center.org


PR 02-096
ISSN 0731-3527