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History Happy Hour: Sweet Bitter Blues: Washington D.C.’s Homemade Blues

Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

History Happy Hour: $10 for members/ $15 for non-members

Celebrate Black History Month and the rich history of Blues with a talk and performance by musical legend Phil Wiggins. Washington, D.C. native Phil Wiggins is an award-winning blues musician, teacher, and artistic director and co-author of Sweet Bitter Blues: Washington D.C.’s Homegrown Blues (2020) with Frank Matheis.  Moderated by ethnomusicologist Mark Puryear, Phil Wiggins will share how rural African Americans brought their traditional musical styles to Washington, D.C.  Discover how the rich folk tradition of Piedmont country blues owes a debt to ragtime, traditional Appalachian Mountain music, African American string music, gospel, and more. 

Enjoy a livestreamed performance by Phil as he shares songs on the harmonica that capture the spirit & heart of this underrepresented story of the acoustic blues scene in and around Washington D.C. 

A two-time winner of the prestigious WC Handy Blues Foundation award, Mr. Wiggins is only the third harmonica player to receive the lifetime honor of a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Today, he is the only living player of the instrument to hold the prestigious honor of being a “Master of Traditional Arts.”  In 2021, Phil was awarded the Maryland Heritage Award, the most prestigious cultural award bestowed on the arts in the state.

For accommodation requests, please contact the museum via email or at (301) 774-0022.


Thursday, February 24, 2022
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
MD United States