We are so excited to announce the line-up of bands for this year’s Columbia Heights Day festival!

The music represented on the Main Stage this year not only draws from the ample pool of talent living in Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant, but also reflects the rich diversity of the many rhythms and cultures that thrive throughout the streets of our neighborhood.

We are excited to present the music of Maryjo Mattea and a Pile of Dudes (pop/punk), Create (contemporary), The Fuss (rocksteady/ska/reggae), Sahel (dance music of the African Diaspora), The JoGo Project (Go-Go), and Empresarios (salsa/cumbia/reggaeton). Being able to celebrate the wide range of world-class musicians that live within our own neighborhood is what Columbia Heights Day is all about, and we look forward to all dancing together on June 17th!

Maryjo Mattea and a Pile of Dudes: Columbia-Heights based folk-pop-punk-rock songstress Maryjo Mattea captivates audiences with her uniquely melodic songwriting and hauntingly beautiful voice. She also plays in the acoustic Beatles tribute act, Doctor Robert and Penny Lane; electro-rock group, Color Palette; and the grunge-garage rock duo, Two Dragons and a Cheetah.

Create: CREATE was formed in 2012 by lead singer and acoustic guitar player Gabriel Sobarzo and bass player Desmond MacNamara.   Performing in multiple venues across the MVD their sound is proof that less is more. Covering a wide genre of music they have develop a sound that pulls from rock'n roll, R&B, funk, and much more.  Most recently joined by their drummer Gavin Swinton. Few bands have a sound that is creative, skillful, and unique.

The Fuss:  A 9-piece ska, rocksteady, and reggae band from DC, the band has been a fixture in presenting the monthly Bluebeat party at Wonderland Ballroom. With female-fronted harmony vocals and a horn section, The Fuss capture the sweet sounds and vibe of the soul music of the 1960s in Jamaica.

Sahel: Sahel, like the legendary land that is its namesake, is a band that interprets musical genres influenced by African culture around the world.

Performing Zouk, Reggae, Senegalese Mbalax, Samba, Funana, Salsa and more; Sahel’s music is blended colors of culture on the canvas of African rhythms. Created by its multilingual lead vocalist and band leader, Jean-Francis Varre, Sahel is inspired by tradition and dedicated to the progress of music that moves the world.

The JoGo Project:  Founded by Columbia Heights-based saxophonist and composer Elijah Balbed (who worked for Chuck Brown the last year of his life), the goal of The JoGo Project is to unite cultures and communities, by introducing Jazz fans to Go-Go and vice versa, and hopefully discovering new musical territories during this journey. We hope you come along for the ride!

Empresarios: The Empresarios sound is best described as “Tropicaliente”, and that is the vibe that the band brings to the stage as well.  Each and every time the Empresarios take the stage; there is a lively party that forms on the dancefloor.  Mixing together the warm sounds of the Caribbean comes with ease for this group of talented musicians.  Band leader Javier Miranda and lead singers Frankie Rosado and Felix Perez all hail from Puerto Rico, which comes through in the band’s unique blend of salsa, reggae, cumbia, dub and house.  With several US tours and numerous solid releases under their belts, the Empresarios are ready to take the world by storm.  A global fan base is growing with the help of the Empresarios having their album title track “Sabor Tropical” placed prominently on EA Sports’ FIFA 2012 video game.  Most importantly, the Empresarios aim to have fun and bring a good vibe, so grab a mojito, hit the dance floor and let their sun drenched sounds warm up your body and soul.

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