You're in for a treat on this journey led by local musician and musical historian, Ken Avis.
Get set to gaze upon original murals featuring legendary history makers from D.C. such as Duke Ellington, music icon Marvin Gaye and many others, and hear stories of their relevance to DC and American music history.
Let's delve into the Jazz and Cultural Renaissance that forged the path for today's celebrated African American successes, musicians, talents, and heroes. Ken's tour explores history through the lens of DC music.
With fascinating commentary, we'll reminisce about U Street's vibrant nightlife and glitzy attractions and make a stop to admire awe-inspiring entertainment venues.
Imagine, the more than 100-year-old Howard Theater and the glamorous Lincoln Theatre, graced by national recording artists like Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong during the early 1900s.
- Howard Theatre
Historic Music Venues
- DC music murals and memorials
Learn about musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Ruth Brown, Chuck Brown, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jelly Roll Morton, and many more.
- Howard Theatre
- Historic Music Venues
- Learn about musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey
- Duke Ellington's Boyhood Home
We also offer a U Street NW History through Street Art Guided Tour, Self Guided U Street Food Tour and a self-guided audio tour of the history of U Street.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Reservations: This tour runs on select Mondays at 10am.
Also available as a private option only. Please contact us to book.
Tour Starting & Ending Location
Meet your guide outside Howard Theatre at 620 T St NW (closest Metro is the Shaw/Howard station on the Green/Yellow line.)
The tour ends at Ben's Chili Bowl (closest Metro: U Street on the Green/Yellow line)
Tour lasts approx. 1.5 hours. Total walking is just under one mile (1,6km)
What Should I Bring?
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A water bottle
- Appropriate clothing / umbrella - tours are rain or shine!
- Love of music!
- Professional Historian/Tour Guide
- Recommendations for the best food, music and museums
- Advice on must-do experiences