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Sunday, February 1, 2015

'Duke Ellington' in free concert, Feb. 4, St. John's, Lafayette Square

Lena Seikaly by Leah Appel

Just in time for Valentine's Day, jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly and the Dan Dufford Trio will play some of Duke Ellington's works at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square on Wednesday in a free noon concert.

On the program are Ellington's "Azure," "Heaven," and "Tell Me It's The Truth"; "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" by Billy Strayhorn; "Blue Moon" by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; and "God Bless The Child" by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr.

Ms. Seikaly, a native of Falls Church, Virginia, who began her training at age four, is "one of Washington's preeminent jazz singers," according to the  Washington Post.  She has performed around the world, including, locally, at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and Blues Alley.

Assisting Ms. Seikaly will be Blake Meister on bass, Andrew Hare on drums, and Mr. Dufford on the keyboard.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C./Photo by Patricia Leslie

St. John's, known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square, is often called the “Church of the Presidents.” Beginning with President James Madison, who was president from 1809 to 1817, every president has been a member of St. John's or has attended services at the church. A plaque at the rear of St. John's designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by the church during the Civil War.

All concerts start at 12:10 p.m. (with an exception in April), and last about 35 minutes. Food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away, for those on lunch break.

Who:  Lena Seikaly and the Dan Dufford Trio play Duke Ellington + Friends

What: First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., February 4, 2015

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

For more information: Contact Michael Lodico, St. John's associate organist and choir director, at 202-270-6265 or 202-347-8766

Future dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concerts are:

March 4: Jared Denhard, bagpiper, assisted by Michael Lodico, St. John's organist and choirmaster, performing Pipes and More Pipes

April 19 (Sunday), 4 p.m.: Spring Concert by St. John's Choir

May 6: The U.S. Air Force Strings accompanied by Benjamin Hutto performing a Handel organ concerto and other pieces

June 3: Benjamin Straley, organist at the Washington National Cathedral

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