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Monday, January 30, 2017

Free jazz concert, Feb. 1, St. John's, Lafayette Square

Jazz singer Sara Jones

Did someone say Billie Holiday?   

Jazz singer Sara Jones, the winner of a Billie Holiday competition, will present a free lunchtime concert at St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square Wednesday to sing the greats of Cole Porter and George Gershwin, among other composers.

Accompanying her for Winter Escape will be Steve Heberman on the guitar and Paul Langosch, bass.

St. John's quotes Ms. Jones describing the concert as "jazz standards and Brazilian bossa novas that will keep you warm during this wintry and blustery season.  With songs lovingly curated from the Great American Songbook, we will explore songs about love of travel, love of warmth, and love of life!"  

A prelude to Valentine's Day!

The concert is one of St. John's First Wednesday Concert series, presented without charge.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, DC/Photo by Patricia Leslie

St. John's was founded in 1815 and is known to Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square. It's often called the “Church of the Presidents” since beginning with James Madison who was president from 1809 to 1817, every president 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.  

Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol Building, designed St. John's Church in the form of a Greek cross.  

The church bell, weighing almost 1,000 pounds, was cast by Paul Revere's son, Joseph, in August, 1822, and hung at St. John's that November where it has rung ever since. Wikipedia says two accounts report that whenever the bell rings on the occasion of the death of a notable person, six male ghosts appear at the president's pew at midnight and quickly disappear.  (Who are the six?)

Following tradition, President Donald J. Trump and his family began his presidency on the morning of January 20, 2017 with private services at St. John's.

For those on lunch break Wednesday, food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away.


A concert not to miss! 

Who: Jazz vocalist Sara Jones

First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., February 1, 2017

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 director of music ministry and organist, 202-270-6265 or

Other dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concert Series are:

(The first Wednesday in March is Ash Wednesday.)

April 5: Soloists from St. John's Choir will sing.

May 3: Thomas Smith, the director of music at Christ Church, Georgetown, will play A Journey to Merrie Olde England - A Recital of English Organ Music.

June 7: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 will be played by the U.S. Air Force Strings with trumpeter Mary Bowden.

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