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Sat, Apr 20


Takoma Station Tavern

Billy Harper, presented by Obasi Akoto


Billy Harper, presented by Obasi Akoto
Billy Harper, presented by Obasi Akoto

Time & Location

Apr 20, 2024, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

Takoma Station Tavern, 6914 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20012, USA

About the Event

Obasi Akoto presents Billy Harper at Takoma Station, with Greg Murphy (keyboard) Obasi Akoto (bass) and Eric Kennedy (drums)

This iconic 81-year old saxophonist spent years playing with Art Blakey, Lee Morgan and Max Roach, earning praise for his sax’s piercing cry. One of the last standing from his generation, Harper is still revered in the jazz world as both saxophonist and composer.

The drummer Billy Hart, who plays with Harper in the all-star hard bop group the Cookers, said Harper’s music reflects the divine. “I’ve known Harper for 50 years, and we don’t even talk that much,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what he believes, but I can hear it. It’s rhapsodic. He’s praying on the bandstand.”

"As a composer, he bears comparison with more famous musicians like Wayne Shorter and McCoy Tyner. Some of his compositions seem to unfold across vast landscapes, majestic and haunting, as if Harper were traveling through epochs of time.  'Billy is a griot, a storyteller,” said T.K. Blue, the saxophonist and flutist who performed with Harper for 30 years in bands led by the pianist Randy Weston. “I can hear the history of where he comes from in that music. It’s regal. I hear Africa. I hear Texas. I hear the blues.;"”

– New York Times

Doors open: 6:30pm

Show 7-10 pm (2 sets)

Advance tickets: $20

Day of show: $25

Parties of 4 or more can reserve a table for an additional $25. Send a request to

Minors are welcome but must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Free street parking, no food or drink minimum, no charge to stay for second set.

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