The Howard Theatre opened in 1910; boasting a capacity of more than 1,200, it was both an artistic and an architectural revolutionary of its time.
The legendary establishment launched the careers of countless artists, but few perhaps as well-known or beloved as the famous Ella Fitzgerald, who first won an open mic contest at the Howard in the 1930s. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since that auspicious performance, the Howard Theatre has played host to some of the most iconic artists of the past century, including Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Big Boi, and Scott Weiland. More recently, the Howard has broadened its repertoire to include variety acts like comedian Hannibal Buress and tap dancer Savion Glover.
“The Howard has always prided itself on being ‘The People’s Theatre,’” Alyssa Moody, the theater’s marketing manager, told Four Over Four. “We try to foster that mantra by bringing in a wide array of unique artists and performances from every genre, and every demographic.”
It is this commitment to being truly representative of the city’s—and the nation’s—cultural patchwork that made the Howard a staple among music halls from its inception, a mantle that it still wears today.
The Howard Theatre continues to play an integral role in the D.C. music scene through its varied programming, eclectic performances and late night parties, which, Moody points out, are “unlike any other in the area.”
Looking ahead into 2017, the Howard Theatre will be offering a robust calendar of events for locals and tourists alike to enjoy, including can’t-miss events like George Clinton’s Mardi Gras-themed concert on February 23.