RESCHEDULED FROM 1/5! I'm excited to be ringing in the new year with a new (to me) venue! I'll be joining Seth Kibel, Sean Lane, and Bob Abbott for a jazz set at Mr. Henry's in Washington DC on Thursday, Feb. 16 so I hope you can come by and say hello!
Wanna know more? Here's some pretty cool history about Mr. Henry's!
In 1966 founder Henry Yaffe bought the establishment at Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street SE, a country-western bar then called The 601 Club, and, without closing, “Mr. Henry,” as he came to be known, remodeled the space to the wood-paneled pub you see today.
Two years later Mr. Henry hired a local school teacher to sing in the pub. “She told me that if I could give her work three nights a week, she could quit teaching,” Henry recalled. Before long an upstairs performance area was constructed just for her, with oak paneling rescued from the Dodge Hotel before its demolition. This singer, none other than Roberta Flack, would go on to win 4 Grammys for the songs “Killing Me Softly” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
With its unique vibe of locals’ bar/soul nightclub, Henry’s drew a diverse crowd of a demographic mix atypical of the sixties. Noteworthy guests such as Eddie Harris, Ramsey Lewis, Johnny Mathis, Carmen McRae, and Burt Bacharach were in regular attendance at Mr. Henry’s, to name but a few. Flack would often share her stage and piano bench with them, even playing with Liberace one night.