Luce Unplugged brings DC's best musical acts to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for an evening concert after a staff-led art talk. On Thursday, August 24, soul artist Aaron Abernathy takes a break from working on his current projects to perform a set at 6 p.m. Luce Unplugged is presented in collaboration with DC Music Download.
"My albums are books," Aaron Abernathy said in an interview last year on Bandcamp, comparing the experience of listening to his music to learning from a book you've pulled from your shelf. And Abernathy certainly has plenty to share with his listeners. His most recent record, Monologue (2016), reflects on his relationships with his family, friends, and high school girlfriend, something we can all relate to, even if we never put it to music. An earlier single from last year, "Now A Days," is especially poignant as it explores what it means to be Black in America today. The song also features the words of his great uncle, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, a leader the Civil Rights movement and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Abernathy is from Cleveland, Ohio, where he took his first piano lessons as a child. He moved to Washington, DC to attend Howard University. Here he made his first foray into our local music scene and he credits the support of fellow artists in the DC community with his decision to live here. The singer/songwriter/producer includes Sly and the Family Stone, Prince, and Earth, Wind, and Fire among his many influences and fosters his creativity through everything from conversations, movies, and music. Abernathy has toured across the globe, recently returning from a sold out show in Tokyo, and we're so excited to welcome him to the Luce Center. Please join us at 5:30 p.m. for a talk on Edward Mitchell Bannister's Sunset Scene, a painting selected by Abernathy, before he performs at 6 p.m. If you can't wait until Thursday, you can take a listen to his music on his website.