The Last Jam at Archie Edwards Barbershop Jan. 26, 2008.
MSG was in attendance for the last jam at Archie Edwards' old barbershop. It was standing room only for much of the day. New comers milled around with old timers. The last jam was a celebration of the community that has sprung around the historic barbershop. The jam started early and ended late… a good time was had by all.
The 'shop' has deeply influenced what we do as a group. Miles was schooled by Archie Edwards himself and mentored directly by Mike Baytop who was himself mentored by Archie. Miles is a founding member of the board of directors of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation and the organization's first treasurer. Jackie learned to play the bones from the late, great master, Richard "Mr. Bones" Thomas. The Barbershop was a nurturing environment for Resa, which eased her angst of performance anxiety. At the time, she was afraid to sing in the
shower…those days are few and far between, thanks to the encouragement of N.J. Warren, Napoleon Brundage, Eleanor Ellis, David Jackson, and Michael Baytop.
At the Barbershop, we attended workshops given by our mentors Gaye Adegbalola, John Cephas, and Phil Wiggins to name a few.
MSG has performed at fundraisers and benefits for the foundation since the trio formed. In addition, we have been afforded opportunities to participate in festivals and concerts representing the barbershop including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, The Kennedy Center, Greater Washington Folklore Society Festivals, and the DC Blues Society Festival.
We will all miss the historic space but realize that the community remains.
The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation is now holding Jams at HR57, 1610 14th NW, Washington DC.