Pharaoh Sanders……. And…. E is for ……

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E is for Eleven. Thursday was the wedding anniversary of myself and the manservant; eleven years of wedded bliss.  Well, maybe not all the time “bliss” but certainly 11 years.

E also stands for Excuse… now as most of you know I don’t need much of an excuse to enjoy a drink or two.  So eleven plus excuse equaled a Thursday night out.

We went to Bohemian Caverns to see The Pharaoh Sanders Quartet       (Pharaoh –  tenor sax;   William Henderson – piano;   Ira Coleman – bass;   Joe Farnsworth – drums)

There is an “s”  in the name even if it’s not in the neon…..  

Bohemian Caverns started out in 1926 as the Club Caverns in the basement of a drugstore. In the 1950’s the name was changed to Crystal Caverns and later to Bohemian Caverns.

The club closed down in September 1968 when civil disturbances after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination led to a loss of business.
It reopened in 1999 as the U- Street corridor redeveloped.

During its life the club has hosted Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk… the list goes on and, actually, the last time Pharaoh played here was with John Coltrane!!

Pharaoh was born Ferrell Sanders in 1940 – so he’s no youngster but he can still play that sax with gusto!  

We had a table at the side of the stage;  the lighting was not terrific for no-flash photography with a point-and-shoot camera but it was a great performance.  

When Pharaoh was not playing he sat in his chair chilling to the sound of the others.    

We were nice & close to the drums…  

I felt that I could just reach out and touch him:


The performance lasted just over an hour and he finished with “The Creator has a Master Plan”  – though obviously not the full half hour version.  It was a lovely way to celebrate Eleven.

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37 responses

  1. Wonderful experience Emjay…thanks for sharing it.
    Some of these older musicians can perform magic right up into their very senior years.
    And congratulations on the anniversary.

    • Thank you GOF – it is probably the music that keeps those older musicians young. I think we should take note of the research that shows music reduces stress and blood pressure – not many of us just sit and chill to music.

  2. You have a very fairplay manservant ! 🙂
    I love free jazz … How lucky you are to have the Bohemian caverns nearly at home ! …
    Happy E.wedding anniversary ! …
    Many loves

  3. Congratulations on your 11th anniversary!
    Thank you for sharing a great night and the history of Bohemian Caverns. Those names you mention are all very familiar at my partner’s CD cabinet.
    Enjoyed your E-post very much!

  4. great shots about this concert-I like it and I can hear the music 🙂
    Happy wedding anniversary (sorry a little bit to late) and LOL about, maybe not all the time “bliss” but I think that is the life-11 years is a long time-congratulation from Kerstin

    • Thank you very much Kerstin. I think you would love the Bohemian Caverns – put it on your list of places to visit 🙂 Here’s to the next 11 – and I’m sure they won’t be all bliss either LOL.

    • LOL bliss(ters) . 16 years? That’s quite an achievement. The best thing about a jazz club is that talking is not required so you are not sitting at a table looking like you’ve been married 50 years and have said everything there is to say. One year the manservant got floor seats to a basketball game for us – that was pretty cool. Most of our anniversaries have been spent with me here in DC and him on a mountaintop somewhere.

  5. Yay for eleven. This was a very cool post. Happy anniversary and it’s neat that your region has so much history to it – love the MLK part. Great photos too.

    • Thank you Emmy. It’s taken such a long time for areas affected by the MLK riots to come back. I was quite pleased with how my camera performed – it was incredibly dark in there.

  6. Ohh nice! I am hoping to be able to go to concerts like this in a very close future. Looks very lovely. My next concert will be at Royal Albert Hall and classical music. Just don’t ask me what – I have no clue. My family had 2 tickets and decided to book a third that I could come along. My mum would probably look pretty dumbstruck if she knew LOL. Her daughter who, for most of her life, only went under protest or refused to go to classical concerts completely. But somehow this feels more interesting and exciting.

    • The Royal Albert Hall – lucky you Irony! I’m not a huge classical or opera fan myself but you are right, it feels different and a lot more exciting if you are visiting a city or country and get to go to one of their premier venues. It’s like a special occasion. All those years I lived in Sydney and I only went to the Opera House six or seven times, and two of those were when my kids were in a schools concert!

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