What the Press is Saying
About the Johnny Artis Band

Johnny Artis at the State Theatre

May 2, 2001
By Maria Villafana washingtonpost.com/mp3 Producer

Longevity and determination should be celebrated, and Johnny Artis does just that at his 15th-year anniversary concert at the State Theatre May 10. An R& #S38;B-blues vocalist at heart, Artis offers shows that can swing from soul to funk, from classic rock to eclectic blues and Cajun or any other style that moves him - an affinity he says that has hurt his chances for a record deal. "Whatever I'm singing, I love it while I'm singing. I can sound like Otis Redding or Rod Stewart. If I'm doing Louis Armstrong, it's 1933 in New Orleans and I'm there," says Artis. "Some people like you to do one or two things, not everything, but I don't have any regrets." His fourth self-released album, "Kornicopia," maintains that independence. A Virginia native from Caroline County, Artis has been playing the mid-Atlantic region alongside keyboardist Jeff Bean since the early '80s. Though other band members, including saxman Ron Holloway, drummer Sean Peck and guitarist Charles Wright, are relatively new to the fold and lead their own music projects as well, Artis is including everyone in the festivities on Thursday night. "I never stop dreaming. I keep going for a better place. But I've been playing about 15 years, we survived ... let's have a party." Artis also appears at the National Zoo's Zoofari, with Gene Chandler, starting at 9 p.m. May 17.

Playing the Generation Blues

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Sunday, April 1, 2001
Byline: Autumn Canaday

From 1915 through at least 1960, tens of thousands of blacks fled the South for the North, with the hope of escaping poverty and segregation.

The Great Migration was a decision that meant leaving behind family members, familiar faces and the cultural treasures that one can find only south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

But one thing that stayed with those who migrated north was the music we now call the blues.

Blues music is electric guitar solos, lyrics about being downtrodden and betrayed, and toe-tapping beats. Blues music is B.B. King, Big Mama Thornton and juke joints in the backwoods.

Today, the Johnny Artis Band plays the blues around Washington, Maryland and Virginia. It seems the music from "back home" is perfect for dancing, background sounds at clubs or getting a party started.

But many of the grandchildren of those who were part of the Great Migration pass up the music that is part of their heritage. To put it plainly, why don't more black youths listen to the blues?

After all, it seems the music that was called "race music" not more than 30 years ago is now accepted in some circles as the music.

"It keeps people from going over the edge. It makes them sit down and say, `I don't want to jump today,'" Johnny Artis said from his Old Town Alexandria home.

Artis was born and raised in Caroline County. Caroline is nestled in his childhood memories among cornfields, Grandma's house, dusty roads and some of the best food in the world. Back home meant corn pudding, tomato fields and Sam Cooke on Grandma's radio while 10 kids ran around the house.

In 1968, 10-year-old Johnny moved with his mother to Alexandria. But the music that was such a big part of his life in Caroline stayed with him. Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, sometimes Muddy Waters and always, always the good gospel music.

While music was always in Artis' heart, it was not always his sole means of survival.

After going through public school in Northern Virginia, he took jobs as a pizza man and sous chef and eventually became executive chef at an area restaurant. He worked in the restaurant business until his mother's death.

"My mom always wanted me to play music and entertain, but I didn't start playing music until I was 28," Artis said. "My mother was the life of the party. She would be in the center of a room with all of the attention on her. She saw that on me.

"When she died, I walked off my job, put a band together and I never looked back."

Artis' musical gifts soon became apparent. He had a sharp eye for the kinds of music that drew crowds. In addition to blues, his band can easily play funk, jazz, country, soul and R&B to suit the moods and tastes of listeners.

The music he writes comes from his life and the trials he went through before he found his calling as a full-time artist. He remembers smoking, partying and plenty of drinking.

"But when it started hurting me financially, physically and mentally, I . . . had to quit before it quit me. But I wasn't going to quit the music." Artis said he has been clean seven years.

The bluesy nature of his background lays the foundation for what is going on in the music scene today.

In his song "Time Passes," he sings:

There's a shadow hanging over me
I don't know the reason why
World changed all around
Tears fall from my eyes

The song has the lyrics of the blues, but with a reggae/acoustic sound.

* * *

At 9:30 on a Friday night at the Rock Bottom Brewery, in an upper- class area of suburban Maryland, the scene is similar to that of a New York pub.

An unassuming twenty- and thirty-something buppie crowd is talking. Numerous televisions are showing Friday night fights on ESPN.

Johnny Artis and his band are doing sound checks. An electric guitar cuts through the noise and some eyes turn toward the band. But the talking resumes.

Ann Marie Jean-Claude and her fiance, Kevin Massenberg, sharing a dinner near the bar, have never heard of Johnny Artis. The well- polished black couple seem to be interested in spending time with each other, not listening to a blues band.

Within 15 minutes, though, heads are bobbing throughout the bar area. Some are stopping and staring as Artis bellows, "Go down to Louisiana, baby, and get my mojo back."

Then, the same people who were more interested in beer are up on their feet, hand-dancing, clapping. One patron joins Artis at the mike to sing "Honky-Tonk Woman."

By 10 p.m., Jean-Claude and Massenberg have left their seats to dance in a corner. The dance floor is full of smiles - smiles that are on mostly white faces.

* * *

Ron Holloway, famed saxophonist for more than 30 years and a member of Dizzy Gillespie's band for 11, was born and raised in Washington. He remembers that the lack of black audience members at blues and jazz shows used to bother Gillespie.

Holloway's memories are full of nights when he played in venues across America to audiences that were all white or mostly white.

"Music that is a part of America's archives tends to be supported by whites rather than blacks," he said. "Young blacks come to clubs to hear music that is current, but most older blacks don't like the music that is being created now.

"Radio has changed so much from the days when they played everything. Now, you don't have that anymore. It's a complex thing to try and figure out who is listening to what. The music is broken up into segments, and there is an audience for every type of music."

In 2001, the blues still thrives on some radio stations that are listener-supported. There are blues bands all over the Washington area, but the city that is predominantly black has a new generation that would rather listen to Jigga than Muddy Waters.

But there is still hope, at least in Artis' heart.

"I grew up on both sides of the track. I've always looked at people as people," he said. "My white friends have always listened to the blues, but they never went out to hear it. My young black friends listened to the radio.

"If you go to any concert and Muddy Waters or B.B. King is playing, there are usually more whites. But my older black friends listen to what I'm playing now.

"There are not too many 52-year-olds running around to see who's playing the blues," Artis said. "To them now, it's something to wake up to and make them remember about yesterday.

"The younger generation needs to come out and see for themselves."

Bush Is A Hit At Democratic Retreat

The Washington Post —
February 3, 2001
By: Mike Allen and Helen Dewar


Capping two weeks of aggressive wooing of Democrats, President Bush paid an extraordinary visit to a retreat of Senate Democrats yesterday and drew long applause for his vow to "rid the system of rancor."

The closed-door retreat is usually devoted to circling the wagons against Republicans. Senate Democrats have never ha a Republican president as a guest before, and President Bill Clinton did not attend GOP conclaves. So the Democrat’s invitation, and Bush’s eager acceptance, marked a notable if tentative victory in what he calls his "deadly earnest" drive to reduce Washington bickering.

Just 19 hours earlier, 42 of the Senate’s 50 Democrats had voted against confirming one of their alumni, John D. Ashcroft, as Bush’s attorney general. But Bush has been courting Capitol Hill with gusto, holding White House meetings with 153 members of Congress — 75 Democrats and 78 Republicans.

Bush spoke for 12 minutes. He took five questions and mingled for about 10 minutes, according to the White House.

"It was more than a gesture," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.). "I think he sincerely is going to try to figure out how to make it work." Biden said he thought Bush would "have a hard problem" figuring out the actual compromises, and said the president "got off to a bad start" by turning so sharply right with Ashcroft’s nomination.

Bush drew laughter from the Democratic senators by beginning with an apology for mixing up the two of them earlier in the week. Then Bush said that some people may think he’s naïve to think he can "rid the system of rancor, but that’s my intent."

The president put them on notice that he’s no pushover, however. When Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) praised Bush for having his father’s civility, Bush replied, "Except that I have half my mother in me."

And bipartisanship has its limits. When asked about reports that Bush had received a standing ovation from the Democrats, one attendee said, "Everybody clapped, and they stood up because he was leaving."

On Sunday, Bush will fly to Pennsylvania to speak to a retreat of House Democrats that is likely to be testier than the Senate session. The president may find himself fielding questions from members of the Congressional Black Caucus who boycotted the group’s meeting at the White House this week because of their continued dismay about the outcome of the Florida vote-counting litigation.

After meeting with the Senate Democrats, Bush flew to Williamsburg for a retreat of House and Senate Republicans. He pledged that "the tone set in the first 14 days will be a consistent tone for however long I happen to be fortunate enough to be your president."

"We’ll have our disagreements, we’ll fight over principle, and we’ll argue over detail, but we’ll do so in a way that respects one another," Bush said. "I’m committed to setting a positive tone for the country, and I know you’ll join me."

Bush plans to spend next week building support for his tax cut plan, and he gave the Republicans a preview of an argument designed to undermine Democrat’s contention that the wealthiest would benefit the most from this proposal.

As Bush rolls out the details of his proposals, he plans to portray the tax system as "unfair to people at the bottom end of the economic ladder." Bush described a "single mom who is working hard to get ahead," making $22,000 a year, who "pays a higher tax rate on the extra dollar earned than someone who is making $200,000 a year."

"Part of our plan is not only to serve s an insurance policy against a severe economic downturn or a second wind for economic recovery," Bush said. "Part of our vision addresses unfairness in the code by recognizing there are people struggling to get in the middle class."

After Bush’s visit to the Democratic retreat at the Library of Congress, Sen. Byron L. Doorman (D-N.D.), who first suggested the invitation to the president, said Bush "recognized that we have issues we feel very strongly about — he invited us to work with him, and he pledged to work with us."

"It was a low-key presentation, and there were no contentious questions," Dorgan added.

At lunchtime, Bush took a helicopter ride to meet with the even friendlier faces of House and Senate Republicans, who were meeting at Kingsmill Resort. More than 180 House Republicans, gearing up for an evening featuring a sing-a-long and dancing to The Johnny Artis Band, lavished Bush with applause and laughter during his speech. . . . . .

Johnny Artis in Residence

Few local performers will promise, much less deliver, a night of rock, blues, soul, country, and rhythm & blues, and have all of it keep you on the dance floor from the minute you walk into the club. But when Johnny Artis sings -no matter what he sings - you can't sit still! Not only is he gifted with a precious voice which has yet to encounter a note it can't hit, he also has a knack for reading his audience, and choosing from his limitless repertoire the songs that'll keep everyone dancing and dancing. Keeping the dance-fest going, in fact, appears to be his top priority, and Johnny Artis takes big chances to see that his audience is entertained.

Probably the most notorious song in the band's repertoire is the extended R&B jam. Never does it last less than twenty minutes, but never is it played the same - perfect for the aerobic workout you blew off all week. And Johnny's voice will sustain you; his sound is at once captivating and emotional: smoky blues, combined with home-grown soul and artistic interpretation rivaled only by the recognized masters he covers. In fact, recently, at the Bayou he brought down the house by so beautifully rendering his Happy Birthday dedication of "Try a Little Tenderness" to the club's manager, Lois.

Point Blank: A Johnny Artis Band performance is a rare combination of energetic stage show and rockin' and balladic soul and blues dance standards. The message is clear. If you've come to dance and have a good time with a fun band, then get to it; and if you've come to listen, forget that because you'll be dancing on top of the tables before the night's over.

In my opinion, national recognition for him can't happen soon enough. He has a voice and presence that we shouldn't keep to ourselves.

The Johnny Artis Band: "Kornicopia"

Music Reviews
By: Cliff Johns
Old Town Crier — December, 2000


Johnny Artis came to Alexandria from way down south of Fredericksburg — from Caroline County — in the 1970s and, during the first cool days of Alexandria’s Renaissance, initially made his living as a roller-skating waiter in the old Warehouse restaurant/bar (not to be confused with today’s tiny King Street establishment — no music there — of the same name). He and his pick-up bands soon became many night-owls’ favorite party-group-for-hire; and his career as a local fun-maker began. Though it was an uncertain existence, Johnny embraced it as his destiny, and has kept on to this day.

Kornicopia is his most recent release. This record begins with "Trapped Down," which challenges Robert Cray, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other recent-year purveyors of the blues from real experience: ". . . I was in a cocaine/alcoholic blues. . ." Strong, feeling blues guitar is punctuated by nice horn and organ arrangements; and, of course, Johnny’s heart-wrenching words sung with especial conviction make the track.

"Still Water" would make James Brown smile and nod. The production values are excellent. "Time Passes" is a "church" song, with a Reggae preacher-man intro. complete with Hammond organ pulses. (Johnny does a really good "reggae." Jah be praised! He obviously has become very fond of Caribbean music, and he is doing as well as any disciple of Marley, Tosh, etc. And what nice backing/harmony vocals on these tracks, as well as many of the others.)

"Time can take away your dreams. . . Time can’t take away my belief." Nice horn solo. . . Johnny is really presenting a sophisticated record here; one of many musical styles, and expressive of deep, dark experience of life. For instance, "Shake Me Wrong" is a very cool, rollicking country blues, complete with dobro, etc. "Running with the devil. . ." I am impressed! The man has traveled a long, painful road in order to bring us a very cool, varied record that will stand up to the test of time for discerning listeners of experience, especially among his local fans.

The primary R&B mode is so well done, you will think you are in the Apollo Theater; but the blues, reggae, etc., are also right there. Instead of mere imitation, we have new-made music in these time-honored grooves. Good playing; and Johnny’s voice and phrasing are very experienced, cool, and full of feeling.

Excellent inspiration, instrumentation, variety, and production values. Fourteen neat numbers. Congratulations, Johnny, for achieving your dream! And thanks for the music and the fun for so many years! Keep it up. (People, buy this record; you will enjoy, then cherish it) 2646 Redcoat Drive, #2D, Alexandria, VA 22303-2637 / (703) 960-3342 / e-mail: johnnyartis@aol.com / www.johnnyartis.com.

The Johnny Artis Band: Live Versatility

© Bluesrockers 2001

"It’s 106 miles to Chicago. . . we got a full tank of gas. . . . half a pack of cigarettes...it’s dark and we're wearing sunglasses. . . ."

The Blues Brothers began as a comedy skit on Saturday Night Live, a product of the twisted genius of Dan Aykroyd (Elwood) and John Belushi (Joliet Jake). After numerous appearances on SNL, the boys took their black suited, black hatted, sunglass wearing mythical blues band to the big screen, resulting in a film which would become a modern cult classic. Though Aykroyd and Belushi were of only moderate musical talent, they surrounded themselves with a band of seasoned blues and soul musicians, anchored by Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn (ex-Booker T and the MGs) and veteran blues guitarist Matt "Guitar" Murphy. While the script may have been a bit lame, the soundtrack was most memorable, featuring selections from James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway, among others.

Though the Blues Brothers were fictitious, Washington DC’s Johnny Artis Band is the real thing. Part Otis Redding, part Johnny Nash, with a dash of Al Green, Artis fronts a talented band of guitars, keyboards, bass and horns. His material and style embraces a wide range of music, from Willie Dixon to Louis Armstrong. The CD appropriately opens in Blues Brothers style with a horn laced instrumental, which then gives way to Artis’ soulful rendition of Greg Allman’s great "It’s Not My Cross To Bear". Covers of Sonny Landreth, Davis and Diamond, and Willie Dixon tunes follow, leading up to a very fine Johnny Artis original "Ballin The Jack". The highlight of the CD for me comes next with a wonderful cover of Lightnin’ Hopkins "Mojo Hand". The CD also includes tributes to Bob Marley, T-Bone Walker, and Louis Armstrong. And, in true Blues Brothers’ tradition, there is an excellent cover of Sam and Dave’s "Hold On, I’m Coming" . There is little wonder why this CD is titled "Live Versatility". The material and style may be diverse, but the genuine vocal talent of Johnny Artis is consistent throughout. This is a most enjoyable recording from an artist I hope to someday hear live and in person.

The CD is available at the official Johnny Artis web site, along with his recent and excellent studio release of original material "Kornicopia". If you order from his web site, I assure you that not only will you receive some great music but you will also deal with some of the nicest people you will ever encounter on the internet. Thanks Terri!

From:The Knot (www.theknot.com)
September 2, 2000

After the wedding ceremony, guests got their groove on as the Johnny Artis Band rolled out tunes ranging from the Rolling Stones to Bob Seger. "The band was unbelievable," recalls Stacia. "They got every single guest on the dance floor. It kept the mood of the reception very energetic and fun."

Stacia & Chris Freimuth

Johnny Artis

Patrick Watson
Old Town Crier — March, 2000

Every so often, a person comes along who can perform several different tasks in hi/her chosen profession. Even less common, the individual performs this range of abilities well. Individuals with this ability are said to show Versatility. Such is the case with Johnny Artis.


From an early age, Johnny Artis had dreams of becoming a singer. He attributes his success to his mother, who has since passed away. "I started out working in restaurants in Old Town Alexandria. My mother used to encourage me to get on stage and sing." Finally at the age of twenty-seven, Johnny did just that. "I haven’t looked back since."


Johnny’s roots include such greats as Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. Perhaps this accounts for the broad interests in his music.


Now, with a tight band backing him, he can explore his musical range. Johnny makes no bones about the fact that if it weren’t for his band, he wouldn’t be where he is today. "I’ve got a bunch of very talented musicians to work with. They have very different backgrounds and interests like myself, which is great because it allows us to explore new ideas. This band has been playing together for a while and you begin to get a feel for what each other is after." Jeff Bean (keyboards) has been playing with Johnny for over twelve years; Lee Dodson (bass) for eleven; Frankie Addison (saxophone) over five; Sean Peck (drums) four; and Sean Camp (guitars) just over three years. Rounding out the band is a strong but subtle brass section, consisting of Kelvin Montgomery and Harem Hopkins (trombone).


Versatility is the name of the band’s CD recorded live at Blue’s Alley in 1998. Featuring such songs as It’s Not My Cross To Bear — Gregg Allman, to the Louis Armstrong cut What A Wonderful World; this CD shows the range and scope of what this band is after. Everything. It is very rare when the quality sound that is captured in Versatility occurs during a "truly live" recording. The rhythm is tight as a drum, the guitar has enough bite to cut steel, and the sax as hot as a New Orleans heat wave.


The Johnny Artis Band didn’t just become a success overnight. A lot of dues have been paid playing in local venues and abroad. From doing a show in Germany to playing Chili Cookoffs right here in D.C.; the band has put in the time. "Some great experiences have come from all the gigs. I mean, we played with Bo Didley at the National Zoofari benefit in D.C. We’ve also played with Clarence Clemens, The Doobie Brothers, The Commitments, and Southside Johnny. Playing with talented people like these has taught us that there is another level to music." Whether Johnny knows it or not, this band has reached that next level.


Some other artists the band has jammed with are The Thunderbirds, Paul Reed Smith, JR Walker And The All-Stars, The John Caferdy Band, and Rick Derringer.


On March 25 at Fast Eddie’s in Alexandria, Johnny will be celebrating his fifteenth anniversary in the music business. "I look back on those days bussing tables and think of how far I’ve come and how I wouldn’t have even tried if it weren’t for my mother. I owe her everything."


On February 12, The Johnny Artis Band played live at C.J. Nickels in Springfield and the show was covered by News Channel 8. This exposure could bring The Johnny Artis Band more success than they think. "I just like making people happy. If they get up and dance, they’re happy. I don’t care about that other stuff. It’s all about putting on a good show."


The future looks good for The Johnny Artis Band. "We’re working on a CD of original songs [due to be released this summer]. We would like to try and find all of our voices. Reggae, blues, soul, you name it." The CD is being recorded at Q Studios in Falls Church, VA. It is being considered by big labels such as Alligator and Epic.


Also in the future are the Waterfront Festival in Alexandria (Johnny’s tenth), and the Republican Convention in Philadelphia, PA.


After speaking with Johnny Artis, I’ve come to believe that he is a very good person and easy to talk to. After listening to his music, I know he is a very talented person and is very easy to listen to. It would be a shame if someone were to read this article and still miss out on their fifteenth anniversary.


From bussing tables to playing Republican Conventions, from singing songs by Eric Clapton to Louis Armstrong; Johnny Artis has shown that he and his band have what it takes to succeed in this business — Versatility.


To learn more of upcoming events and performances for The Johnny Artis Band, please visit their website: www.johnnyartis.com.

From: SCAN
Stop Child Abuse Now
2210 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia

March 21, 1997

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter as a high recommendation for the Johnny Artis Band. Johnny and his band have played for me personally as well as played for the charity that I am involved with, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now). In both cases the band was excellent, the events went well, and most importantly, everyone attending had a really wonderful time.

Over the years, through several events, I have had the pleasure if getting to know Johnny Artis and consider him a friend. He is a person of integrity with a passion for his work that shows every time he performs. The members of the band appear to share his integrity and passion.

I highly recommend the Johnny Artis Band for any event where you want great music and you want people to have fun. I am quite sure that we will find many more opportunities to use the band for functions that we hold. They are fantastic!

Susan Hebbel

Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Office
U.S. Army Community & Family Support Center
2461 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia

August 28, 1998

Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Evaluation rated Johnny Artis Band: Outstanding

Very good group. Quality music and vocals with exceptional stage presence. Group is capable of playing a wide range of music from soft jazz to hard rock. All group members were actively involved with the audience during the breaks and responded quite well to audience requests.

On the 4th of July, we featured a special German/American celebration, partially as our regular 4th of July celebration and partially as part of the local Cultural Week's festivities. The group put on a special 4 hour show which played to a standing room only crowd all evening. The hotel was packed with people in our main bar, and our disco, as well as in the Skyline Room where the group was playing. It was the largest crowd we've ever had in the hotel during any DOD Show. Both American and German members of the audience were exceptionally enthusiastic about the show.

George R. Zandier

Beachcomber In Town, article by Rob Rector

The Johnny Artis Band, it seems, is a group of high-energy-junkies. They get their rush from the reaction of the crowds that are before them every night they play.

We're a high-energy rhythm and blues band," said keyboardist Jeff Bean. "Every night we strive to get the audience involved with the show...It's like an addiction."

The continual exchange of energy from band to audience, audience to band, like some kind of kinetic gift-giving, has to be initiated by the musicians. And this can only come about with a true passion for what they do.

"Music is a need for me more than a want," said Bean, describing his own personal hierarchy of needs, which would throw Maslow's research out the window.

I've been an extrovert ever since I heard the Hammond organ," he said. "It just stood up and spoke to me." Yes, that does sound a bit corny and cliche, and Bean admits that, but his fascination with the instrument has lead to a life revolved around it today.

As a band, we feel fortunate to be playing and having as much fun as we do," Bean added. the band's "no stone unturned" line-up consists of songs from the Stones, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top to Smokey Robinson, Nat King Cole and Robert Cray. Bean said the band's working cover list include over 100 songs.

With several CDs under their belt, a new CD on the way "Live Versatility," as well as a single that gained airplay on WHFS, "Funk Stovall", Bean said the group members hope to continue writing and sharpening their style for future release.

Friends of the National Zoo
National Zoological Park
Washington, DC

May 26, 1998

Dear Johnny,

On behalf of Friends of the National Zoo, I want to thank you for making "Giants" the biggest and best ZooFari ever. As usual your enthusiasm on stage charged the crowd for quite an exciting evening. You have become an integral part of our ZooFari; for six years now you've been thrilling our guests with your show, and I can't imagine a ZooFari without your entertainment. Thank you for all you have done to make ZooFari a smashing success.

This year's event raised more than $200,000 for the Theodore H. Reed Animal Fund. Proceeds from Giants will help the National Zoo to continue to exhibit, breed, and educate about giants of the animal kingdom and other rare and endangered species. As you know, this is becoming a more difficult task each day. At the same time that more and more of these beautiful animals are losing their natural habitat, the cost of caring for them in zoos escalates. Thanks to your contribution to ZooFari, combined with those of others, the scientist here at the National Zoo will have the funds they need to help create a future for these endangered creatures.

Again, thank you for all you have done to benefit the National Zoo. Not only did you contribute to providing a wonderful experience for our guests, but in doing so you have helped to continue the existence of endangered species her on earth.

Clinton A. Fields
Executive Director

Punch Enterprises, Inc.
5661 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, Virginia

April 5, 1997

Dear Johnny,

On behalf of St. Jude's Research Hospital, I want to thank you for helping make our Spring Fling 1997 a success. Your performance was certainly one of the highlights of the evening.

As you know, 100% of the proceeds from the Spring Fling will benefit St. Jude's Research Hospital. Your support of this event is one of the reasons we were so successful.

I look forward to working with you in the near future.

Best personal regards,
David Black
Spring Fling 1997

From The Washington CityPaper of 15-21 January 1999


18th - M O N D A Y

By Daniel Searing

Can't decide whether to hire a band or a DJ to entertain at your next function? Maybe you should consider inquiring whether the Johnny Artis Band is available. Its human-jukebox frontman delivers his wide-ranging selection of originals and blues-to-rock-and-back covers in styles eerily reminiscent of their originators - gruff for Louis, sweet for Aaron. He claims to "do it as good or better" or he doesn't do it. The Rich Little of R&B and his fiery five-piece band celebrate the release of their new CD, Live Versatility, tonight. It was recorded earlier this year at this very venue, so expect the atmosphere to be preheated at 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW.

For information on booking the Johnny Artis Band, contact Johnny Artis at

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