Metro Weekly

Drumming Decades

D.C.'s Different Drummers celebrates 30 years of making music

”My passion for the group grows every time I’m with them,” says Joe Bello of D.C.’s Different Drummers. Bello is not the only one. This Saturday, Nov. 6, Bello, in just his third year as the group’s director, heads up a gala concert celebrating the organization’s three decades of making music. That’s 30 years of passion.

Bello notes that like many other early gay social groups, DCDD started ”as a place for people to come to feel comfortable with their sexuality. [But] now it’s become a lot more than just a social thing. People come together to get inspired to be better people and better musicians.”

Roby Chavez of Fox 5 News will serve as guest emcee at this Saturday’s concert, a kickoff to the new season. It will showcase all ensembles in the group: the DCDD Marching Band, DC Swing!, Capitol Pride Winds and the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. The concert will recognize the organization’s ”strides since the 80s but also to reflect on those band members we’ve lost along the way,” says Bello. And it will close with ”On Wisconsin.” The piece may be best known as the Badger State’s official song, but it was also the very first march ever played by DCDD.

Talk about an encore.

The DCDD 30th Anniversary Concert is Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m., Bell Multicultural High School’s CHEC Auditorium, 3101 16th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Visit

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.