As of press time. Please note: Time windows are approximate. Performers subject to change without notice.
2015 Pride Festival Map
DJ Jerry Houston must be one of the hardest-working men in radio. As well as overseeing programming for Clear Channel’s Pride Radio digital radio service, he is also a weekend host on Hot 99.5 FM and the digital content coordinator for the area’s leading pop station. In his spare time, he manages the entertainment lineup for Capital Pride.
DESTINY B. CHILDS
Destiny B. Childs has racked up a lot of titles, from Miss International Gay Rodeo Association to Miss Gaye America DC, but she’s also been recognized for her work on behalf of the community as a Capital Pride Hero in 2010.
One of D.C.’s better house DJs, Kurt Graves throws regular gay parties at Howard Theatre and Flash Nightclub, focused on a mix of high-energy tunes. A Mississippi native, Graves adopted his DJ handle as a nod to the nickname he was given at Howard University, when people couldn’t tell him and his identical twin brother apart.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
The largest gay men’s chorus in the country, with more than 275 singers, and one of the best choral groups in what is dubbed the choral capital of the U.S., the Gay Men’s Chorus often takes a cheeky approach to the repertoire, and extravagantly dresses the part.
MICHELLE RAYMOND BAND
Performing on the Capitol Stage for the sixth consecutive year, this four-piece band is led by Raymond, also known as M-Ray, who describes the sound as “acoustic folk with a little funk and jam.”
Virginia native Paul Corrie leads a crew of performers coming from the worlds of dance, cheerleading and stunts to give a full-on, high-level production. Corrie performs in drag as Peaches, a name he adapted from the Super Mario World character Princess Peach, whose look is inspired by Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney and Beyonce.
ELLA FITZGERALD & KRISTAL SMITH
Creator of the “Ladies of Illusion” show at Ziegfeld’s and called a “Hurricane on Heels,” Fitzgerald is D.C.’s first lady of drag, having recently celebrated 34 years at Ziegfeld’s. She’ll share the stage with Kristal Smith, Miss Ziegfeld’s 2015.
Born Marie-Claire Cremers in the Netherlands, Amber is best known for her club hits at the turn of the millennium, from “This Is Your Night” to “Sexual (“Li Da Di)” to “If You Could Read My Mind Love,” her fantastic dance cover, with Ultra Nate and Jocelyn Enriquez, of Gordon Lightfoot’s ballad.
Every year the fiercest drag queens in Northern Virginia hop on a pink flamingo at their beach bar to soar across the river. And then they hail a cab. Destiny B. Childs, who’s already working the Capitol Stage as emcee, directs this show — which is all an illusion.
Capital Pride is hoping to be ahead of the curve with this up-and-coming British artist. Katy Tiz is so new, she only recently signed to a record label. Atlantic Records will release her debut album once she’s done putting it together. At least she’s got support from Clear Channel, which is playing “The Big Bang” and “Whistle (While You Work It).”
A Georgia-born, Nashville-based independent country-rocker, Sarah Peacock styles herself as a cross between Ann Wilson of Heart and Sheryl Crow, with a powerful smokey voice that is quite something.
One of the Top 8 Group Finalists on Fox’s X Factor USA in 2011, this Miami-based pop duo of Richard Mason and Laz took a couple years off. Did Paula Abdul exhaust them? Or was it Simon Cowell? Either way, The Night Runners released their first single, called “Single,” last summer and are working on more.
THE LADIES OF TOWN
As seen on America’s Got Talent, not to mention every week at Town Danceboutique, these drag queens and dancers perform choreographed, lip-synced routines to dance-pop numbers that would make Britney Spears and Kesha jealous.
The runner-up queen during season seven of RuPaul‘s Drag Race, Ginger Minj is a big-boned funny lady from Florida who aspires to be the next Melissa McCarthy — or at least her drag stunt double. At root, Ginger’s “old” spice is a 29-year-old theater actor, Joshua Eads-Brown.
ENKORE DANCE COMPANY
Damarcko “Retro” Price launched this local urban dance company to train young dancers between ages seven and 23 in various styles of dance, from hip-hop to ballet to freestyle. The group has opened for Wale, Eric Benet and Bell Biv DeVoe.
Jessi Malay has been performing in teen pop groups since the L.A. native was eight, including a short stint as leader of the girl group No Secrets. Last year she released her dance-pop EP Give Me Life and opened for Danity Kane.
The seventh winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Violet Chachki is an accomplished aerialist and striptease dancer. Jason Dardo is the Georgian behind Chachki, who also sings, models — oh yeah, and dresses in women’s clothes.
“Call Me Maybe” was omnipresent as the song of summer in 2012, and then there was the video in which, as Carly Rae Jepsen told us in 2013, “the guy that I was pining after ended up preferring my [male] guitarist.” It’s just another little nod from this quiet but steady supporter of the LGBT cause, who two years ago performed at the White Party Palm Springs — but did not perform at the National Scout Jamboree, as a protest of its policy disallowing openly gay leaders. Later this month, Jepsen releases her third album Emotion, but first she’ll tell all the gays in D.C.: “I Really Like You.”
Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.
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