You can see her through the window as you descend the stairs of the Rock Creek Cafe, adjacent to the Georgetown Omni Hotel near Dupont Circle. She has silky brown skin. A trim figure draped in silk, satin or rhinestones. Four-inch heels. As Donnie West, her bass accompanist, puts it, "Lady is not the type of person you can see and not look at -- she's not just a piano player, she's an entertainer."
She's also in her sixties, and a retired nurse. But Evelyn Moseley -- a k a Lady Byron, a stage name saved from when she and an ex-husband performed as Lord and Lady Byron -- keeps on playing. For the last year she's been performing during the Rock Creek's happy hour and weekend brunch.
"I've traveled all over the world and have worked with some of the greats," she says of her work as an entertainer. "But every day when I come in here and play my music, it gives me the same excitement. I love people, and one of the ways I can touch the inner soul of people is through my music."
"For a person who doesn't have any formal musical training or a degree, her interpretation is phenomenal," says West, who has worked with Moseley for eight years. "For those listening in the audience, no one second-guesses her ability. But if you ask, she'll tell you that she's never had a day of piano lessons in her life."
The duo's repertoire includes tunes from the '30s, '40s and '50s, the period of Moseley's musical inspiration. She has fond memories of performing back then. But these days, she looks forward to the gig at the hotel. "It's a very nice environment, and the people are wonderful to me."
The second set is about to begin. Lady Byron takes a sip from a martini glass that sits on the black baby grand. She turns to a nearby listener and says, "This one's for you -- one of my favorites."