The D.C. Blues Society, according to its president, "Bowling Green" John Cephas, was formed "to preserve the blues, and to support blues artists both traditional and contemporary, and to bring to the Washington area some first-class traditional and contemporary artists."
The society also wants to contribute to its community, Cephas said. At 8 p.m. tomorrow, the group will sponsor a concert to benefit the homeless. The concert will be at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall, 37th and O streets NW.
Proceeds will go to the Community for Creative Non-Violence, and the show will feature Cephas and his partner, "Harmonica" Phil Wiggins, and other blues performers such as Archie Edwards, Flora Molton, Neil Harpe and Rick Franklin, and Elinor Ellis.
The D.C. Blues Society was formed in May 1986.
The society's first meeting was attended by nine persons, but the group since has grown to more than 250 members,, said Cephas, a 57-year-old guitarist who was born and reared in Northern Virginia. Most of the group's members are not musicians, "they're just people who like the blues."
The nonprofit organization is made up of black and white members.
"Music itself breaks down all color barriers as far as people are concerned," Cephas said.
"We are into supporting musicians and people in the community in any way we can be of help," Cephas said.
Joe Wilson, an honorary board member of the blues society and executive director of the National Council for Traditional Arts, said the benefit "gives the blues community the opportunity to say it's concerned about people who haven't been as fortunate as some of the rest of us."
Wilson, 49, who said he first heard the blues when he was 10 years old, said concerts and blues records are ways of showing people "there's life between the Beastie Boys and Barbra Streisand."
Tickets for the benefit will be sold at the door for $10 ($8 for D.C. Blues Society members). Doors will open at Gaston Hall at 7:15 p.m.