Upcoming Events

WAMU 88.5's 50th Anniversary Gala

On Saturday, Oct. 29, hundreds of station supporters and fans will gather at the National Building Museum for a black-tie celebration of 50 years of WAMU 88.5 on the air in Washington! Your master of ceremonies will be NPR's Carl Kasell, joined by special guest Paula Poundstone and bluegrass stars The Gibson Brothers. The evening will feature a formal dinner, live auction, and dancing to Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra. Plus, we’ll pay tribute to the Founders of WAMU, and present three special honors to the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, and Susan Stamberg for their service to the global community and contributions to the field of public broadcasting.

This spectacular event will be the best opportunity you will have to come together and toast not only the past 50 years of WAMU 88.5, but also the many years of great radio to come. Please make plans to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate this golden anniversary.

The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please call 202-885-3894 or email galacelebration@wamu.org.

Documentary video

Gala photos

Past Events

Bluegrass Country's Stars at The State

5 p.m., Saturday, June 11, 2011
The State Theatre 220
North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046


Bring on the summer with music from some of the best bluegrass bands around! Join us on June 11 for Stars at The State at northern Virginia's State Theatre. We'll celebrate WAMU's long history of playing and promoting bluegrass music, and the 10th anniversary of our 24-hour dedicated bluegrass station, WAMU's Bluegrass Country.

Your ticket is your pass to an evening featuring a fantastic triple bill of bluegrass – The Steep Canyon Rangers, The Boxcars, and Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. You'll be part of the tradition of great bluegrass concerts that WAMU established in the 1970s. You'll support the only local all-bluegrass station around. And you'll be joined by some of Bluegrass Country's best-known voices as your hosts: Katy Daley, Lee Michael Demsey, Echo, and Bob Webster.

This anniversary celebration will start at 5 p.m., and run until 10 p.m. Tickets are available at The State Theatre online or in-person at their box office.


A Hot Jazz New Year's Eve LIVE from the Omni Shoreham Ballroom with host Rob Bamberger

This past New Year's Eve, music lovers, dance lovers, and party lovers alike converged at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., for a live Hot Jazz Saturday Night New Year's Eve. They danced to the live music of Barbara Rosene and Her New Yorkers and celebrated both Rob Bamberger's 30th anniversary as host of Hot Jazz Saturday Night and the first moments of 2011. It was a festive evening, featuring many of the danceable tunes from the '20s-'40s that you hear on Hot Jazz Saturday Night.

Portions of the live action from the Ballroom were beamed to WAMU 88.5 listeners who tuned in for Rob's annual "A Hot Jazz New Year's Eve," mirroring the famous New Year's Eve broadcasts that were carried across the nation from the 1920s on. Dance instructors were on hand to teach all of the "hot jazz" styles, including the Charleston and the Lindy Hop.

Save The Date for WAMU 88.5 50th Anniversary Gala, Sat., Oct. 29, 2011
American University President Neil Kerwin
Caryn G. Mathes, WAMU 88.5 General Manager

President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States
Her Majesty Queen Noor

Harman Family Foundation
Sheila C. Johnson
Norah O'Donnell & Geoffrey Tracy
Vicki & Roger Sant

Pennie and Gary Abramson
Esthy and Jim Adler
Jodie and George Allen
H.E. Dr. Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States
Ellen Atwell
Prince Georges County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III
Katherine and David Bradley
The Honorable Zbigniew K. Brzezinski
Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
David and Mary Beth Busby
Donna and Patrick Butler
Mr. and Mrs. William N. Cafritz
Joan R. Challinor
Eleanor Clift
Sally and Edison Dick
James C. Dinegar
The Rt. Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon and Mr. David Dixon
Elizabeth Downes and A. Patrick Doyle
Adrian and Michelle Fenty
Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson Fleisher
Tom and Barbara Gottschalk
The Honorable Vincent C. Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia
Sylvia Greenberg
H.E. Jonas Hafström, Swedish Ambassador to the United States
The Honorable Lee Hamilton
Susan Harmon and Richard Meyer
June R. Hechinger
Giselle and Ben Huberman
Robert G. Kaiser and Hannah Jopling
Sheilah Kast and State Senator Jim Rosapepe
Dick and Barbara Kaufmann
Sam and Lucy Keker
James V. Kimsey
Ann and Knight Kiplinger
Lee G. Kirstein
Kevin Klose and Deborah T. Ashford
Chris and Bill Leahy
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett
Jim and Kate Lehrer
Peyton and Bill Lewis
Forbes E. Maner
Patricia N. Mathews
Virginia A. McArthur
Lawrence and Natasha McCarthy
Amy and Marc Meadows
Kent and Dale Morrison
Roger Mudd
Donal O'Connell and Kathy Sierra
Norm Ornstein and Judy Harris
Lisa and Clarence Page
Susan Page and Carl Leubsdorf
Alan and Marsha Paller
Carol and David Pensky
Shirley and DeVier Pierson
Jackie Pletcher and Charles Eisen
General and Mrs. Colin L. Powell
Richard Prince
Charles and Sara Savitt
Pat and Bob Schieffer
The British Ambassador and Lady Sheinwald
Jeffrey and Samira Sine
Susan L. Stamberg
H.E. Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to the US
Deborah Tannen and Michael Macovski
David and Charlotte Taylor
The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Paul and Marie Travesky
Carol L. Tucker-Foreman and Jay Foreman
Emily and Antoine van Agtmael
Ken and Dorothy Woodcock
Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt
Victoria and Harvey Zuckerman

Gala Congressional Committee
United States Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator Mark R. Warner
United States Senator Jim Webb
Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer
Representative Howard Berman
Representative Earl Blumenauer
Representative Dan Boren
Representative Russ Carnahan
Representative Steve Cohen
Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Representative John Conyers
Representative Peter DeFazio
Representative Diana DeGette
Representative John Dingell
Representative Mike F. Doyle
Representative Donna F. Edwards
Representative Chaka Fattah
Representative Raul M. Grijalva
Representative Mike Honda
Representative Dorris Matsui
Representative Jim McDermott
Representative James P. Moran, Jr.
Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton
Representative Thomas Petri
Representative Steven R. Rothman
Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard
Representative Loretta Sanchez
Representative Louise Slaughter
Representative Chris Van Hollen, Jr