June 11: Sugar Bear at Roosevelt
Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott visited the classroom of music teacher Dr. Kenneth Dickerson at Roosevelt Senior High School (DCPS). The class began with Dickerson explaining the importance of go-go to Washington, DC and his experiences listening to go-go growing up in the city. Dickerson explained the connection of go-go to west African rhythms before introducing Sugar Bear to the class.
Sugar Bear began by explaining how he started playing go-go at Ballou High School. Dickerson then played a video for the song Da Butt. As students watched they commented at each close up of Sugar Bear. Once the video ended, Sugar Bear answered a few questions about the video and E.U. After that, it was time to play.
Sugar Bear started by playing a few classic R&B songs that students were familiar with. He was accompanied by three students playing the trumpet, trombone, and saxophone with Dickerson on drums As the music shifted to go-go, Sugar Bear requested that students come up and dance or rap. One student came up to the front of the room and, after some prompting began to dance. With each step, the classroom began to move at their desks along with her. More students joined in once a student took over on drums and began playing bounce beat, a recent version of go-go.