Still Jazzy After All These Years

The National Speakers Association (NSA) is having their annual convention this week in my home city, Washington DC. I told them we would do something special for them when they came to DC, and so we did. We had a special event at one of Washington’s historical night spots, The Bohemian Caverns, and it was a dynamite night!

The Bohemian Caverns is a music venue that originally opened in 1926.  Its’ stage has been graced with the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louie Armstrong, Miles Davis and Pearl Bailey. In fact, the song, “The In Crowd”, by Ramsey Louis (which was his biggest selling record) was recorded live at the Bohemian Caverns. And now we can say that Dr. Willie Jolley pulled out his jazz repertoire and did a special performance for NSA.

For those who do not know, before I became a speaker, I was a full time jazz singer. I sang in clubs all over the Washington area and was awarded the Washington Area Music Association  (WAMMIE) Award five years in a row for Best Jazz Singer and Best Entertainer!

Yet, as many know from my book, A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback, I was unceremoniously fired from my last nightclub, because the owner felt he could make more money with a karaoke machine. He paid for the karaoke machine once,  rather than a live band, he had to pay every night! It was a result of that setback, (getting fired and replaced by a karaoke machine), that caused me to take a job with the Washington DC Public School System as a drug prevention coordinator. I spoke to school students about staying away from drugs. My speaking career began…and the rest is history!

Last night, I went back to my jazz roots and paired with one of my good friends, the world-renowned saxophonist from Washington, DC, Marshall Keys. We had an old time jazz concert that was a real “WOW!” Here is a clip from the event at the Bohemian Caverns.

If you want to hear more of my jazz music, I recommend you get my 2-CD package, “Sunny”, ( which features my most requested songs performed in jazz clubs, plus inspirational/ gospel songs with a jazz flavor.

When I used to close my jazz performances, our last song of the night was always Sunny –a positive message song.  I’d tell my audiences, and now I say to you “…may the sun always be at your face, the wind be at your back; and may the rain fall softly on your fields; and may God always keep you in the palm of His hand! And may every day be a sunny day for you!”

God bless!






wjbecausehelivesTo order Dr. Willie Jolley’s Sunny Jazz CD, please visit

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