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Airport Buskers Set Black History Month To Song

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In honor of Black History Month, the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority has brought musicians to the region's airports in Virginia and Maryland. We stop by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to listen to one band play for a lunchtime crowd.


The airport can be the most stressful part of anyone's trip. Long lines at security checkpoints, the scrum in baggage claim, remembering where you parked your car. Some airports offer small day spas for de-stressing. This past month, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has given travelers relaxation of a more lyrical sort.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. Teri S.: (Singing) Something's changed, when I look in your eyes, I can see and it's no surprise. It's not so strange, it's written on your face...

HANSEN: To commemorate Black History Month, R & B, hip hop and jazz musicians have been playing for lunchtime audiences. On a recent afternoon, a local band was performing in Terminal C at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

(Soundbite of song, "Ain't Nobody")

HANSEN: Most people hustled right by the band, faces tense as they rushed to catch their flights. But Camille Parker, who manages a cozy caf´┐Ż across from where the musicians are playing, took a break to snap some pictures with her smartphone and shimmy to the music. She says the live entertainment boosts her staff's energy and it keeps hungry and potentially grumpy customers upbeat too.

Ms. CAMILLE PARKER: See it how it puts the lunch rush in everything, puts everybody in a good mood. They say it's a little loud but they like it.

HANSEN: Ditto for this traveler who was eating lunch with his brothers.

Mr. AZIZ EL-ALI: My name is Aziz El-Ali. I'm from Saudi Arabia and I'm 20 years old. I came here to pick up my brother and I will go my destination to California. Yeah. And I enjoy here when I listen to the music. It's really cool and I like it. And I prefer hip-hop but these guys are really good.

HANSEN: Local musicians have been performing at airports around the Washington region in honor of Black History Month. Actually, I'll be flying out of National Airport to visit member stations in Seattle and Alaska this Tuesday. Unfortunately, my flight is not just too early to hear the music but it will be March 1st and the music will have ended.

(Soundbite of song, "Ain't Nobody")

Teri S.: (Singing) Ain't nobody love me better, make me happy, make me feel this way. Ain't nobody love me better than you.

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

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