Howard Theatre Tribute to Charles 'Skip' Pitts

7/13/2012, 4:52 p.m.

The Howard Theatre's Restoration Community Committee will salute home town guitar legend Charles "Skip" Pitts, with a tribute concert on Tuesday, July 17.

Pitts, a native Washingtonian and one of the greatest wah-wah pedal players in the history R&B, blues and jazz, died on May 1 of this year.

Pitts learned to play guitar at age 11, while receiving guidance from his neighbors Bo Diddley and Greg Gaskins. "He was known for having his own unique style, a one of a kind", recalled producer and musician Scott Bomar.

Pitts played with such artists as Albert King, Wilson Pickett, The Isley Brothers and Gene Chandler. He was a long time session musician at Stax Records. In 1971, Pitts became a collaborator with Isaac Hayes that spanned 37 years. That same year Pitts performed the popular wah-wah riffs on the theme music from "Shaft". His credits also include an Oscar winning film, "Hustle and Flow", and two Grammy nominated albums. He concluded his accomplishments as an actor in three films.

Among those performers for the benefit concert are:

* Bobby Parker's Blues Band

* Al Johnson backed by the Mousey Thompson Band

* Tanya Blount

* Robert "Mousey" Thompson & The James Brown Experience

* Jimi Smooth and the Hit Time Band

* Denyse Pearson

* The Greg Gaskins Experience

* Gene Chandler will make a cameo appearance

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $25. Half of the proceeds will go towards retiring the debt incurred by Pitts' hospitallization. For more information visit: www.howardtheatre.org.