Frank O. Agrbo, aka Frankojazz, aka the “Mayor” of Mt. Pleasant, is a neighborhood legend. For the past three years, Frank’s been putting on weekly live music shows outside his home. We chatted with the musician-turned-community leader about his influence on the neighborhood.
Why do you love living in Mt. Pleasant?
It’s a family-friendly community with vibrant street life, diversity of race and culture, and a growing art and live music scene. I love the proximity to Rock Creek Park, where one can find serenity, exercise, and meditate. There are also multiple restaurants, bars, and other places where neighbors can gather.
Event hosted by Mt. Pleasant legend Frank Agrbo. (Frank Agrbo)
How did you get the title of the “unofficial mayor of Mt. Pleasant”?
My only official role as an elected official was serving as the Chair of the Mt. Pleasant Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Friends started calling me “Mr. Pleasant,” or the “Mayor of Mt. Pleasant.” My ability to communicate in Spanish and French may also have something to do with it. I see the title as a kind of community support of my work and ideas over the years, especially during the pandemic, when I created music shows on my front porch when other establishments were closed.
Can you tell us more about the community events you put on?
I created “6ft. Aparty” to make people feel comfortable and practice safe distancing during the pandemic. These shows inspired various musical and artistic collaborations like the Mt. Pleasant artist’s collective. The shows are still ongoing on my porch at 17th Street NW and Kilbourne Place.
I also facilitate Children’s Hour Famjam every Saturday during the farmers market, where kids and parents can jam and sing along. Purple Patch donates breakfast after the show. Also, for the past 23 years, my family has hosted the Annual Kilbourne Place Block Party with a moonbounce, live music, potluck food, and games!