Wednesday (9/21) Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.” Sharing the stage will be Guy Davis, whose much-praised 1995 debut, Stomp Down the Rider, marked the arrival of a major talent, earning acclaim for his deft acoustic playing, his well-traveled voice, and his literate, yet highly accessible songwriting. He’s barely rested since then, taking his music to television, radio, and performing at theaters and festivals. The show starts at 7:30pm.
Thursday (9/22) Over the last decade, Marcus Johnson has released 15 successful studio albums. On Pandora, Marcus receives 5.1 million spins per year with 2,000 new stations added each month. His unique self-taught style of piano play has earned him distinction among his peers, praise from the media, and accolades across the music industry. He is the owner of a music label, Three Keys Music, and has emerged as one of the young lions of the DIY music world. Marcus has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Contemporary Jazz CDs, which consisted of three distinct albums, all charting Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously. Joining him onstage will be saxophonist (and dentist!) Phillip “Doc” Martin. The music starts at 8pm.
Friday (9/23) It’s The Thrilla in Vanilla!! In the soul showdown of the century, this hotly anticipated bout features two of DC’s most beloved bands, King Soul and Soul Crackers, as they square off for the undisputed heavyweight horn band title! World famous sports reporter Thom Loverro will be on hand as emcee/referee and to make sure it’s legit. King Soul is bringing the excitement of real Southern Soul to new audiences. Featuring original songs, gritty vocals, a slamming horn section, and driving rhythms, the allstar lineup includes members of the Slickee Boys, The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours, The Recliners, The Grandsons, The Hula Monsters, The Thangs, and The J Street Jumpers. The Soul Crackers play some of the greatest party music ever made from the Memphis and Motown sounds like Sam & Dave, Average White Band, Martha & The Vandellas, and Wilson Pickett. After the show, only one of these groups will be able to claim they are the palest and the baddest band in DC! This musical battle royale begins at 8pm.
Saturday (9/24) The Original Springsteen tribute, The B Street Band sings for Voices for Autism, whose mission it is to raise money, awareness and acceptance of individuals and families affected by autism. In addition to raising awareness, the group hopes to promote the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people living with autism. 100% of money raised will be donated to Autism Speaks. Now in it’s 10th year, Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This event begins at 7pm.
Sunday (9/25) Founded by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and Afro-Peruvian lando. Their songs capture the best of mid-century pop ballads and cinematic arranging, drawing on the band’s global background and unchained musicality. Trained in film scoring at Berklee, Giannikou’s film music finesse has won her awards and caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK (she sang a duet with CK for the comedian’s TV show). Live, Banda Magda bursts with humor and quirky sensibility, powered by an unflagging energy. This group of close musical friends turn Giannikou’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot with Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Series, as well as performances at discerning venues and festivals such as Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, The Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, Jazz al Parque, St. Moritz Festival Da Jazz, and the Chicago World Music Festival. The show starts at 7:30pm.
Coming up at BBJ: Steve Oliver, Sarah Dash, Luther Re-Lives – A tribute to Luther Vandross, Melba Moore, Midge Ure, The Joe Clair & Friends Comedy Show and so much more. Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra will be back to ring in 2017, so get your New Year’s Eve tickets early! You can always find out more and purchase tickets through our Music Calendar.
Happy Autumn, everyone. Thanks as always for your support, and we look forward to seeing you for dinner and a show.
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+ Guy Davis, Marcus Johnson, King Soul vs. Soul Crackers in The Thrilla in Vanilla,
The B Street Band sings for Voices for Autism, and Banda Magda