A Solid Week of Soul, Blues, Jazz & Reggae: Junior Marvin’s Wailers’ Bob Marley Birthday Celebration, Syleena Johnson, Billy Price Band & The Nighthawks,
Jeff Bradshaw, Denise Williams & Shirley Jones, and The Spinners

Junior Marvin's Wailers, Deniece Williams and Shirley Jones, Billy Price and The Nighthawks, Syleena Johnson, Jeff Bradshaw, and The Spinners at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, February 2017Tuesday (2/7) Born in Jamaica, Junior Marvin moved to London as a child, where his love of both acting and music was nurtured. He appeared in the Beatles’ film, Help, which was followed by a number of other television appearances. In America, he performed with the likes of blues legend T-Bone Walker and Ike & Tina Turner. Back in England he played with bands such as Herbie Goins & The Nighttimers, Blue Ace Unit, and White Rabbit. Exodus was Marvin’s first album with Bob Marley and The Wailers and it was voted Best Album of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. Since Marley’s passing in 1981, Junior Marvin has put out four CDs with The Wailers: ID, Majestic Warriors, Jah Message, and My Friends, continuing on with the message and music as Marley asked him to do. Come to the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration, music courtesy of Junior Marvin’s Wailers! The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (2/9) We’ve got an amazing double bill with The Sisters of Soul – Deniece Williams and Shirley Jones! Deniece Williams is an American funk and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who is known for her hits including “Free,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” as well as for her many vocal duets with Johnny Mathis. In 1984, she released the album, Let’s Hear It for the Boy. The title track reached Billboard’s #1 and was featured on the soundtrack to Footloose. The song would prove to be the biggest pop hit of her career – and the last. In 1986, she would release her first full-length gospel album, So Glad I Know, for which she won two GRAMMY Awards. In 1979, The Jones Girls’ “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” highlighted the magic touch of famed Philadelphia producers Gamble and Huff. Shirley Jones and her sisters had a string of hits including “I Just Love the Man,” “Dance Turned into a Romance,” and their GRAMMY-nominated classic, “Nights Over Egypt.” As a solo artist, Shirley Jones topped the charts with “Do You Get Enough Love” in 1986, which stayed #1 on the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks. Her latest album is My Time To Shine. This performance begins at 8pm.

Friday (2/10) Billy Price has been entertaining audiences since first performing in Pittsburgh, PA with the Rhythm Kings in the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend. His latest recording, This Time For Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. Price formed The Billy Price Band in 1990. The Nighthawks are America’s seminal roots music band! The Washington, DC-based quartet of Mark Wenner (harmonica/vocals), Paul Bell (guitar/vocals), Johnny Castle (bass/vocals) and Mark Stutso (drums/vocals) touch all bases with excursions into blues, soul, rock ‘n’  roll, roadhouse country and rhythm and blues. This Blues Music Award-winning band can always deliver the goods! This show gets rockin’ at 8pm.

Saturday (2/11) GRAMMY-nominated vocalist and writer Syleena Johnson is one of the greatest singers and performers of her generation. She has scored major R&B hits and been invited to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West, R. Kelly, and Musiq Soulchild. Syleena’s last album, Couples Therapy, deals with love and relationships. The album opens with the upbeat and lyrically honest song “All This Way for Love.” Leela James accompanies Syleena on the soulful 60’s throwback “Fool’s Gold,” and the incomparable Dave Hollister joins her on the moving and triumphant “Harmony.”  Syleena Johnson is also a popular television personality as one of the original cast members on R&B Divas Atlanta for 3 seasons, among other notable appearances. Her performance begins at 8pm.

Sunday (2/12) As a boy in Philadelphia, Jeff Bradshaw performed with brass bands on Broad Street, just a stone’s throw from the spot where Philadelphia’s most prestigious performing arts center, The Kimmel Center, stands today. He dreamed: Why not bring the crème-de-la-crème of singers and players to The Kimmel for a genre-crossing one-night-only musical event that would replicate the excitement of the classic R&B revues for this generation of fans? Since Bradshaw’s trombone has propelled horn-sections for everyone from Jill Scott to Jay Z and Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin, this was an easy sell. Bradshaw’s Kimmel Center dream came to fruition on May 28, 2014 and the result was a sold-out success in front of a rapturous, wildly appreciative audience. He has been creating Jeff Bradshaw & Friends happenings since then, and returns again this year for another Valentine’s celebration. The concert begins at 8pm.

Monday & Tuesday (2/13 & 2/14) Most often thought of as a Motown recording act, the classic group sound of legendary R&B recording artists The Spinners has never lost its universal appeal. Throughout the years they have sold millions of records and topped both the Pop and R&B charts. Today, original member Henry Fambrough is joined onstage by lead singer Charlton Washington, high tenor Marvin Taylor, tenor Ronnie Moss, and bass singer Jessie Peck. A soul-infused 5-piece band, led by Keith Ferguson, backs them up. Just a few of the group’s many hits and fan favorites are “Mighty Love,” “Then Came You,” “I’ll Be Around,” “One Of A Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play,” “Working My Way Back to You,” and  “Could It Be.” The Spinners have six GRAMMY nominations, have also been awarded the Rythym and Blues Foundation Award, and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. What better way to spend a Valentines dinner date than with the passionate and memorable music of The Spinners! The group performs at 8pm each night.

Other great upcoming shows include the Bethesda Blues and Jazz 4th Anniversary Celebration with Dionne Warwick, Daryl Davis Presents: The Wonder Women Blues Festival, St. Patrick’s Day with O’Malley’s March, Mother’s Day with After 7, Father’s Day with Lenny Williams, and The Chi-Lites. Check for details on our Music Calendar, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Rick Brown

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