Rock’N’Boogie, Blues, Jazz, Holiday Parties & Christmas Cheer!

Sapphire Stars, Gary Grainger, Secret Society, Deanna Bogart, and A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2015Monday (12/21) Come on out tonight for our Customer Appreciation Night Rock’N’Boggie Holiday Party & Dance with The Sapphire Stars! The DC/MD/VA area’s newest, hottest, and most exciting vocal harmony group has been entertaining audiences throughout the region for years. They are WAMMY Award nominee Michelle Murray, compelling vocalist Hayley Fahey, and Arlene Jaye, who emotes a song that will make your heart flutter. Our host is boogie-woogie piano master, Daryl Davis. There’s no admission fee and we’ve got half off select bottles of wine. The joint will be jumpin’ with the “Santa Claus Boogie” and the “Jingle Bell Rock” – No better way to start this holiday week! The music starts at 7:30pm

Tuesday (12/22) THE JAM is back this week with Gary Grainger & Friends! This is your chance to come out and perform live with some of the nation’s most talented musicians led by Gary and Greg Grainger and hosted by Brandon Combs and Bryan Fox with friends Vince Evans and Benji Porecki. Come out and show us whatcha got! THE JAM starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (12/23) We are pleased to host our 2nd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party featuring Secret Society. Dance to the soulful sounds of one of the DMV’s best R&B bands. They’ll be playing the hits that you love, plus R&B holiday classics to make your spirits bright! The brainchild of Washington-area musician Bryan Mills, Secret Society was formed in 2008 to bring the “Live Band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. Band members count John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, and Rick James among their influences, and their repertoire is full of history, tradition, and diversity. You don’t want to miss this event! The music gets started at 8pm.

Saturday (12/26) The Deanna Bogart Band + The Bobby Thompson Project will rock the BBJ stage! Deanna Bogart combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country, and jazz into a blend she likes to call “blusion.” A bandleader, singer, songwriter, producer, pianist and sax player, Bogart has won the Blues Music Awards’ Horn Instrumentalist of the Year three consecutive times, and at last count, has taken home 22 Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards). Her performance will not disappoint. Master guitarist and vocalist Bobby Thompson learned to play in the old blues clubs of DC from the likes of Bobby Parker. After honing his craft as a popular support man, Thompson stepped out as a solo artist, releasing three albums since 2011. The Roots Music Report says Thompson’s songs portray “muscular blues- and soul-rock strong on soulful vocals and cut-above-the-norm originals.” This night of hot “blusion” and more kicks off at 8pm.

Sunday (12/27) We present to you two great performances of A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas! It will be a holiday extravaganza featuring jazz legend Kirk Whalum and singer-songwriter Shelea along with Norman Brown and Kevin Whalum. You’ll want to come check out the show for all its joys, not least of which to see our “Surprise Guest!” The Gospel According to Jazz is well known for the chart-topping gospel anthem, Falling in Love With Jesus, and for “It’s What I Do,” which won the Grammy for Best Gospel Song in 2011. Continue your Christmas celebration with us. Doors open for brunch at 11:30am and the show starts at 1:30pm. Doors open for the evening show at 5:30pm and the music begins at 7:30pm.

Here are just a few of the great events we have coming up: Doc Scantlin & his Imperial Palms Orchestra on New Year’s Eve, PJ Morton, 76 Degrees West, our annual Buddy Holly Tribute, and four shows in March by the incomparable Lalah Hathaway. Check our Music Calendar for details.

Thanks for helping us keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda. Happy Holidays to you and yours. We look forward to seeing you here soon.

 

Rick Brown

 

Soul, Funk, Smooth Jazz, & Country – The Sounds of Christmas at BBJ!

Larry Carlton, Sons of Serendip, Glenfiddich Scotch Tasting, Maggie Rose, Brunch With Santa, The Soul Crackers, Indigo Love, and A Smooth & Funky Christmas at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2015Monday (12/14) we welcome renowned guitarist Larry Carlton to the BBJ stage! Carlton recorded his first LP, With A Little Help from My Friends, in 1968 for the Uni label. He performed on 13 albums during his tenure with The Crusaders (through 1976), and the demand for his brilliant session playing reached its height as he was featured constantly with stars from every genre including Sammy Davis, Jr., Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, Paul Anka, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, and Dolly Parton. Before the height of his fame, he had already garnered a place for himself among The Going Thing jingle singers and served as Musical Director for Emmy-Nominated children’s show, Mrs. Alphabet. His playing is remarkable. Come out to the 7:30pm show.

Tuesday (12/15) Sons of Serendip will share the spirit of the season with their Christmas Beyond the Lights concert. SoS performs with a unique fusion of R&B, gospel, and neo-soul. Their classical expertise also shines through to create a uniquely sumptuous and emotionally stirring sound. This special holiday presentation combines orchestral and acoustic interpretations of modern and traditional holiday classics arranged with vocals, cello, harp and piano. You’ll hear favorites like “The Little Drummer Boy,” “O Come Emmanuel,” “Let it Snow,” and “The Christmas Song,” plus the group’s first original composition “Miss You Most,” a heartfelt ballad of long distance love during the Christmas season. The performance will feature The Howard University Chapel Choir, Ned Lewis (Director), and Cassandra Allen. The show begins at 8pm.

Thursday (12/17) We invite you to a very special Glenfiddich single malt scotch tasting. Join Struan Grant Ralph, the William Grant and Sons Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, as he presents and talks about the award-winning 12, 15, 18 and 21 year old Glenfiddich marques. A welcome cocktail, light food, the tasting, and discussion are included in the price of admission. The event starts at 5:30pm.

After the scotch tasting, join us for the first of two great Christmas shows by local music hero Maggie Rose with The Morrison Brothers. Maggie’s journey began in her hometown of Potomac, Maryland—hardly a mecca for country music—and has led her to Nashville by way of storied record executive Tommy Mottola (Celine Dion, Mariah Carey). With her album, Cut to Impress, and memorable songs including “I Ain’t Your Mama,” “Better,” “Looking Back Now,” and “Broken,” Maggie Rose truly holds the promise of bona fide stardom and record industry longevity. The Morrison Brothers, founded in 2007 by brothers Truman and Willie Morrison, play a unique brand of country rock that stems from the group’s mixed musical roots in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.

True to the holiday spirit, this and Friday night’s shows are stepping it up for Toys for Tots – Bring a toy and receive a raffle ticket! So come join the excitement and revel in country music straight out of the DMV! Showtime is 8pm.

Friday (12/18) It’s the second big night for Maggie Rose with The Morrison Brothers! This fantastic, homespun country rock show with the Nashville shine gets started at 8pm.

Saturday (12/19) It’s Brunch with Santa time! Children of all ages are invited to enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate, dine from our delicious, family-friendly a la carte brunch menu, and then take in the wonder of a “surprise” visit from Jolly Old Saint Nick. The magic will begin with a violin concerto by young musicians presented by local violin instructor, Kenneth Giles. Then eat, drink, and be merry! Don’t forget your Christmas list – Guests will have the chance to talk to and take pictures with Santa Claus! Doors open at 10:30, and the event starts at 11am.

Saturday night, we’ve got a party goin’ on – The Soul Crackers with Tommy Lepson! Take some of the greatest party music ever made, make sure it’s sung & played by a band that has made a career out of belting out those sweet soul sounds – and you’ve got yourself a real good time. The band is all about Memphis & Motown soul, featuring timeless songs by artists including Sam & Dave, Average White Band, Martha & The Vandellas, and Wilson Pickett. Lead vocalist Tommy Lepson has won “Best Vocalist” multiple times at the Wammy Awards from the Washington Area Music Association.  With his stunning and powerful blue-eyed soul voice, Tommy conveys all the joy and passion that makes this music come alive. Supported by a stellar six-piece band including a kicking horn section, The Soul Crackers will pack the dance floor.  They start at 8pm.

Sunday (12/20) Indigo Love will put on an unforgettable show that is a walk down memory lane for those who love and remember Sarah Vaughan. It will be every bit as beautiful and an enlightening experience for those just getting to know her! The performance opens with a narrator bringing Indigo (Sarah) to the stage …the lights go down and the music comes up… A slide show of Sarah plays and the audience is taken on a wonderful musical journey of her life through narration, photos, and favorite songs like “Body and Soul” and “Send in the Clowns.” Indigo Love is a naturally gifted performer with a four octave vocal range and flawless delivery. She was a semi-finalist in both the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and in Baltimore’s 14th Annual Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. She has performed as an opening act for artists such as Peabo Bryson, Miki Howard, Joyce Cooling, Paul Taylor, and Roy Ayers. This brunch event begins at 1:30pm.

Sunday night, we’ve got the best holiday party in town… A Smooth and Funky Christmas! Christian “Big New York” de Mesones is a larger than life showman and bassist, best known for fronting Groove Skool Band. He now sells out shows as a headliner with “Big New York & the Smooth Jazz All-Stars,” a collaborative effort highlighting the hottest smooth jazz artists in the DMV. The All-Stars for this event are Willie Bradley on trumpet, Drew Davidsen on guitar, Elliot Levine on keyboards, Jay Jones on drums, Curtis McCain on percussion, and the triple-sax attack of Rob Maletick, Eddie Baccus, Jr., and Keith Anderson. This unique Christmas musical experience will get started at 7:30pm.

We’ve still got more great holiday events coming your way! Don’t forget to check our Music Calendar and mark your calendars for Daryl Davis Presents: A Rock’N’Boogie Holiday Party with The Sapphire Stars, The Second Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party, A Gospel According To Jazz Christmas, and Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra on New Year’s Eve.

Keeping music alive in downtown Bethesda… See you at Bethesda Blues & Jazz soon!

 

Rick Brown

Celebrating Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, the Holidays, & Great Performances

BBJ Weekly Concerts: Cathy Ponton King, Gary Grainger, Luther-Re-Lives, Rhythm Bandits, Sinatra's 100th Birthday w/ Landau Eugene Murphy Jr, Sahara Dance, Drew Gibson, Devon SprouleMonday (12/7) We are thrilled to present singer, guitarist, and bandleader Cathy Ponton King. She has been a respected stalwart of the blues on the DC music scene since the 1970s. She is the most prominent woman who is keeping the blues alive and well in the metropolitan area. Come see why she has been highly regarded by blues legends on the order of Muddy Waters and Albert King, and why her popularity just keeps rising. Hosting once again will be boogie-woogie piano master Daryl Davis, who has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. Come out and enjoy this Customer Appreciation Night with no cover charge, ½ off select bottles of wine, and get your dance on, too! The show starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (12/8) Tuesday is time for THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! Now in its third amazing season, THE JAM is your chance to come out and perform live with some of the best musicians anywhere. Bring your singing voice and/or instrument and we’ll provide the backup. We can’t wait to see YOU rule our stage. We start at 8pm.

Thursday (12/10) We’ve got a tribute to the great Luther Vandross… holiday style! Please join us for the Luther Re-Lives Holiday Concert with Smooth Wardlaw. William “Smooth” Wardlaw embodies the sound and style of Luther and wraps it up with his own distinctive flavor. He is a fantastic entertainer who talks, laughs, bears a striking resemblance to, and yes, SINGS like Luther. His full 8-piece band Las Vegas style show with all the lights, choreography, and costume changes pulls out all the stops! The concert begins at 7:30pm.

Friday (12/11) You are cordially invited to a night of refreshments, music, and holiday cheer at The Montgomery County Sentinel Newspaper Party. Come out and enjoy drinks, food and music courtesy of The Rhythm Bandits Band – featuring the honorable District Judge John Moffett on guitar and harmonica along with Michael Lofgren of the famous Lofgren Brothers. The celebration will recognize the best in local Montgomery County government as six local civic leaders are honored with the second annual “Excellence in Government” award. Dress business casual. Drinks and dining at 5:30; ceremony at 7:30.

Saturday (12/12) We are proud to present to you our Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration starring Columbia Records artist and America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and his Big Band! Fans of The Chairman of the Board will be treated to an extraordinary musical celebration honoring a legendary life and iconic career. Murphy will be saluting Sinatra and performing his timeless classics including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “New York, New York,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “My Way.” The crooner will also bring Sinatra-style holiday cheer with classics from his album, Christmas Made for Two. Landau recorded his first ever live concert DVD, Landau Live in Washington D.C. at Bethesda Blues and Jazz, at our venue in January of this year. Signed copies will be available after the performance during a special after-show meet-and-greet. The celebration begins at 8pm.

Sunday (12/13) Allow yourself to be swept away by the romantic allure of a dance for the ages with the Golden Era Sahara Dance Salon: A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch! From 1,001 Arabian Nights to present day, belly dance (raqs sharqi) continues to captivate audiences with timeless beauty and elegance. This unique event will feature live Middle Eastern music from Saltanah and Sahara Tabla, Raqs Sahara, Sahara Dance performance companies, faculty solos, and special guest, Na’la! Join us from 12:30-2:30pm.

Sunday evening, we will feature singer-songwriter Drew Gibson with special guest Devon Sproule. Drew Gibson’s music is reminiscent of American Primitivism riding on influence from the American days of country-blues and the singer-songwriters of the recent past. The finger-style guitarist has garnered attention from USA Today, The Washington Post, and Americana Magazine. His recently released his third effort is entitled 1532. Devon Sproule is a Canadian/American musician living in rural Virginia, raised on eco-villages near Kingston, Ontario and Louisa, Virginia. Devon Sproule’s music celebrates human complication in the language of nature. It is “North American music with weirdo roots.” Since 2007, her recordings have been released by Tin Angel Records, based in Coventry, England. The show starts at 8pm.

Check our Music Calendar for all of our upcoming performances including more of our excellent and eclectic holiday lineup. Thanks so much for helping to keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda. We’ll see you soon!

Rick Brown

Celebrate the Holidays with Great Music at Bethesda Blues & Jazz!

Daryl Davis presents Chick Hall, The Jam w/ Gary Grainger & Friends, Shayna Steele, Tamara Wellons, Leonard, Coleman & Blunt, Joe Clair, VMA Holiday Music Show, Chris Grasso Trio w/ Sharon Clark & Paul Carr perform at Bethesda Blues & JazzMonday (11/30) The legendary Chick Hall has shared the stage with many stars of country music, and he will bring his special brand of country-style pickin’ & grinnin’ to the stage this evening! Chick, with his father, the late Chick Hall, Sr., owned and ran the Surf Club in Bladensburg, MD, which launched the careers of many world-famous country musicians from the Washington/Baltimore/Virginia area. The host of the show will be boogie-woogie master Daryl Davis, who was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. Aside from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and others. Come for the music, stay for the ½ off select bottles of wine special! There is no cover charge and the show starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (12/1) This Tuesday and every Tuesday… it’s THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! This is an amazing opportunity for YOU to come out and perform live with a collection of the best area musicians – a full backup ensemble! This is the most popular and fun jam session in the DMV, and we’d love to see you take the stage. Free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Please present your Union Card and valid picture ID at the door.) THE JAM starts at 8pm.

Thursday (12/3) Her impressive credits speak for themselves – singer and songwriter Shayna Steele is a vocal force to be reckoned with. Venues she calls home include The Blue Note and Joe’s Pub in New Your City, as well as Hotel Café in Los Angeles. She’s played The Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco and has toured through Italy, Switzerland, and France. Shayna’s critically acclaimed performance of her single ”Gone Under” for Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy’s Family Dinner, Volume 1, was a game changer. She continues to record and perform with the band, and has expanded into projects that have landed appearances on the Billboard Dance Charts, Conan O’Brien, and the Carson Daly show. Rise is her latest recording. Also on the bill performing her own brand of “feel good folk music” will be singer Tamara Wellons, granddaughter of the legendary gospel group, The Pritchett Sisters. Showtime is at 8pm.

Friday (12/4) we’re got Leonard, Coleman & Blunt! Come out and enjoy the evening as the former lead singers of The Temptations, The Platters, and The Drifters ring in the holidays. Performers from these three legendary million-selling groups will celebrate the season with classic R&B sounds. Come out to the show and hear LCB perform your favorite Christmas classics along with over two dozen of the greatest hits of all time (“The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, “Under the Boardwalk,” and many more). This will be an unforgettable concert event – a great chance to sing along with every tune while dancing the night away! The concert begins at 8pm.

Saturday (12/5) Our #1 comedian is back! When Joe Clair is in the house, “The Funny Don’t Stop!” You know him from the WPGC 95.5 Joe Clair Morning Show, and maybe you’ve caught his act at one of his many sold out shows here at Bethesda Blues & Jazz. One thing is certain – Joe Clair will give the packed house what they want… a night of LMFAO! Get your tickets early and get ready to eat, drink, and laugh out loud. Doors open at 5pm and about 9:30pm for the two big shows at 7pm and 10pm.

Sunday (12/6) we have a wonderful holiday show for the whole family. Virginia Music Adventures‘ Annandale Jazz Ambassadors, Wakefield Jazz Workshop, and Chapel Square Combo present A Big Band Christmas. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the holidays with tomorrow’s stars. They’ll play an array of classic big band hits that are just perfect for the season. This year’s show features the music of Glenn Miller, Johnny Marks, Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Julie Styne, and more. Now in its 12th year, the Virginia Music Adventures Annual Holiday Show has become a well-loved area tradition. This special event begins at 1:30pm.

Sunday evening, we welcome The Chris Grasso Trio back to our stage. Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with stellar vocalists. This time around, Chris will feature Sharón Clark and Paul Carr. Washington, D.C. standout Sharón Clark has garnered raves from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has won numerous awards including taking first place in The Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, which offers a featured appearance with the Baltimore Symphony. Her most recent release, Do it Again — My Tribute to Shirley Horn, is on its third printing. Paul Carr, a 1985 Howard University graduate, has dedicated his professional career to mastering the saxophone and the art of jazz. He grew up in inner-city Houston, Texas and was a member of the Kashmere High School Stage Band, whose director, the late Conrad Johnson, is the subject of a documentary, Thunder Soul, produced by actor, Jamie Foxx.  He carries on the Texas tenor tradition espoused by fellow Houstonians Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson. Chris Grasso has performed live on WPFW with jazz greats Keter Betts and Buck Hill. He also has appeared with the Ken Peplowski/Chuck Redd Quartet, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, Matt Wilson, and with New Orleans’ historic jazz family, the Jordans. The show begins at 7:30pm.

Check our Music Calendar for more great upcoming events including the Luther Re-Lives Holiday Concert with “Smooth” Wardlaw, Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration featuring Landau Murphy Jr., Sons of Serendip: Christmas Beyond the Lights, the 2nd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party, the Maggie Rose Christmas Show with The Morrison Brothers, and Doc Scantlin & his Imperial Palms Orchestra on New Year’s Eve.

Keeping great music alive and well in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here over the holiday season.

Rick Brown

Great Tributes to James Brown, Donny Hathaway, and the Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Daryl Davis, Josh Christina, Gary Grainger, The Fabulous Hubcaps, Ronnie Laws, Mousey Thompson and The James Brown Experience, Tribute to Donny Hathaway at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Monday (11/23) TONIGHT! Daryl Davis Presents: An Evening with Josh Christina! Josh Christina is “The Killer” personified. This young Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired performer is barely in his 20’s and is a force of nature who must be seen to be believed. Born decades after the creation of rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, he carries on the tradition and does it proud. Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! – Don’t miss him! Host Daryl Davis was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. Aside from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and others. There is no cover charge and the show begins at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (11/24) On Tuesdays, we host THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends. Players & singers, come out and perform with some of the best! This is the most popular and powerful jam session in the DMV. We also offer free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Please present your Union Card and valid picture ID at the door.) THE JAM starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (11/25) Performing together since 1974, The Fabulous Hubcaps show no signs of slowing down. Doo-wop harmony, classic rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, Motown, and R&B is the name of their game. The seven-piece band captivates audiences with high energy tributes to artists like Little Richard, James Brown, Tina Turner, Bobby Darin, Cher, The Flamingos, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Patsy Cline, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and many more. The group has even had the honor of performing on the South Lawn of The White House and in 2013, was inducted into The Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame. The Fabulous Hubcaps are heralded as one of the best nostalgic show bands in the country. They start at 8pm.

Friday (11/27) We are happy to present the amazing Ronnie Laws. His first hit, “Always There,” was one of the most popular, sax-driven, cross-over hits of the 70’s Jazz-Funk Fusion era. Laws ushered in a sensual approach to the soprano sax with Quiet Storm gems including “Grace,” “Karmen,” and “Just Love.” Having worked with highly esteemed artists like Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, and his brother, Hubert Laws, Ronnie Laws is a proven natural at combining the exploratory heart of jazz with the broader reaching strains of soul and pop music. His concert will begin at 8pm.

Saturday (11/28) Stay on the scene this Saturday night and groove to the sounds of Mousey Thompson and The James Brown Experience! This all-star ensemble faithfully performs the most popular songs by one of greatest music legends of our time. Drummer Robert “Mousey” Thompson, who performed with James Brown from 1993 until his passing in 2006, leads this outstanding band. Thompson was born and raised in Washington, DC, and he has also performed with other renowned musical artists including Wilson Pickett, Lloyd Price, Rufus Thomas, and Peaches & Herb. After the passing of James Brown, Thompson assembled a stellar group of talented local musicians to perform in tribute to a great musical legacy. Come out and celebrate to “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “Cold Sweat,” “I Got The Feelin’,” “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine,” “Super Bad” and many, many more. Remember there’s free parking on weekends at Cheltenham Garage, and the funk party starts at 8pm.

Sunday (11/29) We’ve got another great tribute – this time to the music of the infinitely soulful Donny Hathaway. In a ruefully short life, singer, songwriter, arranger and pianist Donny Hathaway made one of the most timeless contributions to soul music. On this evening, two equally talented artists, Sam Prather and Brandon Combs, will pay tribute to this legendary singer-songwriter’s body of work. Sam Prather is an exciting and multifaceted pianist, drummer, and vocalist born and raised in Washington, DC. He’s equally comfortable in jazz, funk, Gospel, Brazilian, Latin, neo-soul, and R&B. He has worked on keyboards and/or drums with YaMama’Nym, 76 Degrees West, Fred Yonnet, J-Hayden, Pharoh Saunders, Greg Osby, Heidi Martin, Warren Wolf, Antonio Parker, and Joey Omicil. Cincinnati native Brandon Combs began to develop his captivating talent while taking in Donny Hathaway and Richard Pryor albums throughout his formative years. He has worked with the likes of Kurt Elling, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Gene Harris, and The Eddie Love Big Band. You’ll love this performance; it starts at 7:30pm.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this week. Thanks so much for keeping great live music performance alive and well in downtown Bethesda!

 

Rick Brown

Swingin’ Jazz, R&B, Fusion, & The Fall Funk Summit – It’s a Party this week at BBJ!

Dave Damiani, Maiya Sykes, & The No Vacancy Orchestra, Phaze II, Michael Muse & Shawn Allen, Chopteeth & Be'la Dona, Michal Urbaniak at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Wednesday (11/18) We’ve got some swingin’ entertainment for you! The No Vacancy Orchestra is the hottest young orchestra on either coast. Bandleader and vocalist Dave Damiani gives a knock-out performance with the 9-piece jazz ensemble, and this time, the sounds will be kicked up a notch by Ms. Maiya Sykes, of The Voice fame! This band has performed with and backed up George Benson, Steve Tyrell, Jane Monheit, Renee Olstead, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr, Dave Koz, James Torme, Spencer Day, and many more. Musicality, style, and good looks will be the order of the evening. The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (11/19) It’s Ladies Night and Dance Night combined! Get ready to shake it to the sounds Phaze II. Were you lucky enough to catch El DeBarge at one of the two sold out shows at BBJ? Whether you were there and had a blast or if you missed out, here’s your chance to check out the great band who backed up El DeBarge on both nights. No cover for the ladies and we’ve got ½ off select bottles of wine, too. Doors open at 6pm and the music starts at 8pm.

Friday (11/20) Come experience Michael Muse and Shawn Allen… Back Together Again! Michael Muse embodies the best traditions of R&B/Soul music as a vocalist, songwriter and producer. The son of the legendary New York Jazz Musician Chuck Henley, he started his professional career as the lead vocalist for Rare Essence at the ripe old age of 16, and penned their second single, “Back Up Against The Wall,” in 1983. Also known in the DC music community as the most prolific vocalist in GoGo history, he paved the way for most vocalists in GoGo today. Cleveland native Shawn Allen is the former lead vocalist of the national recording and performing group, Pure Soul, who brought you the Top 20 Billboard charting song, “We Must Be In Love.” With Pure Soul, Shawn has appeared on popular television and talk shows including The Today Show and Soul Train. Catch the show starting at 8pm.

Saturday (11/21) We’re bringing together two of our favorite bands – Chopteeth and Be’la Dona. We call it The Fall Funk Summit! Chopteeth is a 12-piece Afrofunk orchestra exploring the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African and American popular music on the planet. The core of the Chopteeth sound is Afrobeat: a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970’s Nigeria. Band members step to the mic to serve up lyrics in a total of seven different languages. Be’la Dona is an all-female band so unique in their musical presentation that they have branded their own style: “Sensual Crank,” a mix of rock, R&B, gospel, pop, jazz and of course their D.C. hometown music, Go-Go. Be’la Dona captivates their audience and delivers the best performance each and every time. With both acts together, this is a Summit not to be missed! 8pm showtime.

Sunday (11/22) Please join us for an evening of virtuosity with composer, arranger, violinist, sax player, and multi-instrumentalist Michal Urbaniak. The boy prodigy who started out playing violin with philharmonic orchestras fell in love with jazz and the rest is history! Michal Urbaniak combined the music of his youth with all his experiences of jazz, rock, funk, and then hip-hop to form unique sounds in Fusion, Acid Jazz, and beyond. A Michal Urbaniak performance is always a brilliant experience that blends, bends, and defies categories. The concert begins at 8pm.

Monday (11/23) Daryl Davis Presents: An Evening with Josh Christina! Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! Josh Christina is “The Killer” personified! Barely in his 20’s, this young Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired performer pounds the keys like nobody’s business. Born decades after the creation of rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, he carries the tradition into the future with enthusiasm and authenticity. Host Daryl Davis was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson and apart from The Daryl Davis Band, has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. There’s no cover charge; the show and the dancing kick off at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (11/24) Once again it’s time for THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! Players & singers, come out and show us what ya got! This is the most popular and powerful jam session in the DMV. Free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Please present your Union Card and valid picture ID at the door.) The jam starts at 8pm.

Thanks so much for helping to keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Rick Brown

An R&B Favorite, Classic Folk, Cajun Blues… & the Super Sexy Hot Mess Burlesque!

El DeBarge, The Brothers Four, Hot Mess Burlesque, and Tab Benoit at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Wednesday (11/11) THANK YOU to all the enthusiastic El DeBarge fans out there… Tonight’s show is SOLD OUT! The R&B legend lent his signature falsetto to 16 Top 10 hits, both solo (“Rhythm of the Night,” “Who’s Holding Donna Now”) and with the family group, DeBarge (“All This Love,” “I Like It,” “Time Will Reveal”). Whether or not you were lucky enough to get a ticket for tonight’s show, you can look forward to something new; El is currently in the studio working on the follow-up to his Grammy nominated album, Second Chance. The show begins at 8pm.

Thursday (11/12) Join us for an evening with internationally-acclaimed folk stars, The Brothers Four. Called “America’s Musical Ambassadors to the World,” The Brothers Four have played thousands of college concerts, performed with symphony orchestras and jazz artists, and have even serenaded four U.S. Presidents at the White House over the course of a five-decade career. Their soul-stirring performance will include classics like “Greenfields,” “Yellow Bird,” “Try to Remember,” “Across the Wide Missouri,” and “The Green Leaves of Summer.” We’ll see you at the show! It starts at 7:30pm.

Friday (11/13) You’re in for a good time with the Hot Mess Burlesque! It’ll be a sexy, grown-up night with performers Miss Bliss, Porcelain, Bitsy Buttons, Puppie Buffe, Casey Jones, Marie L’Ennui, Miss V, Lauren Loves, Patsi Cake, and for a little beefcake… Big Bad Brett! The Bottom Drawer Lingerie Models will also take the stage, sure to tantalize. Playing some hot dance music and backing up the whole crazy fun night of classic burlesque, aerialists, strip tease, and comedy will be The Texas Chainsaw Horns. Mark Slomski will MC. With a show like this in store, it’s clear you can get pretty lucky on Friday the 13th. Don’t miss it! Adults only, 8pm.

Sunday (11/15) it’s the great Tab Benoit plus The Cathy Ponton King Band. Tab Benoit is a Cajun man who’s definitely got the blues! As a teenager and budding guitar player, he hung out at The Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in Baton Rouge run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Sitting in and jamming in that perfect environment, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living legends. Nightly impromptu gigs at The Blues Box inspired Benoit to put together his own band – a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun-spiced vocal attack. He took the show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since. DC native Cathy Ponton King plays a Telecaster and kicks out a distinctive mix of blues, jazzy blues, Nawlins music, swing, rock ‘n’ roll, and sweet ballads. Come out for both acts and enjoy a night of real, down-home sounds. The show starts at 8pm.

More great shows coming up: Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra featuring Maiya Sykes from The Voice (11/18), Michael Muse & Shawn Allen Back Together Again (11/20), The Fall Funk Summit with Chopteeth & Be’la Dona (11/21), The Fabulous Hubcaps (11/25), Mousey Thompson & the James Brown Experience (11/28), Shayna Steele (12/3), and don’t forget to get your tickets early for the big Frank Sinatra 100th Birthday Celebration featuring Landau Murphy, Jr. on Saturday, 12/12!  Check our Music Calendar for our upcoming holiday events and all the latest show updates.

See you soon at Bethesda Blues and Jazz. Thanks for helping us keep music alive in downtown Bethesda!

Rick Brown

 

Great Jazz, Sweet R&B, and Saturday Night Laughter at Bethesda Blues!

DJ Rico & Michel Wright, PJ Morgan's Geeek Squad, Teedra Moses, Joe Clair, and Phyllis Hyman Tribute at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Wednesday (11/04) It’s the Majic 102.3 Wednesday Bash! Come get your R&B party on with DJ Rico, hosted by Michel Wright. DJ Rico started spinning at some of the Metropolitan area’s hottest nightclubs while he was still at Howard University. He took his career to the next level when he became a part-time DJ/Mixer, learning from radio greats. He’s hit full stride at Majic 102.3 and the experience he creates for packed dance floors has caused his followers to deem him “The Noisemaker.” Ms. Michel Wright is top-rate – one of the most popular and familiar voices in the country. There’ll be great music, killer cocktails, and ½ price off select bottles of wine. Don’t miss this party! 7-9pm

Thursday (11/5) Are you ready for the Geeek Squad? PJ Morgan is known as “The Organist’s Organist,” but anyone who really loves music will feel this groove. Exposed to the Hammond organ in the small Pentecostal church where his family served, his big break came when he was asked to fill in for a keyboardist who couldn’t make it to a Ben Tankard concert. He became Tankard’s Music Director in Nashville, and he’s been blazing his own trail ever since in the Gospel and secular genres, earning well deserved accolades as a performer, producer, and teacher. Filling out the Geeek Squad trio is Berklee College of Music alum and teacher Amber Baker on drums and Dywane Thomas, Jr., also known as MonoNeon, on bass. Lately, MonoNeon has been at Paisley Park Studios working with Prince. That’s right…  Prince! Showtime is 8pm.

Friday (11/6) Please welcome R&B songstress Teedra Moses! Born and raised in New Orleans to gospel singing mother, Shirley Moses, Teedra worked with her best friend Nonja McKenzie as an assistant wardrobe stylist for artists such as Will Smith, Kelis, R. Kelly, and No Doubt before becoming a recording artist. After the epiphany that led her to make music, she teamed up with producer Paul Poli and signed with the then Number 1 Indie Record Label, TVT Records to release her debut album, Complex Simplicity, in August 2004. Known for “Be Your Girl,” “Backstroke,” and “Take Me,” Teedra Moses has also written songs for artists including Christina Milian, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, and a host of others. Her songs have been showcased in the Logo series Noah’s Arc, in the HBO hit show Entourage, in movies such as Never Die Alone, Beauty Shop, Be Cool, and The Skinny. Come out and experience her phenomenal talent! The show starts at 8pm.

Saturday (11/7) Saturday night… and The Funny Don’t Stop!  #1 Comedian/Host and DC’s Finest Joe Clair (WPGC 95.5 JOE CLAIR MORNING SHOW) gives an audience what they love…a night of LMFAO! This time back at BBJ, Joe Clair & Friends present Jokers Gone Wild! Get ready, Bethesda, to eat, drink, and laugh – and hurry for tickets… These shows always sell out. Two Big Shows: 7pm (seating begins at 5pm) and 10pm (seating at about 9:30pm).

Sunday (11/8) join us for a tribute to the music of Phyllis Hyman, featuring International Recording Artist Shang and the BRENCORE ALLSTARS BAND. Don’t miss the sensational SHANG as she pays respect to one of the greatest singers of all time. Close your eyes and you will hear the spirit and voice of the late great Phyllis Hyman as Shang performs her great hits such as “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “Old Friend,” “Meet Me on the Moon,” “You Know How to Love Me,” and more. Make sure you make reservations early before the concert sells out. Remember, there is free parking on Sundays in the Cheltenham Garage. The show starts at 7pm.

Upcoming shows include The Texas Chainsaw Horns & the Hot Mess Burlesque (Friday 11/13), Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra featuring Maiya Sykes from The Voice with A Special Appearance by Landau Murphy Jr. (Wednesday, 11/18), Michal Urbaniak on Sunday, 11/22, and so many more.

 

Keeping music alive in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here very soon.

Rick Brown

Outstanding Halloween lineup! Shows not to be missed!

MarchFourth, Michael Jackson Tribute, Halloween Howl, and The Vi-Kings at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, October 2015

Wednesday (10/28) MarchFourth! is an internationally-acclaimed, genre-breaking FORCE in the world of entertainment — a sonic explosion delivered by 20 musicians, dancers, and artisans who travel the world year-round, taking audience members of all ages, from all walks of life, on a joy-inducing, foot-stomping, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization. With exceptional musical quality and a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, hoopers, and Vaudeville-style dancers, MarchFourth! whips audiences into a celebratory frenzy with an over-the-top spectacle of high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, hilarious stage shenanigans, and irresistible charisma! This is not a band that simply “puts on a show.” MarchFourth! delivers a multi-faceted, indelible experience for those who are lucky enough to be in attendance. If you have ever been to one of their performances, you know it is all this and more.  8:00pm showtime.

Thursday (10/29) The #1 Michael Jackson Tribute Show in the world is returning to Bethesda Blues and Jazz! This live concert captures the true essence of Michael Jackson in a unique manner. The Michael Live Project is a great production built around the extraordinary talent of Mr. Michael Clark, featuring the Philadelphia sounds of MFSB. Once Michael graces the stage with his interpretation of Michael Jackson, you will witness the only person capable of mesmerizing audiences of every culture. Michael Clark is not an impersonator, but an interpreter of the great Michael Jackson. 8:00pm show time. Get ready to dance!

Friday (10/30) Halloween Howlwith over 12 outstanding artists, is the perfect show to kick off the bewitching season. Part concert, part Halloween party, this fun filled show features the greatest Halloween hits, plus movie screen projections, costumes, and live, full-band performances of classic Halloween songs including “Werewolves Of London,” “Thriller,” “Psycho Killer,” “Sympathy For The Devil,” & many more. Performances by: The Sidleys, Cal Everett, Alan MacEwen, The Crimestoppers, Liz Springer, Cairo Fred, Janine Wilson, The Hummingbyrds, John Trupp, Brandon Ehrgood and more to be announced. There’s a dance contest, costume contest, and prizes, too! 8:00pm showtime.

Saturday (10/31) Bethesda’s hometown band, The Vi-Kings, return for their third engagement at Bethesda Blues and Jazz and the dance floor will be packed! The VI-Kings celebrate and bring alive the music of the 1960’s – This time, expect some special Halloween surprises! The music of The VI-Kings is the soundtrack of your life. Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Credence, Dylan, Byrds, Yardbirds, and on and on. There will be costume contests with prizes, so dress up and come on down! 8:00pm start. Remember, on Saturdays there is free parking in the Cheltenham Garage.

Upcoming artists include: Teedra Moses, A Tribute to Phyllis Hyman, El DeBarge, The Brothers Four, Hot Mess Burlesque, Dave Damiani, Maiya Sykes, Landau Murphy, Jr., Be’La Dona, Chopteeth, Michael Urbaniak, Ronnie Laws, The Hubcaps, Mousey Thompson, Larry Carlton, Maggie Rose, New Year’s Eve with Doc Scantlin, and the Royal Palms Orchestra!

Keeping music alive in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here soon.

 

Rick Brown

Latin, Blues, and Smooth Jazz at its best this weekend!

Art Sherrod Jr, Tito Puente Jr, Maria Muldaur, Robbin Kapsalis, Gary Grainger, and MarchFourth! at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, October 2015Thursday (10/22) We welcome back local saxophone star Art Sherrod, Jr.  Having performed, opened, or co-headline shows with Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows, Roy Ayres, Natalie Cole, Boney James, Everette Harp, Najee, Michael Henderson, Jean Carne, Cuba Gooding & the Main Ingredient, and others, Art always gets the audience going. He was one of only five Americans to perform in the Brazilian-American Jazz Festival in Rio de Janeiro and he always packs the house! 8:00pm showtime.

Friday (10/23) The comparison is inevitable. How could it be otherwise? Tito Puente Jr. carries his father with him – imprinted on his physical being and locked in his soul. It’s in his looks, his joy, his music. No doubt, every time Tito Jr. walks on stage, he walks in his father’s footsteps. Back for his 3rd trip to BBJ, the house will be jumping! 8:00pm showtime.

Sunday (10/25) Maria Muldaur is best known world-wide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received several Grammy nominations and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere. Despite her considerable pop music success, her 50-year career could best be described as a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American Roots Music. In the 40 years since “Midnight at the Oasis,” Maria has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 40 solo albums covering all kinds of American Roots Music, including Gospel, R&B, Jazz, and Big Band (not to mention several award-winning children’s albums). She has now settled comfortably into her favorite idiom, the Blues. Don’t miss this special appearance at BBJ this Sunday, 7:30 show time.

Monday – Tuesday (10/26, 10/27) Daryl Davis and Gary Grainger Jams continue with great musicians just dropping in! Come and party with Free Admission Mondays and $5 Tuesdays.  ½ price bottles of wine make it a great night!

Wednesday (10/28) Don’t miss this show! MarchFourth! is an internationally-acclaimed, genre-breaking FORCE in the world of entertainment — a sonic explosion delivered by 20 musicians, dancers and artisans who travel the world, year-round, taking audience members of all ages, from all walks of life, on a joy-inducing, foot-stomping, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization. With exceptional musical quality and a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, hoopers, and Vaudeville-style dancers, MarchFourth! whips audiences into a celebratory frenzy with an over-the-top spectacle of high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, hilarious stage shenanigans, and irresistible charisma. If you have ever been to one of their performances, you know it is all this and more! The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (10/29) The #1 Michael Jackson Tribute show in the world is returning to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. This live concert captures the true essence of Michael Jackson in a unique manner. The concert focuses on the effect his music has had on generations of people throughout our world. The Michael Live Project is a great production built around the extraordinary talent of Mr. Michael Clark. Michael has performed as the lead vocalist for record industry notables such as The Funk Brothers and MFSB. He has shared the stage with Billy Preston, Steve Winwood, Chaka Khan, and the Eagles. Get your dancing shows on for this “Thriller” night! 8:00pm showtime.

Friday (10/30) Come enjoy our Halloween Howl! If you like “Werewolves Of London,” “Thriller,” “Psycho Killer,” and “Sympathy For The Devil,” you’ll love this night featuring 10 outstanding artists! Performances by The Sidleys, Cal Everett, Alan MacEwen, The Crimestoppers, Liz Springer, Cairo Fred, Janine Wilson, The Hummingbyrds, John Trupp, Brandon Ehrgood & more! There’ll even be a Dancing Contest, Costume Contest, & Prizes! 8:00pm showtime.

Saturday (10/31) Bethesda’s hometown band returns for their third engagement at Bethesda Blues and Jazz. The VI-Kings celebrate and bring alive the music of the 1960’s – with special Halloween surprises! The music of The VI-Kings is the sound track of your life. The Beatles , Stones, Kinks, Credence, Dylan, Byrds, Yardbirds, and on and on. There’s a reason that this wonderful music has endured through the decades. It is joyous, fresh and as relevant today as it was the day it was released. 8:00pm showtime.