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Non-Stop Entertainment featuring Holiday Jazz! The Landau Murphy, Jr. Holiday Show, Redd Christmas, Dionne Farris, Joe Clair, A Smooth & Funky Christmas 2, and VMA’s Big Band Christmas

Virginia Music Adventures, Redd Christmas, Dionne Farris, Landau Murphy Jr, Joe Clair, Big NY & the Smooth Jazz All Starts at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2016Monday (12/12) Kick off your week with Virginia Music Adventures‘ award-winning all-star youth ensembles as they present A Big Band Christmas! Ring in the holiday season with tomorrow’s stars. Now in its 13th year, the Virginia Music Adventures Annual Holiday Show has become a tradition in the DC Metro area. Four youth ensembles plus new a cappella vocal jazz ensemble will perform holiday favorites and some fresh musical choices including movements from Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite,” Bing Crosby’s rendition of “Jingle Bells” with the Andrews Sisters, and Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” among other classic hits.” Virginia Music Adventures (VMA) provides comprehensive jazz music instruction combined with performance and travel opportunities to school age musicians. Through local, national, and international community service and travel, VMA encourages its students to develop empathy and respect toward other cultures. This holiday performance begins at 7:30pm.

Wednesday (12/14) There may be a lot to be said for a white Christmas, but internationally-known drummer and vibraphonist Chuck Redd brings us his own take on the season with Redd Christmas! Chuck began recording and touring the globe when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. To his credit are 25 European tours and six tours of Japan, with the Barney Kessel Trio, Ken Peplowski and the Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra, Terry Gibbs, and Conte Candoli. He served as Artist-In-Residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café in Washington, DC from 2004-2008 and is a featured soloist annually at The Oregon Festival of American Music, The W.C. Handy Music Festival, The Newport Beach Jazz Party, The West Texas Jazz Party, The North Carolina Jazz Festival, and The Roswell Jazz Festival. Jazz Times has praised Redd’s playing describing his vibes work as “Exquisite!” and The Washington Post admired his “melodic sparkle.” The Redd Christmas show begins at 8pm.

Thursday (12/15) Come out to this fantastic night of music with a soulful sensation! Have you heard this may be the last time you see this artist billed as “Dionne Farris?” Officially speaking, it’s “Dionne.” The Grammy nominated singer you know and love has dropped her last name as an artist. “I’m taking it back to the root,” she says, “to a time before the formalities of “Dionne Farris” when I was simply, Dionne. That’s who created everything the fans love.” Dionne began singing in elementary school and in the early 1990s, she performed as the vocalist on hip hop group Arrested Development’s hit single, “Tennessee.” She rose to fame with the release of her 1994 debut album, Wild Seed – Wild Flower, featuring the single, “I Know.” She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1996. Revelation, her new 7-song album with 60-page mini book, is a reflection on, dedication to, and a celebration of the late, great music icon, Prince. Dionne was Prince’s muse for The Truth album; he penned the song “Dionne” to her. Use Discount Code DIONNEBBJ for 50% off your tickets! The concert begins at 8pm.

Friday (12/16) Join us for the Landau Murphy, Jr. Holiday Show! Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the dreadlocked classic crooner and runaway season six winner of NBC TV’s America’s Got Talent, has toured across the country to sold-out audiences while maintaining his home and roots in his beloved West Virginia. His debut CD, That’s Life, on Columbia Records hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts and was produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell. Murphy’s follow-up, Christmas Made for Two, was a benefit fundraising vehicle for The Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, one of many Mountain State charities Landau has supported generously with his time and talent. His book, From Washing Cars to Hollywood Star, became an Amazon #1 best-seller and Reader’s Favorite Award winner. His Landau Live in Washington DC was actually recorded right here at Bethesda Blues and Jazz! Joining the show will be special guest Maiya Sykes of NBC’s The Voice and music sensation Postmodern Jukebox. The Landau Murphy, Jr. Holiday Show starts at 8pm.

Saturday (12/17) Don’t miss Joe Clair & Friends! Joe Clair is back with two big shows featuring comedians Jon Laster, Wil Sylvince, and The Fat Doctor. The house band, Sound of the City, will add the musical touch. Host, comedian, radio personality, and on-air veteran Joe Clair is no stranger when it comes to Washington, D.C. This native of Seat Pleasant, MD is the current host of WPGC’s Joe Clair Morning Show, taking the morning airwaves by storm and making the drive to work much more enjoyable for listeners across the DMV. He is proud graduate of Morgan State University where he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and graduated as a psychology major but found his passion for comedy, music, and communications. Clair got his start on HBO’s famed Def Comedy Jam before gaining national notoriety as host of BET’s famed show, Rap City, where he introduced the world to hip-hop and rap superstars. So get ready to laugh, Bethesda! The shows start at 7pm and 10pm. Seating begins at 5pm and 9:30pm.

Sunday (12/18) Back by popular demand… Big NY and the Smooth Jazz All-Stars will take to the stage to give us A Smooth & Funky Christmas 2! A larger-than-life showman, Christian “Big New York” de Mesones is the creator of “Big New York & the Smooth Jazz All-Stars”, a uniquely collaborative effort highlighting both the hottest smooth jazz musicians in the DMV as well as Billboard-charting guest artists. Ronald Jackson from smoothjazzride.com wrote, “Witnessing the extraordinary talents of Big New York was as astounding and moving as an earthquake!!!” Guests can always expect a very entertaining performance as Christian combines smooth, sophisticated grooves with flavors of old school R&B and Latin Jazz. This musical combination will be evident in the Smooth & Funky Christmas set lists, which will include new arrangements of holiday favorites, interspersed with hits from the All- Stars, and crowd-pleasing covers. The All-Stars for this event are Willie Bradley on trumpet, David Bach on piano, Drew Davidsen on guitar, Elliot Levine on Hammond organ and synthesizer, the triple-sax attack of Rob Maletick, Eddie Baccus, Jr., and  Danny Kusz; Swiss Chris on drums, and Curtis McCain and Jesus Gonzalez  on percussion. Making her debut at BBJ is guest vocalist Lindsey Webster. This special Christmas performance begins at 7:30pm.

It’s so exciting to be in the midst of the holiday season with so many great events. We’ve got even more coming up including Christmas with Cassandra Wilson, the 3rd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Show with Secret Society, Soul Crackers Holiday Party, Auld TWANG Syne with Ruthie & the Wranglers and The Thrillbillys, New Year’s Eve with Doc Scantlin & his Imperial Palms Orchestra. Visit our Music Calendar for more info and tickets to all our upcoming events.

We look forward to seeing you soon for dinner and a holiday show!

 

Rick Brown

Holiday Cheer with Motown & More, A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch,
and Sinatra’s 101st Birthday with Tony Sands

Motown & More: A Holiday Celebration, Golden Era Sahara Dance Salon, Celebration of Frank Sinatra's 101st B-Day by Tony SandsFriday (12/9) Get ready… Here it comes! It’s time for Motown & More: A Holiday Celebration. The word “Motown” evokes sounds and images of a musical era full of great artists, classic songs, smooth choreography and exciting stage shows. For the holidays, Motown & More offers all that, plus those special tunes that bring the season in with style: The Temptations’ “Silent Night” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” and Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” — just to name a few. Vocalists Gene McBride, Vic Frierson, Karen Linette, Deborah Poole-Williams and Micah Smith, each phenomenal in their own right, come together with exquisite harmonies. Led by Musical Director and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Gillespie, the six piece musical ensemble also features saxophonists Art Sherrod, Jr. and Eddie Baccus, Jr. Celebrate the season with this trip down Memory Lane – with old school music, dancing, food, and friends. Doors open at 6pm; the concert starts at 8pm.

Sunday (12/11) Returning to Bethesda Blues and Jazz is the wonderful Golden Era Sahara Dance Salon: A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch! Allow yourself to be swept away by the romantic allure of a dance for the ages. From 1,001 Arabian Nights to present day, belly dance (raqs sharqi) continues to captivate audiences with its timeless beauty and elegance. Sahara Dance, Washington DC’s Center for Middle Eastern Dance, is a boutique dance studio dedicated to celebrating the joy and beauty of belly dance. Founded in 2002, Sahara Dance offers over 50 weekly belly dance classes at three locations in DC and Maryland. Seeking to elevate belly dance as a performance art and to create a community for belly dancers, Sahara Dance produces several annual theater productions. This is a great event for the whole family; kids under 12 attend for only $15! Doors open for brunch at 11:30am; the dancing begins at 1pm.

The Sunday evening performance pays homage to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. It’s the 101st B-day Celebration of Frank Sinatra by Tony Sands! Lifelong Sinatra fans have long been fascinated whenever they hear Tony Sands start to croon. For more than 20 years, Tony Sands has been perfecting his act, and wooing audiences all over the United States. Who better to lead us in celebrating what would have been Sinatra’s 101st birthday? It Was a Very Good Year – A Tribute to Frank Sinatra Starring Tony Sands is a must-see. Sands will be performing such hits as “That’s Life,” “Come Fly with Me,” “Luck Be A Lady,” “My Way,” “New York, New York,” and many more, accompanied by the fabulous big band sounds of Swingtopia. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind musical tribute. Doors open at 6pm. The concert kicks off at 8pm.

Our holiday shows are underway and we hope to see you at this most wonderful time of the year! Coming right up we’ve got Virginia Music Adventures Presents A Big Band Christmas, Redd Christmas, the Landau Murphy, Jr. Holiday Show, A Smooth & Funky Christmas 2 featuring Big NY & The Smooth Jazz All-Stars with Special Guest Lindsey Webster, Christmas with Cassandra Wilson, the Soul Crackers Holiday Party, and so much more. Get your tickets now for the big New Year’s Eve event, as Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra ring in 2017. You can find tickets and info for all our shows on our Music Calendar.

We look forward to seeing you soon for dinner, a show, and some holiday cheer!

 

Rick Brown

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

 

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