Monday (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!
Monday (6/27) Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! “The Killer” personified in the form and talent of Josh Christina will be pounding the keys tonight! Barely in his 20s, Josh Christina is a phenomenon that you do not want to miss. Born decades after the creation of rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly, he carries the tradition into the future and does so with more authenticity than many who grew up in that era. He is not an imitator; he’s the real deal, influenced by all the greats but with a style of his own. There will be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on… guaranteed! Show host and boogie woogie piano master Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University with a degree in Jazz. He was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. He has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. NO COVER (Only $10 minimum food or beverage per guest). Special guests Full Power Blues. The show starts at 7:30pm.
Tuesday (6/28) It’s that time again… Come out and show ‘em what you got! Turn out and turn it up at The Jam with Gary Grainger and Friends! Musicians and singers: Jam with bassist Gary Grainger, drummer Greg Grainger, and their world-class musician friends. The Grainger Jam is a great time whether you join the band onstage or just come out and enjoy the music. We offer free admission for AFM Union member card holders (must present Union Card and valid picture ID at door). Start time is 8pm.
Wednesday (6/29) We’ve got two great bands that go great together! Band of Roses delivers a unique style that transcends the norm. Originally assembled in 2012 for a one-time performance, by overwhelming demand and revamped in 2015, Band of Roses quickly established itself as one of the DMV’s most sought-after all-female jazz, soul, funk and R&B bands. The group and its members have performed locally and toured nationally and internationally with legendary, highly acclaimed musical talent including: Patti LaBelle, Musiq Soulchild, Parliament Funkadelic’s Original “Sir Nose,” and Carolyn Malachi. Jazzy Blu is a smooth, neo jazz band with a hint of R&B from Washington, DC. The band opened for Grammy Award-winners Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight at Bayfest 2007 and for Multi Grammy Award-winner Mary J. Blige. They played to a sold out crowd at the legendary Blues Alley and after great success, Jazzy Blu was invited back to Bayfest 2008 where they shared the stage with the Ohio Players, SOS Band, The Whispers and the O’Jays! Showtime is 8pm.
Thursday (6/30) South Philadelphia’s Bobby Rydell showed his musical ability at an early age, playing drums professionally at the age of 9 and went on to sell more than 25 million records during his career. Rydell was just 17 in 1959 when he recorded “Kissin’ Time,” which became a hit across the country thanks to the airplay given to the song by Dick Clark on TV’s American Bandstand. His biggest hit, “Wild One,” was released early in 1960. Hits “Swingin’ School” and “Volare” soon followed. See Rydell perform with Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra, and he’ll also be on hand to sign copies of his book, Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks. Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra are making Thursdays swing this summer at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, and Bobby Rydell is the first of their special guests. They are in constant rotation on XM 71 Siriusly Sinatra and radio stations all over the country. They have done music for POLO – Ralph Lauren, CBS – Vegas, SINATRA 100, Marriott Corporation, FOX, ABC’s Sonoran Living, and much more. The concert starts at 8pm.
Friday (7/1) The women of Bel’a Dona are strong, talented, ambitious, and beautiful. They have branded their style “Sensual Crank,” and their unique sound draws from rock, R&B, Gospel, pop, jazz, and their hometown sound, DC Go-Go. As Be’la Dona continues to perform in the DC area and abroad, their acclaim and demand is growing as new ears hear their unique style. They have been featured in interviews and pictorials in print, internet, and published media such as Tom Tom Magazine, The Gazette, The Washington Post and even books such as Total Eclipse of the Heart by Zane. Their WAMMY Awards for Best Upcoming Band and Best Urban Contemporary Group speak volumes, but come see Be’la Dona live for the full effect of the party they put on! They’ll get the party started at 8pm.
Saturday (7/2) A spectacular collection of 25 soulful performers from the DMV pay tribute to music legends Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd , Sam & Dave, The Staples Singers, Carla Thomas, and more when A Southern Soul Tribute takes to the stage! After three wildly successful concerts in the last year, A Southern Soul Tribute returns with a joyful show that celebrates this beloved music and honors it in grand DC style, offering a look at area soul legends still in their prime. Performers include The Hardway Connection, Eddie Jones, Little Margie Clark, Patty Reese, Daryl Davis, Patti Hatchett, and the legendary Nighthawks rhythm section featuring Pete Ragusa and Jan Zukowski. There will be much more to see and hear – Come out and celebrate the music with us on July 2nd! The show begins at 8pm.
Sunday (7/3) The Chris Grasso Trio continues its Sunday Spotlight series, this time welcoming two special guest artists. Nicki Parrott is among a handful of jazz bassists worldwide who sing as well as they play. Chuck Redd is also a double threat, on vibes and drums, though he’ll be featured on vibes for this performance, along with Lenny Robinson on drums. The band will celebrate the music of legendary jazz singer and pianist Blossom Dearie. The Washington Times calls vocalist and bassist Nicki Parrott “the most astonishing new jazz musician we have seen in years.” In 2000, she began performing every week at the Iridium Jazz Club with legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul. She has appeared the world over at major festivals and concert halls. Chuck Redd began performing and recording internationally when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. Among his many credits, Chuck was featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996. He tours the U.S. and the world as a sideman and bandleader. Doors open for brunch at 11am and the Sunday Spotlight concert begins at 1pm.
The Young Senators were one of the most popular and influential bands from the Washington, DC area during the late 60s and 70s when funk reigned. They were the early originators of a new sound that came out of the DC area, later known as Go-Go. This talented ensemble achieved national success as the band for the late, great Eddie Kendricks who became a solo star after leaving The Temptations in the early 70s. They released several hit singles and albums while touring with Kendricks around the world for years. The Young Senators eventually settled back to their roots in DC, and the band members pursued individual careers while performing occasionally together. Today, led by original lead singer, percussionist, and bandleader Jimi Dougans, The Young Senators are reloading with a brand new line up featuring original drummer James “Drummer” Johnson, several of the best area musicians, and special guest vocalist Wendy Hicks. This will be The Young Senators’ first official concert in 30 years! They start at 8pm.
Coming right up we’ve got The Spinners, Meli’sa Morgan, The Yardbirds, Suttle, Chopteeth, Comedian Joe Clair, and The Dovells! Keep up with the latest show additions and buy your tickets through our Music Calendar.
Happy Summer! We’ll look forward to seeing you here, and thanks always for supporting great music and performances here in downtown Bethesda.
Thursday (10/1) R&B singer Miriamm will present a great concert for a great cause. A fantastic vocalist who has shared the stage with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Will Downing, she is also the founder of the Edith P. Wright Breast Cancer Foundation. The show will be an evening of solid entertainment and a powerful performance to honor breast cancer survivors. Miriamm, who hit the big screen portraying the role of background singer to Etta James (Beyonce’ Knowles) in the feature film Cadillac Records (Sony Music Films) and toured as Peaches, one half of the classic R&B duo Peaches & Herb, has released 3 CDs. Miriamm…Live! @ Blues Alley was recorded in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness, as well as to celebrate the music of the late R&B singer, Minnie Riperton. Join us for this special event at 8pm.
Friday (10/2) we welcome back The Chuck Brown Band! The band that toured the world with the Godfather of Go-Go carries the torch and keeps the beat alive. The band continues to keep the legacy alive by performing all your Chuck Brown and Go-Go favorites, and by creating new music including three new songs on the final Chuck Brown album, Beautiful Life. With the addition of Frank Sirius on guitar and vocals, the rest of the band is intact, including Chuck’s daughter KK, the Horny Horns, Kenny “Kwickfoot” Gross, Mighty Moe Hagans, Karlston “Ice” Ross, Sweet Cherie Agurs, and Marcus Young. Every show still starts with “Wind Me Up Chuck,” and doesn’t stop until the dance floor is empty. The party starts at 8pm!
Sunday (10/4) begins a four-concert series hosted by The Chris Grasso Trio and featuring pairings of DC’s top jazz vocalists and instrumentalists. Kicking things off in style will be this fabulous combo: featured vocalist Lena Seikaly and renowned vibraphonist Chuck Redd, along with Chris Grasso (piano), Tommy Cecil (bass) and Quincy Phillips (drums). Chuck Redd began performing internationally at the age of 21 when he joined the trio of legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd. He’s appeared worldwide on both drums and vibes Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Tormé, Herb Ellis, and many more greats. Lena Seikaly has quickly joined the ranks of the city’s most in-demand vocalists. She’s been an artist in residence at Strathmore and has performed at the city’s top venues from Blues Alley to The Kennedy Center. Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with standout vocalists. Showtime 7:30. Remember there is always free parking on Sundays at Cheltenham garage.
Monday (10/5) It’s Customer Appreciation Night! Every Monday boogie-woogie piano master Daryl Davis features a different excellent artist – This time we’ll have Sam “Muleman” Miller. Sam Miller is a guitarist and vocalist known for his driving blues and rock ’n’ roll. Formerly with the ‘50s oldies band Big Cam & the Lifters, Sam excites audiences on his own all over the Baltimore/Columbia, MD area. There’s no cover and there’s half off select bottles of wine! 7:30pm.
Tuesday (10/6) and every Tuesday night – Come out for The JAM featuring Gary Grainger and Friends. Gary Grainger and his brother Greg Grainger head up the third season of the most popular and powerful jam session in the Maryland/Northern Virginia region. Calling all players and singers… Show up and show ‘em what you got! Free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Must present Union Card and valid picture ID at door.). The music starts at 8pm!
Other upcoming shows include The Tom Principato Band, Fred Wesley & the New JB’s, Bobby Caldwell, Donnie, Art Sherrod Jr., Tito Puente Jr., Maria Muldaur, El DeBarge, Maggie Rose, and many more.
Keeping music alive in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here soon.