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Classic & Contemporary Jazz and R&B! The Count Basie Orchestra, Melba Moore, Steve Oliver, Sarah Dash, a Tribute to Luther Vandross, plus Joe Clair Comedy

Count Basie Orchestra, Steve Oliver, Luther Re-Lives, Sarah Dash, Joe Clair and Friends, Melba Moore at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, Sept – Oct 2016Tuesday (9/27) The legendary Count Basie Orchestra really needs no introduction! This is one of the most thriving big bands in history. All the musicians have grown up with the Kansas City Swing style of Count Basie and they each add their own voice to the band. With 19 performers, 17 sidemen (plus 17 Grammys to match!), 1 vocalist, and 1 bandleader, they’ve become the premier jazz band and they put on a not-to-miss performance. Since Basie’s passing in 1984, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes, Dennis Mackrel, and now Scotty Barnhart, have led The Count Basie Orchestra and have maintained it as one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. The concert begins at 8pm.

Wednesday (9/28) You’re going to love Steve Oliver! Steve Oliver brings a fresh combination of smooth jazz and soft adult contemporary music to his performances. He is renowned throughout the contemporary jazz world for his charismatic, one-on-one relationship with the audience, soulful lead vocals, snappy guitar lines, vocal percussion, wonderworking with the synth guitar, and a few full-on pop/R&B vocal tunes on every album. His latest recording, the John Mayer, Sting, and Steely Dan-influenced Pictures and Frames features the exotic soundscaping of Steve Reid (The Rippingtons) and the allstar rhythm section of bassist Lee Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt) and legendary jazz/rock drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock). The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (9/29) They called him “The Velvet Voice.” With hits like “Power of Love/Love Power,” “Never Too Much,” “Here and Now,” and “Any Love,” the late R&B legend Luther Vandross captivated a generation. Come out to this fantastic performance and you’ll be transported on a romantic journey through Vandross’ iconic catalog. Luther Re-Lives, featuring William “Smooth” Wardlaw, pays tribute to the original with love, respect, and faithful accuracy. This is a must see performance for any Vandross fan. The tribute starts at 8pm.

Friday (9/30) Vocal talent sensation Sarah Dash has recorded and performed live with some of the greatest names in the industry including The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Laura Nyro, The O’Jays, Wilson Pickett, and Bo Diddley. While still in high school, Sarah formed a group called the Del Capris. She asked another Trenton girl, Nona Hendryx, to join. Shortly thereafter, Sarah and Nona joined forces with The Ordettes, Patti Labelle and Cindy Birdsong, to become the Bluebelles and had their first hit “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” Shortly after that, they became Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. After years of success, Cindy Birdsong left to join the Supremes in 1967. In 1970, they morphed into Labelle, best known for the classic monster hit “Lady Marmalade.” Sarah Dash’s solo dance music classics are “Sinner Man” and “Low Down Dirty Rhythm.” Currently, she performs her autobiographical musical, Sarah, One Woman. The show begins at 8pm.

Saturday (10/1) Whether in comedy, hosting, or acting, Joe Clair keeps a busy schedule. Don’t miss him as he returns to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club for two silly shows featuring comedians Jay Phillips, Henry Welch, and Laughin’ Lenny! The house band will be Sound of the City. Joe Clair first garnered millions of fans as host of BET’s Rap City in the mid-nineties. He held down the spot for six consecutive years and gave the world hip-hop the way it was supposed to be. You know him now from the WPGC 95.5 Joe Clair Morning Show. So get ready to ROFL, Bethesda! The evening’s two big shows start at 7pm and 10pm. Seating begins at 5pm and 9:30pm.

Sunday (10/2) Melba Moore is a four-time Grammy nominee and the winner of the 1970 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Lutiebelle in Purlie, in which her performance of “I Got Love” shot her to stardom. Moore was born Beatrice Melba Hill to the popular R&B singer known as Bonnie Davis (originally named Gertrude Melba Smith) and saxophonist Teddy Hill, who managed the influential Harlem jazz club Minton’s Playhouse in its heyday. Her mother had a #1 R&B hit, “Don’t Stop Now,” in 1943, before Melba was born. Melba Moore got her big break in original cast of Hair as the character named Dionne, and after several months she replaced Diane Keaton in the role of Sheila, becoming the first African-American actress to replace a white actress in a lead role on Broadway. With a total of eleven top ten U.S. hits on the Billboard charts over the past 40 years, Moore continues into the 21st century as one of pop music’s most enduring artists. The concert starts at 8pm.

Here’s just a taste of what’s coming up this fall at BBJ: 13-year old piano genius Joey Alexander, Morris Day & The Time, Spyro Gyra, Kevin Whalum, Larry Carlton, Rare Essence, and on Veterans Day, The Shirelles Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Salute to the Troops with Leonard, Coleman & Blunt. Read all about it and get your tickets through our Music Calendar.

Thanks as always for keeping great music alive and well in Bethesda! We look forward to seeing you.

 

Rick Brown

Coming Up at BBJ: Straight-Ahead Jazz, Rockin’ Blues, and then we Make it Funky!

Larry Brown Quintet w/ Sharon Clark, Tom Principato Band, Fred Wesley & the New JB's, and The Jam w/ Gary Grainger, Bethesda Blues & Jazz, October 2015Friday (10/9) This weekend kicks off with The Larry Brown Quintet, who JazzReview.com call “Straight-ahead jazz at its best, with a forthright approach to well-chosen material, supported by first rate soloists and a rock-solid rhythm section.” With multiple Wammie Awards for Best Jazz Group, the band members are: Larry Brown on piano, Kent Miller on bass, Greg Holloway on drums, Thad Wilson on trumpet, and Peter Fraize on tenor sax. Special guest vocalist Sharón Clark is a world-touring DC artist whose stellar voice evokes Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. The show starts at 8pm.

Sunday (10/11) come check out the Tom Principato Band! As one of the most unique guitarists around, Tom Principato combines his rich blues background with high-energy rock. The former leader of the legendary band Powerhouse, Tom and his band give their blues-rock a highly charged, emotionally expressive delivery that is not to be missed. The Tom Principato Band features the passionate virtuosity of Matt Everhart on bass, Joe Wells on drums, and Josh Howell on congas, percussion, vocals, and harmonica. They tour clubs and festivals extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, so be sure to catch these travelin’ rockers while they’re right here in Bethesda! Parking is free at Cheltenham Garage. Showtime 7:30.

Monday (10/12) We’ve got Fred Wesley & the New JB’s! In the 60’s and 70’s, Wesley’s slippery riffs and pungent, precise solos complemented saxophonist Maceo Parker to give James Brown’s R&B, soul, and funk tunes their instrumental punch. He played on hit recordings – “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” and “Mother Popcorn” to name just a couple, and he stepped up to co-write tunes including “Hot Pants.” Later, he spent several years playing with George Clinton’s various Parliament-Funkadelic projects and joined the Count Basie Orchestra in 1978. It would take pages to list all the credits to Fred Wesley’s name – Come out and feel the groove live! The band hits the stage at 8pm.

Tuesday (10/13) Once again we have The JAM featuring Gary Grainger and Friends! Gary Grainger and his brother Greg Grainger lead this popular Tuesday night jam session. Come out, bring a musical instrument, your singing voice, and your love of music…Show ‘em what you got! Free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Present your Union Card and valid picture ID at the door.). The music starts at 8pm.

Coming soon to the BBJ stage: Paula Atherton & David Bach, Bobby Caldwell, The Michael Live Project (Michael Jackson Tribute), Art Sherrod Jr, Tito Puente Jr, Teedra Moses, The Texas Chainsaw Horns, and many more great acts.

Thanks for coming out and helping us keep great music alive and well in Bethesda! Hope to see you here soon.

Rick Brown