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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