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!