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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

Celebrating Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, the Holidays, & Great Performances

BBJ Weekly Concerts: Cathy Ponton King, Gary Grainger, Luther-Re-Lives, Rhythm Bandits, Sinatra's 100th Birthday w/ Landau Eugene Murphy Jr, Sahara Dance, Drew Gibson, Devon SprouleMonday (12/7) We are thrilled to present singer, guitarist, and bandleader Cathy Ponton King. She has been a respected stalwart of the blues on the DC music scene since the 1970s. She is the most prominent woman who is keeping the blues alive and well in the metropolitan area. Come see why she has been highly regarded by blues legends on the order of Muddy Waters and Albert King, and why her popularity just keeps rising. Hosting once again will be boogie-woogie piano master Daryl Davis, who has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. Come out and enjoy this Customer Appreciation Night with no cover charge, ½ off select bottles of wine, and get your dance on, too! The show starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (12/8) Tuesday is time for THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! Now in its third amazing season, THE JAM is your chance to come out and perform live with some of the best musicians anywhere. Bring your singing voice and/or instrument and we’ll provide the backup. We can’t wait to see YOU rule our stage. We start at 8pm.

Thursday (12/10) We’ve got a tribute to the great Luther Vandross… holiday style! Please join us for the Luther Re-Lives Holiday Concert with Smooth Wardlaw. William “Smooth” Wardlaw embodies the sound and style of Luther and wraps it up with his own distinctive flavor. He is a fantastic entertainer who talks, laughs, bears a striking resemblance to, and yes, SINGS like Luther. His full 8-piece band Las Vegas style show with all the lights, choreography, and costume changes pulls out all the stops! The concert begins at 7:30pm.

Friday (12/11) You are cordially invited to a night of refreshments, music, and holiday cheer at The Montgomery County Sentinel Newspaper Party. Come out and enjoy drinks, food and music courtesy of The Rhythm Bandits Band – featuring the honorable District Judge John Moffett on guitar and harmonica along with Michael Lofgren of the famous Lofgren Brothers. The celebration will recognize the best in local Montgomery County government as six local civic leaders are honored with the second annual “Excellence in Government” award. Dress business casual. Drinks and dining at 5:30; ceremony at 7:30.

Saturday (12/12) We are proud to present to you our Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration starring Columbia Records artist and America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and his Big Band! Fans of The Chairman of the Board will be treated to an extraordinary musical celebration honoring a legendary life and iconic career. Murphy will be saluting Sinatra and performing his timeless classics including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “New York, New York,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “My Way.” The crooner will also bring Sinatra-style holiday cheer with classics from his album, Christmas Made for Two. Landau recorded his first ever live concert DVD, Landau Live in Washington D.C. at Bethesda Blues and Jazz, at our venue in January of this year. Signed copies will be available after the performance during a special after-show meet-and-greet. The celebration begins at 8pm.

Sunday (12/13) Allow yourself to be swept away by the romantic allure of a dance for the ages with the Golden Era Sahara Dance Salon: A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch! From 1,001 Arabian Nights to present day, belly dance (raqs sharqi) continues to captivate audiences with timeless beauty and elegance. This unique event will feature live Middle Eastern music from Saltanah and Sahara Tabla, Raqs Sahara, Sahara Dance performance companies, faculty solos, and special guest, Na’la! Join us from 12:30-2:30pm.

Sunday evening, we will feature singer-songwriter Drew Gibson with special guest Devon Sproule. Drew Gibson’s music is reminiscent of American Primitivism riding on influence from the American days of country-blues and the singer-songwriters of the recent past. The finger-style guitarist has garnered attention from USA Today, The Washington Post, and Americana Magazine. His recently released his third effort is entitled 1532. Devon Sproule is a Canadian/American musician living in rural Virginia, raised on eco-villages near Kingston, Ontario and Louisa, Virginia. Devon Sproule’s music celebrates human complication in the language of nature. It is “North American music with weirdo roots.” Since 2007, her recordings have been released by Tin Angel Records, based in Coventry, England. The show starts at 8pm.

Check our Music Calendar for all of our upcoming performances including more of our excellent and eclectic holiday lineup. Thanks so much for helping to keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda. We’ll see you soon!

Rick Brown