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Non-Stop Entertainment featuring Holiday Jazz! The Landau Murphy, Jr. Holiday Show, Redd Christmas, Dionne Farris, Joe Clair, A Smooth & Funky Christmas 2, and VMA’s Big Band Christmas

Virginia Music Adventures, Redd Christmas, Dionne Farris, Landau Murphy Jr, Joe Clair, Big NY & the Smooth Jazz All Starts at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2016Monday (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!

 

Rick Brown

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

Great Jazz, Sweet R&B, and Saturday Night Laughter at Bethesda Blues!

DJ Rico & Michel Wright, PJ Morgan's Geeek Squad, Teedra Moses, Joe Clair, and Phyllis Hyman Tribute at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Wednesday (11/04) It’s the Majic 102.3 Wednesday Bash! Come get your R&B party on with DJ Rico, hosted by Michel Wright. DJ Rico started spinning at some of the Metropolitan area’s hottest nightclubs while he was still at Howard University. He took his career to the next level when he became a part-time DJ/Mixer, learning from radio greats. He’s hit full stride at Majic 102.3 and the experience he creates for packed dance floors has caused his followers to deem him “The Noisemaker.” Ms. Michel Wright is top-rate – one of the most popular and familiar voices in the country. There’ll be great music, killer cocktails, and ½ price off select bottles of wine. Don’t miss this party! 7-9pm

Thursday (11/5) Are you ready for the Geeek Squad? PJ Morgan is known as “The Organist’s Organist,” but anyone who really loves music will feel this groove. Exposed to the Hammond organ in the small Pentecostal church where his family served, his big break came when he was asked to fill in for a keyboardist who couldn’t make it to a Ben Tankard concert. He became Tankard’s Music Director in Nashville, and he’s been blazing his own trail ever since in the Gospel and secular genres, earning well deserved accolades as a performer, producer, and teacher. Filling out the Geeek Squad trio is Berklee College of Music alum and teacher Amber Baker on drums and Dywane Thomas, Jr., also known as MonoNeon, on bass. Lately, MonoNeon has been at Paisley Park Studios working with Prince. That’s right…  Prince! Showtime is 8pm.

Friday (11/6) Please welcome R&B songstress Teedra Moses! Born and raised in New Orleans to gospel singing mother, Shirley Moses, Teedra worked with her best friend Nonja McKenzie as an assistant wardrobe stylist for artists such as Will Smith, Kelis, R. Kelly, and No Doubt before becoming a recording artist. After the epiphany that led her to make music, she teamed up with producer Paul Poli and signed with the then Number 1 Indie Record Label, TVT Records to release her debut album, Complex Simplicity, in August 2004. Known for “Be Your Girl,” “Backstroke,” and “Take Me,” Teedra Moses has also written songs for artists including Christina Milian, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, and a host of others. Her songs have been showcased in the Logo series Noah’s Arc, in the HBO hit show Entourage, in movies such as Never Die Alone, Beauty Shop, Be Cool, and The Skinny. Come out and experience her phenomenal talent! The show starts at 8pm.

Saturday (11/7) Saturday night… and The Funny Don’t Stop!  #1 Comedian/Host and DC’s Finest Joe Clair (WPGC 95.5 JOE CLAIR MORNING SHOW) gives an audience what they love…a night of LMFAO! This time back at BBJ, Joe Clair & Friends present Jokers Gone Wild! Get ready, Bethesda, to eat, drink, and laugh – and hurry for tickets… These shows always sell out. Two Big Shows: 7pm (seating begins at 5pm) and 10pm (seating at about 9:30pm).

Sunday (11/8) join us for a tribute to the music of Phyllis Hyman, featuring International Recording Artist Shang and the BRENCORE ALLSTARS BAND. Don’t miss the sensational SHANG as she pays respect to one of the greatest singers of all time. Close your eyes and you will hear the spirit and voice of the late great Phyllis Hyman as Shang performs her great hits such as “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “Old Friend,” “Meet Me on the Moon,” “You Know How to Love Me,” and more. Make sure you make reservations early before the concert sells out. Remember, there is free parking on Sundays in the Cheltenham Garage. The show starts at 7pm.

Upcoming shows include The Texas Chainsaw Horns & the Hot Mess Burlesque (Friday 11/13), Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra featuring Maiya Sykes from The Voice with A Special Appearance by Landau Murphy Jr. (Wednesday, 11/18), Michal Urbaniak on Sunday, 11/22, and so many more.

 

Keeping music alive in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here very soon.

Rick Brown