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Rickie Lee Jones and Madeleine Peyroux Kick Off the Week, then DC Favorites EU, Be’la Dona, Secret Society with a Tribute to Notorious B.I.G. and a Drag Salute to Dreamgirls

Rickie Lee Jones and Madeleine Peyroux, Notorious B.I.G. Tribute, EU - Experience Unlimited, Be’la Dona, Drag Salute to Dreamgirls Twisted at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, March 2017Tuesday (3/7) Come out to a great singer-songwriter double bill – Rickie Lee Jones and Madeleine Peyroux! Two-time GRAMMY winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona with over 15 critically-acclaimed albums. A cultural phenomenon, Rolling Stone magazine put her on its cover twice in two years, and Saturday Night Live gave her an unprecedented three songs for her second appearance. Rickie is both a character in the songs and the songwriter singing, defying convention, with her sometimes brazen sexuality and the mixed bag of jazz, rock and what has come to be known as ‘confessional’ songwriter performances. She’ll be joined by Peyroux, who got her start as an American musician on the streets of Paris. A precocious teenager living abroad with her mother, Madeleine quickly became entranced with local buskers, spending much of her time accompanying a regular band on the sidewalks of the Latin Quarter with her distinctive voice, and, by 15, had dropped out of school to join a touring blues and jazz band. Following the whirlwind release and promotion of the critically acclaimed Dreamland in 1996, the 22-year old Peyroux disappeared from the limelight, just as the buzz surrounding the singer was at its peak. Her latest is Keep Me in Your Heart for a While: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux. The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (3/9) Join Secret Society as they celebrate one of the greatest of all time — Notorious B.I.G. Biggie is still one of the music industry’s most admired hip-hop artists. His musical style has been emulated by countless up-and-coming artists. This homage by Secret Society will be a night to remember. DJ Eclipse will be on the 1’s & 2’s and the band will perform songs from Biggie’s catalog and Bad Boy Entertainment. Don’t miss this epic event! The tribute kicks off at 8pm.

Friday (3/10) Get ready for a true Washington, DC’s treasure – EU (Experience Unlimited)! This group is one of the original DC Go-Go bands. Fronted by founding member Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott, the original members all attended DC’s Ballou High School. The band chose the name Experience due to their respect for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Unlimited because they did not want to limit the range of their music. Their early regional hits included “EU Freeze,” “Lock Your Butt,” and “Knock ‘Em Out Sugar Ray.” Although they are best known for their GRAMMY-nominated, worldwide hit “Da-Butt” from Spike Lee’s School Daze soundtrack, EU scored hits with Salt & Papa (“Shake Your Thang”), with rap innovator Kurtis Blow (“Party Time”), and on their own with “Buck Wild” and “Taste of Your Love.” EU will get the party started at 8pm.

Saturday (3/11) Washington, DC is also the birthplace of the exciting and diverse all-female band known as Be’la Dona! The high-energy concert style presentation and dynamic musicianship exuded on their stage is the selling point of this local group of unsung heroes. The Be’la Dona sound is a unique style of funk, jazz, R&B and rock, commanding an impressive drawing power and attracting many beloved fans. Individually, each band member has toured with national artist such as Nile Rodgers (Chic), Pieces of a Dream, Chaka Khan, Chuck Brown, High Five, EU, Salt & Pepa, Stephanie Mills, Michael Bolton, Elton John and many others. The award-winning Be’la Dona will turn it up at 8pm.

Sunday (3/12) This show is fierce! Don’t miss this special lip-synced theatrical rendition of Dreamgirls Twisted presented by Shi-Queeta-Lee & VanHook Productions, LLC in honor of Salute to the Divas. Female impersonation at its best, Salute to the Divas is a revue featuring the world’s top legends. The audience enters the magical world of illusion as their favorite divas grace the Bethesda Blues & Jazz stage with all the glitz and glamour of a Las Vegas show. Based on the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and others, Dreamgirls follows the story of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called The Dreams who become music superstars. The musical opened on December 20, 1981 at the Imperial Theatre, and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, and won six. It was later adapted into a motion picture from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures in 2006. You’ve got two chances to catch Dreamgirls Twisted, at 3pm and 8pm.

Welcome to March! Other upcoming shows this month include Band of Roses & Madz Johnson, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s on St. Patrick’s Day with his band O’Malley’s March, We Are One Tribute X-Perience Band honoring Maze, Valerie Simpson, and Newmyer Flyer Presents: Dream Discs – Layla and Other Assorted Eric Clapton. Check out our Music Calendar for more details and all our upcoming events.

Thanks for all you do to support great music in downtown Bethesda! We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Rick Brown

Happy Holidays! Welcome Winter with NRBQ, Christmas with Cassandra Wilson, & Soul-Driven Holiday Parties by Secret Society and Soul Crackers

NRBQ, Cassandra Wilson, Secret Society, and Soul Crackers at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2016Tuesday (12/20) NRBQ‘s music is a blend of styles from rockabilly to Beatles-influenced pop to Thelonious Monk-inspired jazz. They have attracted fans as diverse as Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards, and Penn and Teller. NRBQ songs have been performed by Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Dave Edmunds, and many others, and the group even served as the unofficial “house band” for The Simpsons for seasons 10-12. In their 50-year history, NRBQ’s records have been released by many record companies, including Columbia Records, Kama Sutra Records, Mercury Records, Virgin Records, Rounder Records, and more. The band never works with a set list, so fans never know what songs to expect! Come out and enjoy the surprises! The show starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (12/21) Join us on the occasion of the winter solstice for a special concert experience by the one-and-only Cassandra Wilson. Celebrated for her rich, husky sound and her improvisational and interpretive gifts, Wilson has expanded jazz singing with her exploration of standards and old blues, country and folk songs, and the music of Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, and others. Making her name in the 1980s as a founding member of Steve Coleman’s free-ranging M-Base Collective, Wilson’s breakthrough 1993 album, Blue Light Until Dawn, was a prime collection of originals and songs by Robert Johnson, Mitchell, Hank Williams, and Van Morrison. She won a Grammy for 1996’s New Moon Daughter, and the following year sang on the recording and tour of Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio, Blood on the Fields. Wilson’s singular 2015 recording, Coming Forth By Day, is an original homage to Billie Holiday on the centennial of her birth. We have two chances to see and hear Christmas with Cassandra, at 7pm and 10pm.

Thursday (12/22) Come celebrate the holidays with Secret Society at the 3rd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party! Dance to the soulful sounds of one of DMV’s finest bands, as they perform hits that get you moving all night. DJ Eclipse will be on the 1’s & 2’s. There will be plenty of fun, great food, drinks and holiday cheer. Formed in 2008, Secret Society, the brainchild of Washington-area musician Bryan Mills, was created to bring the “live band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. The combination of talent, experience and influences stemming from the seeds of John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, Rick James and a host of others gives this band their own unique sound. The group calls it “Feel Good Music” to define exactly what it is they offer. The party starts at 8pm.

Friday (12/23) The Soul Crackers annual Holiday Party is a legendary blowout and a treasured rite of the season for hundreds of music lovers. This will be the band’s third holiday happening at Bethesda Blues and Jazz. Sprinkled in with soul classics from the likes of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Smokey Robinson & Otis Redding will be a handful of soulful Christmas chestnuts. This show is known for bringing together friends and families of all ages from across the region for informal reunions for a night of great music, dancing and reconnecting. The band features Washington Area Music Association Hall Of Fame vocalist Tommy Lepson, guitarist Keith Grimes, Chuck Sullivan on drums, Spencer Hoopes on keys, saxophonist Wayne Sulc, Chris Hutton on trumpet, and bassist Ronnie Newmyer. To top it off, this performance will feature the stellar backing vocals and dynamic showmanship of the Too Much Sisters aka, Anita King & Caz Gardiner. The music starts at 8pm.

Don’t forget to Give the Gift of Music! Now until December 25th, buy 3 tickets and 1 FREE (excludes 12/31, 2/13, and 2/14). Use code BBJ4. We do hope you are enjoying our shows for the season, including all those happening this week plus the upcoming “Auld TWANG Syne” with Ruthie & the Wranglers and The Thrillbillys and New Year’s Eve with Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra. Get the details of these and all our other shows on our Music Calendar.

We wish you the happiest of holidays!

 

Rick Brown

An Old School Weekend with Still Surfin’ and Friendship Train – Tributes to The Beach Boys and Gladys Knight and The Pips, “Feel Good Music,” and More at BBJ

1st Tuesday Jam with Gary Grainger and Friends, Nia Simmons and Geneva Renee, Still Surfin’ Beach Boys Tribute, Friendship Train Gladys Knight and the Pips Tribute, Secret Society at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, August 2016Tuesday (8/2) Come one, come all to the 1st Tuesday Jam with Gary Grainger and Friends! This monthly event gives YOU the chance to jam and sing with bassist Gary Grainger, drummer Greg Grainger, and their world-class musician friends. You’ll have a blast whether you join the band onstage or simply come out, have some food and drinks, and enjoy the music. We offer free admission for AFM Union member card holders (must present Union Card and valid picture ID at door). The Jam starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (8/3) We’ve got a soulful night in store with DC-area singers Nia Simmons and Geneva Renée! Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, Nia Simmons has a vocal style is heavily rooted in gospel, R&B, and jazz. Not only has she performed as a headliner at notable venues (Blues Alley, The Carlyle Club), she has also been privileged to share the stage as a background vocalist with acclaimed artists such as Regina Belle, Howard Hewett, Bobby McFerrin, Kirk Whalem, Meli’sa Morgan, and Crystal Aikin, and others. Geneva Renée, the highly sought after mezzo-soprano whose range spans three octaves has been a featured soloist at events honoring Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. An alumna of Howard University, Geneva is heavily influenced by classical, jazz, soul, gospel and pop. She has shared the stage with stars including Diana Ross, Maysa Leak, and Vanessa Williams. The music begins at 8pm.

Friday (8/5) Professional tribute band Still Surfin’ has been performing the music of The Beach Boys for over 15 years. Still Surfin’ features the incredible five part harmonies of The Beach Boys and they’re ready to entertain with authentic costuming, audience participation, great choreography, heavy spring reverb surf guitar, and the songs that everyone knows and loves. Just like the original Beach Boys, they might also pull out songs from other great ’60s surf bands like Jan and Dean, The Ventures, Dick Dale, and The Safaris. They play all the great car songs, too! Come out to see Still Surfin’ for a true-to-form show – just like the originals sounded on their live tours back in the day. Surf’s up at 8pm.

Saturday (8/6) Shadows of the 60’s Present Friendship Train – A Tribute to Gladys Knight & The Pips! Perhaps the most dynamic female lead singer of all time from Motown roster of stars, Gladys Knight, backed by the smooth vocals and choreography of The Pips, burst onto the music scene in 1961 and continued to enjoyed success for decades to come. Their hits include “With Every Beat Of My Heart,” “I Don’t  Wanna Do Wrong,” “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Midnight Train To Georgia,” “Friendship Train,”  “Neither One Of Us,” and “If I Were Your Woman.” Because of Gladys’ soul-stirring vocal delivery, it is no accident that there aren’t many tributes to this unique group. Shadows Of The 60’s, known for their reputation of delivering the best in tribute productions, searched for three years to find such a gifted vocal talent. Join them as they return to the sound of one of the mighty pillars of that elusive Motown Magic, Gladys Knight & The Pips. The tribute begins at 8pm.

Sunday (8/7) Formed in 2008, Secret Society, the brainchild of Washington-area saxophonist Bryan Mills, was created to bring the “Live Band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. Secret Society is that breath of fresh air. The combination of talent, experience and influences including John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, Rick James and a host of others gives this band their own unique sound and identity. The group likes to use the simplistic description “Feel Good Music” to define exactly what it is that they offer. The WAMMIE-nominated group has been featured in magazines including Prince George’s Suite and Magazine 33 Virginia, as “one of the hottest bands in the region.” Bandleader Mills attended Howard University’s prestigious Jazz Studies Program, which gave him the opportunity to play with notable DC-area groups including The Marcus Johnson Project, and Thievery Corporation, and he currently performs with DC’s legendary Chuck Brown “The Godfather of Go-Go” Band. With Wayne Thomas on drums, vocalist Mike Madison, Robbie McDonald playing lead guitar, bassist David Dyson, and Patrick Cooper on keyboards, this recipe of musicians is sure to please the taste buds of the avid music fan! The band starts at 7:30pm.

Who’ll be on the BBJ stage soon? Kandace Springs with special guest Lee Mo, Jon B., Zo! with Carmen Rodgers, The Cindy Blackman Santana Group, Peter Asher and Albert Lee, Kenny Lattimore, and the Michael Jackson Birthday Tribute Concert, to name a few. Visit our Music Calendar and stay up to date!

Happy August! And thanks as always for coming out to support great music in Bethesda. We’ll see you soon.

Rick Brown

Grammy Award-Winning Bluegrass Artists The SteelDrivers, A Celebration of Prince on his Birthday, and a Week of “Feel Good Music” with Secret Society,
76 Degrees West, Shadz of Soul & Nu-Era

Diana Quinn, Prince Birthday Celebration of Life, Mycah Chevalier, Secret Society, The SteelDrivers, 76 Degrees West w/ Sugar Bear, Shadz of Soul & Nu Era Tribute The Emotions & The Temptations at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, June 2016Monday (6/6) Diana Quinn will bring us her own brand of 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll, done up in a way only she can! She has entertained audiences all over the DC area and around the country for decades with her fun, campy humor and great music, with period attire to match. She is the lead vocalist of The Fabulettes (rock ‘n’ roll and soul) as well as Honky Tonk Confidential (classic Country). Show host Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University with a degree in Jazz. He was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. He has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. It’ll be a Dance Night with ½ off select bottles of wine and NO COVER (Only $10 minimum food or beverage). The show starts at 7:30pm. Come ready to party!

Tuesday (6/7) It’s Prince’s birthday! The loss of this great artist in April was tragic and a shock to fans around the world. Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince Rogers Nelson. His music showed remarkable diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures and genres. Please join us in celebration of his life and music with a handful of the DMV’s finest musicians and special guest Mike Scott (Prince guitarist) as they cut through Prince’s hits and demonstrate just how powerful and versatile his compositions were and always will be. The tribute begins at 8pm.

Wednesday (6/8) Get in on The Mycah Chevalier Experience! Blessed with an irresistible and soulful voice, Mycah Chevalier is in a class all her own. She has shared the stage with artists such as El DeBarge, Regina Belle, Lyfe Jennings, The Whispers, Patti Labelle, Luther Vandross, JaRule, Arturo Sandoval, & Maysa Leak to name a few. She is lead female vocalist for the group guiltypleasures, who’s debut single “Anticipation (The Remix)” has been in steady rotation on WHUR 96.3FM’s Original Quiet Storm since April 2010, and has been deemed a “new classic” by many. In 2012, Mycah released her single and re-make of the Duke Ellington/John Coltrane jazz classic “In A Sentimental Mood.” Her recent single, “Genie,” has been played worldwide and landed Mycah’s 2nd Grammy consideration in 5 categories for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. This phenomenal show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (6/9) Formed in 2008, Secret Society, the brainchild of Washington-area musician Bryan Mills, was created to bring the “live band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. “The Society” is that breath of fresh air. The combination of talent, experience, and a host of influences stemming from the seeds of John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, Rick James, and others gives this band a great sound and identity all its own. To assign a genre-style to this group would be difficult considering the intermixture of music displayed. The group calls it “Feel Good Music,” and that is exactly what it is they have to offer. Bandleader and saxophonist Mills also performs with DC’s legendary Chuck Brown “The Godfather of Go-Go” Band. With Wayne Thomas on drums, vocalist Mike Madison, Robbie McDonald on lead guitar, bassist David Dyson, and Patrick Cooper on keyboards, this recipe of musicians is sure to please the taste buds of the avid music fan! Their feel-good show gets started at 8pm.

Friday (6/10) Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award-Winners, The SteelDrivers, will treat us to a truly soulful, rootsy performance. Though their 2016 Grammy-winning album, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, may sound like something historic “from the vault,” it is fully from this moment. This fourth SteelDrivers studio album is made up of all-new material and recorded in Muscle Shoals at the legendary NuttHouse Recording Studio. Much of the inspiration came from Muscle Shoals, an area of exultation and experimentation, and home to the SteelDrivers’ lead vocalist, writer, and lead singer Gary Nichols. The group continues its rich musical progression, conjuring music drenched in soul, blues, bluegrass, R&B, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. Can a new album be a classic album? If the “blend of soul and slink, blues and country, mountain coal and red dirt,” as Peter Cooper characterized their sound, is timeless, then the SteelDrivers have delivered another new classic. As this band’s sound reaches deeper into musical roots, each new recording and live shoe is another spectacular step forward. The SteelDrivers concert begins at 8pm.

Saturday (6/11) It’s 76 Degrees West with special guest Sugar Bear! 76 Degrees West is the longitude for the East Coast in the Western Hemisphere – precisely, Washington, DC. This rising band has played behind numerous national acts such as Sax Man Jimmy Sommers, Grammy Award-Winner Gordon Chambers, Eric Darius, Allyson Williams, and Angela Johnson. The jazz/funk sound of 76 Degrees West has been lighting up stages across the U.S. since 2001. Back by popular demand! The show kicks off at 8pm.

Sunday (6/12) Shadz of Soul & Nu-Era brings the Sounds of The Emotions & The Temptations! Soulful and smooth, the female R&B group Shadz of Soul hails from the Washington, DC area. The group formed in the early 90’s and consists of Anissa Hargrove, Shawn Allen, and Farnetta Baker. The group is often compared to The Emotions, EnVogue, and The Jones Girls. Known for their intricate harmonies and limitless vocal ability, they have individually and collectively provided vocal assistance to artists including Patti Labelle, Chanté Moore, Mike Howard, Jean Carn, and Gloria Gaynor. Nu-Era consists of five singing brothers: Isaac “Ike,” Solomon “Sonny,” Samuel “Sam,” Jacob “Jake,” and Jeremy “JP” Marsh. They have performed with the Whispers, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Blue Magic, Jerry Butler, The Orioles, Pookie Hudson and The Spaniels, along with other greats. They have opened for Gerald Levert, The O’Jays, and Patti LaBelle and have shared the stage with The Stylistics, The Delfonics and the Dramatics. This soulful performance starts at 8pm.

Coming Soon: Father’s Day with Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Lisa Loeb, Be’la Dona, A Southern Soul Tribute, The Spinners, Jeff Bradshaw, and so much more. Visit our Music Calendar for tickets and info.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Rick Brown

Rock’N’Boogie, Blues, Jazz, Holiday Parties & Christmas Cheer!

Sapphire Stars, Gary Grainger, Secret Society, Deanna Bogart, and A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, December 2015Monday (12/21) Come on out tonight for our Customer Appreciation Night Rock’N’Boggie Holiday Party & Dance with The Sapphire Stars! The DC/MD/VA area’s newest, hottest, and most exciting vocal harmony group has been entertaining audiences throughout the region for years. They are WAMMY Award nominee Michelle Murray, compelling vocalist Hayley Fahey, and Arlene Jaye, who emotes a song that will make your heart flutter. Our host is boogie-woogie piano master, Daryl Davis. There’s no admission fee and we’ve got half off select bottles of wine. The joint will be jumpin’ with the “Santa Claus Boogie” and the “Jingle Bell Rock” – No better way to start this holiday week! The music starts at 7:30pm

Tuesday (12/22) THE JAM is back this week with Gary Grainger & Friends! This is your chance to come out and perform live with some of the nation’s most talented musicians led by Gary and Greg Grainger and hosted by Brandon Combs and Bryan Fox with friends Vince Evans and Benji Porecki. Come out and show us whatcha got! THE JAM starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (12/23) We are pleased to host our 2nd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party featuring Secret Society. Dance to the soulful sounds of one of the DMV’s best R&B bands. They’ll be playing the hits that you love, plus R&B holiday classics to make your spirits bright! The brainchild of Washington-area musician Bryan Mills, Secret Society was formed in 2008 to bring the “Live Band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. Band members count John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, and Rick James among their influences, and their repertoire is full of history, tradition, and diversity. You don’t want to miss this event! The music gets started at 8pm.

Saturday (12/26) The Deanna Bogart Band + The Bobby Thompson Project will rock the BBJ stage! Deanna Bogart combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country, and jazz into a blend she likes to call “blusion.” A bandleader, singer, songwriter, producer, pianist and sax player, Bogart has won the Blues Music Awards’ Horn Instrumentalist of the Year three consecutive times, and at last count, has taken home 22 Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards). Her performance will not disappoint. Master guitarist and vocalist Bobby Thompson learned to play in the old blues clubs of DC from the likes of Bobby Parker. After honing his craft as a popular support man, Thompson stepped out as a solo artist, releasing three albums since 2011. The Roots Music Report says Thompson’s songs portray “muscular blues- and soul-rock strong on soulful vocals and cut-above-the-norm originals.” This night of hot “blusion” and more kicks off at 8pm.

Sunday (12/27) We present to you two great performances of A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas! It will be a holiday extravaganza featuring jazz legend Kirk Whalum and singer-songwriter Shelea along with Norman Brown and Kevin Whalum. You’ll want to come check out the show for all its joys, not least of which to see our “Surprise Guest!” The Gospel According to Jazz is well known for the chart-topping gospel anthem, Falling in Love With Jesus, and for “It’s What I Do,” which won the Grammy for Best Gospel Song in 2011. Continue your Christmas celebration with us. Doors open for brunch at 11:30am and the show starts at 1:30pm. Doors open for the evening show at 5:30pm and the music begins at 7:30pm.

Here are just a few of the great events we have coming up: Doc Scantlin & his Imperial Palms Orchestra on New Year’s Eve, PJ Morton, 76 Degrees West, our annual Buddy Holly Tribute, and four shows in March by the incomparable Lalah Hathaway. Check our Music Calendar for details.

Thanks for helping us keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda. Happy Holidays to you and yours. We look forward to seeing you here soon.

 

Rick Brown