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A Solid Week of Soul, Blues, Jazz & Reggae: Junior Marvin’s Wailers’ Bob Marley Birthday Celebration, Syleena Johnson, Billy Price Band & The Nighthawks,
Jeff Bradshaw, Denise Williams & Shirley Jones, and The Spinners

Junior Marvin's Wailers, Deniece Williams and Shirley Jones, Billy Price and The Nighthawks, Syleena Johnson, Jeff Bradshaw, and The Spinners at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, February 2017Tuesday (2/7) Born in Jamaica, Junior Marvin moved to London as a child, where his love of both acting and music was nurtured. He appeared in the Beatles’ film, Help, which was followed by a number of other television appearances. In America, he performed with the likes of blues legend T-Bone Walker and Ike & Tina Turner. Back in England he played with bands such as Herbie Goins & The Nighttimers, Blue Ace Unit, and White Rabbit. Exodus was Marvin’s first album with Bob Marley and The Wailers and it was voted Best Album of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. Since Marley’s passing in 1981, Junior Marvin has put out four CDs with The Wailers: ID, Majestic Warriors, Jah Message, and My Friends, continuing on with the message and music as Marley asked him to do. Come to the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration, music courtesy of Junior Marvin’s Wailers! The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (2/9) We’ve got an amazing double bill with The Sisters of Soul – Deniece Williams and Shirley Jones! Deniece Williams is an American funk and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who is known for her hits including “Free,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” as well as for her many vocal duets with Johnny Mathis. In 1984, she released the album, Let’s Hear It for the Boy. The title track reached Billboard’s #1 and was featured on the soundtrack to Footloose. The song would prove to be the biggest pop hit of her career – and the last. In 1986, she would release her first full-length gospel album, So Glad I Know, for which she won two GRAMMY Awards. In 1979, The Jones Girls’ “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” highlighted the magic touch of famed Philadelphia producers Gamble and Huff. Shirley Jones and her sisters had a string of hits including “I Just Love the Man,” “Dance Turned into a Romance,” and their GRAMMY-nominated classic, “Nights Over Egypt.” As a solo artist, Shirley Jones topped the charts with “Do You Get Enough Love” in 1986, which stayed #1 on the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks. Her latest album is My Time To Shine. This performance begins at 8pm.

Friday (2/10) Billy Price has been entertaining audiences since first performing in Pittsburgh, PA with the Rhythm Kings in the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend. His latest recording, This Time For Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. Price formed The Billy Price Band in 1990. The Nighthawks are America’s seminal roots music band! The Washington, DC-based quartet of Mark Wenner (harmonica/vocals), Paul Bell (guitar/vocals), Johnny Castle (bass/vocals) and Mark Stutso (drums/vocals) touch all bases with excursions into blues, soul, rock ‘n’  roll, roadhouse country and rhythm and blues. This Blues Music Award-winning band can always deliver the goods! This show gets rockin’ at 8pm.

Saturday (2/11) GRAMMY-nominated vocalist and writer Syleena Johnson is one of the greatest singers and performers of her generation. She has scored major R&B hits and been invited to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West, R. Kelly, and Musiq Soulchild. Syleena’s last album, Couples Therapy, deals with love and relationships. The album opens with the upbeat and lyrically honest song “All This Way for Love.” Leela James accompanies Syleena on the soulful 60’s throwback “Fool’s Gold,” and the incomparable Dave Hollister joins her on the moving and triumphant “Harmony.”  Syleena Johnson is also a popular television personality as one of the original cast members on R&B Divas Atlanta for 3 seasons, among other notable appearances. Her performance begins at 8pm.

Sunday (2/12) As a boy in Philadelphia, Jeff Bradshaw performed with brass bands on Broad Street, just a stone’s throw from the spot where Philadelphia’s most prestigious performing arts center, The Kimmel Center, stands today. He dreamed: Why not bring the crème-de-la-crème of singers and players to The Kimmel for a genre-crossing one-night-only musical event that would replicate the excitement of the classic R&B revues for this generation of fans? Since Bradshaw’s trombone has propelled horn-sections for everyone from Jill Scott to Jay Z and Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin, this was an easy sell. Bradshaw’s Kimmel Center dream came to fruition on May 28, 2014 and the result was a sold-out success in front of a rapturous, wildly appreciative audience. He has been creating Jeff Bradshaw & Friends happenings since then, and returns again this year for another Valentine’s celebration. The concert begins at 8pm.

Monday & Tuesday (2/13 & 2/14) Most often thought of as a Motown recording act, the classic group sound of legendary R&B recording artists The Spinners has never lost its universal appeal. Throughout the years they have sold millions of records and topped both the Pop and R&B charts. Today, original member Henry Fambrough is joined onstage by lead singer Charlton Washington, high tenor Marvin Taylor, tenor Ronnie Moss, and bass singer Jessie Peck. A soul-infused 5-piece band, led by Keith Ferguson, backs them up. Just a few of the group’s many hits and fan favorites are “Mighty Love,” “Then Came You,” “I’ll Be Around,” “One Of A Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play,” “Working My Way Back to You,” and  “Could It Be.” The Spinners have six GRAMMY nominations, have also been awarded the Rythym and Blues Foundation Award, and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. What better way to spend a Valentines dinner date than with the passionate and memorable music of The Spinners! The group performs at 8pm each night.

Other great upcoming shows include the Bethesda Blues and Jazz 4th Anniversary Celebration with Dionne Warwick, Daryl Davis Presents: The Wonder Women Blues Festival, St. Patrick’s Day with O’Malley’s March, Mother’s Day with After 7, Father’s Day with Lenny Williams, and The Chi-Lites. Check for details on our Music Calendar, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Rick Brown

Bobby Brooks Wilson, Roomful of Blues, and a Week Full of Soul/R&B

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Roomful of Blues Plus Special Guest John Németh, Bobby Brooks Wilson, Syleena Johnson, Dr. Lonnie Smith at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, April 2016Tuesday (4/5) Join us in welcoming Greg Adams – Tower of Power founding member and Grammy and Emmy nominated trumpeter – and East Bay Soul. East Bay Soul is a blend of funk, jazz, R&B, and soul. East Bay Soul is a most soulful 10-member ensemble that creates a union nothing short of musical wizardry. The band is dedicated to a singular vision of bringing their brand of funk-jazz and the magic of their live performance into every note they play. Don’t miss the opportunity to see and hear this extraordinary group! The show starts at 8pm.

Thursday (4/7) Get ready for one of the best… Roomful of Blues! Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. In 2010, singer Phil Pemberton took over the vocal duties, bringing his sweet and soulful voice and adding another bright new dimension to the jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B, and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor. Along with newer members, bassist John Turner, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, drummer Chris Rivelli, and keyboardist Rusty Scott, and longtime members baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, Roomful keeps on rockin’. Special guest is Boise, Idaho native John Németh. He gained his early chops on the harmonica, building on the style of blues heroes like Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson and cut his teeth relentlessly playing pubs, taverns, and parties. You will love these complementary artists. The music starts at 8pm.

Friday (4/8) Bobby Brooks Wilson – the son of the legendary Jackie Wilson and a huge talent in his own right – will take over the stage at BBJ! He is a talented entertainer who received high critical acclaim for his recreation of the R&B giant Jackie Wilson – a stage persona he undertook long before learning that he was the rightful heir to the legacy. It wasn’t until long after he had begun performing in his own right that Bobby realized the true source of his musical legacy. Growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, Bobby survived traumatic childhood that left Bobby unable to enjoy life like other children of his age. He found his only solace in listening to music, eventually being discovered by Paul Revere and beginning a long professional relationship with Las Vegas’ Legends in Concert. Come out and hear Bobby Brooks Wilson’s original hits, his Motown revue, and his tribute to the one and only Jackie Wilson! The performance starts at 8pm.

Saturday (4/9) Grammy nominated vocalist and writer Syleena Johnson, one of the greatest singers and performers of her generation, will be with us for two shows! She has scored major R&B hits and has collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, R. Kelly, and Musiq Soulchild. Having fought the major label system to allow her true identity to shine forth, Syleena now steps forward with her most anticipated album to date, Chapter 6: Couples Therapy, which was released on the Blackbyrd label. With production from Ric Atari, Kajun and Pierre #TheMaven Medor, Couples Therapy is the sixth chapter in her collection of blues and soul-inspired concept albums, and it has hit #15 on the Billboard R&B Chart. TV fans will also know Syleena Johnson as a popular television personality. She is one of the original cast members the hit reality series R&B Divas Atlanta! Her music and stage presence will take over Saturday night! Doors open at 5pm for the 7pm show and at 9:30pm for the 10pm show.

Sunday (4/10) Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. With a career spanning over five decades, Smith stands as the preeminent Hammond B-3 organist in jazz today. He has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by many esteemed music publications. At the age of 73, he continues to progress as an artist, as witnessed by his remarkable new Blue Note album, appropriately titled Evolution. The New York Times wrote that Smith “really seems to be up to something bigger than music, and older, and deeper.” Join us for this show and you are in for a true experience. He will begin at 7:30pm.

We’ve got so many great shows coming up, you’ll have to check out our Music Calendar to keep up! Just a few highlights include Ghost Note, comedy with Joe Clair & Friends, A Tribute to the Music of Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass and Stevie Wonder, Cameo, Steve Tyrell, Snarky Puppy, Mother’s Day with The Rat Pack Featuring Frank, Dino & Sammy, The Complete “Band on The Run” starring Denny Laine of Wings, and The SteelDrivers!

Thanks so much for coming out to our shows and for staying in touch with all that’s happening at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Rick Brown