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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

The Best of Southern Soul, Doo-Wop, Afrobeat, and R&B – Beauty and Magic fill our club this weekend!

Orlando Julius, Amel Larrieux, Otis Clay & Billy Price at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, September 2015Thursday (9/24) All-time legend of Nigerian music, Orlando Julius, plays classic Afrobeat with a psychedelic twist and brings his incendiary AfroSoundz to Bethesda Blues and Jazz! Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. Working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela, his 1966 effort, Super Afro Soul, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and influenced music in the United States. 7:30 pm show time!

Friday (9/25) – 7pm & 10pm shows An urban chanteuse by birth, Amel Larrieux grew up in a West Village “artists building” in New York City.  At the age of 18, sure that she wanted to express herself musically, Amel wrote and demoed a song which led to her pairing with Bryce Wilson to form the duo Groove Theory. As lead vocalist and co-writer for the group, she enjoyed success with “Tell Me,” which broke the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five on the R&B charts before being certified Gold in October 1995. Flying high with a Best R&B Performance Grammy nomination for her work on Stanley Clarke’s “Where is The Love,” Amel Larrieux stretched her wings in “Bravebird,” her second solo work that was released in 2004. Amel has contributed to soundtracks, writing and singing in such films as Barbershop, Love Jones, Down To Earth, Sunset Park, Takers, and Why Did I Get Married.

Equal to Amel’s vocal and writing talent is her alluring beauty and eclectic style. She has been spotlighted as a style maven in Essence, Honey, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and other magazines.  More recently her vocal talent and beauty have been central to Coca-Cola’s “Keep It Real” campaign in television, radio, and print ads.  2 shows:  7pm & 10pm (Only a few tickets remain.)

Saturday (9/26) we welcome back Billy Price and Otis Clay. Two singers separated by a generation come together in a performance that moves the Southern soul tradition a little bit further up the road. Pittsburgh rhythm and blues singer Billy Price and deep Southern soul/gospel icon Otis Clay worked with masterful guitarist/producer Duke Robillard to create their first full-album collaboration, This Time For Real, released in May, 2015. “Otis Clay has been my mentor and biggest influence as a singer since the first time I had the privilege of singing with him,” says Price. “To have the opportunity to collaborate with him on an entire album has been one of the biggest thrills of my career.” Come see them together for this 8pm show. Remember, there is free parking on Saturdays in the Cheltenham garage.

Sunday (9/27) Washington, DC and Baltimore are just 45 minutes away from each other, and their love of doo-wop music is joined together in this special evening of music of the 1950s and early 1960s. The DC-Baltimore Doo-Wop Revue features some of the best voices from The Swallows, The Velons, The Spaniels, and DC’s Finest (aka “The Doo-Wop Cops.”) This is guaranteed to be street corner harmony at its best!  8:00pm show time. There is free parking on Sundays at Cheltenham garage.

Monday (9/28) Daryl Davis welcomes in David Kitchen. Washington Area Music Association winner of such awards as Singer/Songwriter of the Year and Pop Vocalist of the Year, David Kitchen will work his prolific talents and magic on our stage. He has served as the lead vocalist and guitarist with The Thrillbillys, The Cutaways, and Zydeco Crayz. “This is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser whether you want to dance or sit back and enjoy some great covers, obscurities, and originals, all done in David’s own style.”- Daryl Davis On Customer Appreciation Night, there is no cover charge and we offer ½ price bottles of wine.  7:30pm kickoff.

Tuesday (9/29) The Grainger Brothers kick-off the third season of the most popular and powerful jam session in the Maryland/Northern Virginia region. Come witness history at the highly anticipated return of the Nation’s most talented musicians and performers led by Gary and Greg Grainger and hosted by Brandon Combs and Bryan Fox with friends Vince Evans and Benji Porecki. Just $5 cover 8-11pm, and doors open at 6pm.

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

Rick Brown