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A Blues & Jazz Start to 2016: Joe Louis Walker, 76 Degrees West, & So Much More!

Daryl Davis Presents: Cassandra Allen, Gary Grainger, Jasmine Williams, PJ Morton, Joe Louis Walker, 76 Degrees West, Chris Grasso Trio w/ Alison Crockett & Thad Wilson at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, January 2016Happy New Year!

Monday (1/4) We say hello to the first full week of 2016 with our Customer Appreciation Night! Please come out and enjoy the unique vocal talent of Cassandra Allen. Tonight this gifted singer-songwriter and arranger will grace our stage with some ballads and Swing. Allen’s own wonderful style is readily apparent, yet you will hear her legendary influences: Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and a touch of Afro-Latin Mediterranean Folk-Fusion. Hosting the evening will be Daryl Davis, master of piano who has worked with the likes of Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, and many others. Admission is FREE and we have HALF OFF select bottles of wine. The music starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (1/5) Bring your singing voice and your musical instruments and come on out to The Grainger Jam! Gary Grainger & Friends, some of the nation’s most talented musicians, are ready to share the stage with YOU! We honor FREE admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Must present Union Card and valid picture ID at door.) This your chance to show us whatcha got! The Grainger Jam starts at 8pm.

Wednesday (1/6) Come out for a midweek treat and hear a fresh voice from the DMV! Jasmine Williams, a native of Northern Virginia, has been singing since the age of 3. She had the great honor of performing the National Anthem for President Barack Obama at the signing of The Health Care Bill, and even sang at one of his inauguration balls. She is currently a lead vocalist with Round Midnight, ETX and is a vocalist with the soulful legendary singer Juanita Williams. She performs weekly on The Odyssey as a featured vocalist with The Conclusion Band.  She is currently producing her own project, Jasmine Williams and Company. 8pm start time.

Thursday (1/7) Influenced by acts ranging from the Beatles and James Taylor to Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, New Orleans native PJ Morton is the son of gospel singer Paul S. Morton. His formal foray into the industry was as a member of the band Freestyle Nation which debuted in the early 2000s, but it is as a songwriter/producer that Morton left his first indelible impression. He won a Grammy Award for his songwriting/production of India.Arie’s “Interested” from her 2002 album Voyage to India. Other collaborations followed with artists including Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Monica, Musiq Soulchild,  and Trinitee 5:7. Morton is well-known as a performer with Maroon 5, and he is currently stepping out with his own Morton Records. The concert begins at 8pm.

Friday (1/8) Don’t miss four-time Blues Music Award-winner and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Louis Walker! His new album, Everybody Wants A Piece, cements his legacy as a prolific torchbearer for the blues. Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues… I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.’” With his latest recording, Walker is celebrating a career that now exceeds a half a century. Solid blues-rockers Mary Shaver & The Smokin’ Polecats will also take the stage.  Come join the party! It starts at 8pm.

Saturday (1/9) The great jazz-funk ensemble – 76 Degrees West – is in the house! This band has been lighting up stages since 2001, and is definitely on the rise. 76 Degrees West 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 band has performed at festivals and clubs around the country with artists including 2-time Grammy nominee Ledisi, Marcus Johnson, Rahsaan Patterson, Rick Braun, and Ollie Woodson (of The Temptations). Crowd favorites are their remakes of the Average White Band’s “School Boy Crush” and EWF’s “Shining Star.” The smooth & funky sounds begin at 8pm.

Sunday (1/10) The Chris Grasso Trio is back for another great Sunday evening with a wonderful pairing of talented featured artists. Alison Crockett is perhaps the quintessential nu jazz/progressive soul singer of her generation; you’ve no doubt heard her voice on seminal recordings by King Britt, Blue Six, Us3, Landslide, John Wicks, Mathematics and a host of others. Alison has taken the baton from divas such as Lizz Wright, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, and Sarah Vaughan. Trumpeter Thad Wilson’s worldwide appearances include Barcelona and Bilboa, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia; Paris, France and the D.C. Jazz Festival. He has toured with the musical production, Ella, and when he’s not on the road he teaches Jazz Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. This is a musical combo not to be missed! They begin at 7:30pm.

We’ve always got great performances to look forward to at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club! Upcoming events include Jeff Bradshaw & Eric Roberson – A Lover’s Weekend – Return of the Gentlemen on Valentine’s Day Weekend, Kenny Lattimore on March 10th and 11th, and four Lalah Hathaway performances on March 24th and 25th. Visit our Music Calendar and get your tickets early!

Keeping music alive here in downtown Bethesda… See you here  for dinner and a show soon.

 

Rick Brown

Ring in 2016! Rockin’ Blues, Motown, & Doc Scantlin’s Big Band on New Year’s Eve

Sandra Dean, Gary Grainger, Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra, The Nighthawks, Jamison and Double O Soul, Shadows of the 60’s, Pink PaLish, Big Something, Dale & the ZDubs perform at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club Dec 2015-Jan 2016Monday (12/28) Sandra Dean is one of the DC area’s premier female rock vocalists, and she will hit the BBJ stage tonight! Her high-energy set list ranges from “A Hard Day’s Night” to “Pride and Joy” to “Sweet Home Chicago” and all the rock ‘n’ roll in between. There’s no telling what she’ll cook up with the host of the show, boogie-woogie piano master, Daryl Davis. Sandra and Daryl will keep us all energized as we prepare to celebrate 2016. There’s no cover tonight and we’ll take half off select bottles of wine! The show starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (12/29) Once again, it’s time for THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! Bring your singing voice, your musical instruments, and your enthusiasm to share the stage 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, THE JAM is your chance to show us whatcha got! The music starts at 8pm.

Thursday (12/31) Join us for the incomparable Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra! Hurry for tickets for an unforgettable ushering in of 2016: a delicious four–course dinner, hats, horns, noisemakers, streamers, a champagne toast at midnight, all to the sounds of a legendary band. Named “The Best Big Band in America” by Forbes Magazine, Doc and his elegant 18-piece ensemble transport audiences to the high life immortalized by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Great Gatsby. The band swings with abandon through the early Great American Songbook. You don’t want to be anywhere else for New Year’s Eve! Door open at 7pm and the music begins at 9pm.

Friday (1/1) Happy New Year! Come out and spend the first night of the year in a bluesy mood with The Nighthawks and Jamison & Double O Soul. With origins back in 1972, The Nighthawks played with nearly all the living blues legends as well as a new generation of bands sometimes called “The Blue Wave.” They have released several important albums including the best-selling Jacks and Kings with Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones, and Bob Margolin. Formed in 2008, Jamison & Double O Soul combines a Hendrix-style power trio energy of electric guitar, drums, and bass with the soulful vocals of George Jamison. Showtime is 8pm.

Saturday (1/2) Recapture the magic of Motown with Shadows of the 60’s! A tribute to amazing In this highly interactive Motown Super Group, The Four Tops, Shadows of the 60’s play the hits like “Bernadette,” “Standing In The Shadows Of Love,” and “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” … one powerhouse performance after another! Check out the choreography, costumes, and group members, each person chosen because they embody the spirit, style, and excitement of the original group’s live act. Sharing the evening will be Pink PaLish. A dynamic soul trio – Pam Ward, Alisha Glover & Shang – they will perform favorites by the likes of Phyllis Hyman, Whitney Houston, and Patti Labelle as well as Motown classics. The night will get cooking at 8pm!

Sunday (1/3) It’s Big Something along with Dale & the ZDubs! Big Something will take you through a serious journey of musical styles from rock, pop, and funk to off-the-chart improvisational jams. This 6-piece powerhouse has gotten accolades from Galactic, Robert Randolph, and moe., and they’ve been the support act for the one and only B-52’s. Truth Serum is the group’s third and most recent studio album. Dale & the ZDubs is all about the rock-reggae groove. The Montgomery County natives count artists like Sublime, 311, Rage Against the Machine, Slightly Stoopid, Bob Marley, Thievery Corporation, and The Clash among their influences. Come chill out on a Sunday night; the bands start at 8pm.

Thanks to all of you for doing your part throughout 2015 to keep great music alive in downtown Bethesda. We look forward to seeing you soon. All the best in the new year!

 

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

Celebrate the Holidays with Great Music at Bethesda Blues & Jazz!

Daryl Davis presents Chick Hall, The Jam w/ Gary Grainger & Friends, Shayna Steele, Tamara Wellons, Leonard, Coleman & Blunt, Joe Clair, VMA Holiday Music Show, Chris Grasso Trio w/ Sharon Clark & Paul Carr perform at Bethesda Blues & JazzMonday (11/30) The legendary Chick Hall has shared the stage with many stars of country music, and he will bring his special brand of country-style pickin’ & grinnin’ to the stage this evening! Chick, with his father, the late Chick Hall, Sr., owned and ran the Surf Club in Bladensburg, MD, which launched the careers of many world-famous country musicians from the Washington/Baltimore/Virginia area. The host of the show will be boogie-woogie master Daryl Davis, who was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. Aside from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and others. Come for the music, stay for the ½ off select bottles of wine special! There is no cover charge and the show starts at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (12/1) This Tuesday and every Tuesday… it’s THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends! This is an amazing opportunity for YOU to come out and perform live with a collection of the best area musicians – a full backup ensemble! This is the most popular and fun jam session in the DMV, and we’d love to see you take the stage. 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.

Thursday (12/3) Her impressive credits speak for themselves – singer and songwriter Shayna Steele is a vocal force to be reckoned with. Venues she calls home include The Blue Note and Joe’s Pub in New Your City, as well as Hotel Café in Los Angeles. She’s played The Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco and has toured through Italy, Switzerland, and France. Shayna’s critically acclaimed performance of her single ”Gone Under” for Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy’s Family Dinner, Volume 1, was a game changer. She continues to record and perform with the band, and has expanded into projects that have landed appearances on the Billboard Dance Charts, Conan O’Brien, and the Carson Daly show. Rise is her latest recording. Also on the bill performing her own brand of “feel good folk music” will be singer Tamara Wellons, granddaughter of the legendary gospel group, The Pritchett Sisters. Showtime is at 8pm.

Friday (12/4) we’re got Leonard, Coleman & Blunt! Come out and enjoy the evening as the former lead singers of The Temptations, The Platters, and The Drifters ring in the holidays. Performers from these three legendary million-selling groups will celebrate the season with classic R&B sounds. Come out to the show and hear LCB perform your favorite Christmas classics along with over two dozen of the greatest hits of all time (“The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, “Under the Boardwalk,” and many more). This will be an unforgettable concert event – a great chance to sing along with every tune while dancing the night away! The concert begins at 8pm.

Saturday (12/5) Our #1 comedian is back! When Joe Clair is in the house, “The Funny Don’t Stop!” You know him from the WPGC 95.5 Joe Clair Morning Show, and maybe you’ve caught his act at one of his many sold out shows here at Bethesda Blues & Jazz. One thing is certain – Joe Clair will give the packed house what they want… a night of LMFAO! Get your tickets early and get ready to eat, drink, and laugh out loud. Doors open at 5pm and about 9:30pm for the two big shows at 7pm and 10pm.

Sunday (12/6) we have a wonderful holiday show for the whole family. Virginia Music Adventures‘ Annandale Jazz Ambassadors, Wakefield Jazz Workshop, and Chapel Square Combo present A Big Band Christmas. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the holidays with tomorrow’s stars. They’ll play an array of classic big band hits that are just perfect for the season. This year’s show features the music of Glenn Miller, Johnny Marks, Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Julie Styne, and more. Now in its 12th year, the Virginia Music Adventures Annual Holiday Show has become a well-loved area tradition. This special event begins at 1:30pm.

Sunday evening, we welcome The Chris Grasso Trio back to our stage. Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with stellar vocalists. This time around, Chris will feature Sharón Clark and Paul Carr. Washington, D.C. standout Sharón Clark has garnered raves from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has won numerous awards including taking first place in The Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, which offers a featured appearance with the Baltimore Symphony. Her most recent release, Do it Again — My Tribute to Shirley Horn, is on its third printing. Paul Carr, a 1985 Howard University graduate, has dedicated his professional career to mastering the saxophone and the art of jazz. He grew up in inner-city Houston, Texas and was a member of the Kashmere High School Stage Band, whose director, the late Conrad Johnson, is the subject of a documentary, Thunder Soul, produced by actor, Jamie Foxx.  He carries on the Texas tenor tradition espoused by fellow Houstonians Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson. Chris Grasso has performed live on WPFW with jazz greats Keter Betts and Buck Hill. He also has appeared with the Ken Peplowski/Chuck Redd Quartet, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, Matt Wilson, and with New Orleans’ historic jazz family, the Jordans. The show begins at 7:30pm.

Check our Music Calendar for more great upcoming events including the Luther Re-Lives Holiday Concert with “Smooth” Wardlaw, Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration featuring Landau Murphy Jr., Sons of Serendip: Christmas Beyond the Lights, the 2nd Annual Urban Soul Holiday Party, the Maggie Rose Christmas Show with The Morrison Brothers, and Doc Scantlin & his Imperial Palms Orchestra on New Year’s Eve.

Keeping great music alive and well in downtown Bethesda… Hope to see you here over the holiday season.

Rick Brown

Great Tributes to James Brown, Donny Hathaway, and the Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Daryl Davis, Josh Christina, Gary Grainger, The Fabulous Hubcaps, Ronnie Laws, Mousey Thompson and The James Brown Experience, Tribute to Donny Hathaway at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, November 2015Monday (11/23) TONIGHT! Daryl Davis Presents: An Evening with Josh Christina! Josh Christina is “The Killer” personified. This young Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired performer is barely in his 20’s and is a force of nature who must be seen to be believed. Born decades after the creation of rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, he carries on the tradition and does it proud. Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! – Don’t miss him! Host Daryl Davis was mentored by legendary pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson. Aside from The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and others. There is no cover charge and the show begins at 7:30pm.

Tuesday (11/24) On Tuesdays, we host THE JAM with Gary Grainger & Friends. Players & singers, come out and perform with some of the best! This is the most popular and powerful jam session in the DMV. We also offer 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.

Wednesday (11/25) Performing together since 1974, The Fabulous Hubcaps show no signs of slowing down. Doo-wop harmony, classic rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, Motown, and R&B is the name of their game. The seven-piece band captivates audiences with high energy tributes to artists like Little Richard, James Brown, Tina Turner, Bobby Darin, Cher, The Flamingos, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Patsy Cline, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and many more. The group has even had the honor of performing on the South Lawn of The White House and in 2013, was inducted into The Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame. The Fabulous Hubcaps are heralded as one of the best nostalgic show bands in the country. They start at 8pm.

Friday (11/27) We are happy to present the amazing Ronnie Laws. His first hit, “Always There,” was one of the most popular, sax-driven, cross-over hits of the 70’s Jazz-Funk Fusion era. Laws ushered in a sensual approach to the soprano sax with Quiet Storm gems including “Grace,” “Karmen,” and “Just Love.” Having worked with highly esteemed artists like Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, and his brother, Hubert Laws, Ronnie Laws is a proven natural at combining the exploratory heart of jazz with the broader reaching strains of soul and pop music. His concert will begin at 8pm.

Saturday (11/28) Stay on the scene this Saturday night and groove to the sounds of Mousey Thompson and The James Brown Experience! This all-star ensemble faithfully performs the most popular songs by one of greatest music legends of our time. Drummer Robert “Mousey” Thompson, who performed with James Brown from 1993 until his passing in 2006, leads this outstanding band. Thompson was born and raised in Washington, DC, and he has also performed with other renowned musical artists including Wilson Pickett, Lloyd Price, Rufus Thomas, and Peaches & Herb. After the passing of James Brown, Thompson assembled a stellar group of talented local musicians to perform in tribute to a great musical legacy. Come out and celebrate to “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “Cold Sweat,” “I Got The Feelin’,” “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine,” “Super Bad” and many, many more. Remember there’s free parking on weekends at Cheltenham Garage, and the funk party starts at 8pm.

Sunday (11/29) We’ve got another great tribute – this time to the music of the infinitely soulful Donny Hathaway. In a ruefully short life, singer, songwriter, arranger and pianist Donny Hathaway made one of the most timeless contributions to soul music. On this evening, two equally talented artists, Sam Prather and Brandon Combs, will pay tribute to this legendary singer-songwriter’s body of work. Sam Prather is an exciting and multifaceted pianist, drummer, and vocalist born and raised in Washington, DC. He’s equally comfortable in jazz, funk, Gospel, Brazilian, Latin, neo-soul, and R&B. He has worked on keyboards and/or drums with YaMama’Nym, 76 Degrees West, Fred Yonnet, J-Hayden, Pharoh Saunders, Greg Osby, Heidi Martin, Warren Wolf, Antonio Parker, and Joey Omicil. Cincinnati native Brandon Combs began to develop his captivating talent while taking in Donny Hathaway and Richard Pryor albums throughout his formative years. He has worked with the likes of Kurt Elling, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Gene Harris, and The Eddie Love Big Band. You’ll love this performance; it starts at 7:30pm.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this week. Thanks so much for keeping great live music performance alive and well in downtown Bethesda!

 

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

R&B, Go-Go, Vocals & Vibes – A Great Eclectic Weekend at Bethesda Blues & Jazz!

Miriamm Wright, Chuck Brown Band, Chris Grasso Trio, Lena Seikaly, Chuck Redd, Daryl Davis feat. Sam Miller at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club October 2015Thursday (10/1) R&B singer Miriamm will present a great concert for a great cause. A fantastic vocalist who has shared the stage with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Will Downing, she is also the founder of the Edith P. Wright Breast Cancer Foundation. The show will be an evening of solid entertainment and a powerful performance to honor breast cancer survivors. Miriamm, who hit the big screen portraying the role of background singer to Etta James (Beyonce’ Knowles) in the feature film Cadillac Records (Sony Music Films) and toured as Peaches, one half of the classic R&B duo Peaches & Herb, has released 3 CDs. Miriamm…Live! @ Blues Alley was recorded in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness, as well as to celebrate the music of the late R&B singer, Minnie Riperton. Join us for this special event at 8pm.

Friday (10/2) we welcome back The Chuck Brown Band! The band that toured the world with the Godfather of Go-Go carries the torch and keeps the beat alive. The band continues to keep the legacy alive by performing all your Chuck Brown and Go-Go favorites, and by creating new music including three new songs on the final Chuck Brown album, Beautiful Life. With the addition of Frank Sirius on guitar and vocals, the rest of the band is intact, including Chuck’s daughter KK, the Horny Horns, Kenny “Kwickfoot” Gross, Mighty Moe Hagans, Karlston “Ice” Ross, Sweet Cherie Agurs, and Marcus Young. Every show still starts with “Wind Me Up Chuck,” and doesn’t stop until the dance floor is empty. The party starts at 8pm!

Sunday (10/4) begins a four-concert series hosted by The Chris Grasso Trio and featuring pairings of DC’s top jazz vocalists and instrumentalists. Kicking things off in style will be this fabulous combo: featured vocalist Lena Seikaly and renowned vibraphonist Chuck Redd, along with Chris Grasso (piano), Tommy Cecil (bass) and Quincy Phillips (drums).  Chuck Redd began performing internationally at the age of 21 when he joined the trio of legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd. He’s appeared worldwide on both drums and vibes Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Tormé, Herb Ellis, and many more greats. Lena Seikaly has quickly joined the ranks of the city’s most in-demand vocalists. She’s been an artist in residence at Strathmore and has performed at the city’s top venues from Blues Alley to The Kennedy Center. Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with standout vocalists. Showtime 7:30. Remember there is always free parking on Sundays at Cheltenham garage.

Monday (10/5) It’s Customer Appreciation Night! Every Monday boogie-woogie piano master Daryl Davis features a different excellent artist – This time we’ll have Sam “Muleman” Miller. Sam Miller is a guitarist and vocalist known for his driving blues and rock ’n’ roll. Formerly with the ‘50s oldies band Big Cam & the Lifters, Sam excites audiences on his own all over the Baltimore/Columbia, MD area. There’s no cover and there’s half off select bottles of wine! 7:30pm.

Tuesday (10/6) and every Tuesday night – Come out for The JAM featuring Gary Grainger and Friends. Gary Grainger and his brother Greg Grainger head up the third season of the most popular and powerful jam session in the Maryland/Northern Virginia region. Calling all players and singers… Show up and show ‘em what you got! Free admission for AFM Union Member Card Holders (Must present Union Card and valid picture ID at door.). The music starts at 8pm!

Other upcoming shows include The Tom Principato Band, Fred Wesley & the New JB’s, Bobby Caldwell, Donnie, Art Sherrod Jr., Tito Puente Jr., Maria Muldaur, El DeBarge, Maggie Rose, and many more.

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

Rick Brown