Tuesday (9/27) The legendary Count Basie Orchestra really needs no introduction! This is one of the most thriving big bands in history. All the musicians have grown up with the Kansas City Swing style of Count Basie and they each add their own voice to the band. With 19 performers, 17 sidemen (plus 17 Grammys to match!), 1 vocalist, and 1 bandleader, they’ve become the premier jazz band and they put on a not-to-miss performance. Since Basie’s passing in 1984, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes, Dennis Mackrel, and now Scotty Barnhart, have led The Count Basie Orchestra and have maintained it as one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. The concert begins at 8pm.
Wednesday (9/28) You’re going to love Steve Oliver! Steve Oliver brings a fresh combination of smooth jazz and soft adult contemporary music to his performances. He is renowned throughout the contemporary jazz world for his charismatic, one-on-one relationship with the audience, soulful lead vocals, snappy guitar lines, vocal percussion, wonderworking with the synth guitar, and a few full-on pop/R&B vocal tunes on every album. His latest recording, the John Mayer, Sting, and Steely Dan-influenced Pictures and Frames features the exotic soundscaping of Steve Reid (The Rippingtons) and the allstar rhythm section of bassist Lee Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt) and legendary jazz/rock drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock). The show starts at 8pm.
Thursday (9/29) They called him “The Velvet Voice.” With hits like “Power of Love/Love Power,” “Never Too Much,” “Here and Now,” and “Any Love,” the late R&B legend Luther Vandross captivated a generation. Come out to this fantastic performance and you’ll be transported on a romantic journey through Vandross’ iconic catalog. Luther Re-Lives, featuring William “Smooth” Wardlaw, pays tribute to the original with love, respect, and faithful accuracy. This is a must see performance for any Vandross fan. The tribute starts at 8pm.
Friday (9/30) Vocal talent sensation Sarah Dash has recorded and performed live with some of the greatest names in the industry including The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Laura Nyro, The O’Jays, Wilson Pickett, and Bo Diddley. While still in high school, Sarah formed a group called the Del Capris. She asked another Trenton girl, Nona Hendryx, to join. Shortly thereafter, Sarah and Nona joined forces with The Ordettes, Patti Labelle and Cindy Birdsong, to become the Bluebelles and had their first hit “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” Shortly after that, they became Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. After years of success, Cindy Birdsong left to join the Supremes in 1967. In 1970, they morphed into Labelle, best known for the classic monster hit “Lady Marmalade.” Sarah Dash’s solo dance music classics are “Sinner Man” and “Low Down Dirty Rhythm.” Currently, she performs her autobiographical musical, Sarah, One Woman. The show begins at 8pm.
Saturday (10/1) Whether in comedy, hosting, or acting, Joe Clair keeps a busy schedule. Don’t miss him as he returns to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club for two silly shows featuring comedians Jay Phillips, Henry Welch, and Laughin’ Lenny! The house band will be Sound of the City. Joe Clair first garnered millions of fans as host of BET’s Rap City in the mid-nineties. He held down the spot for six consecutive years and gave the world hip-hop the way it was supposed to be. You know him now from the WPGC 95.5 Joe Clair Morning Show. So get ready to ROFL, Bethesda! The evening’s two big shows start at 7pm and 10pm. Seating begins at 5pm and 9:30pm.
Sunday (10/2) Melba Moore is a four-time Grammy nominee and the winner of the 1970 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Lutiebelle in Purlie, in which her performance of “I Got Love” shot her to stardom. Moore was born Beatrice Melba Hill to the popular R&B singer known as Bonnie Davis (originally named Gertrude Melba Smith) and saxophonist Teddy Hill, who managed the influential Harlem jazz club Minton’s Playhouse in its heyday. Her mother had a #1 R&B hit, “Don’t Stop Now,” in 1943, before Melba was born. Melba Moore got her big break in original cast of Hair as the character named Dionne, and after several months she replaced Diane Keaton in the role of Sheila, becoming the first African-American actress to replace a white actress in a lead role on Broadway. With a total of eleven top ten U.S. hits on the Billboard charts over the past 40 years, Moore continues into the 21st century as one of pop music’s most enduring artists. The concert starts at 8pm.
Here’s just a taste of what’s coming up this fall at BBJ: 13-year old piano genius Joey Alexander, Morris Day & The Time, Spyro Gyra, Kevin Whalum, Larry Carlton, Rare Essence, and on Veterans Day, The Shirelles Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Salute to the Troops with Leonard, Coleman & Blunt. Read all about it and get your tickets through our Music Calendar.
Thanks as always for keeping great music alive and well in Bethesda! We look forward to seeing you.