Preview: Oh He Dead @ Jammin’ Java, 7/3/20

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Oh He Dead performs in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 25, 2020 (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Jammin’ Java’s Summerfest continues this Friday, July 3, with Oh He Dead. Originally founded as a duo in 2014 by Andy Valenti and CJ Johnson, the band now consists of five players: CJ on vocals and Andy on rhythm guitar with Alex Salser (lead guitar), John Daise (bass), and Adam Ashforth (drums). A healthy mix of classic R&B, funk, and folk, the Washington Post calls Oh He Dead’s music an “infectious and soulful sound.”

The show is currently sold out, but read on to see what you can expect if you’re going!

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Live Review: Elizabeth II @ Jammin’ Java — 6/20/20

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Beth Cannon fronts Elizabeth II at Jammin’ Java on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Normally, summer has been in full swing for weeks by this point each year. Concerts, festivals, parades, baseball, road trips and, of course, late evenings out with friends. But as we all know, this summer ain’t normal.

So when Jammin’ Java announced its “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series” to celebrate the opening of Union Pie (Jammin’ Java’s new pizza shop), a glimmer of hope sprang up that maybe summer had actually returned. And that maybe things could feel a little more normal.

Recently, Elizabeth II turned in a 90-minute, stripped-down, acoustic set to kick off the series.

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Preview: Elizabeth II @ Jammin’ Java, 6/20/20

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Elizabeth II performs at HeraFeston Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Summer is traditionally the time for outdoor music festivals, strolling along the boardwalk and kicking back with a beer and pizza. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily paused many of those traditions, but Jammin’ Java is doing its best to bring a few of them back.

Elizabeth II is performing a free outdoor show as part of the venue’s Summerfest Outdoor Series on Saturday, June 20.

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Essay: Why I Support #SaveOurStages

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River Whyless perform at DC9 in 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“Just as we talked about the community, I think it’s one thing to see an artist or a song in a one dimensional way, but what’s really inspiring is when you see an actual human being onstage with an instrument made of wood and wires, and one microphone, do something so moving that it conjures emotion and you fall into like a romantic state of loving life because people do great things.” — Dave Grohl, Alternative Nation, October 2019

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Preview: David Wax Museum @ Facebook Live, 5/1 + 5/3/20

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David Wax Museum performs at Union Stage on Dec. 29, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

David Wax Museum has really taken live streaming to heart, broadcasting on Sundays, Tuesdays, and fun, family-friendly shows on Fridays.

Catch the band’s next shows on Friday, May 1, and Sunday, May 3, via Facebook Live.

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Essay: In Praise of Live Music

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Tim Bray and Karen Jonas (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” — Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our worlds, collectively and individually, in ways that we are struggling to grasp. For those of us who cherish live music — artists, fans, writers, and photographers — the pandemic has made concerts impossible for the time being and the heartache at what has been lost is becoming a fear (irrational perhaps, but…) that they could be gone forever.

The abrupt, and traumatic, end to live music performances for the foreseeable future has left a sadness in me that I did not anticipate, nor with which I’m prepared to cope. I’m a diehard enthusiast of live music — from the traditional large venue concert experience to the small bars and clubs where local musicians perform for anyone who’ll listen.

But what they all have in common is talent, desire, and an otherworldly drive to share, as Los Angeles Times music critic David Ackert says, “that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart.”

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Livestream Preview: Elizabeth II and Cat Janice @ Caged Byrd Series, 4/9/20

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Elizabeth II performs at City Winery on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Songbyrd Music House’s Caged Byrd Series, features two local artists this Thursday, April 9, via Instragram. Elizabeth II and Cat Janice will perform acoustic versions of their original songs, some covers, and possibly a few requests.

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