Eze Jackson performs as part of the Creative Alliance’s Sidewalk Serenades on July 4, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)
On a hot afternoon recently, right outside of my house in East Baltimore, the amazing Eze Jackson gave a spirited Sidewalk Serenade.
Sidewalk Serenades is a program through the Creative Alliance in Baltimore that helps local musicians provide socially distanced performances as a way to provide a vital line from artists to audience in the age of COVID-19. But it has the added benefit of highlighting the best musical artistry in and around Baltimore. And Eze Jackson is certainly one of the best.
Billy Price (Photo by Christopher Myers)
DMV concert venues in Virginia continue to lead the way in reopening as The Birchmere in Alexandria returns after its COVID-19 closure with the Billy Price Charm City Band on Friday, July 10.
Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)
Acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell has announced his newest project Valentine — the debut recording of his trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston — for release Aug. 14 on Blue Note Records.
Bill has also released the album’s closing track “We Shall Overcome,” the Civil Rights anthem that he holds dear as a message of hope in all dark times. “I’ve been playing the song for years, and I’m going to keep playing it till there is no need anymore,” he said. “I can’t help but hope that day will come.”
The Creative Alliance (Photo by David LaMason)
There is such a rich variety of music throughout both Baltimore and DC, but it’s a rare thing to find places that are so in love with the arts that the place itself becomes part of that artistic experience.
Baltimore’s Creative Alliance, which formed back in 1995, has become a vital force in East Baltimore, expanding into the old Patterson Theater (itself over 100 years old) back in 2003 right when I, myself, moved into the neighborhood.
Rams Head Live (Photo by David LaMason)
Rams Head Live! has been around since 2004, but it feels like it’s been around for much longer. Since the closing of Hammerjacks the first time in 1997, there have been few places in Baltimore with the capacity of Rams Head that brings in some big (and future big) names in music with acts like the Beastie Boys, Lizzo, Jay-Z, and the Black Keys.
The Ottobar (Photo by David LaMason)
There have been few places that have been around in this town as long as the Ottobar.
The Metro Gallery (Photo by David LaMason)
Baltimore has been host to some legendary musicians and, I’d say, just as legendary music clubs. In addition to being a gallery space for the visual arts, the Metro Gallery, which is a mixed media space in the heart of Baltimore’s Station North Arts District, has been putting on some of the most eclectic performances by the best artists — local and international — you’ve ever heard of (or shortly will).
Lower Dens performs at Songbyrd Music House on Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)
Beach House. Dan Deacon. Future Islands. Animal Collective. Baltimore has been a hot music scene for a while now, but for some reason the amazing Lower Dens never seem to be mentioned in these conversations often enough. That’s a real shame because Jana Hunter’s outfit has been pumping out quality tunes for over a decade now.
Lower Dens (Photo by Torso)
Lower Dens released their newest creation — The Competition — on Ribbon Music, at the end of last year. The Baltimore dream poppers perform at Songbyrd Music House on Friday, Feb. 14.
Vosh performs at Union Stage in DC on Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Going to see Peter Murphy for his David Bowie tribute show at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on Friday, Jan. 24? Arrive early to see dark synthpop artist Vosh, who hails from Baltimore.
Who is Vosh?