Snapshots: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ Wolf Trap — 8/24/21

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue perform on the Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap, Aug. 24, 2021 (Photo by Ari Strauss).

Multi-instrumentalist Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his R&B, rock, rap, and funk band, “Orleans Avenue,” delivered a New Orleans-style, “Treme Threauxdown,” to an audience armed with face masks and picnic suppers at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center outdoor concert venue on recently.

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Preview: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue AND Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Wolf Trap, 8/24/21

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Trombone Shorty (Photo courtesy Blue Note Records)

Experience an evening of good vibes with the funky jazz rhythms of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (“Hurricane Season,” “Tripped Out Slim”) and the high-energy, inspiring music of Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” “The Sound of Sunshine”) at Wolf Trap on Tuesday, Aug. 24!

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Live Review: Julian Lage @ Jammin’ Java – 8/13/21

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Julian Lage and Jorge Roader perform at Jammin’ Java on Aug. 13, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The evening threatened to be a major disappointment. Crawling along the beltway under ominous skies, dodging felled trees from the day’s earlier storms, a late arrival seemed inevitable. Pulling up to Jammin’ Java just before showtime, we were greeted by a gloomy, darkened venue — apparently the power had gone out! Although prospects for the show actually happening remained in doubt, we entered the venue with hopes checked.

Despite glum prospects, harried servers scurried about, attending to the chatty sold-out crowd, who nonetheless remained in high spirits.

Then, as if by divine intervention, the lights popped back on 10 minutes before showtime. And they stayed on. Friday the 13th turned out lucky after all and for the next two and a half hours we enjoyed expert, soothing, and truly mind-blowing guitar performances from opener Luke Brindley and headliner Julian Lage.

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Live Review: Dominique Bianco @ Pearl Street Warehouse – 7/11/21

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Dominique Bianco performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

There is a unique joy to experiencing emerging musical artists. You can see their determination, feel their ambition, and hear the purity of their performance. Or as music critic David Ackert says, “[giving their] lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be.” No matter the genre, or level of talent, new artists have an utter lack of cynicism, almost naivete, that embodies the drive and desire to be acknowledged and accepted on their own terms-an attitude that virtually guarantees a pure, energetic performance.

This past Sunday, an enthusiastic Pearl Street Warehouse crowd watched and heard Dominique Bianco exemplify that passion and determination. Backed by an equally talented quartet of local DC musicians, Dominique reminded us that training, hard work, overcoming setbacks, and “serving the song” are the ingredients of a successful artist.

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Live Review: Bill Frisell Trio @ Keystone Korner — 04/24/21

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Bill Frisell performs at Keystone Korner Baltimore on April 24, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock.)

Sometimes it’s simply the spontaneity of live music that makes it such a special experience, not only for the fans — some of whom might loosely feel the weight of what they’re witnessing — but just as much for the musicians themselves. With lingering rules and protocols in place, any in-the-flesh performance down the backstretch of the pandemic should be cherished for the solace and bliss it might provide everyone involved.

Bill Frisell, the legendary guitar player of otherworldly talents and an unthinkably accomplished recording artist and composer, recently announced a handful of shows on fairly short notice. But it really wasn’t by chance that several of those shows were in Baltimore this past Saturday and Sunday at Keystone Korner, a Harbor East venue powering through the weirdest of times to approach its second anniversary.

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Preview: Bill Frisell Trio @ Keystone Korner [Baltimore], 4/24-4/25/21

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Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)

Not too long before the pandemic struck, 2-star Michelin Chef Robert Wiedmaier and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Todd Barkan opened Keystone Korner in Baltimore, taking inspiration from the original venue of the same name in San Francisco.

Keystone Korner is getting back into the swing of things by hosting live music, and it has an extraordinary weekend planned with four shows by the Bill Frisell Trio over two days on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25.

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Livestream Preview: 6th Annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest, 2/26-2/27/21

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The Adrien Moignard Trio and Christophe Cravero (Photo courtesy Charm City Django Jazz Fest)

The 6th Annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest returns this Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27, with a tuned-in lineup from around the globe celebrating the music and legacy Django Reinhardt. Although the Creative Alliance is hosting this year’s Djangofest virtually, the talent, energy, and music promise to be just as powerful as previous years.

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Livestream Preview: Toto @ Dice, 11/21/20

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Toto (Photo courtesy SKH Music)

Steve Lukather (aka Luke) and Joseph Williams are lifelong friends since they were kids, and bandmates sharing a deep colorful history that has thrived professionally on a global basis over the past decades. Today, the duo has announced the formation of a new band, with world class players. They will continue to tour as Toto, and are in motion to bring their Dogz of Oz tour worldwide as the pair looks forwards.

The new Toto lineup performs in a livestream via Dice.fm on Saturday, Nov. 21.

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Livestream Preview: José James and Taali @ Noon Chorus, 8/13/20

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José James (Photo by Janette Beckman)

Rainbow Blonde Records presents a special livestream with José James and Taali from the legendary Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York via NoonChorus on Thursday, Aug. 13.

Live performances include José’s future soul album No Beginning No End 2 (which features Aloe Blacc, Ledisi & Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Lizz Wright, Erik Truffaz, Hindi Zahra, Taali & more) and Taali’s Were You Busy Writing Your Heart Out? EP — both released earlier this year on Rainbow Blonde Records.

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