Preview: Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers @ Wolf Trap, 6/30/22

Bruce HornsbyBruce Hornsby (second from left) and his band (Photo by Jeff Fasano)

Editor’s Note: Bruce Hornsby has canceled this show due to a case of COVID-19 in his band or crew.

Bruce Hornsby mines his vast catalog, performing beloved songs alongside tracks from his latest album, ‘Flicted. Catch him and his band the Noisemakers at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap on Thursday, June 30!

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Live Review: Portside Summer Festival @ Waterfront Park (Alexandria, VA) — 06/17-6/18/22

Eric Byrd Trio performs at Portside Summer Festival in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

What do you get when you mix breezy, sunny summer afternoons, delicious food and beverages, an eclectic selection of musical groups, set it all on the spectacular Old Town Alexandria waterfront, and then make it free admission? You get the Portside Summer Festival, a wonderful annual event, produced by Visit Alexandria in partnership with the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.

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Live Review: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra @ Strathmore — 5/6/22

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Jeff Goldblum addresses the audience at the Strathmore Music Center on May 6, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Wonderfully affable actor Jeff Goldblum could do just about anything and people would undoubtedly find it compelling. As it so happens, Jeff is a lifelong lover of playing piano, and so some years ago, he got together with a very good jazz collective and started performing around Hollywood as Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Said orchestra has now released two studio albums, The Capitol Studios Sessions and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, consisting of jazz standards often given fresh arrangements by the band. The act has become a bit more ambitious, as warrants its tremendous talent, and it has hit the road recently with a stop at the Strathmore Music Center.

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Preview: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, 5/6/22

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Jeff Goldblum (Photo courtesy the Strathmore)

With The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, actor Jeff Goldblum has released two jazz albums — most recently, I Shouldn’t Be Tell You This in 2019.

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra now play the Strathmore Music Center on Friday, May 6.

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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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