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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Livestream Preview: Tommy Emmanuel @ The Birchmere (Benefit), 8/15/20

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Tommy Emmanuel (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

Tommy Emmanuel, the acclaimed and Grammy-nominated acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter, hosts two livestream events with a portion of the proceeds benefiting two prominent independent venues in America. The first event on Saturday, Aug. 15, benefits The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Without some support, we are in danger of losing some of the independent venues that are a part of our culture and our local communities,” Tommy said.

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Song of the Day: “Animule Ball” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

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Squirrel Nut Zippers (Photo courtesy the artist)

Since 1995, the Squirrel Nut Zippers have sacked and plundered the old, weird America then sailed off to further distant lands. They have used New Orleans as their hideout and base of operations. Jean-Lafitte-like the hide in the lee side of barrier island, receiving goods and masking dark back channel deals; hiding in cellars or in plain view.

On Sept. 25, fans will be able to gaze into the tea leaves that make up their brand new album: Lost Songs of Doc Souchon to see if they can discern their own destiny. The first single from the album “Animule Ball” was originally recorded back in 1938 by Jelly Roll Morton.

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Interview: Bill Frisell (New Album: Valentine)

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Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)

Few musicians have demonstrated an eternal devotion to the exploration and discovery of sound like Bill Frisell. The 69-year-old made a name for himself as a studio guitarist for ECM Records in the 1980s and went on to become a tremendously influential presence on the New York City jazz scene working with John Zorn, Paul Motian, John Scofield, and many others on a long list of projects.

Guided by his life-long pursuit of melody, Bill left the City in 1988, intentionally breaking out of the walls of jazz he’d constructed around himself, and moved to the West Coast, but his desire to create new music would take him all over the globe.

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Livestream Preview: Jason Marsalis Marsalis Quintet @ Facebook Live, 6/12/20

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Jason Marsalis (Photo by Dwayne Hills)

The Jason Marsalis Marsalis Quintet will perform “The Music of My Father” for the next installment of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park’s interactive Facebook live stream series, “Golden Hour,” hosted by Nick Spitzer of the public radio program American Routes — in conversation with Jason and band between tunes.

Tune in on Friday, June 12, via Facebook Live!

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Live Review: Squirrel Nut Zippers @ The Birchmere — 3/5/20

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Jimbo Mathus fronts the Squirrel Nut Zippers at The Birchmere on March 5, 2020. (Photo by Rashad Polk)

Laaaaadies and geeeentleemen, if you missed it, you missed the most carnivalistic display of vaudeville performance on The Birchmere stage in recent memory. Those undeterrable rascals, those curious geeks, barkers, and showgirls, the Squirrel Nut Zippers put on an antiquarian revival show of towering proportions.

SNZ’s tour is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers, and they played it through on a recent evening. Playing in order, they began with “Lovers’ Lane.” For “Danny Diamond,” female vocalist Cella Blue came out wearing a feather boa and waving a fan.

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Live Review: Stephane Wrembel @ Creative Alliance — 2/21/20

Stephane Wrembel - Creative Alliance Baltimore - 02.21.20 3Stephane Wrembel performs at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

If Django Reinhardt could somehow return to this planet, he very well might blush to see so many music festivals taking place in his name. There’s little doubt, however, that he’d be pleased by the simple fact that gypsy jazz — a style that he’s credited with creating — lives on in the form of musicians who celebrate the craft and teach it in a communal fashion.

And if the late Mr. Reinhardt was to identify a leader among those carrying his torch, it would likely be Stephane Wrembel, a French guitarist of otherworldly talent who recently performed in Baltimore as part of the Creative Alliance’s fifth annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest.

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Live Review: Jake Shimabukuro @ Strathmore Music Center — 2/13/20

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Jake Shimabukuro (Photo coutesy Jensen Communications)

With a hearty “Aloha!” ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro greeted the crowd at Strathmore Music Center last night. “This hall sounds amazing,” he said. “It’s such an honor playing in this hall. You can’t play a bad note in this hall or, if you do, you hear it for a long time.”

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Preview: Rachael & Vilray @ Sixth and I, 12/12/19

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Rachael & Vilray (Photo by Jonno Rattman)

Lake Street Dive singer-songwriter Rachael Price and composer, singer, and guitarist Vilray teamed up as the duo Rachael & Vilray. Rachael & Vilray released a self-titled debut album on Nonesuch Records recently, and they perform at Sixth & I in DC on Thursday, Dec. 12.

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