Sat Sep 2

Jeff Bradshaw Birthday Celebration feat. Algebra Blessett & Glenn Lewis

Sat, September 2
8PM / $40
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Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club

7719 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Jeff Bradshaw

Once upon a time R&B was known for great live performances marked by passion, spontaneity and even transcendence through the great soul revues at such storied venues as The Apollo Theater, The Howard Theater and The Uptown. The musicians playing behind the singers were often the finest players from the realms of R&B jazz and gospel, who delivered intricate arrangements, electrifying solos and undeniable groove. In recent times, such performances have been rare but the hunger for that special sort of musical experience is still there and maybe it just takes someone with great determination and vision to bring it back.  Jeff Bradshaw, a key player in Philadelphia’s influential neo-soul scene is the man with such vision. As a boy in Philadelphia Bradshaw performed with brass bands on Broad Street, just a stone’s throw from the spot where Philadelphia¹s most prestigious performing arts center, The Kimmel Center, stands today; he dreamed: why not bring the crème-de-la-crème of singers and players to The Kimmel for a genre-crossing one-night-only musical event that would replicate the excitement of the classic R&B revues for this generation of fans?  Since Bradshaw¹s trombone has propelled horn-sections for everyone from Jill Scott to Jay Z and Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin, this was an easy sell. The respect accorded Jeff Bradshaw by his peers is shown by the impressive list of artists who wanted to be a part of the concert:  Marsha Ambrosius, Will Downing, Black Thought of The Roots, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Najee, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Tweet, Kenny Lattimore, Trombone Shorty and Executive Producer Robert Glasper, whose recent BLACK RADIO albums have been innovative  fusions of jazz and R&B, becoming some of the biggest-selling jazz releases of the past decade--ironically scoring big with a concept Jeff Bradshaw had been presenting for years.  Bradshaw’s Kimmel Center dream came to fruition on May 28, 2014 and the result was a sold-out success in front of a rapturous, wildly appreciative audience. HOME will be released on March 31, 2015 by Shanachie Entertainment, enabling those who were not there to enjoy the magical experience.   “Over my 14 year career as a solo artist and sideman to the biggest in the biz,” Bradshaw relates, “I was always told: ‘I love your music but when I heard you live I really understand how special you are as an artist and performer.’ So I reached out to all my friends, who just happen to be great artists that I’m fans of and explained to them the trail-blazing journey I was preparing to embark on and they all wanted in. After running the idea by Jay Whal, The Kimmel Center’s Creative Director, where I¹ve played many times in their ‘Sittin’ In’ series, he loved the idea and we went to work on building this masterpiece.” Nothing was left to chance for Bradshaw’s special concert. He assembled a magnificent XX piece band complete with backing singers and horn section to back his stellar line-up of singers. Together Bradshaw and Glasper masterminded sophisticated arrangements that would embellish the songs to their ultimate potential.   HOME delivers one highlight after another. On the first single, “All Time Love,” Eric Roberson and Tweet trade off one another with sexy, soulful vocals as Robert Glasper plays a lush keyboard support. Bradshaw and New Orleans trombone phenom Trombone Shorty trade incendiary solos on the funky “New Orleans Groove.” Kim Burrell, who comes from the gospel world, is nonetheless one of the finest jazz singers of our time and she demonstrates that by taking flight in a 9-minute dialogue with Bradshaw on “Love.”  
 

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Sat, September 2

8PM / $40
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