June 14 - Be'la Dona
Be’la Dona is so unique in their musical presentation that they have branded their style as “sensual crank.” This unique style commands an impressive drawing power, attracting many beloved fans and local promoters and placing them in the forefront of music. Versatility is the group’s main attribute, as they have the ability to play any music genre--from Rock, R&B, Gospel, Pop, Jazz and of course their hometown music, Go-Go. Be’la Dona captivates their audience and delivers the best performance each and every time. The group’s first public gig was a debut at the Cardinal's Nest in Northeast D.C. The rhythm section of the band has performed at Posh Restaurant once a month since September 2008 for a showcase called "R&B Live DC." Here, they have opened for and backed artists like Marsha Ambrosius, Howard Hewitt, Chuck Brown and Case. Each musician in the band holds a separate and unique background in gospel, jazz, r&b, and rock. The majority of the band attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts and received bachelor's degrees in music at Howard University and Bowie State. The band has collected a number of awards, including: 2009 Go-Go Award for "Best Up and Coming Band"; 2010 Washington Area Music Award for "Best Urban Contemporary Group; 2011 Washington Area Music Award for "Best GoGo/Duo Group"; 2012 Washington Area Music Award for "Best Go-Go/Duo Group"; and a 2012 Washington Area Music Award for "Best live Recording" (Bela Dona Live).
"Sweet Cherie", Be’la Dona’s bandleader, has been awarded Washington Area Music Awards for "Instrumentalist of the Year" for 4 consecutive years.
June 21 - Vivian Green
Vivian Green took an interest in singing, playing the piano and songwriting at a very young age. She has been highly credited for her talented songwriting for "Dear God" from Boyz II Men’s 1997 album, Evolution. Green received her big break at the age of nineteen years old when she became a backup singer for Jill Scott, with whom she toured internationally. Shortly after this exposure, she signed to Columbia Records in November of 2002. In 2002, Green released her debut album, A Love Story, which featured the number one single "Emotional Rollercoaster." During the spring of 2005, three years after the release of her first debut album, Green then released her second studio album, Vivian. This album featured the hit lead single, "Gotta Go, Gotta Leave (Tired)." The lead single, "Gotta Go, Gotta Leave," debuted at #102 on the ‘Hot 100,’ #24 on the ‘Hot R&B,’ and #1 on the ‘Hot Dance’ charts. The song also charted #1 on the ‘Hot Adult Airplay.’ Her artist credits include nominations for a BET Award and multiple Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for “Best Female R&B Artist,” “Best Soul Album of the Year,” and “Best New Artist,” just to name a few.
June 29 - Maestro J
As a young teen, Maestro J was awarded summer scholarships to travel to the United States and attend the Sewanee Summer Music Center in Tennessee. By the age of sixteen, he was bestowed the honors of assistant concertmaster of the Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra in Haiti and first violinist of the Holy Trinity String Quartet. He led the quartet to the finals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana. At the age of 18, he moved to the United States to further his musical education and played in the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. During his undergraduate years, Maestro J fell in love with teaching and began volunteering his time to The String Project, a program delivered by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), which offers youth an education in music. He was then hired to commute and teach at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Maestro J received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a concentration on violin. Undoubtedly a sought-after performer and educator, he took the position as both Musical Director and Orchestra Director at The Kentucky Country Day School College Preparatory Program, where he also holds a full violin studio.
July 12 - Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor, a Denver native, has grown to become one of the most dynamic saxophonists in jazz with his soulful melodies, smooth vibes and a trademark seductive magic. He adopted the saxophone at a very young age, playing in school bands and even joining a Top 40 band called Mixed Company. Discovered by Keiko Matsui and her producer husband Kazu, Taylor was offered an audition and was later hired by the two to play in their band. After spending two years with the pair, Kazu Matsui produced Taylor’s 1995 debut album, On the Horn, generating high acclaims on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and a number one radio hit with “Til We Meet Again.” Taylor instantly secured his own niche in the smooth jazz genre as his second album, Pleasure Seeker, also followed with high accolades in 1997. Taylor’s third album, Undercover, was released three years later. “Steppin’ Out,” the title track from his 2003 Top Ten Billboard Contemporary Jazz album, became Radio & Records’ third biggest genre airplay cut of the year. His portfolio of credits include touring as a special guest artist with the Rippingtons, releasing several subsequent albums which have all scored high in the contemporary jazz charts; a number one album with Ladies Choice; and an acting debut on the legendary ABC soap opera, One Life To Live.
July 19 - Anthony David
Genre: (R&B, Neo-soul)
Anthony David has written and co- produced 2 critically-acclaimed albums- 3 Chords and the Truth and Red Clay Chronicles- that secured deals in Europe (Dome Records) and Japan (Village Again), leading Anthony to tour worldwide several times, drawing new fans along the way. The acclaim prompted Universal Republic Records to get involved, compiling the best songs from the two indie albums and repackaging them as ACEY DUECY. This significant exposure took the single, “Words”, a duet with Arie, to chart placement and nomination for a GRAMMY in ‘08. This was also the album that exposed the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to Anthony’s impressive talent. She then brought him to the attention of the President himself, Barack Obama, who later name-checked David as a constant on his iPod. A tour to Kenya inspired Anthony to become a part of the “Give Africa Hope” campaign to bring awareness to the East Africa famine. During that period, David wrote and released three new songs in addition to remixes from As Above, So Below, shooting the video in Kenya for the title track, “#LocationLocationLocation.” He also became intimately involved with AWOL (All Walks of life), an arts program for children, back in his hometown of Savannah, pushing to get it established in Atlanta by 2013.
July 26 -
Genre: (Folk/Acoustic Rock/Jazz)
After working as a corporate executive in Fortune 500 companies, Susan Greenbaum traded her power suits for performing. The Susan Greenbaum Band recently won a national competition to be the opening act for an international superstar, Jewel. Winners were selected by industry professionals and over 100,000 internet voters who chose Susan’s band. As Jewel played solo, Susan also performed solo and enjoyed overwhelming success for the duration of the ten-show tour across the Northeast, selling almost 1,000 CDs and welcoming thousands of new fans. Susan released her third independent CD, Hey, Hey, Hey! in September ‘02 to rave reviews. The disc is a 13-song collection of intelligent lyrics, beautiful melodies, catchy hooks and Susan's mellifluous and versatile voice. The Richmond Times-Dispatch called Hey, Hey, Hey! the best local release of 2002. Prior to Hey, Hey, Hey!, Susan released "Wake Up!" in 1999, receiving Finalist awards in both the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the U.S.A. Songwriting Contest. Susan draws big, enthusiastic audiences who delight in her lively, diverse and powerful performances. Thanks to the internet, she now has fans on every continent. She performs solo and with her band and has appeared at such venues as The Bottom Line in NYC, The Birchmere, and Rams Head Tavern. In addition to touring with Jewel, Susan’s credits include performing an acoustic set with Dave Matthews Band’s violinist, Boyd Tinsley; sharing bills with Jill Sobule; and opening for Kenny Loggins, Patty Griffin, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, Todd Snider, Tuck and Patti, Iris DeMent, Lucy Kaplansky, Lloyd Cole and Catie Curtis. Susan also endorses W.L Gore’s Elixir Strings
August 2 - Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is an eight-piece powerhouse that puts a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of The Dirty Birds, a flock of seven men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. When the band embarked on their first tour at the end of April 2011, they set out with the mission of taking the country by storm. By the end of the year, they had driven over 50,000 miles to play 150 shows in 28 states. They exploded onto the scene, opening for Dr. John, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and the Soul Rebels Brass Band and appeared at such festivals as Gathering of the Vibes, Bear Creek, and late night at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Fueled by the band’s boundless energy, every show transforms into a wild dance party, and the Dirty Birds are establishing a rabid following of fans that are eager to receive a potent dose of good times, delivered by the band every night.
August 16- Jon B
As an accomplished musician and distinguished songwriter and producer with a number of gold and platinum records under his belt, Jon B has always been a consummate artist who consistently brings a unique focus on smooth melodies to contemporary R&B. While proficient on keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums, he has written and produced for some of music’s most renowned talents and legends like Toni Braxton, Spice Girls, After 7, and Color Me Badd. Jon B’s career took off right from the start. Born in Rhode Island, but raised in California, Jon B was born into a musical household. His father was a professor of music and a concert pianist and his mother was a piano teacher and performer. His grandparents owned a record store where he spent many of his afternoons, and this later served as a huge influence for his music. While combining '70s soul with '90s hip-hop on his 1995 debut album Bonafide, he went on to sell more than one million copies with his album quickly going gold, earning him both critical and commercial success. “Someone to Love,” featuring Babyface, also earned him a Grammy nomination. His 1997 platinum album Cool Relax was just as successful and maintained an emphasis on classic hip-hop soul. Over the next few years, Jon B continued to entertain his fans, performing at a number of concert tours all over the world. In his album Stronger Everyday, Jon B offers a deeper, mature vibe, experimenting with various sounds and textures to accompany his vocals. Through Hopeless Romantic, he was able to flaunt his songwriting skills with the single “Ooh So Sexy” with Paul Wall. Later in 2011, Jon B released his album Comfortable Swagg, which revealed his journey as a family man. This year marked Jon B’s long awaited return to the music scene with his newest disc, B-sides Collection.
August 24 - Larry Carlton
Genre: (Smooth Jazz/Jazz Fusion/Blues/Pop/Rock)
Larry Carlton is a four-time Grammy Award winner and nineteen-time Grammy nominee who is also an all-time guitar great. Carlton quickly gained distinction for the unmistakable and often imitated "sweet" sound he delivers with his Gibson ES-335. He also broke new ground with his new trademark volume pedal technique, eloquently displayed in his featured performance on Crusader One with legendary jazz-rock group, The Crusaders, in 1971. Before he transitioned completely to a solo career, Carlton became one of the most in-demand studio musicians of the past three decades. Carlton’s catalog of work includes film soundtracks, television themes and work on more than 100 gold albums. Ultimately, Carlton began scaling back his session work substantially, while continuing to perform and record with the Crusaders. He shifted his emphasis to the challenges of arranging and producing, and built his own studio-Room 335-in his home. With more than 3,000 studio sessions under his belt by the early 1980s, Carlton had already picked up four Grammy nominations. In addition to winning a Grammy (`81) for the theme to "Hill Street Blues," he was also voted NARAS’s “Most Valuable Player” for three consecutive years. NARAS then named him “Player Emeritus” and retired him from eligibility. Carlton later formed Helping Innocent People (HIP), a non-profit group to aid victims of random gun violence.
August 30 - Secret Society
Formed in 2008, Secret Society, the brainchild of Washington-area musician Bryan Mills, was created to bring the “live band” sound back to today’s heavily computerized music market. The Secret Society is that breath of fresh air that most have been searching for. The combination of talent, experience, and a host of influences stemming from the seeds of John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Police, Rick James, and a host of others, gives this band their own unique sound and identity. To assign a genre-style to this group would be difficult considering the intermixture of music that they display. This group likes to use the simplistic description of “feel good music” to define exactly what it is that they offer. In 2012, Secret Society was nominated for a WAMMIE by the Washington Area Music Awards (WAMA) for “Best Urban Contemporary Duo/Group.” The band has been featured in several magazines, including Prince George's Suite and Magazine33 Virginia, as "one of the hottest bands in the region.”
*ALL ARTISTS AND PERFORMANCE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.