Getting ready to throw down the jam…

On Thursday May 24, I’m joining an extended edition of Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors in the Classic Albums 1977 showcase at the Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington, VA. We’re performing selected songs from the classic Steely Dan album Aja, complete with horns and backup singers.

We’re appearing alongside an impressive roster of local musicians who will recreate other legendary sounds of those bygone days. I don’t think Billy Joel and the Ramones appeared on the same stage in ’77, but they will do so (at least in spirit) on the 24th.

Speaking of which, I may be one of the only people on the Iota stage who was actually around to listen to those albums in 1977, but I digress…

In addition to this foray into classic rock, the jazz continues at the Black Fox Lounge on Friday May 4, when I take my place at the piano alongside Aaron Myers and the rest of the Black Fox Jazz Ensemble.

Nerd recap

I had a great time playing MetroSongs with Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors at Nerd Nite DC on Feb. 11.  We covered nine stations in this performance, ending with a very energetic “Mall & Chain (Pentagon City)”.

At the gig, Jason brought out the MetroSongs Vol. 2 CD, “Party Train”. This edition includes my piano playing on track 3: “Ice Skating at the Archives”. Please check out MetroSongs.org for more info on how you can get your very own copy (Vol. 1 is available as well).

Back on the jazz side, I’m back at the Black Fox Lounge in Dupont Circle on Friday the 17th, with vocalist Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble: yours truly on the piano, Percy White on the bass, and Will Stephens on the drums. We’re fresh from our successful performance at the French Embassy Valentine’s party on Feb. 10, so it should be another fun evening!

Playing for my people

I’m back at the Black Fox this Friday Feb. 3, with the Black Fox Ensemble (Percy White on bass and Will Stephens on the drums). Aaron is out of town, so we will be backing vocalist CaShandra J (and perhaps some additional guest vocalists). Should be another enjoyable evening of standards and surprises.

On Saturday Feb. 11, I’ll be joining Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors to play MetroSongs at Nerd Nite, a celebration of smarts and music at DC9 (9th & U Sts NW in DC). Tickets are $10 for the show, which starts at 6:30 pm. As a former mechanical and software engineer, I feel that I’ll be playing for my people, and am looking forward to the nerdly vibe.

Playing for my people...

In addition to the above, Aaron Myers and the rest of the Black Fox Ensemble are still on track to play at the Soirée Saint-Valentin on Feb. 10 at La Maison Française in the French Embassy in NW DC.

Thanks, 1986. Looking forward to 1977!

We had a full house at the Electric Maid on Saturday for the Classic Albums 1986 showcase. I was thrilled to join Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors for a re-creation of Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate album. Great work all around by the other musicians on the bill as well.

Jason’s next project is to go back to 1977, a great year for rock and pop albums (and yes, I was there at time to hear some of them). We’re still figuring out which album to take on.

One of the perhaps less-notable albums of that year was Chicago XI. That album did have one big hit, “Baby, What a Big Surprise,” and another number, “Vote for Me,” that strangely echoes what we’re hearing this election year:

I’ll give detroit one year
New cars that run on beer
Or anything except gasoline

I’m looking to the sun
More power for everyone
And the cleanest sky that you’ve ever seen

More music in more places

This is shaping up to be a busy musical week, with three upcoming gigs in three different places

On Wednesday Jan. 25, I’ll be sitting in with the Greater U Street Jazz Collective for their regular Wednesday night gig at the El Golfo restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. I played with the bassist & drummer on New Year’s Eve, and loved what they were doing. Should be a fun evening of straight ahead jazz

On Saturday Jan. 28, I’m indulging the rock ‘n’ roll side I never knew I had, playing keyboards with Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors as we pay tribute to Elvis Costello in a showcase of Classic Albums of 1986, at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park. We’ll be playing highlights from Elvis’ “Blood & Chocolate” release of that year. The suggested donation is $10.

Finally, I’ll be in the house band of the DC Jazz Jam at Dahlak (18th St & Florida Ave. NW) for the fifth Sunday jam on Jan. 29. Will says that we may have some special guests on hand for that session.

Hope to see you at one or more of these events!