Violinist Mazz Swift Will Join the Multicultural Silkroad Ensemble at George Mason

Mazz Swift - Cropped Feature Image

History’s Silk Road was a loose network of trade routes between Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Traveling such distances required not only understanding different cultures and languages, but also learning about those peoples’ music along the way. The Silkroad Ensemble, the brainchild of Yo-Yo Ma, brings together musical styles from around the world. The Grammy-winning group will perform “Uplifted Voices” at George Mason University Jan. 29. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with violinist Mazz Swift who shares details on the show, comprised entirely of women and nonbinary artists, as well as her own journey.

Becoming Paul: This Baltimore Musician Will Give You the McCartney Show You Always Wanted to See

The McCartney Experience - L-R: Danny Lough, Kevin Driscoll, Jed Duvall “Paul,” Mark St. Pierre, Charlie Hamilton

As someone who makes his musical living impersonating Paul McCartney, Jed Duvall is keenly aware that, while he isn’t the true article, what he can deliver to those who attend his shows is perhaps more important: memories. “The way the Beatles and Wings and Paul McCartney kind of built into people’s childhood and the way they grew up, I hope to touch the audience with some of that,” said Duvall. “I hope the audience says, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard this song in a long time.’” Learn more about Duvall’s journey from Elvis to McCartney, as well as details on his Jan. 24 show, The McCartney Experience, with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Baltimore’s Atomic Light Orchestra Will Play Your Favorite ELO Hits—Just as You Remember Them

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) tribute band Atomic Light Orchestra (ALO) pose for a group photo in a stairwell.

Being a tribute band is a funny thing. Your audience wants to hear the music of the artist they love played precisely as they recall it from the record—yet somehow each tribute act must be indistinguishable from its brethren. And the bill is especially tall when the original artist’s songs require so many instruments; this is certainly true of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).

However, the Baltimore-based Atomic Light Orchestra (ALO) does the best they can with “only” six members versus ELO’s typical touring complement of 13. The tribute band has been on the scene for three years…

California’s Karla Bonhoff Will Spread Some of that Holiday Cheer at the Birchmere Dec. 11

Karla Bonoff - Press Photo by Chris Orwig

A songwriter by the age of 15, Karla Bonhoff has been entertaining audiences for decades. Native to Southern California, she came up in the L.A. circuit of the hippie era, where artists such as Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and so many others were continuously floating in and out of one another’s orbits. Bonoff and singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor will jointly perform at the Birchmere in Alexandria Dec. 11. Together, they will tackle new and established variations on Christmas favorites, as well as toss in their original tunes.

Dar Williams: A songwriter’s wisdom—in book form

Daw Williams - "How to Write a Song That Matters" Book Cover

Early in pandemic times, Dar Williams faced the uncomfortable truth that her career as a world-touring musician had stalled. While locked down—along with the rest of us—the singer-songwriter opened up virtual photo albums to recall trips to domestic cities and foreign lands to which she brought her unique music-set poetry.

“I was going through my photos online and I got this case of FOMO—envy for this person who has traveled all over the world,” Williams said recently, “and I was like ‘oh, my god, it’s me!’
Now I’m telling myself [to] take the day to appreciate whatever city you’re in.

David Libert Speaks Candidly about His Rock-and-Roll Life in New Memoir

David Libert with Alice Cooper

David Libert has seen—and done—it all. From humble beginnings, Libert has become a music industry expert, shepherding the careers of artists such as Alice Cooper and George Clinton, and working with everyone from Prince to Guns N’ Roses. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff, as he sits down with David Libert to discuss the star’s immensely entertaining memoir of his life, “Rock and Roll Warrior,” in which he recounts the lessons he picked up from his parents as a young man, running with so many angels and devils in the music biz, and, of course, his ongoing friendship with Cooper.

D.C. Blues Artist Jenny Langer: This Cancer Survivor Sure Does Rock

Jenny Langer - Press Photo - Anna Haas

Considering the rocky road she has traveled, award-winning D.C. blues artist Jenny Langer is remarkably upbeat in conversation. She laughs often and is extremely frank, even when relating the routine health checkup that likely saved her life. Langer’s cancer scare lit a fire under her and pushed her to make some necessary changes in her life, including dedicating herself fully to music, no longer content to wait to be discovered. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he learns more about Langer’s journey, including her roots and work as a solo artist, and as a member of Honey Larks and the Boneshakers.

The Jumpin’ Sound of D.C.’s Very Own Fiesta: Empresarios Has More Latin-Inspired Music Coming this Year

Empresarios Press Photo

D.C. is quite far from anything even remotely tropical, but fortunately, the capital city is a hotbed of “tropicaliente,” a fusion musical style with Latin roots that has taken hold here. Empresarios has been at the forefront of that Latin sound in the District since forming in 2007. Javier Miranda, the Puerto Rican-born frontman of the group, said that he, his brother, and some of their friends got together to remix the sounds of Latin America but give it that unique capital twist. Learn more about Empresarios’ exciting journey in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

Bringing ‘60s Heat to the 21st Century: de la Parra Continues Legacy of His Woodstock Band

Canned Heat - Press Photo

Fito de la Parra is likely one of the few people on earth who can say he helped hijack a helicopter—without getting arrested. The Canned Heat drummer fondly recalls how he and his bandmates were desperately trying to make it to Woodstock for their set in the summer of ‘69, but all roads to the upstate New York hamlet were impossibly jammed. In the years that followed, Canned Heat has since become an acclaimed international act. Learn more about the band’s exciting journey, as contributing writer Eric Althoff sits down with de la Parra in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, including details on their upcoming Annapolis show.

Mames Babagenush Returns to the U.S. for the First Time since 2019

Mames Babegenush - Dennis Lehmann

Jewish music from Denmark? Coming to D.C.? See it to believe it on July 27 at Bossa Bistro & Lounge when Mames Babagenush, returns to the U.S. for the first time since 2019. Denmark has an extremely small Jewish population of under 10,000—in a country just shy of 6 million in total. Thanks to Mames Babagenush, the traditional, uptempo “klezmer” music of Eastern Europe’s Ashkenazi Jews is finding a more worldwide audience—even if all but one of the members of the group are Gentiles. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff, as he discusses the band’s upcoming show, the history of their musical tradition, and more.