Last Sunday's Show section preview of the fall season listed the wrong group as participating in the International Choral Festival in Brazil. The correct group is the Arlington Metropolitan Chorus.
The fall pop season is busier than usual, although with the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Wolf Trap, Carter Barron Amphitheatre and Fort Dupont all operating at full throttle, the summer season is traditionally the most hectic time on that front. But if a number of the mega-acts passed through here last month -- Springsteen, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Dire Straits, Paul Young, the Pointer Sisters and Barry Manilow (just kidding) -- there are still lots of promising concerts to look forward to. And later this month, Washington music celebrates itself with the Wammies.
Just this week, Liza Minnelli appears at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (Wednesday through Saturday) and Bryan Adams plays Thursday at the Capital Centre. Sting, probably the hottest act touring this fall, comes to Merriweather Post on Sept. 21. Also on the 21st, Keith Jarrett does his "Standards" concert with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock at the Kennedy Center.
R&B vet Bobby Womack plays the Warner Oct. 20, George Winston is at the Kennedy Center Dec. 1, and it's a Washington debut for "Smooth Operator" Sade at Constitution Hall Dec. 9. Sometime this fall: the first local appearance in some time by Joni Mitchell.
Sting, as noted above, is due a week from this Saturday, and though the Police may indeed be kaput, you can catch drummer Stewart Copeland this afternoon. Unfortunately, he'll be playing polo, not percussion, at the Potomac Polo Grounds when his Gone Away Farms team matches up against local all-stars.
If there's a dearth of Really Big Names, September brings a first celebration of Washington names that may one day be big enough to tour only in the summer. On the 29th, Lisner Auditorium will host the first Wammies, the capital version of the Grammys and San Francisco's Bammies. Nominations in 37 categories came from the recently formed Washington Area Music Association. Voting is open to the public through the 13th (ballots are available in the City Paper and at local record stores), and it looks like some graduates of Washington's music scene (including Emmylou Harris) will come back to congratulate those still working the treadmill.
The fall also brings more concert space, although the remodeled Ontario looks like it may no longer offer such events (it was the first local showcase for the Go-Go's, Stray Cats, U2, Duran Duran and Frankie Goes to Hollywood). There is, though, some good news on the arena front, with the opening in early October of George Mason University's 10,000-seat Patriot Center, which will be run by the Capital Centre folks. Scheduled so far are concerts by the Beach Boys, Supertramp, Howard Jones, Night Ranger and John Cougar Mellencamp. There's also increased activity at the 2,000-seat Warner Theatre, with promising concerts featuring Bobby Womack, Shadowfax, Wynton Marsalis and Andy Williams.
The Smithsonian's Resident Associate Program celebrates its 20th anniversary with a full cultural slate that includes concerts by three local favorites: guitarist Bill Harris, pianist John Eaton and singer Karen Akers.
The club scene in Washington seems to be in one of its periodic downswings. Charlie's Georgetown was the latest of the showcase venues to close and so far no club has stepped into the breach left by the earlier departures of the Wax Museum, Adams and the Cellar Door. The Bayou, the city's biggest nightclub, continues to be surprisingly unimaginative in its bookings; thankfully, the 9:30 club continues to be daring. Club Saba books an eclectic range, while Friendship Station seems to vacillate between cajun and zydeco foot stompers and gutsy R&B- or blues-based bands. Local bands trying to play original music still look to the Gentry, the Station and d.c. space.
Kilimanjaro's Heritage Hall, which has shown promise in its booking of major African and reggae groups, lacks consistency, but provides a home for local reggae bands (Carl Malcolm and Positive Vibrations and the all-female Infinite Band tonight, Dalloll and Rashid King and the Sounds of Africa on Friday), R&B veterans like Ronnie Dyson and Norman Connors (Sept. 20) and calypsonians like Mighty Gabby and Gryner (Sept. 22). Coming soon: Ebenezer Obay from Nigeria, Doctor Nico from Zaire, Pamelo Mounka and Dinay Bakela.
The Birchmere remains the finest bluegrass spot in the country, and on the local jazz front, Blues Alley still sets the standard. But clubs like One Step Down, Cates, Mr. Y's and Park Place (Tim Eyermann records a live album there Sept. 18) offer intimate alternatives and a home for both local musicians and less well known out-of-towners.
Caveat emptor: The vagaries of pop music being what they are, all these dates are subject to change. Tickets for many of these concerts will not go on sale until the dates approach. And there's sure to be a lot more happening in October, November and December that will be announced in the coming months. September
Today you can get a free sampling of Washington's diverse musical streams at both the ninth annual Takoma Park Folk Festival and the Adams-Morgan Day festival, two daylong affairs that celebrate ethnic/cultural crosscurrents.
Other September concerts of note include California's promising Lone Justice with the db's (Lisner, Tuesday); Bill Harris Blues Band (National Portrait Gallery courtyard, Sept. 11); Bryan Adams and Cock Robin (Capital Centre, Thursday); Rumisonko (WES Auditorium, Friday); John Waite (Merriweather Post, Friday); master drummer Ola Tunji and his Drums of Passion and Della Flack (Cramton Auditorium, Howard University, Friday); the Kinks and San Francisco's Translator (Merriweather Post, Saturday); AC/DC (Baltimore Civic Center, next Sunday); John McCutcheon in a benefit for the Washington Bach Consort (Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, Sept. 17); the Andean folk ensemble Inti-Illimani (Lisner, Sept. 18); and the Boogie Boys, RJ's Latest Arrival and Newcleus (Warner, Sept. 19).
Also Karen Akers (Baird Auditorium, Sept. 20); Dio (Baltimore Civic Center, Sept. 18); Europe's one-man answer to Ferrante and Teicher, Richard Clayderman (Constitution Hall, Sept. 21); Scotland's Boys of the Lough (Hoover Auditorium, Sept. 21); Keith Jarrett's "Standards" trio (Kennedy Center, Sept. 21); UB40 (George Washington University's Smith Center, Sept. 22); Bill Cosby (Kennedy Center, Sept. 26); Al Jarreau (Warner, Sept. 27); Whitney Houston (Constitution Hall, Sept. 27); the Philippine pop group APO Hiking Society (Lisner, Sept. 27); Louis Killen (WES Auditorium, Sept. 28); the first annual Glen Echo Blue Grass and Old Time Music Festival (daylong, with 27 bands, Sept. 29); Holly Near (Constitution Hall, Sept. 29); and Tears for Fears (Baltimore Civic Center, Sept. 30).
Outstanding dates on the club front include: Jon Hendricks at Cates (Tuesday through Sept. 28); Phyllis Hyman (Blues Alley, Tuesday through Sunday); singer-songwriter Christine Lavin (Birchmere, Wednesday); Ireland's Kinvara (Friendship Station, Thursday); '60s stalwarts Roger McGuinn and Eric Andersen (Club Saba, Thursday); the Ohio Players, recording now as Sugarfoot (Ibex Club, Friday and Saturday); the Lee Konitz/Harold Danko Duo (One Step Down, Friday and Saturday).
Also David Murray (Blues Alley, Sept. 16); Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz (Bayou, Sept. 17); Stanley Turrentine (Blues Alley, Sept. 17-22); up-and-coming local rockers Kix (Bayou, Sept. 18-19); the Legendary Blues Band (Friendship Station, Sept. 20); Nat Adderley (One Step Down, Sept. 20-21); Jonathan Edwards (Birchmere, Sept. 20-21); folk revivalist Suzanne Vega (Sept. 23); Michel Petrucciani (Blues Alley, Sept. 23-24); an Atlanta pop troupe with the Now Explosion, Bar Girls and Dupaul (Friendship Station, Sept. 26); and the return of the incomprehensible Legendary Stardust Cowboy with New Orleans' John Jay and the Hitmen (Friendship Station, Sept. 27).
The 9:30 club has an excellent month with The Ventures (Thursday); the Del Lords (Saturday); King (Sept. 24); Canada's exciting Jane Siberry (Sept. 25); the Hoodoo Gurus (Sept. 26); Loving Pockets (Sept. 27); the Lucy Show and ex-Color Me Gone lead singer Marty Jones (Sept. 28); and the intriguing Propoganda (Sept. 29).
Bringing the lesson of Live Aid home, 15 area rock bands will be donating their services Sept. 13 through 15 at four local rock clubs (Saba, Gentry, Friendship Station and d.c. space) in a Washington Rocks Against Hunger program that will raise funds for Martha's Table, a local soup kitchen feeding kids up to the age of 12.
And if 15 bands seems like a lot for three days, how about the 15 traditional jazz bands playing at the annual Potomac River Jazz Club picnic at Blob's Park in Jessup on Saturday; you can tap your feet to continuous music from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. October
The concert schedule includes pan pipist Zamfir (Kennedy Center, Oct. 1); jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (Warner, Oct. 1); Michael Hedges and Liz Story (Lisner , Oct. 4); magician David Copperfield (Warner, Oct. 4-5); Carman (Warner, Oct. 7); the Beach Boys (George Mason University's Patriot Center, Oct. 6); X (Warner, Oct. 11); Rick James, the Mary Janes Girls and Process and the Doo Rags (Capital Centre, Oct. 12); Patsy Montana and Cathy Fink (Baird Auditorium, Oct. 13); Night Ranger, Supertramp and Howard Jones (Patriot Center, Oct. 11, 12 and 13, respectively); Ratt (Capital Center, Oct. 15); Mo tley Cru e (Capital Centre, Oct. 17); Germany's experimental Willem Breuker Kollektief (Baird Auditorium, Oct. 18); Taj Mahal (Barns, Oct. 19); Morris Day (Washington Convention Center, Oct. 18); Bobby Womack (Warner, Oct. 20); Mike Cross (Barns, Oct. 26); Shadowfax, Will Ackerman and Mark Isham (Warner, Oct. 26); Pauline Oliveros (WPA, Oct. 26); The Cure (Smith Center, GWU, Oct. 30); and Kate Clinton (UDC Auditorium, Oct. 31).
On the club scene, Kate Wolf will be recording a live album at the Birchmere (Oct. 1-2). The Alexandria club has a full October schedule with Townes Van Zandt and Rattlesnake Annie (Oct. 4), Claudia Schmidt (Oct. 8), Jesse Winchester (Oct. 9), New Grass Revival (Oct. 11-12), Red Clay Ramblers (Oct. 15), Jimmy Gaudreau and Bill Emerson playing bluegrass again (Oct. 16), Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (Oct. 18), the marvelous songwriter Guy Clark (Oct. 19), Riders in the Sky (Oct. 23-24) and Tony Rice (Oct. 25-26).
Other club highlights for the month include Shriekback (9:30, Oct. 1); Pieces of a Dream (Oct. 3-6); Johnny Thunders (9:30, Oct. 3); zydeco stars Fearnest and the Thunders (Friendship Station, Oct. 4); 10,000 Maniacs (9:30, Oct. 5); Texas blue wavers Omar and the Howlers (Friendship Station, Oct. 5); Ronnie Gilbert (Saba, Oct. 6); the somber, visceral Richard Thompson (Saba, Oct. 7); Ramsey Lewis (Blues Alley, Oct. 8-13); Saga (Bayou, Oct. 8); Roomful of Blues (Bayou, Oct. 9); NRBQ (Bayou, Oct. 10); A.C. Reed Blues Band (Friendship Station, Oct. 11); Kingfish (Saba, Oct. 13); Debbie McClatchy (Takoma Cafe, Oct. 14); the Battlefield Band (Friendship Station, Oct. 19); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Blues Alley, Oct. 21); Herbie Mann (Blues Alley, Oct. 22-27); Laurel Masse (Cates, Oct. 22-Nov. 2); blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks (Friendship Station, Oct. 25); Nappy Brown (Friendship Station, Oct. 26); Johnny Griffin (Oct. 28); Guess Who (Saba, Oct. 28); Relativity and Gabriel Yacoub (Saba, Oct. 29); and Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows (Friendship Station, Oct. 31). November
Concerts include the great Irish singer Christy Moore and Liam O'Flynn at Gaston Hall, Nov. 1; Norman Blake (Barns, Nov. 1); Simple Minds (Constitution Hall, Nov. 4); Michel Legrand (Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Nov. 8); Trapezoid (The Barns, Nov. 9); Sweet Honey in the Rock (Warner, Nov. 15); Jennifer Holiday and Bill Withers (Constitution Hall, Nov. 16); Violent Femmes (probably at Lisner, Nov. 19); a quick return for both John McCutcheon (Barns, Nov. 23) and Karen Akers (Barns, Nov. 29-30); and Maze and Natalie Cole (Constitution Hall, Nov. 29).
Club highlights include Austin's delightful Tailgaters (Friendship Station, Oct. 2); Judy Roberts (Cates, Nov. 5-23); Charlie Byrd (Blues Alley, Nov. 5-10); guitarists John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman (Birchmere, Nov. 6); Lisa Rich unveiling her new album (Park Place, Nov. 8-9); Schooner Fare (Birchmere, Nov. 8-9); John Lee Hooker and John Hammond (Bayou, Nov. 12); Vince Gill (Birchmere, Nov. 12); Dizzy Gillespie (Blues Alley, Nov. 12-17); John Hartford (Birchmere, Nov. 15), followed by a reunion of the Dillards (Nov. 16); Stan Getz (Blues Alley, Nov. 19-24); Peter Rowan (Birchmere, Nov. 22-23); Wayne Shorter (Blues Alley, Nov. 26-30); Mike Cross (Birchmere, Nov. 26-27); Joannie Summers (Cates, Nov. 26-Dec. 4); Art Monroe (Park Place, Nov. 29-30); and Washington's own Seldom Scene, stepping out of their Thursday night spot for a weekend appareance (Birchmere, Nov. 29-30). December
Concerts include pastoral pianist George Winston (Kennedy Center, Dec. 1); Robin and Linda Williams (Barns, Dec. 6); John Cougar Mellencamp (Patriot Center, Dec. 6); the increasingly popular Christmas Revels (Lisner, Dec. 6-8); Sade (Constitution Hall, Dec. 9); Laurindo Almeida, Larry Corryell and Sharon Ishin (Barns, Dec. 13); Andy Williams (Warner, Dec. 20-21); and a concert of Duke Ellington's Sacred Music with the D.C. Jazz Workshop Orchestra (National, Dec. 23).
The only firm club dates available at press time were mostly for Blues Alley: Les McCann (Dec. 3-8); the Basie Orchestra under Thad Jones (Dec. 9); Wynton Marsalis (Dec. 10-15); Birelli Legrene (Dec. 16); Stephane Grappelli (Dec. 19-22); and Ahmad Jamal (Dec. 26-31). And Tom Paxton appears at the Birchmere (Dec. 20-21).
Go-go, the better-late-than-never hyped local funk scene, has not yet made national inroads in terms of radio play or sales that many expected. The "Good to Go" movie, perceived as a potential "Saturday Night Fever"-like breakthrough for the genre, has been pushed from its original release date of August to December. Meanwhile, the live go-go scene thrives as it did before anyone outside Washington noticed.