Takoma Park, MD Feels Like Home Sweet Porch
As a long time resident of Takoma Park, I realize that I’ve taken much of it for granted. The trees, the colorful houses, the colorful residents, the farmers market and the growing number of restaurants are all pretty darn cool. There is a real sense of community that many neighborhoods will never attain.
One of the things I really love about TKPK is the House of Musical Traditions. How awesome is it that we have a music store that is such a big part of the community? HMT epitomizes Takoma Park with it’s collection of instruments such as banjos, tablas, charangos, djembes, etc. If you haven’t visited their new location, be sure to check it out. It’s a great place to visit!
Recently, HMT has been facilitating the ‘Takoma Porch’ concert series, where local musicians perform their music on the porches of various homes in Takoma Park. Isn’t that just the coolest idea?
I’m off to a porch concert so I gotta go! Bhagwan
Musicians who are looking for employment should contact B&B through the following website:
Piano teachers are always in demand so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are great with kids and have evening hours available. We are looking for musicians who can play the heck out of their instruments but who can also commit to and maintain a roster of students. In other words, no flakes! Yep, our job is to find teachers who can inspire children and showing up to the lesson on time. It’s not always as easy as you think which is why we are here. B&B makes it easy!
This is a quote from a current B&B Teacher and it is awesome to hear this kind of feedback:
B&B is a great company to work for. Brad and Bhagwan have always treated me great, and they’ve always been helpful and encouraging. Being a musician, I meet a lot of other musicians, and they are well known in the DMV area. Everyone that I’ve talked to about them always say positive things about them. I’m glad to see the company continue to grow and improve over the years. I’ve stayed with them for so long because they work with my schedule; if I need more students, they give them to me. I can honestly say that B&B is the best company I’ve ever worked for.
B&B owners Brad Clements and Bhagwan Khalsa will be joining forces this Tuesday April 2nd with the Eric Byrd Trio.
Well not just the EBT, but the Brother Ray Band as well. The Ray Charles inspired horn section will comprise of Paul Carr, Chris Watling, Lyle Link and Brad Clements. Yep, that’s a pretty heavy-weight group of horns. In fact one might go out on a limb and say that they are the very best in the entire universe!
So take advantage of this universally acclaimed group of musicians and listen to some swingin’ jazz and blues. Oh yeah, gospel too.
Tuesday night April 2, 2013
Attendees at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival witnessed history in the making on Friday, February 15 when the internationally renowned Eric Byrd Trio recorded its first-ever, live album. Thrilled to make his live album debut at the festival, Byrd called it a homecoming of sorts since he grew up attending the event’s past incarnation, the East Coast Jazz Festival, and knew that performing there would feel like playing for old friends.
If audience members weren’t personal friends of the trio before the show, they certainly felt like they were after. Byrd grinned and chuckled to himself even as his fingers thundered across the keys. Between songs, he involved the crowd, chatting cordially and cracking jokes. On the drums, Alphonso Young Jr.’s enthusiasm and passion were unparalleled. No matter the tune, his whole body got into the groove, rocking back and forth while he brushed away at the cymbals. And cool and composed bassist Bhagwan Khalsa stood adroitly plucking away, the perfect counter-balance to Young’s fervor.
And Khalsa was calm for good reason. Their set was masterful. Whether the band was jamming out to their adaptation of The Police’s dark and moody “Message in a Bottle” or throwing a little Latin flavor on the contemporary gospel church song, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High,” the audience was transfixed. Everyone snapped and sang along to their jazzed-up take on the blues number, “Lonely Avenue.” The crowd quickly got carried away by the trio’s slow and easy “Makin’ Whoopee.” Every head bobbed to the beat; there wasn’t a soul sitting still in sight. And at the end of the number, fans are sad that it’s over. When Byrd announced that the band was down to its last two songs, somebody asked for ten.
It’s easy to see why everyone wants more. The Trio has range. They excel at making every song their own; their rendition of “Blessed Assurance” is fresh, freeing, and full of motion. And their original compositions are instantly engaging, like the contented and lilting “Love Letter to Lima.” With little more than a pause in between, they flawlessly jump from “Lonely Avenue” to “Makin’ Whoopee” to “Blessed Assurance” – three songs that run the gamut of styles and emotions – astutely showcasing their charm, relate-ability, and signature style with each one.
As their set closed, a woman unable to contain herself turned to the strangers seated behind her and gushed, “That was wonderful! I can’t wait for the CD!”
Everyone in earshot agreed.
Bhagwan Khalsa, co-owner of B&B Music World, was born in Baltimore, MD. He grew up in DC and Virginia until the age of 12, when he left the states to spend four years of his life in India. After graduating from high school abroad, Bhagwan returned to the DC area where he started his music career.
Bhagwan Khalsa Studied Bass at Grove School of Music
Soon after returning to the US, Bhagwan picked up the electric bass and began collaborating with a local heavy metal band called Tipper Gore. This led to a more studied approach to music at the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles. It was here Bhagwan graduated from heavy-metal, learning the difference between major and minor scales as well as more sophisticated material such as chords and arpeggios. What Ozzy’s world lost, the high seas gained. Armed with his new-found theory, he landed a gig on a cruise ship in Hawaii playing ‘Aloha Oi’ and the occasional cha-cha. This experience laid the foundation of the musical relationship that produced B&B Music World. Brad Clements, soon to be the other “B”, played trumpet on the same band stand.
After a year at sea, Bhagwan and Brad returned to the District. Bhagwan quickly made a name for himself playing with all the local jazz cats and some notables such as saxophonists Sonny Fortune, Gary Thomas, Cecil Payne, David “Fathead” Newman, Arthur Blythe, Buck Hill, guitarist Mike Stern, vocalists Giacomo Gates and Kenny Washington, as well as pianists Kenny Drew Jr. and Eric Byrd. Bhagwan is currently a member of the Eric Byrd Trio, which has traveled extensively around the globe, performing and teaching music. The trio had the opportunity to travel under the auspices of the US State Department as Jazz Ambassadors in 2001. Their tour commenced on September 7th, 2001 and was in Manisales, Columbia on September 11th.
Bhagwan is currently focused on sharing his musical experience through B&B Music Lessons, which has prospered under his dedication to music education. He still performs regularly in the DC area.