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Second Place: DJ Williams Projekt
Third Place: David Esleck Trio
No BS! Brass band tops the votes again. It's been a strong year for the band, which released two critically lauded albums, played Lincoln Center and NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts and stormed Forbes headquarters to interrupt the chroniclers of commerce with a blast of "Thriller." No band works harder or more enthusiastically to promote the RVA brand, and the love is reciprocated. This takes nothing from the D.J. Williams Projekt, whose weekly gigs through the past decade have cheerfully transcended genre. Williams' ongoing gig with jam band favorite Karl Denson expanded his reputation and geographic range — but not so much that the Projekt didn't start a fresh Tuesday-night run at the new Broadberry venue, weekly in May. Pianist David Esleck's trio (with bassist Jason Jenkins and drummer Keith Willingham) is more traditional jazz, albeit grounded in classical technique and enlivened with a 21st-century sensibility.