CapitalBop http://www.capitalbop.com DC jazz clubs, calendar, blog Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:47:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Announcing the New Vintage Jazz & Wine Fest, with Lakecia Benjamin, Soul Understated & morehttp://www.capitalbop.com/announcing-new-vintage-jazz-wine-fest-lakecia-benjamin-soul-understated/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=announcing-new-vintage-jazz-wine-fest-lakecia-benjamin-soul-understated http://www.capitalbop.com/announcing-new-vintage-jazz-wine-fest-lakecia-benjamin-soul-understated/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:05:48 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=118159 Scroll down for a special CapitalBop discount offer, poster and preview video.   Get ready for a day full of sun, fine wine and delicious eats. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Now add the fact that it’ll feature six bands from across the jazz spectrum—each of them truly masters in their own right. The Second […]

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Scroll down for a special CapitalBop discount offer, poster and preview video.

 
Get ready for a day full of sun, fine wine and delicious eats. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Now add the fact that it’ll feature six bands from across the jazz spectrum—each of them truly masters in their own right.

The Second Annual New Vintage Jazz & Wine Festival is coming up on Saturday, August 9, and CapitalBop is proud to be curating the music again this year. Lakecia Benjamin, a New York saxophonist and funk musician on the rise, is our headliner: She sounds like a jazzier Maceo Parker, refashioned for the 21st century, and we’re thrilled to be presenting her. Also coming in from the Big Apple is Soul Understated, feat. Mavis “SWAN” Poole on vocals. SU is simply one of the most grooving and downright happenin’ bands in jazz and soul these days, and they happen to have a very hot new album that’s about to be released. Don’t miss out.

New Vintage Fest 2014There’ll be 15 varietals of wine, all hand-picked by Robert Kacher Selections. The lineup also features four of the best D.C.-based bands around. Funk Ark is an Afrobeat ensemble that was a smash hit at last year’s New Vintage Fest. Allyn Johnson’s Sonic Sanctuary is the electric project of the guy who’s arguably D.C.’s greatest pianist—someone you probably know for his gospelly straight-ahead chops more than his formidable skill as a progressive jazz bandleader. Lenny Robinson, a creative and energizing drummer, has been featured on our stages many times, but never before with his Wayne Contingency band: It’s an exploration of Wayne Shorter’s which he’ll bring here. And Elijah Jamal Balbed, the District’s young sax phenom, will kick the day off right with his straight-ahead quintet.

We’re also thrilled to be able to offer you, the faithful CapitalBop reader, a 20% discount off the already-affordable ticket price. Just click below to visit the Eventbrite page, and enter the promotional code “capbopvip” when you buy.

See you there on Saturday, Aug. 9!

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7.11-7.13: Top local talent around town; Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy; DC Jazz loft on Sundayhttp://www.capitalbop.com/7-11-7-13-local-talent-shines-bohemian-twins-wesley-presbyterian-dc-jazz-loft/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-11-7-13-local-talent-shines-bohemian-twins-wesley-presbyterian-dc-jazz-loft http://www.capitalbop.com/7-11-7-13-local-talent-shines-bohemian-twins-wesley-presbyterian-dc-jazz-loft/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:37:30 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=118116 The focus falls on local musicians this weekend; things get started on Friday night with Alison Crockett, a powerful and message-conscious vocalist and a CapitalBop favorite. Then at Bohemian Caverns on Saturday, the grooving, freely shape-shifting Young Lions trio (Kris Funn, Quincy Phillips and Allyn Johnson) have a one-night-only booking. Finally, on Sunday, we’re shedding […]

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The focus falls on local musicians this weekend; things get started on Friday night with Alison Crockett, a powerful and message-conscious vocalist and a CapitalBop favorite. Then at Bohemian Caverns on Saturday, the grooving, freely shape-shifting Young Lions trio (Kris Funn, Quincy Phillips and Allyn Johnson) have a one-night-only booking. Finally, on Sunday, we’re shedding a light on some up-and-coming power players on the local scene at the DC Jazz Loft. Brad Linde’s new collective, Team Players, and the area vocal talent Aaron Myers will be celebrating CD releases, and the drummer Aaron Seeber will bring his quartet.

Also, on both Friday and Saturday the area trumpeter Luke Brandon, a member of two widely reputed big bands, brings his own small group to Twins Jazz. And for any Snarky Puppy fans that missed the chance to hear the band at the DC Jazz Festival last month, one of its stars — the keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Cory Henry plays Friday night at Bohemian. As usual, all our favorite upcoming shows are shown in the calendar below. To see everything, click on “tags” and remove the “CB PICK” selection.

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Traveling to feed the ears and soulhttp://www.capitalbop.com/traveling-feed-ears-soul/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=traveling-feed-ears-soul http://www.capitalbop.com/traveling-feed-ears-soul/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:15:42 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=118097 Sriram Gopal Swing District   I know bona fide globetrotters. I am not one of them. But I do make it a point to make use of my passport once a year. For those who are fortunate enough to have the means, there are few more inspiring experiences than voyaging to lands unknown and interacting […]

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Sriram Gopal
Swing District

 


I know bona fide globetrotters. I am not one of them. But I do make it a point to make use of my passport once a year. For those who are fortunate enough to have the means, there are few more inspiring experiences than voyaging to lands unknown and interacting with people who see life from a different perspective.

Of course I make it a point to seek out live music when abroad; one way is to make the music a destination, by going to a major festival. To that end, the sixteen events that make up the International Jazz Festivals Organization are on my bucket list (I’ve hit up just three so far). These tend to make great experiences: a week filled with music while soaking up the host city’s flavor. But that’s not the undertaking I want to focus on in this space—equally memorable are those hidden gems that one stumbles upon in a strange place. It’s a truism by now that jazz is everywhere. Knowing that, it’s the seemingly minor experiences that stand out to me. I’d like to explore why they left such a strong impression, and then describe how those moments colored my understanding of jazz in the District.

In any given city with a serious scene, there are jam sessions (non-festival related) that always prove to be intriguing. Watch a vocalist in Paris trying to mimic Sarah Vaughan, a drummer in Prague searching for the proper swing on a shuffle beat, or an exuberant young pianist in Amsterdam showing all the technique in the world, but needing just a bit more maturity and restraint on his treatment of a Monk tune: They’re all struggling to connect with the American blues tradition, its warm-hearted inventiveness, but within the context of their own experience. Seeing this struggle was endearing because it echoed a similar challenge that many artists in this country face, especially those of us that are immigrants or are otherwise at a remove from African-American culture.

Most recently, I took a much-needed vacation to Europe, a jaunt that included a weeklong road trip in Croatia. The final stop was two days in the capital city of Zagreb. Tkalciceva Street is a charming thoroughfare in the old city that’s lined with outdoor cafés and restaurants, where the food is great but the people-watching is outstanding. Tucked in a hidden corner is the Melin Cafe, by far the hippest spot on Tkalciceva. Earlier that day my travel mate and I had asked around for venues that featured live music, and we were directed to Melin. We were not disappointed. The ensemble, whose name I never wrote down, was made up of locals, and the instrumentation included electric keys (doubling on keyboard bass), trumpet, drums and guitar. The sound is what one might call acid jazz, with references to ‘70s-era Miles Davis along with drum ‘n’ bass-influenced groups like Screaming Headless Torsos and Jojo Mayer’s Nerve. The band’s music was modern in a variety of its own ways, but it was clear that there was a heritage from which the musicians were drawing.

My most dramatic and touching musical memory comes from a work-related trip to Serbia in 2001. The country had been simmering since the death in 1980 of its longtime authoritarian leader Josip Broz Tito. The nation started to disintegrate after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ‘90s became a period of bloody conflict and civil war. The conflict ended in 1999, but there were still visible scars when I arrived. The day I landed in Belgrade was the same day that Slobodan Milosevic, who was responsible for large-scale ethnic cleansing, was arrested at his home and charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

A work colleague told me that there was an ensemble playing at the University of Belgrade’s student center. The group was a quintet under the direction of its bassist, a faculty instructor, along with his students on piano, drums, trumpet and saxophone. The trumpeter stood out. As the band charged through classic hard bop and bebop tunes, this 18-year old Serbian kid was blazing through Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Dorham licks alike, having clearly immersed himself in the music of that era. His notes struck a blow against the violence and atrocity amongst which he had been brought up, and they struck a universal chord.

These trips affect the way in which I view my own surroundings. There are parallels here with those inexperienced musicians studying the classics, or the electric group drawing from the early fusion years, because there is such a sense of history and lineage in D.C.’s scene too. The musicians here have studied the world-renowned masters, but Buck Hill and Butch Warren are held in equally high regard.

At the same time, these European musicians I’ve just described are not afraid to adapt music to their own circumstances. The individuality that comes from personal and geographic history leads to a true local identity, which is central to building a sustainable music community. The DMV certainly has its own flavor now, but the District is in the midst of rapid change, with gentrification overtaking large swaths of the city. My hope is that these new musicians and audiences will take the time to understand this identity and history and incorporate them into their own tastes. Likewise, I hope the jazz community that is already here will allow itself to evolve with the city itself.

My travels have led me to appreciate the gift of living in an international city. This is one area where I believe our jazz family can make some improvements by creating more opportunities for the cross-pollination of cultures. There have been and still are events that already do this, for example the Intersections Festival or the concerts that the DC Jazz Festival used to present with Voice of America, which brought together musicians who hailed from former Communist countries. There can and should be more of these spaces to take advantage of the fact that so much of the world is represented right here, in the Biggest Small Town in the World.

Sriram Gopal is CapitalBop’s monthly columnist. He can be reached at sriram@capitalbop.com. His column appears on the first Thursday of every month.

Photo above of Melin Café courtesy julio-frangen-unifoto.com

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DC Jazz Loft July 2014: This Sunday, introducing three acts quickly on the risehttp://www.capitalbop.com/dc-jazz-loft-july-2014-introducing-three-acts-quickly-rise/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dc-jazz-loft-july-2014-introducing-three-acts-quickly-rise http://www.capitalbop.com/dc-jazz-loft-july-2014-introducing-three-acts-quickly-rise/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:08:27 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=118057 After three stunning shows at the DC Jazz Festival, we’re excited to return to Union Arts this Sunday with a program of three D.C.-based acts on the rise. Come hang with us at the loft, where we hosted last month’s killer Three-Piano Cutting Contest. As always, the loft is our homey showcase for the wide […]

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After three stunning shows at the DC Jazz Festival, we’re excited to return to Union Arts this Sunday with a program of three D.C.-based acts on the rise. Come hang with us at the loft, where we hosted last month’s killer Three-Piano Cutting Contest.

DC Jazz LoftAs always, the loft is our homey showcase for the wide array of sounds and perspectives that keep the District’s music scene so rich. As it has since 2010, the loft remains donation-based (we strongly suggest $15 for the musicians). And at Union, it’s BYOB. Come find us by following your ear toward the syncopated sounds spilling into the air from the third floor of our warehouse on New York Avenue, just a few blocks north of Union Market. Enter through the rear door off 4th Street NE.

It’s thrilling to be able to present three very different, but in certain ways like-minded, young ensembles this time around. The night will begin with Aaron Seeber, a young drum phenom who’s been playing on U Street since he was in his teens (and isn’t far out of them yet). Then we’ll hear from the newest project of Brad Linde, one of the area’s top saxophonists and bandleaders; he has a bass-free group called Team Players that’s about to release its debut album. Hear them here first. The four musicians hail from across the United States, from Utah to Ohio to Brooklyn, and they’re crucial members of their respective scenes.

Finishing out the night on Sunday will be Aaron Myers, a powerful young singer who’s held down a residency at the Black Fox lounge in Dupont Circle for the past two years. He’s just right for fans of Gregory Porter (which, these days, seems to be about everyone): That is to say, if you like all-in, soul-stirring jazz singing that can hold soul music and straight-ahead in its head at the same time, check this guy out.

AARON MYERS

TEAM PLAYERS

Team Players – Scrimmage

AARON SEEBER

Poster image courtesy illawarrajoyfamily.wordpress.com

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7.4-7.6: Fourth of July weekend shows from Brian Settles, Loide & morehttp://www.capitalbop.com/7-4-7-6-fourth-july-weekend-shows-brian-settles-loide/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-4-7-6-fourth-july-weekend-shows-brian-settles-loide http://www.capitalbop.com/7-4-7-6-fourth-july-weekend-shows-brian-settles-loide/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 19:35:09 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=118046 Brian Settles, shown above performing at last week’s DC Jazz Festival, leads a trio at Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Photo by Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop The jazz scene rolls on this weekend, post-DC Jazz Festival, only a smidgen weaker for the wear. Theaters and performing arts centers are taking a break from jazz programming, and some clubs […]

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Brian Settles, shown above performing at last week’s DC Jazz Festival, leads a trio at Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Photo by Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

The jazz scene rolls on this weekend, post-DC Jazz Festival, only a smidgen weaker for the wear. Theaters and performing arts centers are taking a break from jazz programming, and some clubs are sitting out Friday night because of the Independence Day holiday, but as usual there’s loads of talent at play. The most crucial shows come from the ruminative saxophonist Brian Settles’ trio, performing on Friday and Saturday at Bohemian Caverns; the Afro-Lusophone vocalist Loide, on Saturday night at Blues Alley; and the saxophonist Bobby Muncy, playing at Twins Jazz on Sunday.

The D.C. Jazz Jam (on Friday at Bohemian Caverns and at Saturday at Dukem) is taking a break for the holiday weekend. Blues Alley and HR-57 are closed on Friday night, but that only serves to make Settles’ show a sure choice. As usual, all our favorite upcoming shows are shown in the calendar below. To see everything, click on “tags” and remove the “CB PICK” selection.

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DC Jazz Loft Series photo recap: When old meets new, fresh sounds emergehttp://www.capitalbop.com/dc-jazz-loft-series-photo-recap-old-plus-new-equals-fresh-ideas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dc-jazz-loft-series-photo-recap-old-plus-new-equals-fresh-ideas http://www.capitalbop.com/dc-jazz-loft-series-photo-recap-old-plus-new-equals-fresh-ideas/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:37:26 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=117981 CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival was the old meeting the new—and on each of its three mind-bending nights, freshness and experimentation were the end result. Things got going on Thursday with a Three-Piano Cutting Contest, featuring some of the music’s greatest: Orrin Evans, Lafayette Gilchrist and Allyn Johnson. The cutting […]

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CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival was the old meeting the new—and on each of its three mind-bending nights, freshness and experimentation were the end result. Things got going on Thursday with a Three-Piano Cutting Contest, featuring some of the music’s greatest: Orrin Evans, Lafayette Gilchrist and Allyn Johnson. The cutting contest has a storied history in jazz, but it hasn’t enjoyed much of a life since the mid-20th century. This show, which was more of a collective invention than a sparring match, updated the all-piano format for the present day. Held at the Union Arts loft, things got started with all three pianists tinkling a soft drizzle of high notes onto the keyboard, feeling their way — three people working together to get the lantern lit — and the night ended with a burning workout: a couple dazzling, swinging solos brought the climax before one pianist threw up his hands in good-natured resignation.

The next evening, Marc Cary’s Rhodes Ahead, Butcher Brown and the Braxton Cook Quartet played to a relaxed but energized audience at the Atlantic Plumbing parking lot, just off U Street. On a perfectly crisp summer evening, with delicious food and drink provided by Union Kitchen, you could see conversations starting up spontaneously, and new fans being made during each band’s set. On the final night, Tarus Mateen’s fabulous new band, West Afro East, performed an opening set for Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN, which was making its D.C. debut. Playing to an enraptured crowd at the intimate Fridge art gallery in Barracks Row, both bands mined wells of folklore and healing traditions to make stirring, upward-circling wreaths of sound. The City Paper’s Michael J. West called Roberts’ set “perhaps the best thing in the festival.”

Photos of all the shows are below, courtesy of CapitalBop contributors Paul Bothwell and Jati Lindsay. And don’t forget that CapitalBop’s outside-the-box programming continues year-round. Our D.C. Jazz Lofts at Union Arts are always on the second Sunday of the month, so mark your calendar for July 13.

Three-Piano Cutting Contest at Union Arts, June 26

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Lafayette Gilchrist, Orrin Evans & Allyn Johnson. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

Lafayette Gilchrist. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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The audience applauds as the first set comes to an end at the Cutting Contest. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Allyn Johnson. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Orrin Evans, left, takes a solo while keeping both ears open to the maestros beside him. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Lafayette Gilchrist and Orrin Evans embrace after the final notes of the Cutting Contest. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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The three contestants chat after the performance. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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At Union Arts, all the cutting was cordial. Here Allyn Johnson welcomes a fellow pianist to the stage. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Orrin Evans. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Lafayette Gichrist. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Allyn Johnson and Lafayette Gilchrist. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Orrin Evans, Allyn Johnson & Lafayette Gilchrist. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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One of the three pianos at the contest, freshly tuned. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

Block Party at the Jazz Lot, June 27

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Marcus Tenney performs with Butcher Brown. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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CapitalBop’s luke Stewart, left, and Giovanni Russonello welcome the crowd to the Block Party. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Marc Cary prepares for his late-night set. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Marc Cary. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Brian Settles sits in with Marc Cary’s Rhodes Ahead. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

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Marc Cary. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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The percussionist Sameer Gupta prepares his tabla before Rhodes Ahead’s set. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Marcus Tenney. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Zach Brown of the Braxton Cook Quartet. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Braxton Cook. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Braxton Cook. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Samora Pinderhughes, left, takes a solo during the Braxton Cook Quartet’s performance. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Butcher Brown. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

Concert at the Fridge, June 28

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Tarus Mateen, left, and Pete Muldoon perform with West Afro East, Mateen’s new combo. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Pete Muldoon. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Uasuf Gueye. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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Tarus Mateen. Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop

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The Hamilton kicks out the jams to open the DC Jazz Fest, with back-to-back shows from Brass-A-Holics and Snarky Puppyhttp://www.capitalbop.com/hamilton-kicks-jams-open-festival-back-back-shows-brass-holics-snarky-puppy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hamilton-kicks-jams-open-festival-back-back-shows-brass-holics-snarky-puppy http://www.capitalbop.com/hamilton-kicks-jams-open-festival-back-back-shows-brass-holics-snarky-puppy/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:34:30 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=117959 The DC Jazz Festival spans many venues, but the Hamilton is the closest thing it has to a home base. The venue’s first two shows of the festival featured high-energy, electrifying bands: The Brass-A-Holics (whose trombonist Winston Turner is pictured above) played on Tuesday, and Snarky Puppy on Wednesday. Brass-A-Holics are a horns-heavy band that […]

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The DC Jazz Festival spans many venues, but the Hamilton is the closest thing it has to a home base. The venue’s first two shows of the festival featured high-energy, electrifying bands: The Brass-A-Holics (whose trombonist Winston Turner is pictured above) played on Tuesday, and Snarky Puppy on Wednesday.

Brass-A-Holics are a horns-heavy band that mixes various instrumental dance musics from around the U.S., particularly New Orleans second line and D.C. go-go. The dance floor during their show was revved up. When the keyboardist Nigel Hall, a D.C. native wearing the hat of the Washington football team, sang his rousing version of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” the crowd was united in his favor. When he took to the mic between songs, arguing that the team’s name shouldn’t change, some applause were mixed in with conspicuous silence.

For Snarky Puppy’s show the next night, tables were installed where the dance floor had been, but the audience remained irrepressible—there was hooting and hollering throughout the show. The crowd was louder, in fact, than it had been even for Brass-A-Holics. The R&B- and rock-influenced band hasn’t played in D.C. much before, but a strong audience came out of the woodwork for them: When each song began, the crowd erupted with excitement, indicating that they were familiar with the repertoire.

Snarky Puppy’s set had a churchy feel: From the soulful chops of some band members — especially the keyboardist Cory Henry — to the crowd’s fervid, vocal reactions, there was plenty of evidence that some of these musicians must have come up playing gospel.

The festival continues throughout the week, with shows at the Hamilton every night, plus many more venues around the city. Check capitalbop.com/calendar for full listings, and keep up to date with us on Facebook, Twitter, or email for more of Jati Lindsay’s photo recaps.

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6.27-6.29: Festival weekend brings vast variety of talent to D.C.http://www.capitalbop.com/6-27-6-29-festival-weekend-brings-vast-variety-talent-d-c/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-27-6-29-festival-weekend-brings-vast-variety-talent-d-c http://www.capitalbop.com/6-27-6-29-festival-weekend-brings-vast-variety-talent-d-c/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:01:12 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=117930 This is the one and only weekend to catch the 2014 DC Jazz Festival: Where it once lasted three weeks, the event has pared down to just six days. That means more urgency, and heavily concentrated programming. We’ve already started to heavily cover the festival, with a post recommending one show each night and the […]

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This is the one and only weekend to catch the 2014 DC Jazz Festival: Where it once lasted three weeks, the event has pared down to just six days. That means more urgency, and heavily concentrated programming. We’ve already started to heavily cover the festival, with a post recommending one show each night and the first installment of Jati Lindsay’s photo coverage. (We’ll continue updating that through the weekend.)

The rock ‘n’ roll legend Ginger Baker will play at the Howard Theatre on Friday night in a fusion context, which has long been his comfort zone. Gregory Porter and Robert Glasper and Trombone Shorty are all on a single (yes, high-priced) bill on Saturday. And at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, D.C.’s Brad Linde plays two shows with experimental chamber-jazz ensembles on Sunday. That’s just a small sampling.

There are also a number of sub-festivals going on as part of the DC Jazz Fest: At Twins Jazz, the annual Nordic Cool festival is this weekend, presenting a handful of jazz interpreters from northern Europe. The East River Jazz festival has a full slate of performers, too, including the vocalist Ola Cole Laryea and the Greater U St. Jazz Collective. And, of course, CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft Series runs tonight (Thursday) through Saturday, with innovative musicians playing in nontraditional scenarios.

You have a few choices for free late-night hangs this weekend, too. The Loews Madison Hotel has intimate shows featuring some excellent instrumentalists and singers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all starting at 10 p.m. But if you’re out late and searching for the sound of surprise, it makes the most sense to hit up a U St. jam session: The festival’s deep ranks of out-of-town talent will be looking for places to hang after the gigs are over. The U St. Jazz Jam is at Bohemian Caverns on Friday night, and at Dukem on Saturday.

As usual, all our favorite upcoming shows are shown in the calendar below. To see everything, click on “tags” and remove the “CB PICK” selection.

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CapitalBop’s picks for DC Jazz Fest 2014: Brass bands, global fusions and oh so many optionshttp://www.capitalbop.com/capitalbops-picks-dc-jazz-fest-2014-brass-bands-global-fusions-sheer-delight/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=capitalbops-picks-dc-jazz-fest-2014-brass-bands-global-fusions-sheer-delight http://www.capitalbop.com/capitalbops-picks-dc-jazz-fest-2014-brass-bands-global-fusions-sheer-delight/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 18:21:10 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=117919 Today marks the beginning of the D.C. Jazz Festival. It’s the city’s moment to celebrate the music—and because it spans so many venues, the festival is always packed with varied listening opportunities and criss-crossing ideas about what jazz is in the present moment. Is this an art music, or a populist, democratic expression? Is it […]

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Today marks the beginning of the D.C. Jazz Festival. It’s the city’s moment to celebrate the music—and because it spans so many venues, the festival is always packed with varied listening opportunities and criss-crossing ideas about what jazz is in the present moment. Is this an art music, or a populist, democratic expression? Is it an escape hatch from your problems, or a confrontation of them? Is it, finally, a dance music again?

What really matters, though, is simple: Most of the events from today through Sunday are going to be sheer delight. New Orleans brass bands have become a go-to for the festival in recent years, because they have the “sheer fun” thing down pat. Brass-A-Holics open the festival tonight at the Hamilton, and the Rebirth Brass Band closes it up on Sunday at Yards Park. The East River Jazz Festival, a DCJF subsidiary, is presenting some exciting music from Marc Cary, D.C. vocalists like Kiyem Ade and Sharón Clark, and others. And, of course, at CapitalBop we’re thrilled about our own series of contemporary jazz shows at alternative venues–the Three-Piano Cutting Contest, blowout Block Party off U Street, and COIN COIN performance with Matana Roberts. (A full rundown of our festival programming is at capitalbop.com/dcjazzloft.)

Below is a day-by-day selection of our top “CB picks” for the festival (leaving off our own DC Jazz Loft Series shows). If you want to see everything going on at the DC Jazz Fest, scroll down for our embedded DC Jazz Fest calendar, or check out capitalbop.com/calendar and sort by the “DC Jazz Fest” tag.

TUESDAY – BRASS-A-HOLICS

THE HAMILTON, 7:30 PM, $25
The Brass-A-Holics are one of New Orleans’ most beloved contemporary brass bands. The dance floor will be the place to be for this DC Jazz Festival-launching show.

WEDNESDAY – ANDY MILNE’S DAPP THEORY

BOHEMIAN CAVERNS, 8 & 10 PM, $15/$20
The pianist Andy Milne has an edgy approach to a common concept: blending jazz with hip-hop and funk. He performs here with his Dapp Theory group: John Moon on vocals, Aaron Kruziki on saxophone, Chris Tordini on bass and Kenny Grohowski on drums.

THURSDAY – MARC CARY: RETROSPECTIVE SUITE

THEARC, 8 PM, $35
Marc Cary’s made pioneering electronic music, roots-rattling straight-ahead jazz and globally influenced dance-fusion. He has produced music for the rapper Q-Tip and toured for over a decade with the jazz legend Abbey Lincoln. His recording career as a bandleader is now 20 years old, so it’s an appropriate time to celebrate a D.C. native and musical eminence. This show is part of East River Jazz’s series at the DC Jazz Festival.

[Also this evening: CapitalBop's Three-Piano Cutting Contest, feat. Orrin Evans]

FRIDAY – DAVID SANCHEZ

BOHEMIAN CAVERNS, 8:30 & 10:30 PM, $20/$25
David Sánchez is a star saxophonist who first appeared on the world stage with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Big Band. For the DC Jazz Festival, the Grammy winner — who possesses a robust tone and a spidery rhythmic sense — brings a small ensemble. His tunes can range from straight-ahead burners to danceable Latin-based modern jazz.

[Also this evening: CapitalBop's Block Party at the Jazz Lot, feat. Marc Cary's Rhodes Ahead]

SATURDAY – GREGORY PORTER, TROMBONE SHORTY & ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT

YARDS PARK, 2 PM, $66.80-$113.95
Each of the three acts showcased here has found a personal alchemy that works, letting jazz live inside different musical forms. For Gregory Porter, the male vocal jazz tradition sounds a lot like Lou Rawls. For Trombone Shorty, fuzz-rock and New Orleans funk commingle easily with feisty improvisations. The Robert Glasper Experiment sees neo-soul and 1990s alternative hip-hop as a kind of hipster’s holy grail; the band makes music with the art of cool in mind. All the performers at today’s “Jazz at the Capitol Riverfront” show have roots stretching far back, but their relevance will likely abide for a while. This show is pricey, but you get what you pay for.

[Also this evening: CapitalBop's presentation of Matana Roberts' COIN COIN at the Fridge]

SUNDAY – ETIENNE CHARLES/RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA’S GAMAK

THE HAMILTON, 7:30 PM, $25-$35
There’s a smoldering intensity to the trumpeter Etienne Charles’ bright islander jazz, which doesn’t compromise erudition for its beauty. His latest album, Creole Soul, is proof. In the music of Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak, a fusion-minded group that pulls together prog-rock, jazz and Indian classical, things tend not to smolder: The sounds coming out of his alto saxophone, and out the whole band, are caustic and severe. Both Charles and Mahanthappa perform individual sets here.

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Washington Renaissance Orchestra plays the historic Lincoln Theatre and Roy Hargrove launches the DC Jazz Festivalhttp://www.capitalbop.com/washington-renaissance-orchestra-lincoln-theater-roy-hargrove-launches-dc-jazz-festival-show-hamilton/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=washington-renaissance-orchestra-lincoln-theater-roy-hargrove-launches-dc-jazz-festival-show-hamilton http://www.capitalbop.com/washington-renaissance-orchestra-lincoln-theater-roy-hargrove-launches-dc-jazz-festival-show-hamilton/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:43:36 +0000 http://www.capitalbop.com/?p=117834 This Friday (tonight), a monumental assembly of D.C.’s finest musicians will perform at the Lincoln Theatre in the Washington Renaissance Orchestra’s first ticketed show. (The 17-piece band debuted earlier this year at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and the scene has been buzzing about that show ever since.) The orchestra is the product of two […]

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This Friday (tonight), a monumental assembly of D.C.’s finest musicians will perform at the Lincoln Theatre in the Washington Renaissance Orchestra’s first ticketed show. (The 17-piece band debuted earlier this year at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and the scene has been buzzing about that show ever since.) The orchestra is the product of two important leaders and historians of the D.C. scene: the drummer Nasar Abadey (pictured above), who serves as artistic director, and the pianist Allyn Johnson, musical director. The powerful vocalist Navasha Daya will front the band, which features some of the city’s finest soloists.

Brian Settles and Charlie Young are two of the excellent saxophonists in the band’s large horn section. As it happens, saxophonists of various styles can be heard all over the city this weekend, too. Right down the street from the Lincoln, on both Friday and Saturday at Bohemian Caverns you can find tenor saxophone great Houston Person. A major figure of the hard-bop era and trailblazer of soul jazz, he’s contributed his thick, swinging sound to scores of recordings dating back to the mid-1960s, both as a leader and sideman. The local talent Ron Sutton will be at HR-57 with his quartet showing his wide mastery of the jazz language on both Friday and Saturday; his gigs as a leader are rare, and worth catching.

As the whole city probably knows by now, the DC Jazz Festival is coming up next week. Roy Hargrove gets things off to an early start at the Hamilton with his quintet this Saturday. It’s the official launch show, though the festival doesn’t start in earnest until Tuesday.

As usual, all our favorite upcoming shows are shown in the calendar below. To see everything, click on “tags” and remove the “CB PICK” selection.

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