Pianist and vocalist Amy K. Bormet knew all along that the pieces were there – it was just a matter of putting them into place. And over the five Wednesdays in March, Bormet pulled that off with aplomb: She presented some of the District’s best (and, in many cases, most unduly overlooked) female jazz musicians in an environment where they could jam and be recognized. It was the First Annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival. The WWJF’s four shows at Twins Jazz revolved around a collaborative concept: two headliners per night, each leading their own set but also sitting in on the other’s tunes. Last week, the final show drew a packed crowd to Twins, a U St. jazz hub.
Vocalist Christie Dashiell and saxophonist Sarah Hughes took turns guilefully leading the band, which was composed of Bormet on piano, Karine Chapdelaine on bass and Carroll “C.V.” Dashiell – Christie’s brother – on drums. The repertoire ranged from standards to an interpretive, three-part piece based on Tchaikovsky and written (except for a gripping and trembling free-improv section around the halfway point) by Hughes. The night ended just as it should have – with performers from the festival’s past weeks returning to the stage for a fiery volley of vocal solos. Ace photographer Jati Lindsay was on hand to capture the show in timeless black and white; his shots are below.