This fall, CapitalBop is thrilled to present what might be our most packed concert season yet. Hot on the heels of the successful debut of our Spotlight Residency, we will present Traveling Loft shows in back-to-back months, both with world-class musicians up and down the bill. (And stay tuned for a few more show announcements coming down the line.)
Scroll on for info about the September Traveling Loft, at the Fridge DC in Eastern Market — or jump down to info about the October Traveling Loft, at the Abramson Family Auditorium downtown, featuring Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Joëlle Léandre and Susan Alcorn.
SEPTEMBER TRAVELING LOFT: LAFAYETTE GILCHRIST + TARUS MATEEN
On Saturday, Sep. 22, we will present piano powerhouse Lafayette Gilchrist — whose partnerships range from David Murray to David Simon — in a special solo performance at the Fridge DC. Gilchrist, a District native and current Baltimore resident, is best known for his work with Murray, a living legend, and makes powerful music with his own groups: the large ensemble New Volcanoes, and the trio Inside Out. But his solo-piano chops are their own marvel. That much is clear on The View from Here, a solo disc he released to acclaim in 2014. And we got a little taste of it ourselves at the DC Jazz Festival that year, when CapitalBop hosted a three-piano cutting contest, with Gilchrist going toe-to-toe with Orrin Evans and Allyn Johnson.
We’re thrilled to have Gilchrist back, alone, putting his latest ideas and moods on display on a concert grand at the Fridge’s intimate gallery space. Here’s Luke Stewart, our director of presenting, on what makes Gilchrist so special:
Gilchrist will participate in a pre-concert talk with Stewart and the audience at 7:30 p.m. Arrive early to be a part of the conversation!
Star bassist Tarus Mateen will open for Gilchrist, in a special duo with Brian Settles, the singular tenor saxophonist. They’ve got a synergistic rapport; both are veterans of the greater DMV scene, and well known internationally. They’re also longtime friends and collaborators with Gilchrist. (Could a spontaneous collaboration take shape by the end of the night?)
OCTOBER TRAVELING LOFT: TIGER TRIO + SUSAN ALCORN
On Sunday, Oct. 7, our fall Traveling Loft will feature Tiger Trio, an international all-star group of improvisers, at NYU in Washington’s Abramson Family Auditorium. The trio features three musicians — Myra Melford on piano, Nicole Mitchell on flute and Joëlle Léandre on upright bass — who are all renowned players in the improvised music world. Together they come up with something even bigger and greater than the sum of it parts; veteran critic Ken Waxman says the trio makes “unique, affirmative music that demands no qualifier.”
Here’s our Luke Stewart again, on the trio’s creative brilliance:
Nicole Mitchell has long been associated with Chicago as she developed through that city’s famously fertile Creative Music community. From her membership in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians to her leadership of several ambitious ensembles, she has created a body of work that continues to raise the bar for composers. Her sophisticated and heartfelt music has placed her among the finest in music.
Joelle Leandre is a French bassist and one of the most famous improvisers in Europe. Her solo performances are legendary for her instrumental skill and her uncanny sensitivity to musical energy, allowing her to deliver consistently singular experiences. With these three titans in Creative Music combining, Tiger Trio is an unmissable experience, a rare chance for the D.C. audience to experience a group of this kind.
We are especially excited to invite Susan Alcorn to open for the Tiger Trio. Alcorn, a Maryland native, is unquestionably one of the most important pedal steel players of her generation — particularly in improvised music, a field in which she has recently begun to gain more traction through her work in the Mary Halvorson Octet and as a leader. Alcorn’s sonic contribution to the music, not just in melodic language but in texture and technique, is something to behold.
Here are Stewart’s words: