Weekend in Jazz | 11.16-11.18: Two dynamic piano prodigies, and an iconoclastic legend

Jonathan Batiste brings his quartet to Bohemian Caverns on Friday and Saturday. Courtesy TED Conference/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Two upstart pianists are in town this weekend — the subway serenader Jonathan Batiste (see below) and Alfredo Rodriguez, a bold and rhythmic Cuban player — at Bohemian Caverns and the Kennedy Center, respectively. On Sunday, Bohemian welcomes the irrepressible legend of experimental baritone saxophone, Hamiett Bluiett. And Todd Marcus, who has mastered an even rarer instrument, the bass clarinetist, performs at Twins Jazz. (Here’s an interview with him on his latest album.) You can find details on all these shows and more in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” a listing of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. Our favorites have a label, and as always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our D.C. jazz calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16

cb picks:

  • Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Jonathan Batiste Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Todd Marcus Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

PG County Youth Jazz Orchestra, HR-57, 5:30 p.m. | The Prince Georges County Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform to raise money for its program, which aims to spread jazz to underserved communities. Tickets $25. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Cashandra J, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | CaShandra J sings jazz standards and originals with a combo. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

TBA, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz.. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Karen Gray Trio, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 7 p.m. | Commanding vocalist Karen Gray sings laid-back renditions of jazz standards in a drumless trio. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Potomac Jazz Project, Sala Thai (U St.), 7 p.m. | The Potomac Jazz Project is a jazz combo, led by bassist Stan Hamrick, that takes on modern and classic jazz tunes with a showmanly flair, as well as skill. The cast of supporting musicians tends to rotate, but it’s usually a very solid lineup. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

L’Tanya Mari Trio, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | Jacqui Simmons sings jazz standards with a heartfelt and elegant presentation. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Alfredo Rodriguez, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | The young Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez has such a gregarious, infectious way with melody and harmony, you might not even notice that he tends to play the keys very hard. All of it – his tenderness, his curiosity, and his vigor – is generously displayed on his debut album, Sounds of Space. The son of a famous Cuban jazz singer, Rodriguez defected from his homeland in dramatic fashion a few years ago; he’s been on the rise in the United States ever since. Two separate sets at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets vary ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center website

Sharon Clark Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Sharón Clark sings with fervor and soul, plus impressive precision. She’s one of D.C.’s top jazz singers. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Tuck & Patti, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Tuck & Patti are a vocal-guitar duo, performing jazz standards with an easygoing manner. Patti’s voice recalls influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Betty Carter, though her singing is a bit less aggressive than those idols. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Jonathan Batiste Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | The 25-year-old pianist Jonathan Batiste calls his large group the Stay Human Band. It speaks to a jazz-is-life mentality that animated the evangelizing efforts of Wynton Marsalis, and continues in this fellow New Orleanian. But Batiste has more of an impulse toward crossover than Marsalis; he’s as likely to play the electric keyboard or the melodica as he is to sit at the piano, as likely to call up the Crescent City’s funk and zydeco legacy as its jazz history. His most recent album, My N.Y., was recorded with the Stay Human Band playing on the subway, trying to add spice to the quotidian commute. The Juilliard grad appears at Bohemian with only his quartet, but that’s likely to be the only “only” aspect of the night. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $25 cover in advance, $30 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every Friday night leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” No cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Alfredo Mojica, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Alfredo Mojica, who sang at Bossa for years with the group Sin Miedo, unites salsa, jazz and Latin American balladry. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Todd Marcus Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | The bass clarinetist Todd Marcus recently released a standout album, Inheritance, which spotlights his inquisitive imperative as a composer and arranger, and his hard-nosed, revelatory improvising on the rare instrument. Here he appears with a top-notch quartet. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Antonio Parker Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone. He casually sprinkles neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bop, and his improvisation shows a redolence to Kenny Garrett’s. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Aaron Myers, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Vocalist Aaron Myers leads a straight-ahead jazz quartet, featuring piano, bass and drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m. | Arguably the city’s best jazz trumpeter, Donvonte McCoy plays every Friday and Saturday at the hip 18th St. Lounge. He likes to mix in some funk as well during the lounge gig, and he’s liable to inflect a touch of Chuck Brown-esque groove into his combo’s treatment of classic bop tunes by the likes of Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. After all, the setting is that of a dance club, not a jazz joint – no tables and chairs or hushed applause after every solo. Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. View event on calendar | 18th St. Lounge profile

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

cb picks:

  • Carl Allen Quartet, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Jonathan Batiste Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Todd Marcus Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jam Session with Peter Edelman, Columbia Station, 4 p.m. | Pianist Peter Edelman, a constant presence on the D.C. jazz scene for years now, leads an afternoon jam session every Saturday and Sunday. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Charles Woods, Johnny’s Half Shell, 6 p.m. | Saxophonist Charles Woods plays and has recorded in both free and straight-ahead jazz styles, but for his regular gig at Johnny’s Half Shell he keeps things within the traditional bop realm. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Johnny’s Half Shell website

Mark Mosley Trio, Sala Thai (U St.), 7 p.m. | Baltimore guitarist Mark Mosley plays a slick hand as a smooth jazz guitarist, but he can also hunker down on serious bop. He performs laid-back straight-ahead here with his trio. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Full Ascent, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | This jazz band plays in a number of traditional styles, from hard-bop to Dixieland to calypso. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Carl Allen Quartet, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | A standard-bearing drummer of the Young Lions generation, Carl Allen isn’t just one of the hardest swinging performers and bandleaders around. He’s also a respected and influential educator, as the artistic director of the jazz program at Juilliard. Two separate sets at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets vary ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center website

Big Joe Maher Trio w/Lyle Link, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Drummer Big Joe Maher plays boogie-woogie and blues, and sings in a playful drawl. His band is rounded out by the soulful, highly skilled saxophonist Lyle Link; Bill Heid on piano; and Tommy Cecil on bass. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Tuck & Patti, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Tuck & Patti are a vocal-guitar duo, performing jazz standards with an easygoing manner. Patti’s voice recalls influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Betty Carter, though her singing is a bit less aggressive than those idols. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Jonathan Batiste Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | The 25-year-old pianist Jonathan Batiste calls his large group the Stay Human Band. It speaks to a jazz-is-life mentality that animated the evangelizing efforts of Wynton Marsalis, and continues in this fellow New Orleanian. But Batiste has more of an impulse toward crossover than Marsalis; he’s as likely to play the electric keyboard or the melodica as he is to sit at the piano, as likely to call up the Crescent City’s funk and zydeco legacy as its jazz history. His most recent album, My N.Y., was recorded with the Stay Human Band playing on the subway, trying to add spice to the quotidian commute. The Juilliard grad appears at Bohemian with only his quartet, but that’s likely to be the only “only” aspect of the night. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $25 cover in advance, $30 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Todd Marcus Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | The bass clarinetist Todd Marcus recently released a standout album, Inheritance, which spotlights his inquisitive imperative as a composer and arranger, and his hard-nosed, revelatory improvising on the rare instrument. Here he appears with a top-notch quartet. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum.. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

AJ Parham, HR-57, 9 p.m. | AJ Parham is a smooth, deep-voiced vocalist who sings R&B with inflections of jazz. But on the bandstand at HR-57, where he’s long been a stalwart performer, Parham often tries his hand at jazz standards. $12 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Cubista, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Cubista is a salsa band that plays at Bossa every Saturday. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Some Like It Hot, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Some Like It Hot is a small jazz and that performs traditional music from the swing era. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m. | Lyrical bassist Steve Synk, a music major at the University of Maryland, leads a young trio that explores music ranging from standards to originals, groove-based contemporary jazz to swinging bop. No cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m. | Arguably the city’s best jazz trumpeter, Donvonte McCoy plays every Friday and Saturday at the hip 18th St. Lounge. He likes to mix in some funk as well during the lounge gig, and he’s liable to inflect a touch of Chuck Brown-esque groove into his combo’s treatment of classic bop tunes by the likes of Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. After all, the setting is that of a dance club, not a jazz joint – no tables and chairs or hushed applause after every solo. Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. View event on calendar | 18th St. Lounge profile

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

cb picks:

  • Jazz Brunch: Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 11 a.m.
  • Hamiett Bluiett, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m.
  • David Ullman, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.

Gospel Brunch, The Hamilton, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. | Every Sunday morning, the Hamilton presents two sets of rafters-raising gospel, along with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Two separate shows at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | The Hamilton website

TBA, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Performer TBA. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Acadiana website

Jazz Brunch: Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 11 a.m. | Twins Jazz’s new Sunday Jazz Brunch initiative revolves around the magnetic powers of Reginald Cyntje’s trombone. Last year, he released his debut CD, “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration,” a glimmeringly hopeful record immersed in the warm, danceable rhythms of Cyntje’s native U.S. Virgin Islands. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Twins profile

Harlem Gospel Choir, Howard Theatre, 12 p.m. | The talented Harlem Gospel Choir, which has been active since 1986, performs a Sunday brunch show every week at the Howard Theatre. Either an all-you-can-eat buffet or an a la carte menu are available. Doors open at noon, and the music starts at 1:30 p.m. Tickets vary ($35 for all-you-can-eat or $20 for admission and a la carte options in advance, $45 or $30 at the door). View event on calendar | Howard website

Jam Session with Peter Edelman, Columbia Station, 4 p.m. | Pianist Peter Edelman, a constant presence on the D.C. jazz scene for years now, leads an afternoon jam session every Saturday and Sunday. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Chris Vadala and Chris Gekker, Clarice Smith PAC, 3 p.m. | The director of the University of Maryland Jazz Studies program, Chris Vadala has a history of playing bop, Latin and fusion, as well as classical. He’s a woodwind master who developed some fame while playing with Chuck Mangione in the 1970s. Here Vadala will perform alongside fellow professor Chris Gekker, a trumpeter whose accomplishments span across Western classical and jazz. The two will lead a band in exploring the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and others; the concert bears the title “The Two Professors,” and is part of UMD’s Music in Mind series. Tickets $25, $10 for UMD students. View event on calendar | Clarice Smith website

D.C. Jazz Jam, Dahlak, 6 p.m. | This jazz jam presents a friendly, relaxed environment where professionals and amateurs can play together. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Dahlak profile

Potomac Jazz Project, Laporta’s, 6:30 p.m. | The Potomac Jazz Project is a quartet that takes on modern and classic jazz tunes (and even some pop covers) with a showmanly flair, as well as skill. It’s led by bassist Stan Hamrick, and its rotating lineup often features some of D.C.’s best musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Laporta’s website

Hamiett Bluiett, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m. | A founding member of the famed World Saxophone Quartet, a mainstay of 1980s jazz experimentalism, Hamiett Bluiett is the most renowned baritone player of his generation. He’s also got one of the biggest sounds of any player alive. Two separate sets at 7 & 9 p.m. $22 cover in advance, $28 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns website

DC Choro, Grill from Ipanema, 7:30 p.m.| DC Choro is a sextet that plays Brazilian music drawing on European folk traditions. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Grill from Ipanema profile

Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Jazz Direct, Zoo Bar Café, 7:30 p.m.| This combo specializes in traditional New Orleans-style jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Zoo Bar website

David Ullman, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | The guitarist David Ullman bites hard and clean atop the swelling lightness of Chris Dingman’s vibraphones. The two appear on Ullman’s strong new CD, Falling, and in the quintet appearing at Twins, which also includes Vinnie Sperrazza on drums, Gary Wangon bass and Karel Ruzicka Jr. on saxophone. Two separate shows at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Bill Heid, Black Fox Lounge, 8 p.m. | Bill Heid plays piano and sings blues songs and jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge profile

Tuck & Patti, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Tuck & Patti are a vocal-guitar duo, performing jazz standards with an easygoing manner. Patti’s voice recalls influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Betty Carter, though her singing is a bit less aggressive than those idols. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 8:30 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every Sunday night leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” no cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Comments

comments


Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

view all posts

Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com.

You May Like This