Weekend in Jazz | 3.16-3.18: The full spectrum

Eri Yamamoto performs as part of Transparent Productions' ongoing "Sundays @ 7" series at Bohemian Caverns. Courtesy Agnieszka Kubeczko/aumfidelity.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Something approaching the full jazz spectrum is represented this weekend. Let’s start with Friday’s performance at Westminster Presbyterian Church, where saxophone master Marshall Keys will swing and burn with a top-flight straight-ahead jazz ensemble. On both Friday and Saturday at Twins Jazz, drummer Aaron Walker presents his roots-rhythm ensemble, while the Young Lions — D.C.’s beloved hip-hop/Latin/jazz trio — holds things down at Bohemian Caverns. Then on Sunday at Bohemian, Eri Yamamoto arrives with her trio to exhibit some sounds from the avant-garde. Find details on these performances and many 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, MARCH 16

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • The Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Aaron Walker & Spritual Rhythms, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Marshall Keys, 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. This week, one of D.C.’s longtime leading lights, saxophonist Marshall Keys, helms a quartet. Keys’ horn can sing the blues or swing to the rhythms of bebop; the native Washingtonian is a fluid, graceful player across genres. He’s joined by an all-star cast of Benjie Porecki on piano, Michael Bowie on bass, Mark Prince on drums and Brian Fox on vocals. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 7 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. But B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | B. Smith’s 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. | Singer L’Tanya Mari is influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, singing jazz with depth and soulful warmth. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Stanley Jordan, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Imagine if George Benson applied a syrup-drizzled layer of guitar effects and the heavy metal guitar technique of fretboard “tapping” to his sorta-jazz, sorta-funk, very-smooth style. Now you’re getting close to figuring out how Stanley Jordan, who plays all this weekend at Blues Alley, sounds. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Whitney James Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. Vocalist Whitney James knows treats jazz standards with sensitivity, sliding into her deceptively deep croon from a range of emotional vantage points. She often interprets lesser-known tunes, so even though she sings straight-ahead, George Gershwin and Cole Porter’s compositions might be mercifully underrepresented at this show. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

The Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bohemian Caverns is an old haunt for the Young Lions. At this point, both the 85-year-old club and 15-year-old group are D.C. jazz institutions. The Young Lions formed when its three members were college students in D.C., and the band began playing weekly at the now-defunct Café Nema. Along the way, the Lions took up a late-night residency at the Bohemian Caverns and achieved D.C. area-wide acclaim for their groove-laden improvisations that tugged on the chain of the jazz tradition, urging it out of its den and on into the present day. The trio covers a wide range of styles, but is especially gripping when dealing in its distinctive hip-hop-meets-bebop. Bassist Kris Funn is a regular sideman for superstar trumpeter Christian Scott, while pianist Allyn Johnson directs the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. When they come together with drummer and bandleader Quincy Phillips, it’s always a thrill. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover, 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

Sin Miedo, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Sin Miedo is an energetic, nine-piece Salsa band that plays highly danceable Afro-Cuban jazz, Mambo and Samba. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Aaron Walker & Spritual Rhythms, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Delaware-based drummer Aaron Walker is at home in a range of jazz environments, but at the helm of his own group he focuses on examining and extending the origins of the music. West African and Caribbean rhythms take center stage here; the band includes Ben Sands, Jr. on woodwinds, Andrae Richardson on percussion, Janelle Gill on piano and keyboard, Pepe Gonzalez on bass and Imani Gonzalez on vocals and percussion. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $16 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

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

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndrey Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. He and his small group, Collector’s Edition, play standards with a friendly, inviting touch, and they add to the positive vibes already flowing throughout the room — especially when Howard tosses aside the trumpet to sing a spontaneous blues. no cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Utopia profile

SATURDAY, MARCH 17

cb picks:

  • The Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Aaron Walker & Spritual Rhythms, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 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

Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct, Icehouse Café, 6:30 p.m. | This ensemble specializes in traditional, New Orleans-style jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Icehouse Café Yelp

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 7 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. But B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarB. Smith’s 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 calendarSala Thai website

Nancy Scimone, Henley Park Hotel, 7:30 p.m. | Nancy Scimone reaches into the jazz and popular American songbooks during this weekly gig at the Henley Park Hotel in downtown D.C., where she’s accompanied by a pianist. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Henley Park’s website

Lena Seikaly Trio, Extra Virgin Restaurant, 7:30 p.m. | Vocalist Lena Seikaly sings jazz standards with a confident and playful demeanor, displaying a haziness reminiscent of Esperanza Spalding and a fulsome power that approaches Sarah Vaughan’s. Here she leads her own drumless trio, joined by guitar and bass. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarExtra Virgin’s website

Todd Googins Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Todd Googins calls himself a “vocal design” artist, meaning he offers voiceovers, jingles and vocal production services. At this show, he’ll be singing standards in front of a jazz combo, but who knows – holler loud enough for the theme from the latest Midas commercial and you just might get it. Careful what you wish for. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website 

Lydia Lewis Trio, Tasting Room, 8 p.m. | Tasteful drummer and composer Lydia Lewis leads her trio in background fare at the Tasting Room, a wine bar in Friendship Heights. She’s consistently joined by expert side musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Tasting Room website

Stanley Jordan, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Imagine if George Benson applied a syrup-drizzled layer of guitar effects and the heavy metal guitar technique of fretboard “tapping” to his sorta-jazz, sorta-funk, very-smooth style. Now you’re getting close to figuring out how Stanley Jordan, who plays all this weekend at Blues Alley, sounds. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

The Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bohemian Caverns is an old haunt for the Young Lions. At this point, both the 85-year-old club and 15-year-old group are D.C. jazz institutions. The Young Lions formed when its three members were college students in D.C., and the band began playing weekly at the now-defunct Café Nema. Along the way, the Lions took up a late-night residency at the Bohemian Caverns and achieved D.C. area-wide acclaim for their groove-laden improvisations that tugged on the chain of the jazz tradition, urging it out of its den and on into the present day. The trio covers a wide range of styles, but is especially gripping when dealing in its distinctive hip-hop-meets-bebop. Bassist Kris Funn is a regular sideman for superstar trumpeter Christian Scott, while pianist Allyn Johnson directs the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. When they come together with drummer and bandleader Quincy Phillips, it’s always a thrill. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Palanke Music Company, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Led by vocalist and guitarist Jaime Andrés Salazar, a.k.a. Gato, Palanke Music Company is tropicalia meets electro meets Samba meets Afro-Cuban jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Kent Miller Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Strong and swinging bassist Kent Miller will lead his own straight-ahead quartet. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Aaron Walker & Spiritual Rhythms, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Delaware-based drummer Aaron Walker is at home in a range of jazz environments, but at the helm of his own group he focuses on examining and extending the origins of the music. West African and Caribbean rhythms take center stage here; the band includes Ben Sands, Jr. on woodwinds, Andrae Richardson on percussion, Janelle Gill on piano and keyboard, Pepe Gonzalez on bass and Imani Gonzalez on vocals and percussion. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $16 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Some Like It Hot, Black Fox Lounge, 9 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

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

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndre Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. He and his small group, Collector’s Edition, play standards with a friendly, inviting touch, and they add to the positive vibes already flowing throughout the room — especially when Howard tosses aside the trumpet to sing a spontaneous blues. no cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia profile

SUNDAY, MARCH 18

cb pick:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Eri Yamamoto Trio, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m.

Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Marshall Keys’ saxophone can sing the blues or swing to the rhythms of bebop with a laid-back sense of cool; the native Washingtonian is a fluid, graceful player. He plays every Sunday brunch at Acadiana, usually with a group consisting of the city’s top jazz scene veterans: Federico Peña on piano, Tarus Mateen on bass and either Lenny Robinson or Mark Prince on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Acadiana website

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. But as far as jazz brunch goes, it’s hard to top the Jolleys’ music. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | B. Smith’s 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

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

Jazz Jam, Dahlak, 6:30 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 | View Dahlak profile

Eri Yamamoto Trio, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Transparent Productions continues to bring jazz’s vanguard to D.C. For the March presentation of the group’s “Sundays at Seven at the Caverns” series, Women’s Herstory Month is celebrated with the Eri Yamamoto Trio. The classically trained pianist hails from Osaka, Japan, but was initially inspired to play jazz when she visited New York City in 1995. Yamamoto heard legendary pianist Tommy Flanagan with his trio, likely with bassist Jespar Lundgaard and drummer Lewis Nash, and was immediately inspired — not only to begin playing jazz, but to move to New York City to soak in the music of the cultural capital. By the late 1990s, she had received praise from musicians ranging from Matthew Shipp to Herbie Hancock, who noted her distinctive voice on the piano. Along with her trio, comprised of bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi, she has developed a beautifully lyrical approach over the past decade. At Bohemian Caverns, Yamamoto and her trio will provide a preview of her new material, to be released on AUM Fidelity in April. $15 cover, no minimum. [words by Luke Stewart] View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

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 calendarZoo Bar website

Stanley Jordan, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Imagine if George Benson applied a syrup-drizzled layer of guitar effects and the heavy metal guitar technique of fretboard “tapping” to his sorta-jazz, sorta-funk, very-smooth style. Now you’re getting close to figuring out how Stanley Jordan, who plays all this weekend at Blues Alley, sounds. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Sharon Raquel, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vocalist Sharon Raquel performs here with the Kash Wright Trio. The local singer injects lightness and soul into jazz standards, and cites as some of her major influences Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Jane Monheit. Her backing band comprises Prakash Wright on piano, Mike Montgomery on bass and Bobby Beall on drums. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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

Cheryl Jones Trio, Utopia, 9 p.m. | Singer Cheryl Jones has a weekly engagement every Sunday at Utopia, where she sings with depth, force and clarity. Jones is equally likely to sing jazz standards, pop tunes or gospel classics. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Utopia profile 

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