Weekend in Jazz | 5.4-5.6: May flowers

Jeremy Pelt leads his top-shelf quintet at Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Courtesy Professor Bop/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Last year, around this time, masterful trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and young piano gun Noah Haidu shared a weekend run at Twins Jazz. This Friday and Saturday, they’re both back in town simultaneously, but they’re leading separate groups: Haidu leading his own trio at Twins, and Pelt before a quintet – featuring the dark and fierce tenor saxophonist JD Allen – at Bohemian. On Sunday, check in again at Twins to find Eme and Heteru’s impressive Afrobeat ensemble. Find details on those 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, MAY 4

cb picks:

  • Jeremy Pelt Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Noah Haidu Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Youth Ensembles, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At this week’s Jazz Night at Westminster, two youth jazz bands take the stage: the Jazz Academy ensemble, directed by saxophonist Paul Carr, and the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, under the guidance of bassist Michael Bowie. $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. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Yamomanem, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | The Yamomanem Jazz Band plays a faithful take on New Orleans jazz, conjuring the days of King Oliver and early Louis Armstrong with its lush brass section. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Byron Stripling, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. Byron Stripling is both a trumpeter and a comfortable vocalist. Here he’s joined by three fine D.C. musicians, Chris Grasso on piano, Tommy Cecil on bass and Chuck Redd on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

James Cotton “Superharp,” Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Renowned blues harp player James Cotton has been in the music business for almost 70 years. His musical ship sails fast, and fond of rough waters; he’s an electric bluesman, in the tradition of the great harmonica player Junior Wells. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Jeremy Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt boasts a tone that’s dually smoky and striking, and sure control. He’s a top-notch composer, too, and he leads a taut quintet. Here he’s joined by the great JD Allen on tenor saxophone, David Bryant on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $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

Noah Haidu Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Pianist and composer Noah Haidu writes punchy melodies that get stuck deep in your head, and improvises over swinging post-bop with trenchant confidence. Here the New York City-based Haidu appears in a trio with two of D.C.’s greatest: bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Nasar Abadey. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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 Lounge 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, MAY 5

cb picks:

  • Jeremy Pelt Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Noah Haidu Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • WKP Trio w/Herb Scott, Black Fox Lounge, 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

District Jazz Trio, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 7 p.m. | A self-described “cool swinging jazz trio,” the District Jazz Trio is saxophonist Seth Popkin, pianist Dan Nathan and bassist Roger Rosa. The group plays jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala 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

James Cotton “Superharp,” Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Renowned blues harp player James Cotton has been in the music business for almost 70 years. His musical ship sails fast, and fond of rough waters; he’s an electric bluesman, in the tradition of the great harmonica player Junior Wells. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Byron Stripling, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Byron Stripling is both a trumpeter and a comfortable vocalist. Here he’s joined by three fine D.C. musicians, Chris Grasso on piano, Tommy Cecil on bass and Chuck Redd on drums. 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 

Jeremy Pelt Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt boasts a tone that’s dually smoky and striking, and sure control. He’s a top-notch composer, too, and he leads a taut quintet. Here he’s joined by the great JD Allen on tenor saxophone, David Bryant on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $18 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Noah Haidu Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Pianist and composer Noah Haidu writes punchy melodies that get stuck deep in your head, and improvises over swinging post-bop with trenchant confidence. Here the New York City-based Haidu appears in a trio with two of D.C.’s greatest: bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Nasar Abadey. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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

TBA, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Performer TBA. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

WKP Trio w/Herb , Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | The WKP Trio is a straight-ahead jazz ensemble consisting of Kenny Peagler on piano, Percy White on bass and Will Stephens on drums. Here, the group is joined by a young, soulful powerhouse of an alto saxophonist, Herb Scott. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge 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, MAY 6

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Eme & Heteru, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 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

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

D.C. Jazz Jam with Donvonte McCoy, Dahlak, 6:30 p.m.| This jazz jam presents a friendly, relaxed environment where professionals and amateurs can play together. This week, fleet trumpeter Donvonte McCoy is the guest “master,” making this session an even better training ground for up-and-coming musicians. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | View Dahlak 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

James Cotton “Superharp,” Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Renowned blues harp player James Cotton has been in the music business for almost 70 years. His musical ship sails fast, and fond of rough waters; he’s an electric bluesman, in the tradition of the great harmonica player Junior Wells. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Eme & Heteru, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | In the supercharged grooves of Eme and Heteru’s large ensemble, the rhythms of West Africa give a hip-swiveling seminar in the roots of jazz, soul and hip-hop, and the real-time magnetism of Afrobeat. 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

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  1. Just a short note to add some detail to the above listing for DC Jazz Jam on Sunday 5/6/12 — 6:30pm – 9:30pm: We are having trumpet player Donvonte McCoy as our special “Monthly Master” jazz artist for the session.

    Donvonte is an awesome player, as you can tell because he is already deservingly listed as a “CB pick” above for his 18th Street Lounge shows on Friday and Saturday.

    DC Jazz Jam /

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