6.27-6.29: Festival weekend brings vast variety of talent to D.C.

This is the one and only weekend to catch the 2014 DC Jazz Festival: Where it once lasted three weeks, the event has pared down to just six days. That means more urgency, and heavily concentrated programming. We’ve already started to heavily cover the festival, with a post recommending one show each night and the first installment of Jati Lindsay’s photo coverage. (We’ll continue updating that through the weekend.)

The rock ‘n’ roll legend Ginger Baker will play at the Howard Theatre on Friday night in a fusion context, which has long been his comfort zone. Gregory Porter and Robert Glasper and Trombone Shorty are all on a single (yes, high-priced) bill on Saturday. And at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, D.C.’s Brad Linde plays two shows with experimental chamber-jazz ensembles on Sunday. That’s just a small sampling.

See all CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Fest coverage

There are also a number of sub-festivals going on as part of the DC Jazz Fest: At Twins Jazz, the annual Nordic Cool festival is this weekend, presenting a handful of jazz interpreters from northern Europe. The East River Jazz festival has a full slate of performers, too, including the vocalist Ola Cole Laryea and the Greater U St. Jazz Collective. And, of course, CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft Series runs tonight (Thursday) through Saturday, with innovative musicians playing in nontraditional scenarios.

You have a few choices for free late-night hangs this weekend, too. The Loews Madison Hotel has intimate shows featuring some excellent instrumentalists and singers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all starting at 10 p.m. But if you’re out late and searching for the sound of surprise, it makes the most sense to hit up a U St. jam session: The festival’s deep ranks of out-of-town talent will be looking for places to hang after the gigs are over. The U St. Jazz Jam is at Bohemian Caverns on Friday night, and at Dukem on Saturday.

As usual, all our favorite upcoming shows are shown in the calendar below. To see everything, click on “tags” and remove the “CB PICK” selection.

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Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

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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. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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