Weekend in Jazz | Two local musicians celebrate exciting new albums, and Gary Burton is in town

Reginald Cyntje and Lena Seikaly both celebrate the release of new albums this weekend. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop and Courtesy myspace.com/lenaseikaly

by Giovanni Russonello
Editor-in-chief

This weekend’s jazz highlight comes on Sunday evening, when two of D.C.’s greatest musicians separately celebrate the releases of their new CDs. (Earlier this week we reviewed those: trombonist Reginald Cyntje’s Freedom’s Children: The Celebration and vocalist Lena Seikaly’s Lovely Changes.) If you’re in the mood to support your local musicians at a very important juncture in their careers, head down to Blues Alley on Sunday to hear Seikaly or to Bohemian for Cyntje. Vibes master Gary Burton is also in town (I interviewed him in anticipation), and soulful pianist Larry Willis will take the spotlight at Twins. You can find details on these performances and many others 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, SEPTEMBER 30

cb picks:

  • Freddie Redd & Butch Warren, Honfleur Art Gallery, 8 p.m.
  • The New Gary Burton Quartet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Larry Willis, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Harold Mann Experience, 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, straight-ahead drummer Harold Mann leads a group of D.C.’s top musicians: Allyn Johnson on piano, Steve Novosel on bass, Steve Abshire on guitar and Paul Carr on saxophone. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Greg Lamont, Black Fox Lounge, 6 p.m. | Greg Lamont plays piano and sings loungy renditions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar| Black Fox profile

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

Triple Double Jazz Band, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | Consisting of Joey Whitney on tenor sax, Ed Gallagher on guitar, Alan Pachter on bass and Tom Reed on drums, the Triple Double Jazz Band plays straightforward, straight-ahead versions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai 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

The New Gary Burton Quartet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vibraphonist Gary Burton is a pioneer both on his instrument, to whose technical repertoire he added the four-mallet method, and for the entire jazz genre, which he infused with concerted rock and country influences well before anyone had heard of jazz-rock fusion. Burton’s playing prizes fluidity and grace, and his current group, assertively titled the New Gary Burton Quartet, is well suited to his aesthetic. The 23-year-old guitar phenom Julian Lage proves a sympathetic counterpart, his attack on the instrument pointed but smooth. The rhythm section is rounded out by bassist Scott Coley and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $35 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Julian Hipkins Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Julian Hipkins sings with a swingin’ flair and jaunty, deep voice that recall Jimmy Rushing. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Butch Warren & Freddie Redd, Honfleur Art Gallery, 8 p.m. | The Honfleur Art Gallery is hosting a jazz concert from two members of jazz’s royal class. In the 1950s and ’60s, pianist Freddie Redd asserted himself as one of hard-bop’s top composers, a musician with uncanny ambition and vision. He composed the score for and starred in the late-’50s musical “The Connection,” bebop’s most eminent Broadway moment, then recorded the songs for an album, his first of three on Blue Note Records. But over the course of his career, Redd has proven to be more than just a songwriter – as an accompanist, he deploys jagged chords with syncopated savvy, and his solos bend and break the blues far more adventurously than some of the pianists who have gone down as hard-bop legends. Butch Warren, D.C.’s most treasured jazz elder, was a bassist on dozens of classic albums in the ’60s, when he served as Blue Note’s house bassist and toured with Thelonious Monk. That classic bass line on Joe Henderson’s “Blue Bossa” record? That groove on Herbie Hancock’s original “Watermelon Man”? Yep, that was him. The affirmation of fame and fortune has eluded both of these greats, but their music remains arrestingly strong and swingin’. Redd and Warren are joined by a talented group of younger D.C. musicians: saxophonists Brian Settles and Brad Linde, and drummer Tony Martucci. Free. View event on calendar | Honfleur website

Federico Peña, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Federico Peña, a D.C. pianist via Argentina via Uruguay, specializes in jazz, electronic music, R&B and blending all of the above. He’s a fluid and skillful melody maker on the piano, and often finds two-fisted chords that paint with forceful colors. He has worked with popular singers Me’shell N’DegeOcello and Maxwell, but here Peña leads his jazz quartet. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns 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 Bistro website

Antonio Parker, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone and inclinations that bring neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bebop. Parker often pays tribute to John Coltrane with song dedications and covers, but his style on the horn often nods toward one of his personal favorites, the contemporary master Kenny Garrett. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every week leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Larry Willis, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Famed pianist Larry Willis has a soulful sophistication, and he has played with groups ranging from jazz legend Jackie McLean’s band to the fusion practitioners Blood, Sweat & Tears. These days, the Maryland resident is a frequent presence on the D.C. jazz scene, and he leads groups through jazz standards and original compositions. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

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

SATURDAY, October 1

cb picks:

  • The New Gary Burton Quartet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, Kittamaqundi Community Church, 8 p.m.
  • Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson, HR-57, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Larry Willis, 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 calendarJohnny’s Half Shell 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 calendarB. Smith’s 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 calendarSala Thai 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. She’s typically joined by a pianist. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Henley Park’s website

Sheila Ford Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Sheila Ford pours her whole voice into a forceful, controlled style of locution. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

The New Gary Burton Quartet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vibraphonist Gary Burton is a pioneer both on his instrument, to whose technical repertoire he added the four-mallet method, and for the entire jazz genre, which he infused with concerted rock and country influences well before anyone had heard of jazz-rock fusion. Burton’s playing prizes fluidity and grace, and his current group, assertively titled the New Gary Burton Quartet, is well suited to his aesthetic. The 23-year-old guitar phenom Julian Lage proves a sympathetic counterpart, his attack on the instrument pointed but smooth. The rhythm section is rounded out by bassist Scott Coley and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $35 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar| Blues Alley profile

Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, Kittamaqundi Community Church, 8 p.m. | Todd Marcus, a musical autodidact who performs on the rare bass clarinet, plays with a sharp dexterity. His tidy but sprawled-out compositions have a preternatural comfort about them, and Marcus’s swingin’, punchy post-bop is often a rewarding mixture of comforting and challenging. The Baltimore resident here leads his own nine-piece jazz ensemble, the right vehicle for his original pieces. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Kittamaqundi website

Federico Peña, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Federico Peña, a D.C. pianist via Argentina via Uruguay, specializes in jazz, electronic music, R&B and blending all of the above. He’s a fluid and skillful melody maker on the piano, and often finds two-fisted chords that paint with forceful colors. He has worked with popular singers Me’shell N’DegeOcello and Maxwell, but here Peña leads his jazz quartet. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 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

Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Drummer Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson is one of D.C.’s swingin’est drummers, and when he decides to bring the heat, watch out. He has a strong, distinctive shuffle beat, which he perfected during his two decades on the road with soul-jazz master Jimmy Smith. When the spirit moves him, Junebug sometimes steps up to the mic and graces the audience with a song. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Larry Willis, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Famed pianist Larry Willis has a soulful sophistication, and he has played with groups ranging from jazz legend Jackie McLean’s band to the fusion practitioners Blood, Sweat & Tears. These days, the Maryland resident is a frequent presence on the D.C. jazz scene, and he leads groups through jazz standards and original compositions. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar |Twins Jazz profile

Kaos Theory, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m. | Kaos Theory is a smooth funk band. No cover, 1-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

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 calendar |Utopia profile

The Hang, Bohemian Caverns, midnight | Bohemian Caverns’ late-night jam, The Hang, is hosted by a different band every week of the month. The kitchen remains open until 1 a.m., so there’s a chance to get a late bite without having to traipse to Ben’s Chili Bowl. $7 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

SUNDAY, October 2

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Reginald Cyntje, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m.
  • Lena Seikaly, Blues Alley, 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

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

Amy K. Bormet, American Art Museum, 2 p.m. | Amy K. Bormet is an exciting young piano player whose enthusiasm and lyrical sense of melody come straight to the fore when she sits down at the piano. Earlier this year, she released an exciting debut LP (also reviewed on this site), featuring originals on which she signs and strikes the keys. Performing solo, she will surely sing some of her compositions, typically bright, pop-meets-jazz confections. Free. View event on calendar | American Art Museum 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

Reginald Cyntje, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | A trombonist of phenomenal grace and precision, Reginald Cyntje recently released his debut CD, “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration,” and this performance is the official release party. The record is glimmeringly hopeful, immersed in the warm, danceable rhythms of Cyntje’s native U.S. Virgin Islands. The band with which he’ll perform here comprises most of the musicians from the record. It features Noble Jolley on piano, Tosin Aribisala on percussion and vocals, Christie Dashiell on vocals, Herman Burney on bass and Amin Gumbs on drums. Two separate sets at 7 & 9 p.m. $15 cover, no minimum. 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 calendarGrill 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

Adrian Blu, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Adrian Blu sings jazzy hip-hop and R&B. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Lena Seikaly, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vocalist Lena Seikaly sings jazz standards with a confident and playful demeanor, displaying a gentle ephemerality reminiscent of Esperanza Spalding as well as a debt to traditional greats. She’s also a deft composer and arranger. At this Blues Alley date, she celebrates the release of her exciting, diverse new album, Lovely Changes. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $20 cover, $10 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

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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