Announcing CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft!

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by Luke Stewart and Giovanni Russonello
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What: D.C. Jazz Loft, presented by CapitalBop
When: Sunday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.-midnight
Where: Red Door, 443 I St. NW
Cost: Free, small donation suggested

We’re pleased to announce that this Sunday, CapitalBop will hold its first D.C. Jazz Loft, a collection of performances featuring some of the city’s most innovative musicians in a relaxed, creative environment.

The event is inspired by the jazz lofts of the bebop era, when musicians would come together in New York apartments after their gigs to stretch out creatively and try new ideas, free from the constraints of often-stuffy jazz clubs. The D.C. Jazz Loft is designed to highlight the talents of many of the District’s best improvisational musicians – be they beboppers, free-jazz cats or fusion players.

—Check out the Facebook event here—

Things will start at 7 p.m., with sets varying in length from 30 minutes to one hour, and the performances will run through 11 p.m. After the sets are done, things will open up – in true jazz loft fashion – into an open jam session. So musicians, bring your axes!

To get to the loft space, arrive at 443 I St. NW (scroll down for a map) and walk up the alley until you see the red door on your left. The location is accessible by the Metro’s Green and Yellow Lines at the Mount Vernon Sq. 7th St.-Convention Center stop or the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop, or by the Red Line at Gallery Place-Chinatown.

Here is a preview of all the performances, in order of appearance:


The Tri-O Trio plays free jazz, bringing together local avant-garde veteran drummer Sam Lohman, the under-recognized D.C. alto saxophone great Aaron Martin and bassist Luke Stewart (who is also the co-author of this post and a CapitalBop staff writer). Together, they present a musical statement that bridges their vast influences and abilities. The band members have performed in many different situations and groups in the D.C. area as well as Europe, Japan and across the United States.


The Bobby Muncy Quintet features five high-grade, straight-ahead jazz composers and instrumentalists. The members pride themselves on having D.C.’s only weekly jazz show dedicated exclusively to original compositions: the quintet’s Wednesday-night gig at Utopia. The music pays tribute to influences ranging from Miles Davis to Radiohead. The players are Muncy, a tenor saxophonist; pianist Gene D’Andrea; guitarist Anthony Pirog; bassist Kevin Pace; and drummer Andrew Hare.


Matta Gawa is a free-fusion duo comprised of guitarist Ed Ricart and drummer Sam Lohman. The band combines the zeitgeist of indie rock’s soaring lo-fi movement with the spirit of jazz and other improvised musics. Coming off the recent release of their first album on Engine Studios and a subsequent U.S. tour, Matta Gawa has grown into something remarkably cohesive, innovative and energetic. Employing the use of a vast collection of effects pedals, this group is as interesting to watch as it is to hear.


Philadelphia free jazz saxophone pioneer Elliott Levin plays innovative music and recites his own poetry. He’ll be joined by bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Louis Rozier. Levin has played with many legends of forward-looking jazz, including Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra. Among other musical involvements, he is currently a member of Odean Pope’s saxophone choir. After a more than three-decade-long career, Levin continues to push boundaries with his piercingly powerful saxophone sound and poetry.


During the swing era, the venerated U Street strip in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood earned the informal title “Black Broadway.” Today it continues to be a cultural hub, especially for the District’s best straight-ahead jazz musicians. For the D.C. Jazz Loft’s culminating performance, CapitalBop has assembled an exciting lineup that includes, among others, Downbeat award-winning alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead; Washington City Paper award-winning tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed; Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra co-director and trumpeter Joe Herrera; local trombone star Reginald Cyntje; and musical mastermind twins Nate and Noble Jolley (on drums and keyboard, respectively). This group will bring things back to the roots while moving forward all the while, exploring the bebop and hard-bop tradition in which the jazz lofts of the mid-20th century thrived.


We hope to see you at the D.C. Jazz Loft. If you have any questions, email capitalbop[at]gmail.



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