Jazz and Cultural Society
Co-run by musician DeAndrey Howard and aficionado Dr. Alice Murray Jamison, the Jazz and Cultural Society is a haven for straight-ahead jazz, run on a shoestring budget with a do-it-yourself mentality. This room is blanketed with art and held dear by musicians, and it has the spirit of jazz in its bones. Drinking isn’t allowed on site: A retired psychologist, Jamison aims to make this a safe space for those who’ve struggled with substance addiction. But the chance to hear fiery jazz right up close, in an unfettered and authentic environment, is often enough to excite the senses on its own.
Basic info || $5 cover, no minimum | Some food; no drinks | Jazz Wed. & Sun., plus other weeknights occasionally
Contax || 2813 12th St. NE | 202-526-1615 | Official site & listings
Atlas Performing Arts Center
The Atlas was a popular movie theater from 1938 until its closing in 1976, at which point the H Street corridor had been largely abandoned by businesses and the city government. In 2001, the theater was revived as a wide-ranging performing arts venue, and functions today as a sort of avant-garde counterpart to the more famous Kennedy Center. At the Atlas’s 250-plus-seat Lang Theater, you’ll find experimental theater productions, New Music concerts featuring bold innovators in contemporary classical music, and an ongoing series of Wednesday-evening shows from some of the world’s most free-thinking young jazz musicians.
Basic info || Tickets typically $25, no minimum | Light food and drink available in lobby, $$$ | Jazz some Weds.
Contax || 1333 H St. NE | 202-399-7993 | Official site | Official listings
Photos by Barédu Ahmed (JACS) and Jennifer White-Torres (Atlas).