A new Nat King Cole boxed set contains a piece of D.C. music history

A just-released boxed set of music from the early career of Nat King Cole reveals that he once wrote and recorded a song dedicated to a D.C. nightclub owner. “The Romany Room Is Jumping,” which that had never previously released commercially, appears on Hittin’ The Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943), a new collection of the […]

Simone Baron is out to make ‘genre-fluid’ music

I first met Simone Baron just a few weeks ago, at the Wednesday night jam session at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill. I remember being surprised to see her soloing on accordion, an instrument I’d never associated with jazz music. She was warm and friendly when we were introduced, and this being the close-knit D.C. […]

5 November D.C. jazz picks

There are five gigs with a CapitalBop starred pick on our D.C. Jazz Calendar for Nov. 1; if that’s not a good omen for this month in shows, I don’t know what is. And the music keeps coming. Looking ahead, soul-jazz classicist Delvon Lamarr brings his organ trio to Blues Alley on Nov. 6, and pianist […]

How Braxton Cook found his voice (literally) and became a rising star in jazz

Saxophonist Braxton Cook seemed to be following the recognizable trajectory of a young D.C. jazz musician — then he moved to New York, and the path took a detour. Cook, 28, was born and raised in Silver Spring, Md., and started studying saxophone with Morgan Russell at the much-beloved (and now-shuttered) Dale’s Music before getting […]

Joe Chambers: From the JFK Quintet to the Kennedy Center, by way of M’Boom

During the 1960s, a select group of masters helped redefine the traditions and artistic standards contained within the genre of jazz. Musicians like Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson released dozens of momentous recordings that combined rhythms and instruments from Africa and Latin America with a new style […]

5 October D.C. jazz picks

It’s officially autumn — despite what the thermometer says — which means it’s prime time for some of D.C.’s favorite arts institutions to kick off their yearly schedules. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra starts its season with a tribute concert to hard-bop legend Art Blakey, celebrating his centennial at the National Museum of American History […]

Robert Glasper previews his two-week residency at the Kennedy Center

For the last 15 years, Robert Glasper has been on a singular mission to reconnect jazz to the world of popular music around it — to build a bridge from Kendrick Scott to Kendrick Lamar.  Before putting out his first recording under his own name in 2004, the pianist, bandleader and producer was working as […]
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