The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival goes big for 15th anniversary

Arts organizations continue to feel squeezed by the limitations on post-pandemic arts funding, but Paul Carr still wants the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival to go big. Carr, a preeminent saxophonist and educator in the D.C. area, created the MAJF back in 2010 as a successor to Ronnie Wells’ legendary East Coast Jazz Festival, which ran from […]

5 live jazz picks for February in D.C.

Welcome to April, and Happy Black History Month! With it arrive some time-honored DMV traditions, like the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival as well as Transparent Productions’ annual presentation of Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble; more on that below. Luke Stewart (CB’s co-founder) returns to D.C. with his powerful Silt Trio — whose album The Bottom was […]

5 live jazz picks for January in D.C.

As the calendar turns, I want to wish all the readers of this column continued health in the coming year, and I hope you’ve found some time for restoration this holiday season. In that spirit of meaningful rest, many venues in D.C. are taking the first week of the year easy. But January still provides […]

CapitalBop’s best D.C. jazz albums of 2023

For the past few years, our introduction to this annual tradition has followed a familiar theme: It’s been a tough year, but the city’s musicians — and the recordings they’ve put out — have given us reason for hope and proof of resilience. Now, almost four years after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we can confidently […]

5 live jazz picks for December in D.C.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and by that, I mean that we in the D.C. area are enjoying the last month we’ve got before a major election year gets underway. Those dreading the events to come between now and next November can find some frosty comfort in the many Christmas and […]

Twenty years in, JoJo is the last classic jazz spot standing on U Street — and it’s thriving

On an early Wednesday evening this summer, drummer Lenny Robinson was deftly steering a remarkable trio, consisting of vibraphonist Chris Barrick and keyboardist Federico González Peña. During their first set at JoJo Restaurant & Bar, they delighted a sparse yet attentive crowd with sparkling renditions of Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance” and “Tell Me A Bedtime […]

5 live jazz picks for November in D.C.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7 for Virginia residents (ballot information here). If you’re in Virginia, the CB team would like to encourage you to make time to go to the polls, if you haven’t already voted, especially knowing how intimately local governance can shape our region’s music scene. The end of Halloween signals the […]

Charles Tolliver talks Strata-East, 1960s D.C., and why he keeps coming back to Trane

Trumpeter Charles Tolliver is known for many things: co-founding the highly influential Strata-East label with his collaborator, the pianist Stanley Cowell; co-leading the ferocious post-bop group Music Inc., also with Cowell; and contributing as a sideman on many now-iconic records from the mid-1960s and beyond. What fewer fans might remember is that he attended Howard […]

‘Change is the most constant thing we got’: D.C. artists reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they’ve recovered

In early 2020, the COVID-19 virus began to spread worldwide, quickly transforming the lives of billions across the globe. November will mark the six-month mark since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ended their public-health emergency declaration, putting an official bookend on this chapter in our history. Now that this world-altering event is in […]