Our concert presenting has traveled far and wide this year. In April, we presented transcendent innovations from A-list jazz heavyweights Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith. Our pop-up stage at the DC Jazz Festival hosted three incredible nights of music, featuring some of the hottest acts from Chicago, New York City, and Philly, alongside some of D.C.’s very finest. Each night was packed with a buzzing crowd.
Now we’re bringing that energy back home. Our next DC Jazz Loft is this Sunday at CapitalBop’s headquarters, Union Arts. Come out to the loft at 411 New York Ave. NE, on Sunday, July 10, and hear three sets from three very diverse, high-level performers. We’ll see exactly what makes the D.C. jazz scene so exciting: innovative artists, hard on the grind, developing their own sound and staking their claim.
Distinctive sounds are the name of the game at this show. Tenor saxophonist Elijah Easton wields some tremendous flexibility on the tenor saxophone, easily shifting from straight-ahead to futuristic funk; Heidi Martin electrifies her cross-genre songwriting with the sensitivity and power of a jazz singer; and Jamal Moore plays music that is as much a kind of powerful therapy as it is entertainment.
The show goes from 7 pm to about 11. You’re welcome to BYOB. And admission is open to everyone, but we suggest a donation of $15; all of it goes directly to the musicians. Don’t miss one of your last opportunities to hear live jazz at Union Arts.
Jamal Moore shines just enough light into the darkness to keep you alert and searching still. With a patiently vigorous saxophone sound, assorted percussion, and subtle use of electronics, he grips you and leads you into a deeper place. Moore is gaining renown in his hometown of Baltimore after graduating from the California Institute for the Arts with an MFA in African-American improvisation. At CalArts he studied with the great Wadada Leo Smith, among others; Moore’s résumé includes work alongside Nicole Mitchell, Roscoe Mitchell and George Duke. But on his own – as anyone who saw his solo set opening for Smith and Vijay Iyer in April – he is a revelatory force.
If you keep your ear to the ground in the D.C. scene, chances are you’ve heard the distinctive sound of Elijah Easton’s tenor saxophone — whether you realize it or not. Easton is high in demand as a sideman, and he traverses many musical worlds: future funk with Nag Champa, go-go fusion with Marc Cary’s Indigenous People, straight-ahead jazz (he’s played alongside none other than jazz legend Wynton Marsalis), and more. He is a living example of the stylistic melting pot that is D.C. jazz, but he doesn’t let his versatility become a distraction from his intimate understanding of the jazz language. Elijah Easton is not a musician to sleep on.
Heidi Martin is a musician who feels as deeply as she thinks — that is, very. Through her intricate melodies and subtle stylings, Martin weaves a strong thread of activism and acumen. Her music entreats the listener to think critically about themselves and their place in history. Yet her songs are not patronizing or dry: Martin’s musical language is too vibrant, her emotional sensitivity too nuanced. She’s influenced by folk and soul as much as jazz. The sound that results from that combination is exciting, fulfilling and always intriguing. Her band here will include bass icon Tarus Mateen and the strong young drummer Charles Wilson.
Photo on poster by Paul Bothwell/CapitalBop