1300 Lee Hwy
The annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival returns for its 29th iteration at Gateway Park in the heart of downtown Rosslyn, just a quick trip over the Key Bridge. Local vendors set-up food and wares while artists in and around the jazz tradition hit the big stage.
This year’s line-up is as follows:
1 p.m., The Jo-Go Project – Saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed came up in the D.C. area, the rare ’90s baby enamored with the jazz greats. But he couldn’t help picking up some hometown music pride along the way—and for a little over a year, just before Chuck Brown died, Balbed played sax in the go-go icon’s band. In the Jo-Go Project, Balbed melds his experiences growing up on and then playing go-go with his mastery of the jazz tenor tradition. And he’s got the help of a strong, 10-piece ensemble.
2:20 p.m., Leyla McCalla – Haitian-American folk musician Leyla McCalla keeps the blues near the core of what she does, which includes performing in French, Haitian Creole and English. She also plays guitar, banjo and cello, and displays that blues-rooted musical flexibility on her new album Capitalist Blues.
3:45 p.m., Cha Wa – Mardi Gras Indian funk band Cha Wa provides a rare view into a much older culture of New Orleans. Mardi Gras Indians are no stranger to jazz, saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. is a prominent member of that community, but Cha Wa’s music stretches back even further, to something closer to the blend of Native American and West African rhythms and performance that birthed the boogey-based NoLa sound.
5:30 p.m., The Suffers – Houston’s The Suffers perform in a style they call “Gulf Coast Soul” – it’s a product, yes of classic soul music in the vein of Curtis Mayfield and Sam & Dave, but also of cumbia, country, blues, reggae, jazz, zydeco and threads of Asian and African music that comes from their hometown’s unique demographic DNA. When the 10-piece bands is firing on all cylinders and the horns swell in celebration, it’s quite the joyful noise.