Why not keep a good thing going? And with a good idea that didn’t quite pan out, why not give it one more try?
As to the first point, guitarist Rodney Richardson and trumpeter Joe Herrera have decided to extend their Sunday Jazz Lounge indefinitely. This is great news, as the duo has found a groove with the simultaneously laid-back and innovation-oriented series. In terms of the second, Bohemian Caverns is re-launching its late-night “The Hang” series this Saturday.
The Sunday Jazz Lounge started up at the beginning of March and every week has drawn increasingly strong crowds to Twins Jazz. So if the next few Sundays at Twins are booked up by other acts, the duo isn’t about to let that limit them.
Herrera told CapitalBop that throughout April and May, the lounge will bounce around a few venues. Then the plan is to take June off before launching a regular, permanent operation based at Twins.
The most intriguing aspect of the reasonably priced Sunday Jazz Lounges has been how each show begins: with a quick, unaccompanied solo set by one of the District’s top improvisers. So far, local A-listers like saxophonist Brian Settles and vocalist Lena Seikaly have played. Here is a list of the April soloists that Herrera is planning, and the venues at which each lounge will occur:
Apr. 3: Saxophonist Tedd Baker / Bohemian Caverns
Apr. 10: Bassist James King / venue TBD Updated 4.6.11 10:30 a.m.: BloomBars
Apr. 17: Corrected:
Drummer Pianist Dan Roberts / Bossa Bistro
Apr. 24: soloist TBD / Red Door
May’s programming has not been set. And June is currently slated to have nothing – “a month off to gear up and pump the return of the lounge at Twins,” Herrera said – but there’s a possibility that will change.
Bohemian Caverns is a fitting place for Herrera and Richardson to start branching out: warm, dimly lit, musician-friendly, nestled in the heart of U Street. For that reason, it’s exciting to learn – as the Washington City Paper reported this week – that Bohemian is reviving its weekly “The Hang” series of late-night jam sessions. The event used to be a regular thing on Friday nights at the Caverns, but it fizzled out months ago.
Club owner Omrao Brown has decided to revive it on Saturday nights this time, and plans on having it be a “running event.” The jams are scheduled to begin at 11:30, though that almost surely won’t be possible, considering that the featured performers’ second sets at the club don’t start until 10:30. A $7 admittance is all it takes to get in. The core band will rotate on a weekly basis, and the hosts will be as follows:
First week: The Jolley Brothers (drummer Nate and keyboardist Noble)
Second week: a group led by guitarist Pete Muldoon
Third week: pianist Michael Price, bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Eric Allen
Fourth week: a group led by keyboardist Will Rast
Throughout April, which is Jazz Appreciation Month, the Caverns will also host a strong docket of shows that includes Brian Settles with his wife, the vocalist Jessica Boykin-Settles, on Apr. 8 and 9; Gretchen Parlato the following weekend; and the Marc Cary Focus Trio at the end of the month. Check back at CapitalBop’s D.C. jazz calendar, which will soon be updated through April, for full listings.