CapitalBop’s award-winning local music journalism includes artist interviews, criticism, multimedia and more
Our website offers the District’s only comprehensive, fully updated show calendar for jazz and jazz-related music, which thousands of DMV listeners turn to every month. On our site we publish multiple articles a week, including local news, artist interviews, feature profiles, criticism, festival guides and much more.
Our social media channels — on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — are a great way to stay up-to-date on our latest articles, plus to catch other important headlines that we re-post. We send out one or two newsletters a week, featuring our newest articles plus “CB pick” recommendations from our calendar. Sign up for our newsletter here.
Monthly grassroots jazz presentations featuring everything from straight-ahead to avant-garde
Since 2010, CapitalBop has presented the DC Jazz Loft, an intimate showcase of the District’s best jazz talents that unites audiences of all stripes. Held every second Sunday of the month — these days at the house venue Rhizome DC — the loft showcases artists from across the improvised-music spectrum, from straight-ahead jazz to the avant-garde. You never know quite what to expect at the Loft, and that’s a good thing; if you come with an open mind, you’ll never leave disappointed.
The loft has had a variety of homes, almost always DIY spaces. These days, at Rhizome, neighbors and concert-goers gather together over a potluck meal, hang outside in between sets, and sit in rapt attention whenever a new group hits the bandstand. Take a look inside the loft with this photo album from our inaugural Rhizome show in December 2018.
Every month, CapitalBop engages a leading artist in the D.C. jazz community as our Spotlight Residency artist. The Spotlight includes two consecutive nights at a pop-up jazz club at Local 16, an Afghan bar/restaurant in the heart of D.C.’s historic U Street corridor, plus an educational show/workshop (currently on hiatus as we change educational partners).
Spotlight artists also benefit from CapitalBop’s media playbook, as we produce professional-level videos for each residency artist. Every month also includes other media elements, including appearances on WPFW 89.3 FM’s “Live @ 5” broadcast and a strong social media push on behalf of the artist. Browse our Spotlight Residency videos on CapitalBop’s YouTube channel.
Quarterly concerts featuring internationally renowned touring artists on double-bills with D.C.-based bands
CapitalBop’s Traveling Loft brings some of the finest and most cutting-edge artists in jazz to the District, presenting them in pop-up venues of our own creation alongside D.C.-based talent. With this series, CapitalBop brings live jazz to all four quadrants of the city, in art galleries, artist-run DIY spaces, rock clubs, theaters and more. These shows have CapitalBop’s signature, community-oriented vibe, and are designed to welcome listeners of all ages and stripes, with $10-to-20 ticket prices and no purchase minimum.
Over the years, the Traveling Loft (along with its sister series, CB Presents) has hosted luminaries like Carla Bley, Linda May Han Oh, Nicole Mitchell, Fred Frith, Ben Wendel, Igmar Thomas, Fay Victor, Michael Formanek, Jen Shyu, Angelica Sanchez, Amina Claudine Myers, Darius Jones, Myra Melford and Joelle Leandre. Check capitalbop.com/cbshows to find out what’s coming next.
Blowout presentations every year featuring world-class touring artists in immersive, creative presentations
The DC Jazz Festival has partnered with CapitalBop since our first year, relying on us for a unique creative vision and jolt of youthful energy. Every year we do something different, but the essence is the same every time: legendary as well as emerging musicians in off-the-beaten-path, DIY spaces that engage a diverse crowd. In 2019 at the DC JazzFest we launched present::futures — a one-night mega-festival dedicated to some of the most powerful young minds in contemporary improvised music.
Bandleaders presented at past DC JazzFest shows include Thundercat, Mary Halvorson, Oliver Lake, Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Justin Brown, Orrin Evans, Miles Okazaki, Jaimie Branch, Odean Pope, Jeff Parker, Peter Brötzmann, Marc Cary, Karriem Riggins, Michele Rosewoman, Braxton Cook, J.D. Allen, Darius Jones, Angel Bat Dawid and more. See CapitalBop’s 2016 DC JazzFest shows featured on NPR Music’s Jazz Night in America.
Annual community music festival and fundraiser for a cause based around social justice
Each year on the weekend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, CapitalBop puts together a full-day experience organically drawing together activism and live jazz. The event is held as a benefit and consciousness-raiser, each year for a different D.C.-based group whose priorities align with jazz’s longtime mission of anti-racist, anti-fascist struggle. To date, the festival has benefited Empower DC, WPFW 89.3 FM, Black Lives Matter DMV and the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.
In 2015, DMV-based trombonist, educator and activist Shannon Gunn approached CapitalBop with the idea to host a day-long celebration of jazz and activism inspired by a similar event at Michigan State University. The event was a success, and CapitalBop has continued to partner with Gunn ever since. See photos from the 2019 Jazz and Freedom Festival at The First Floor on H Street.
Regular events that put D.C. musicians in front of young students
Since CapitalBop’s first years, we have used our concerts as opportunities for outreach: Artists have provided youth workshops, masterclasses, and audience talk-backs for every major presentation possible. But 2020 marks a major change in CapitalBop’s approach to education, and we are currently preparing to begin multiple series of educational programming.