Lena Seikaly, Dan Roberts & Lenny Robinson at the April D.C. Jazz Loft

DC Jazz Loft

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It’s Jazz Appreciation Month. The museums and clubs are packing in the amazing programming, but to appreciate the breadth of what’s happening on a thriving jazz scene, on the ground level, check out this Sunday’s D.C. Jazz Loft, Lena Seikaly, one of the most exciting new vocalists (and composers) in the area, will lead a band. So will Dan Roberts, a fabulous young piano player who’s headlined at the Atlas Performing Arts Center and been praised by JazzTimes for his funky eclecticism, and Lenny Robinson, a powerful drummer and bandleader who’s been a loft favorite from our earliest days.

Doors at Union Arts open at 7, and the music will be going til late. Update: Come by 9, and we’ll give you a free Belvedere vodka cocktail. We got it, why not share it? The loft is (otherwise) BYOB, and a donation of $15 for the musicians is suggested. When you get to Union Arts, enter through the back entrance (turn into the parking lot off of 4th Street NE). See you there!


A precocious, award-winning young vocalist, Lena Seikaly’s wowed at pretty much every jazz venue in the D.C. area you can imagine, Kennedy Center and Strathmore included. This Sunday she’s making her D.C. Jazz Loft debut. Seikaly plays jazz standards and her own originals with a confidently playful demeanor.



Dan Roberts is a fiercely interrogative pianist with a comic streak — he makes high-concept music, often pushing the limits of your expectations, but constantly engaging. He arranges and performs for the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, among others, and his 2009 CD Can’t Not sounds a little like Medeski, Martin & Wood trading concepts with Kneebody. Here he appears here with an expert trio, featuring a powerful rhythm section: Eliot Seppa on bass and David McDonald on drums.



As a sideman, the powerfully swinging drummer Lenny Robinson is just about as sought-after as drummers get in this town. As a leader, Robinson has a strikingly deep range of sounds and ideas to offer. he likes stretched canvases and playing with wobbly tones, especially on the toms. His trio, Mad Curious, is one of the area’s best (if not best known) musical mind-expanders. He’s brought that band to the loft before, but here he breaks out of the format and leads a top-notch quartet.



About Giovanni Russonello

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A co-founder of CapitalBop, Giovanni Russonello is also a music writer and critic for the New York Times. He also teaches writing as a lecturer at New York University's School of Professional Studies. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at [email protected]. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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  1. Can’t wait!! Thanks for having us, CapitalBop. 🙂

    Lena / Reply
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