Weekend in Jazz | 1.27-1.29: Brad Mehldau, Grace Kelly and Phil Woods play D.C. this weekend

Brad Mehldau performs in D.C. on Saturday. Courtesy marcin.biodrowski/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Brad Mehldau, the contrapuntal savant of the jazz piano, is in the District on Saturday for a performance at the resplendent Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. So is young saxophone virtuoso Grace Kelly, along with her mentor Phil Woods; the pair performs at the Kennedy Center’s KC Jazz Club on Friday. Find details on these performances and many more in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” a listing of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. Our favorites have a label, and as always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our D.C. jazz calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27

cb picks:

  • Grace Kelly w/Phil Woods, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Kenny Rittenhouse Sextet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Antonio Parker Quintet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone. He casually sprinkles neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bop. Here he celebrates the release of his CD, Steppin’ Out: Live at HR-57. His band will include Kenny Rittenhouse on trumpet, Darius Scott on piano, Cheyney Thomas on bass and Keith Killgo on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Greg Lamont, Black Fox Lounge, 6 p.m. | Greg Lamont plays piano and sings loungy renditions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 7 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. But B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | B. Smith’s website

Karen Gray Trio, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 7 p.m.| Commanding vocalist Karen Gray sings laid-back renditions of jazz standards in a drumless trio. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Triple Double Jazz Band, Sala Thai (U St.), 7 p.m. | Consisting of Joey Whitney on tenor sax, Ed Gallagher on guitar, Alan Pachter on bass and Tom Reed on drums, the Triple Double Jazz Band plays straightforward, straight-ahead versions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Night & Day Trio, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | The Night & Day Trio plays traditional, swing-oriented jazz, featuring Renée Tannenbaum on vocals, Mike Suser on piano and vocals and Dennis Johnson on saxophone. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Grace Kelly w/Phil Woods, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | 19-year-old alto saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly has been making waves at festivals and concert halls around the world with her slick, swinging command of her instrument. NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods has mentored her for years, and he will perform here with Kelly’s quintet. Two separate sets at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Cover varies ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendar | KC Jazz Club profile

Roy Ayers, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vocalist and vibraphonist Roy Ayers – beloved by acid-jazz fans, hip-hop heads and disco lovers alike – touts the title “King of Neo-Soul Music.” But before that, his days as an experimental jazz musician found him partnering with greats like Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Hubert Laws. Nowadays, Ayers typically sings sultry ballads over programmed drums and synthesizers; he’s experienced something of a renaissance, too, as the greater jazz community finally embraces osmosis with hip-hop, underscoring Ayers’s earlier prescience. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Sharón Clark Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Sharón Clark sings with fervor and soul, plus impressive precision. She’s one of D.C.’s top jazz singers. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Craig Alston, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Craig Alston is a strong, soulful player. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who also plays keyboard and bass, but at the helm of a combo here he will stick to the sax. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Sin Miedo, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Sin Miedo is an energetic, nine-piece Salsa band that plays highly danceable Afro-Cuban jazz, Mambo and Samba. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Antonio Parker Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone. He casually sprinkles neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bop. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Kenny Rittenhouse Sextet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Kenny Rittenhouse was a mainstay on the D.C. jazz scene throughout much of the 1990s, playing at venues such as the One Step Down and Twins Lounge. The highly respected trumpeter has a tone that can be mellow or punchy, and he’s leant it to the U.S. Army Band and the Smithsonian Masterworks Jazz Orchestra. Rittenhouse now teaches at George Mason University and doesn’t play out as much as he used to, but this weekend he appears with a top-notch sextet of local musicians: Jamal Brown on flute, Lyle Link on tenor saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano, Cheyney Thomas on bass and J.C. Jefferson, Jr. on drums. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Maureen Mullaney, Black Fox Lounge, 10 p.m. | Maureen Mullaney sings jazz and blues songs with a light ensemble. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m. | Arguably the city’s best jazz trumpeter, Donvonte McCoy plays every Friday and Saturday at the hip 18th St. Lounge. He likes to mix in some funk as well during the lounge gig, and he’s liable to inflect a touch of Chuck Brown-esque groove into his combo’s treatment of classic bop tunes by the likes of Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. After all, the setting is that of a dance club, not a jazz joint – no tables and chairs or hushed applause after every solo. Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. View event on calendar | 18th St. Lounge profile

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndre Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. He and his small group, Collector’s Edition, play standards with a friendly, inviting touch, and they add to the positive vibes already flowing throughout the room — especially when Howard tosses aside the trumpet to sing a spontaneous blues. no cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Utopia profile

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

cb picks:

  • Brad Mehldau, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 8 p.m.
  • Kenny Rittenhouse Sextet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jam Session with Peter Edelman, Columbia Station, 4 p.m.| Pianist Peter Edelman, a constant presence on the D.C. jazz scene for years now, leads an afternoon jam session every Saturday and Sunday. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Charles Woods, Johnny’s Half Shell, 6 p.m. | Saxophonist Charles Woods plays and has recorded in both free and straight-ahead jazz styles, but for his regular gig at Johnny’s Half Shell he keeps things within the traditional bop realm. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarJohnny’s Half Shell website

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 7 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. But B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarB. Smith’s website

Triple Double Jazz Band, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 7 p.m. | Consisting of Joey Whitney on tenor sax, Ed Gallagher on guitar, Alan Pachter on bass and Tom Reed on drums, the Triple Double Jazz Band plays straightforward, straight-ahead versions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Mark Mosley Trio, Sala Thai (U St.), 7 p.m. | Baltimore guitarist Mark Mosley plays a slick hand as a smooth jazz guitarist, but he can also hunker down on serious bop. He performs laid-back straight-ahead here with his trio. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

Jacqui Simmons & Friends, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | Jacqui Simmons sings jazz standards with a heartfelt and elegant presentation. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarSala Thai website

Nancy Scimone, Henley Park Hotel, 7:30 p.m. | Nancy Scimone reaches into the jazz and popular American songbooks during this weekly gig at the Henley Park Hotel in downtown D.C. She’s typically joined by a pianist. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Henley Park’s website

Lena Seikaly & Potomac Jazz Project, Extra Virgin Restaurant, 7:30 p.m. | Vocalist Lena Seikaly sings jazz standards with a confident and playful demeanor, displaying a haziness reminiscent of Esperanza Spalding as well as a deference to traditional greats. The Potomac Jazz Project is a quartet that takes on modern and classic jazz tunes (and even some pop covers) with a showmanly flair, as well as skill. It’s led by bassist Stan Hamrick, and its rotating lineup often features some of D.C.’s best musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarExtra Virgin’s website

Roy Ayers, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vocalist and vibraphonist Roy Ayers – beloved by acid-jazz fans, hip-hop heads and disco lovers alike – touts the title “King of Neo-Soul Music.” But before that, his days as an experimental jazz musician found him partnering with greats like Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Hubert Laws. Nowadays, Ayers typically sings sultry ballads over programmed drums and synthesizers; he’s experienced something of a renaissance, too, as the greater jazz community finally embraces osmosis with hip-hop, underscoring Ayers’s earlier prescience. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Big Joe Maher w/Marshall Keys, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Drummer Big Joe Maher plays boogie-woogie and blues, and sings in a playful drawl. His trio is joined here by smooth-toned, skillful D.C. saxophonist Marshall Keys. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website 

Lydia Lewis Trio, Tasting Room, 8 p.m. | Tasteful drummer and composer Lydia Lewis leads her trio in background fare at the Tasting Room, a wine bar in Friendship Heights. She’s consistently joined by expert side musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Tasting Room website

Brad Mehldau, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 8 p.m. | Pianist Brad Mehldau is one of the most influential pianists of his generation. During his rise in the 1990s, he emphasized a counter-cyclical rhythmic sense, much in the mold of Bill Evans, and helped to incorporate complex time signatures into the modern-day lexicon of post-bop jazz. He’s also got sonic aspirations that verge on the cinematic, working with everyone from Brian Eno to Joshua Redman on grand suites that bring together the notions of classical, jazz and film scoring. In this Washington Performing Arts Society presentation, he performs solo. $30 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Sixth & I website

Craig Alston, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Craig Alston is a strong, soulful player. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who also plays keyboard and bass, but at the helm of a combo here he will stick to the sax. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Ajay Parham Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Ajay Parham is a smooth, deep-voiced vocalist who sings R&B with inflections of jazz. But on the bandstand at HR-57, where he’s long been a stalwart performer, Parham often tries his hand at jazz standards. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-57 website

Palanke Music Company, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Led by vocalist and guitarist Jaime Andrés Salazar, a.k.a. Gato, Palanke Music Company is tropicalia meets electro meets Samba meets Afro-Cuban jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Kenny Rittenhouse Sextet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Kenny Rittenhouse was a mainstay on the D.C. jazz scene throughout much of the 1990s, playing at venues such as the One Step Down and Twins Lounge. The highly respected trumpeter has a tone that can be mellow or punchy, and he’s leant it to the U.S. Army Band and the Smithsonian Masterworks Jazz Orchestra. Rittenhouse now teaches at George Mason University and doesn’t play out as much as he used to, but this weekend he appears with a top-notch sextet of local musicians: Jamal Brown on flute, Lyle Link on tenor saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano, Cheyney Thomas on bass and J.C. Jefferson, Jr. on drums. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Dee Stone, Black Fox Lounge, 9:15 p.m. | Dee Stone sings soul, blues, jazz and rock. The first set of every performance is usually comprised of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m. | Arguably the city’s best jazz trumpeter, Donvonte McCoy plays every Friday and Saturday at the hip 18th St. Lounge. He likes to mix in some funk as well during the lounge gig, and he’s liable to inflect a touch of Chuck Brown-esque groove into his combo’s treatment of classic bop tunes by the likes of Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. After all, the setting is that of a dance club, not a jazz joint – no tables and chairs or hushed applause after every solo. Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. View event on calendar | 18th St. Lounge profile

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndre Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. He and his small group, Collector’s Edition, play standards with a friendly, inviting touch, and they add to the positive vibes already flowing throughout the room — especially when Howard tosses aside the trumpet to sing a spontaneous blues. no cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia profile

The Hang, Bohemian Caverns, midnight | Bohemian Caverns’ late-night jam, The Hang, is hosted by a different band every week of the month. The kitchen remains open until 1 a.m., so there’s a chance to get a late bite without having to traipse to Ben’s Chili Bowl. $7 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29

cb pick:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m.

Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Marshall Keys’ saxophone can sing the blues or swing to the rhythms of bebop with a laid-back sense of cool; the native Washingtonian is a fluid, graceful player. He plays every Sunday brunch at Acadiana, usually with a group consisting of the city’s top jazz scene veterans: Federico Peña on piano, Tarus Mateen on bass and either Lenny Robinson or Mark Prince on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Acadiana website

Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m. | The Jolley Brothers, Noble on keyboard and Nate on drums, play thrice a weekend at B. Smith’s, the upscale soul-food restaurant in Union Station’s massive East Hall. The Jolleys, who perform with a bassist, comprise one of D.C.’s most exciting and auspicious acts. With roots in gospel, soul and the modal bop of the 1960s, the brothers (who also compose prolifically) bring some of the most creative elements in the African-American music canon forward into the 21st century, all while stamping it with their own distinctive flavoring. B. Smith’s is a restaurant first, and the music remains in the background – no matter how expertly played. But as far as jazz brunch goes, it’s hard to top the Jolleys’ music. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | B. Smith’s website

Jam Session with Peter Edelman, Columbia Station, 4 p.m. | Pianist Peter Edelman, a constant presence on the D.C. jazz scene for years now, leads an afternoon jam session every Saturday and Sunday. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Potomac Jazz Project, Laporta’s, 6:30 p.m. | The Potomac Jazz Project is a quartet that takes on modern and classic jazz tunes (and even some pop covers) with a showmanly flair, as well as skill. It’s led by bassist Stan Hamrick, and its rotating lineup often features some of D.C.’s best musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Laporta’s website

Jazz Jam, Dahlak, 6:30 p.m.| This jazz jam presents a friendly, relaxed environment where professionals and amateurs can play together. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | View Dahlak profile

Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Following in the tradition of era-defining Black bards like GIl Scott-Heron, the Last Poets, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, Black Notes integrates deep grooves and red-blooded messages of revolution and solidarity. The accomplished band includes Reginald Cyntje on trombone and Antonio Parker on alto saxophone. Two separate shows at 7 & 9 p.m. $15 cover in advance, $18 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | View Bohemian Caverns profile

DC Choro, Grill from Ipanema, 7:30 p.m.| DC Choro is a sextet that plays Brazilian music drawing on European folk traditions. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarGrill from Ipanema profile

Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Jazz Direct, Zoo Bar Café, 7:30 p.m.| This combo specializes in traditional New Orleans-style jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarZoo Bar website

Roy Ayers, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Vocalist and vibraphonist Roy Ayers – beloved by acid-jazz fans, hip-hop heads and disco lovers alike – touts the title “King of Neo-Soul Music.” But before that, his days as an experimental jazz musician found him partnering with greats like Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Hubert Laws. Nowadays, Ayers typically sings sultry ballads over programmed drums and synthesizers; he’s experienced something of a renaissance, too, as the greater jazz community finally embraces osmosis with hip-hop, underscoring Ayers’s earlier prescience. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 8:30 p.m.| The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every Sunday night leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” no cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

SwagFunk, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | No description available. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Cheryl Jones Trio, Utopia, 9 p.m. | Singer Cheryl Jones has a weekly engagement every Sunday at Utopia, where she sings with depth, force and clarity. Jones is equally likely to sing jazz standards, pop tunes or gospel classics. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Utopia profile

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