Weekend in Jazz | 1.7-1.9: Roy Hargrove at the Kennedy Center, plus local heavies all over town

Roy Hargrove arrives for a gig at the Kennedy Center on Saturday. Courtesy Bjorn1101

by Giovanni Russonello
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Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” our list of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. Our favorites are slapped with a label. As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, JAN. 7

cb picks:

  • James King & ‘Allen’s Odyssey,’ Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Anderson Twins, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m.
  • Quamon Fowler, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

James King & ‘Allen’s Odyssey,’ Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | This quartet of musicians includes most of Nasar Abadey’s Supernova, a preeminent local group, but here bassist James King takes the helm. The leader’s chair is familiar to King, who released a strong album called Allen’s Odyssey in 2009; it was filled with original tunes that drove and swung and strongly recalled Coltrane’s compositional influence. The rest of this evening’s quartet, operating under the moniker Allen’s Odyssey, includes Charlie Young on saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano and Abadey on drums – all heavy hitters. On top of top-grade music, you’ve got a venue that, after more than a decade, continues to be one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead but soul-bracing jazz. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Karen Gray Trio, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 6:30 p.m. | Commanding vocalist Karen Gray is joined by vibraphonist Pete Chauvette and bassist Hugh Johnson in her laid-back renditions of jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarSala Thai website

Potomac Jazz Project, Sala Thai (U St.), 6:30 p.m. | The Potomac Jazz Project is a jazz combo, led by bassist Stan Hamrick, that takes on modern and classic jazz tunes with a showmanly flair, as well as skill. The cast of supporting musicians tends to rotate, but it’s usually a very solid lineup. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarSala Thai website

Yamomanem Jazz Band, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | The Yamomanem Jazz Band plays a faithful take on New Orleans jazz, conjuring the days of King Oliver and early Louis Armstrong with its lush brass section. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarSala Thai 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

Mose Allison Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | This famous Mississippi Delta native sings and plays jazz piano, integrating the murky feel of the Delta blues and the sass of early rock ‘n’ roll into what might at first blush seem like a jazz trio. Over a more than 50-year career, he has recorded albums for Atlantic, Columbia, Elektra and Blue Note Records, among others. His run at Blues Alley spans the whole weekend, from Thursday through Sunday. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Lena Seikaly, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 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. She’s backed by a trio featuring Chris Grasso on piano, Zack Pride on bass and John Lamkin on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Quamon Fowler, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Texas saxophonist Quamon Fowler, like so many of his Lone Star jazz counterparts, mixes a hefty dose of gospel influence into his playing. In fact, he’s explicit about the religious aspect of his playing: His talent and dedication to music are gifts from God, he says, and his music a communication with the higher power. This sometimes manifests in deep soul grooves, but his impressive improvisational intellect is always rooted in jazz and boldly experimental. Here he’ll perform with a small combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 cover in advance, $20 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Anderson Twins, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m. | The identical Anderson Twins, who play West Coast- and swing era-indebted jazz, have earned praise from the New York Times’ Stephen Holden, who calls them “virtuosos on both clarinet and saxophone.” They also happen to be memorable, prolific composers. The Bethesda, Md. natives started out in the early 2000’s as students of renowned area saxophonist and educator Paul Carr. Since then, they’ve studied with the likes of Dr. Billy Taylor, James Moody, Barry Harris and Clark Terry. The first two names on that list both passed away last month, and the Anderson Twins will honor these giants during a two-night run at Twins this weekend. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Brulee, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m. | Brulee is a jazz and alt-pop fusion quartet featuring vocalist Aura Kanegis. No cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Black Fox Ensemble, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Vocalist Aaron Myers leads the Black Fox Ensemble, a straight-ahead jazz quartet featuring piano, bass and drums, at the new Black Fox Lounge. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge website

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. (Updated: McCoy’s just announced that tonight he’ll be joined by one of CapitalBop’s favorite musicians, wildly inventive and free-flying alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead.) Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. View event on calendar | 18th St. Lounge profile

DeAndre Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndre Howard’s weekly engagement at Utopia brings hordes to the restaurant and bar every Friday night. 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, JAN. 8

cb picks:

  • Roy Hargrove Quintet, Kennedy Center, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Anderson Twins, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m.
  • Quamon Fowler, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.
  • Elijah Jamal Experience, Utopia, 11 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 calendarColumbia Station 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 calendarB. Smith’s website

Triple Double Jazz Band, Sala Thai (Petworth), 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 calendarSala 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

Lena Seikaly & Potomac Jazz Project, 7 p.m., Extra Virgin Restaurant | 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 calendar | Extra Virgin’s website

Roy Hargrove Quintet, Kennedy Center, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | Considered by many to be the best trumpeter of the post-Wynton Marsalis generation, Roy Hargrove has an affinity and proficiency playing countless styles of music. With his group RH Factor, he explores (and ignores) the boundaries between jazz, funk and hip-hop. But in this performance with his quintet at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, he will probably stick to post-bop and Latin. Two separate sets at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. $35 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarKennedy Center website

Mose Allison Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | This famous Mississippi Delta native sings and plays jazz piano, integrating the murky feel of the Delta blues and the sass of early rock ‘n’ roll into what might at first blush seem like a jazz trio. Over a more than 50-year career, he has recorded albums for Atlantic, Columbia, Elektra and Blue Note Records, among others. His run at Blues Alley spans the whole weekend, from Thursday through Sunday. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Janine Carter, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Janine Carter has a fulsome set of pipes that employs with masterful finesse and delicateness, in a style not entirely unlike Betty Carter’s. She often sings gospel, but she’s just as likely to do straight-ahead jazz – which is what’s on the bill at the Mandarin Oriental. She’s backed by a talented trio of Eric Byrd on piano, James King on bass and Alphonso Young, Jr., on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Quamon Fowler, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Texas saxophonist Quamon Fowler, like so many of his Lone Star jazz counterparts, mixes a hefty dose of gospel influence into his playing. In fact, he’s explicit about the religious aspect of his playing: His talent and dedication to music are gifts from God, he says, and his music a communication with the higher power. This sometimes manifests in deep soul grooves, but his impressive improvisational intellect is always rooted in jazz and boldly experimental. Here he’ll perform with a small combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $15 cover in advance, $20 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendarBohemian Caverns profile

Mark Deffenbaugh, Columbia Station, 8:30 p.m. | Pianist Mark Deffenbaugh plays smooth and funky jazz with a small group. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Anderson Twins, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m. | The identical Anderson Twins, who play West Coast- and swing era-indebted jazz, have earned praise from the New York Times’ Stephen Holden, who calls them “virtuosos on both clarinet and saxophone.” They also happen to be memorable, prolific composers. The Bethesda, Md. natives started out in the early 2000’s as students of renowned area saxophonist and educator Paul Carr. Since then, they’ve studied with the likes of Dr. Billy Taylor, James Moody, Barry Harris and Clark Terry. The first two names on that list both passed away last month, and the Anderson Twins will honor these giants during a two-night run at the appropriately named Twins Jazz this weekend. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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. Cover varies ($5-10), no minimum. Vie?w event on calendar18th St. Lounge profile

Elijah Jamal Experience, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Young powerhouse tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed heads up one of the swinginest shows on U Street every Saturday night. His sound drips with the blues, and from the bell of this 20-year-old’s horn seem impossibly to rise the ghosts of Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon. With the Washington City Paper’s 2010 Best New D.C. Jazz Musician award under his belt, Balbed can always be expected always to deliver the goods. He performs this weekend with a particularly standout cast of musicians: silky-fingered guitarist Samir Moulay, recently back from a European tour with Macy Gray; area stalwart bassist Herman Burney; and drummer Lee Pearson, who – well, he was Hank Jones’ last drummer. That oughtta tell you all you need to know about Lee Pearson. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia profile

SUNDAY, JAN. 9

cb pick:

  • Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m.
  • Will Rast, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m.

Kevin Pace Trio, Chef Geoff’s, 11 a.m. | Kevin Pace has a strong command on the bass and an intuitive ear as a composer. He puts both on display at the restaurant Chef Geoff’s, where he performs every week during Sunday brunch. This is background music, but that’s because of the environment, not the performance — which is anything but second-rate. (To hear Pace stretch out a bit more, catch him at Utopia with the Bobby Muncy Quartet, every Wednesday except the third of the month.) No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Chef Geoff’s 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 calendarB. 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

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 | Dahlak 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

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 8:30 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player every Sunday night leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Mose Allison Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | This famous Mississippi Delta native sings and plays jazz piano, integrating the murky feel of the Delta blues and the sass of early rock ‘n’ roll into what might at first blush seem like a jazz trio. Over a more than 50-year career, he has recorded albums for Atlantic, Columbia, Elektra and Blue Note Records, among others. His run at Blues Alley spans the whole weekend, from Thursday through Sunday. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley 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

Will Rast, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Keyboardist Will Rast is the leader of local Afrobeat band Funk Ark, so you know he can get the groove going. He’s also a strong jazz musician, although he’s never content to stick to ordinary bebop stylings. In him you’ll hear Bill Evans’ ebbing sense of swing, Horace Silver’s Caribbean left hand technique and – when he plays the organ – just a bit of Jimmy Smith’s larger-than-life harmonies. Rast performs here with a small group. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa Bistro profile

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