Weekend in Jazz | 10.26-10.28: Jason Moran spices up KC Jazz Club; Ralph Peterson comes to Twins

The torrential drummer Ralph Peterson is at Twins Jazz this weekend. Courtesy jazztruth.blogspot.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Ralph Peterson, Art Blakey’s last protege on drums in the 1980s, has himself become a formidable bandleader, composer and mentor of young talent. Since the ’90s, he’s held a reputation as one of the most powerful drummers in the game; this weekend, he brings his New Fo’Tet to Twins Jazz. Across town, Jason Moran performs on Friday night with an expanded version of his Bandwagon Trio at the KC Jazz Club. You can find details on all these shows and 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, OCTOBER 26

cb picks:

  • John Lamkin II, Westminster Presbyterian, 6:30 p.m.
  • Jason Moran & the Bandwagon w/Bill Frisell & Alicia Hall Moran, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Ralph Peterson New Fo’Tet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

John Lamkin II, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At this week’s installment of Westminster Presbyterian’s Jazz Night, the swinging trumpeter John Lamkin II performs with a group of colorful local straight-ahead players: Craig Alston on saxophone, Allyn Johnson on piano, Kris Funn on bass and John Lamkin III on drums. $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), 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

Potomac Jazz Project, 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

L’Tanya Mari 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

Jason Moran & the Bandwagon w/Bill Frisell & Alicia Hall Moran, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | The irrepressible pianist and experimentalist Jason Moran finds commonality in hidden places. Here he brings together his widely praised and sometimes pummeling trio, the Bandwagon, with the guitarist Bill Frisell’s acid-drenched sound and the classically trained vocals of Alicia Hall Moran, the pianist’s wife. The Bandwagon is rounded out by two of the most unrestrainedly rhythmic musicians out there: the bassist Tarus Mateen (a D.C. resident) and the drummer Nasheet Waits. Two separate sets at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets vary ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendar | KC Jazz Club profile

Sue Matthews Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Sue Matthews draws from the great American songbook, and sings with lighthearted passion. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Najee, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Flutist and saxophonist Najee is a well-known smooth jazz and urban contemporary performer. Two separate shows at 8 & 10 p.m. $50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 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 both mellow and punchy, and he has played with 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. He appears here with a top-notch septet of local musicians: Antonio Orta on alto saxophone, Tim Whalen on piano, Romeir Mendez on bass and JC Jefferson, Jr. on drums. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every Friday 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

Alfredo Mojica, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Alfredo Mojica, who sang at Bossa for years with the group Sin Miedo, unites salsa, jazz and Latin American balladry. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Ralph Peterson’s New Fo’Tet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | The drummer Ralph Peterson, who was Art Blakey’s last protege in the 1980s and now carries on Bu’s legacy as an educator and mentor, recently reassembled his clarinet-piano-bass-drums quartet. This time around, the members are all recent students of his from Berklee College of Music, and they’re a precocious bunch: Look out in particular for the piquant clarinet of Felix Peikli. Behind the kit, Peterson is vigorous and unrelenting, washing his entire band in polyrhythm and harking back to the greats of the 1960s and ’70s: Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $22 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Antonio Parker, 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, and his improvisation shows a redolence to Kenny Garrett’s. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Robbie Wancowicz Ensemble w/Jenny George, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Jenny George can’t yet drink legally at Black Fox Lounge, but she’s a prescient young vocalist who takes on jazz standards with strength and sensitivity. Here she appears with the Robbie Wancowicz 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

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27

cb picks:

  • Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m.
  • Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Ralph Peterson’s New Fo’Tet, 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 calendar | Johnny’s Half Shell 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

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

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

 

Kurt Elling, Kennedy Center, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | The widely celebrated vocalist Kurt Elling isn’t heavy on filigree or melisma, but he’s got his own ways of smearing icing all over a vocal line. On his latest album, “1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project,” he reworks a variety of the music that was composed in the famous New York City building that housed Carol King, Phil Spector and others. With tremulous vibrato and an audible simper in his voice, Elling gives a new reading to a range of songs that originated there, often entirely rewriting their melodies and giving them fresh, glistening arrangements. Two separate shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets $38. View event on calendar | KC Jazz Club profile

Julie Hall Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Julie Hall passionately projects a swirling, blooming tone, and flavors her renditions of jazz standards with a pregnant tremolo. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Najee, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Flutist and saxophonist Najee is a well-known smooth jazz and urban contemporary performer. Two separate shows at 8 & 10 p.m. $50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 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 both mellow and punchy, and he has played with 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. He appears here with a top-notch septet of local musicians: Lyle Link on saxophone, Tim Whalen on piano, Romeir Mendez on bass and JC Jefferson, Jr. on drums. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Kurtis Adams, Black Fox Lounge, 9 p.m. | Saxophonist Kurtis Adams, the director of jazz studies at West Virginia’s Shepherd University, plays savvy modern jazz. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Ralph Peterson’s New Fo’Tet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | The drummer Ralph Peterson, who was Art Blakey’s last protege in the 1980s and now carries on Bu’s legacy as an educator and mentor, recently reassembled his clarinet-piano-bass-drums quartet. This time around, the members are all recent students of his from Berklee College of Music, and they’re a precocious bunch: Look out in particular for the piquant clarinet of Felix Peikli. Behind the kit, Peterson is vigorous and unrelenting, washing his entire band in polyrhythm and harking back to the greats of the 1960s and ’70s: Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $22 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Keith Killgo Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Drummer Keith Killgo is a hard-swinging bopper with a long history on the D.C. jazz scene. You might recognize him if you’ve ever been to hear the Antonio Parker Quartet on a Friday or Saturday night at HR-57. His illustrious and sundry past includes stints with Joe Henderson and the Donald Byrd-indebted jazz-funk group, the Blackbyrds. He also released a successful R&B album under his own name. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Cubista, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | Cubista is a salsa band that plays at Bossa every Saturday. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

Dee Stone, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 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

Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m. | Lyrical bassist Steve Synk, a music major at the University of Maryland, leads a young trio that explores music ranging from standards to originals, groove-based contemporary jazz to swinging bop. No cover, one-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station 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

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28

cb picks:

  • Jazz Brunch: Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 11 a.m.
  • Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m.
  • Lyle Link, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.

Gospel Brunch, The Hamilton, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. | Every Sunday morning, the Hamilton presents two sets of rafters-raising gospel, along with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Two separate shows at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | The Hamilton website

TBA, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Performer TBA. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Acadiana website

Jazz Brunch: Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 11 a.m. | Twins Jazz’s new Sunday Jazz Brunch initiative revolves around the magnetic powers of Reginald Cyntje’s trombone. Last year, he released his debut CD, “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration,” a glimmeringly hopeful record immersed in the warm, danceable rhythms of Cyntje’s native U.S. Virgin Islands. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Twins profile

Harlem Gospel Choir, Howard Theatre, 12 p.m. | The talented Harlem Gospel Choir, which has been active since 1986, performs a Sunday brunch show every week at the Howard Theatre. Either an all-you-can-eat buffet or an a la carte menu are available. Doors open at noon, and the music starts at 1:30 p.m. Tickets vary ($35 for all-you-can-eat or $20 for admission and a la carte options in advance, $45 or $30 at the door). View event on calendar | Howard 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

D.C. Jazz Jam, Dahlak, 6 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

Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 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. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns website

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 calendar | Grill 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 calendar | Zoo Bar website

Lyle Link, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | With a presentation that’s always strong and often sultry, saxophonist and flautist Lyle Link grabs you, tells you the music is about feeling as much as it’s about hearing. This soulful and sophisticated player has been a mainstay of D.C.’s jazz scene for over 10 yeas, and he’s had a major hand in its revitalization. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Bill Heid, Black Fox Lounge, 8 p.m. | Bill Heid plays piano and sings blues songs and jazz standards. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge profile

Najee, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Flutist and saxophonist Najee is a well-known smooth jazz and urban contemporary performer. Two separate shows at 8 & 10 p.m. $50 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

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Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

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Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. 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. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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