Weekend in Jazz | 10.29-10.31

Saxophone guru Kenny Garrett plays Blues Alley on Friday and Saturday this weekend. taken by flickr user Pir?

by Giovanni Russonello
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Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” a full list of every D.C. jazz show that we can get our hands on. If you’re just breezing through, check for the shows with a  label — those are our favorites. As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you prefer. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, OCT. 29

cb picks: Jimmy & Tootie Heath, KC Jazz Club; Kenny Garrett Presents, Blues Alley; Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson, HR-57; Freddie Redd, Twins Jazz; Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge

Davey & Esther, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a not-so-likely hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week’s edition features Davey Yarborough on saxophone, Esther Williams on vocals, Jon Ozment on piano, Wes Biles on bass, Ike Daniels on guitar and Frances Thomspon on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendarWestminster Presbyterian Church website

Jimmy & Tootie Heath, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | The two surviving Heath Brothers, each of them a hard-bop legend, will perform with a small group. Jimmy plays tenor saxophone, and Tootie drums. In addition to a successful recording and performing career as the Heath Brothers, these two jazz legends have performed beside Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, among countless others. Two separate sets at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $26 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarKC Jazz Club profile

Kenny Garrett Presents, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Saxophonist Kenny Garrett played for five years in Miles Davis’ band. Yes, that’s about all you need to hear to know this guy’s worth checking out. But what about his solo career, now more than 20 years in the making? It’s won him a Grammy; put him in charge of bands that include greats such as Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson; and established his reputation as one of the — if not the absolute — best soprano and alto saxophonists around. His soulful sound can be tender or searing, and it’s always captivating. He performs here with a combo. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $30 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Will Stephens Jazz Players, Level X Lounge, 8 p.m. | Drummer Will Stephens leads the Jazz Jam at Dahlak every Sunday, but this Friday he’s bringing jazz to a different D.C. restaurant: Axum. Located just off U St., this Ethiopian joint recently opened up its own new music venue, known as Level X Lounge. Stephens will perform with the Will Stephens Jazz Players, a quartet featuring tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed, a 20-year-old young titan; keyboardist Kenny Peagler, an expert player who recently graduated from New England Conservatory but performs precious little, let alone in the D.C. area; and veteran bassist Percy White, who has played with greats Ramsey Lewis and Ronnie Laws. $5 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Level X Lounge website

Casey Benjamin Group, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Casey Benjamin isn’t your average saxophonist. He’s played with funk-pop group the Heavy, rapper Mos Def and jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris — among so many others. He favors electric backing bands and likes to dig into deep grooves, but there’s nothing smoothed-over about his music. His exploratory saxophone solos have the uncompromising, heated attack of any jazz master, and he chooses only top-notch musicians as sidemen. Here he’s joined by Kris Bowers on piano and keyboard, Victor Bailey on bass and Marcus Baylor on drums. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendarBohemian Caverns profile

Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Drummer Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson is one of D.C.’s swingin’est drummers and when he decides to bring the heat, watch out. He draws some inspiration from Max Roach’s cymbal style, and he’s always deep in the pocket. Jackson spent two decades on the road with soul jazz master Jimmy Smith. $15 cover, no minimum.  View event on calendarHR-57 profile

Freddie Redd Quintet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Longtime hard bop pianist Freddie Redd has played with the likes of Art Farmer and Jackie McLean, but he was never as recognized as many of his contemporaries. He’s best known for composing the score for and acting in “The Connection,” a 1959 play. He’s joined at Twins by tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, baritone saxophonist Brad Linde, drummer Tony Martucci and a still-TBA bassist. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins 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 calendarColumbia Station profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 11 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. View event on calendar18th 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 calendarUtopia profile

SATURDAY, OCT. 30

cb picks: Kenny Garrett Presents, Blues Alley; Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers, Warner Theater; Freddie Redd Quintet, Twins Jazz; Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge; Elijah Jamal Experience, Utopia

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

Kevin Mahogany, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 p.m. | Renowned jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany won the 1998 Male Vocalist of the Year Award from Downbeat magazine. He’s got a warm, encompassing voice, which he typically applies to standards, though he has also dabbled in R&B. Two separate sets at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $26 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | KC Jazz Club website

Kenny Garrett Presents, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Saxophonist Kenny Garrett played for five years in Miles Davis’ band. Yes, that’s about all you need to hear to know this guy’s worth checking out. But what about his solo career, now more than 20 years in the making? It’s won him a Grammy; put him in charge of bands that include greats such as Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson; and established his reputation as one of the — if not the absolute — best soprano and alto saxophonists around. His soulful sound can be tender or searing, and it’s always captivating. He performs here with a combo. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $30 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers, Warner Theater, 8 p.m. | Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés is known as the “dean of Latin jazz.” His father, Bebo, was a famous musician, as is his son, Chuchito. Valdés has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea and many others. He’s won three Grammy Awards. In short, this guy is the real deal. $30 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Warner Theater website

Casey Benjamin Group, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Casey Benjamin isn’t your average saxophonist. He’s played with funk-pop group the Heavy, rapper Mos Def and jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris — among so many others. He favors electric backing bands and likes to dig into deep grooves, but there’s nothing smoothed-over about his music. His exploratory saxophone solos have the uncompromising, heated attack of any jazz master, and he chooses only top-notch musicians as sidemen. Here he’s joined by Kris Bowers on piano and keyboard, Victor Bailey on bass and Marcus Baylor on drums. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendarBohemian Caverns profile

A.J. Parham, HR-57, 9 p.m. | A.J. Parham is a smooth-voiced vocalist who sings R&B with a deep inflection of jazz. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-57 profile

Freddie Redd Quintet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Longtime hard bop pianist Freddie Redd has played with the likes of Art Farmer and Jackie McLean, but he was never as recognized as many of his contemporaries in the United States. He’s best known for composing the score for and acting in “The Connection,” a 1959 play. He’s joined at Twins by tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, baritone saxophonist Brad Linde, drummer Tony Martucci and a still-TBA bassist. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum.  View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 11 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. View 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 swingin’est shows on U Street every Saturday night. The lineup of musicians on this late-night gig varies from week to week, but it’s consistently outstanding. Plus, with the Washington City Paper’s 2010 Best New D.C. Jazz Musician award under his belt, the 20-year-old Balbed can always be expected always to deliver the goods on sax. no cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia profile

SUNDAY, OCT. 31

cb pick: Jazz Jam: Halloween Extravaganza, Dahlak

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 calendarChef Geoff’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 calendarColumbia Station profile

Jazz Jam: Halloween Extravaganza, Dahlak, 6 p.m. | This jazz jam always presents a friendly, relaxed environment where professionals and amateurs can play together. This week, the jam happens to fall on Halloween, so there’ll be a costume contest, giveaways (including tickets to Blues Alley) and drink specials. The house band consists of Kash Wright on keys, Duff Davis on guitar, Percy White on bass and Will Stephens on drums. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendarDahlak profile

Jam Session, HR-57, 7 p.m. | This is a chance for local musicians to stretch out and see which of their new ideas stick when thrown against HR’s craggy brick walls. It’s also an inexpensive way for jazz fans to get a peek into the raw collaborations of D.C.’s rising stars. $8 cover for audience members, $4 cover for musicians, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-57 profile

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 calendarColumbia Station profile

Cheryl Jones, Utopia, 9 p.m. | Singer Cheryl Jones has a weekly engagement every Sunday at Utopia, where she draws on her broad base of musical passions. She is equally likely to sing jazz standards, pop tunes or gospel classics. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia profile

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