Weekend in Jazz | 10.7-10.9: The D.C. Jazz Loft returns, and KenCen launches 2011-12 season

Steve Wilson plays a tribute to Charlie Parker at the Kennedy Center this weekend, opening the KC Jazz Club's 2011-12 season. Courtesy allaboutjazz.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editor-in-chief

CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft is back this Sunday, with sets from singer Akua Allrich (the loft’s first-ever vocal performer!), bassist Herman Burney and experimental guitarist Anthony Pirog. But wait, you’ve got options: the funk-inflected Ebony Brass Sextet is at Bohemian Caverns in a Transparent Productions presentation, also on Sunday night; Blues Alley presents Roy Hargrove all weekend long; and the Kennedy Center’s KC Jazz Club rings in its 2011-12 season with two evenings of Charlie Parker tributes from Steve Wilson – quite possibly the best contemporary saxophonist you’ve never heard of (well, unless you have). You can find details on these performances and many others 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 7

cb picks:

  • Chris Grasso Quintet, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Steve Wilson, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Tony Martucci Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Chris Grasso Quintet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Chris Grasso, a soulful pianist who specializes in accompanying vocalists, leads a quintet featuring singer Lena Seikaly and a handful of the area’s top instrumentalists: Paul Carr on saxophone, Tommy Cecil on bass and Lenny Robinson on drums. The band is great and the venue – the so-called Jazz Church – is one of the District’s best. What isn’t to like? $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. | 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 calendar | Sala 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 calendar | Sala 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 calendar | B. Smith’s website

Steve Wilson, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | One of the most talented and versatile saxophonists in the game, Steve Wilson kicks off the Kennedy Center’s 2011-12 KC Jazz Club series with a two-night run. Here his stellar, straight-ahead quartet (featuring pianist Bruce Barth, the D.C. area’s own bassist Michael Bowie and drummer Lewis Nash) is joined by a string quartet, as they pay tribute to Charlie Parker’s famous 1950 orchestral jazz recording, “Bird with Strings.” Two separate shows at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Cover varies ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendar | KC Jazz Club profile

Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Considered by many to be the best trumpeter of the post-Wynton Marsalis generation, Roy Hargrove has an affinity for and proficiency in countless musical styles. With his group RH Factor, he explores (and ignores) the boundaries between jazz, funk and hip-hop. In his old band Crisol, he offered a modernist’s approach to Afro-Cuban jazz. In this performance at Blues Alley with his quintet, he will probably stick to post-bop and Latin. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Big Joe Maher Trio w/Lyle Link, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Drummer Big Joe Maher plays boogie-woogie and blues, and sings in a playful drawl. His band is rounded out by the soulful, highly skilled saxophonist Lyle Link; Andrew Adair on piano; and Gavin Fallow on bass. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Edmar Castañeda, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | You’ve probably never heard the harp played this rhythmically in your life. Edmar Castañeda, a Colombian harpist, plays the instrument with bite and fervor, rather than in its typical, slow waves. He has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, but here he leads his own Latin jazz combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. $20 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 Bistro website

Antonio Parker, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone and inclinations that bring neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bebop. Parker often pays tribute to John Coltrane with song dedications and covers, but his style on the horn often nods toward one of his personal favorites, the contemporary master Kenny Garrett. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9 p.m. | The stalwart D.C. piano player Peter Edelman every week leads a rotating cast of musicians that often outgrows the title “trio.” No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Columbia Station profile

Tony Martucci Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | A frequent sideman and bandleader in the D.C. area, drummer Tony Martucci is a seasoned bop drummer with a lively swing. He has recorded with such superstars as Joe Lovano, and for this show he’s assembled an all-star cast of D.C. talent: Greg Boyer on trombone, John Lee on guitar and Tom Baldwin on bass. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Aaron Myers, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Vocalist Aaron Myers leads this straight-ahead jazz quartet, featuring piano, bass and drums, at the new Black Fox Lounge. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarBlack 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, October 8

cb picks:

  • Steve Wilson, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Tony Martucci Quartet, 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

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 (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

Steve Wilson, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. | One of the most talented and versatile saxophonists in the game, Steve Wilson kicks off the Kennedy Center’s 2011-12 KC Jazz Club series with a two-night run. Here his stellar, straight-ahead quartet (featuring pianist Bruce Barth, the D.C. area’s own bassist Michael Bowie and drummer Lewis Nash) is joined by a string quartet, as they pay tribute to Charlie Parker’s famous 1950 orchestral jazz recording, “Bird with Strings.” Two separate shows at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Cover varies ($26-$30), no minimum. View event on calendarKC Jazz Club profile

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

Lori Williams Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Smooth-voiced singer Lori Williams is a regular member of the local jazz group Saltman-Knowles. Here she steps out, singing standards with a superb quartet featuring Chris Grasso on piano, Gavin Fallow on bass and Lee Pearson on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Considered by many to be the best trumpeter of the post-Wynton Marsalis generation, Roy Hargrove has an affinity for and proficiency in countless musical styles. With his group RH Factor, he explores (and ignores) the boundaries between jazz, funk and hip-hop. In his old band Crisol, he offered a modernist’s approach to Afro-Cuban jazz. In this performance at Blues Alley with his quintet, he will probably stick to post-bop and Latin. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar| Blues Alley profile

Edmar Castañeda, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | You’ve probably never heard the harp played this rhythmically in your life. Edmar Castañeda, a Colombian harpist, plays the instrument with bite and fervor, rather than in its typical, slow waves. He has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, but here he leads his own Latin jazz combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. $20 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

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

Lenny Robinson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | One of the area’s leading jazz drummers, Lenny Robinson performs music that’s both accessible and forward-thinking, tied to the jazz tradition but unfailingly modern. Robinson, a common sideman around town, performs here with his own quartet. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Tony Martucci Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | A frequent sideman and bandleader in the D.C. area, drummer Tony Martucci is a seasoned bop drummer with a lively swing. He has recorded with such superstars as Joe Lovano, and for this show he’s assembled an all-star cast of D.C. talent: Greg Boyer on trombone, John Lee on guitar and Tom Baldwin on bass. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar |Twins Jazz profile

Kaos Theory, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m. | Kaos Theory is a smooth funk band. No cover, 1-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

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

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, October 9

cb picks:

  • D.C. Jazz Loft, Red Door, 7 p.m.
  • Ebony Brass Sextet, Bohemian Caverns, 7 & 9 p.m.
  • Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Lena Seikaly, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 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

Bob Hallahan and David Pope, Kennedy Center, 2 p.m. | Pianist Bob Hallahan and saxophonist David Pope both teach at George Mason University, and both are talented jazz musicians with long résumés. Here they will perform originals and jazz standards in a duo setting, with music ranging from traditional straight-ahead to contemporary. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center 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

Click for more info on the loft

D.C. Jazz Loft, Red Door, 7 p.m. | Once again, CapitalBop brings you the goods with our monthly D.C. Jazz Loft. If you haven’t made it out yet to one of these DIY jazz extravaganzas, now’s the time; if you have, you know where it’s at. This edition’s stellar lineup includes, for the first time in loft history, a vocalist: the tremendously talented Akua Allrich, whose soulful and Afrocentric stylings recall Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba and so many other greats. The other acts will be the experimental guitarist Anthony Pirog and the straight-ahead duo of bassist Herman Burney and trombonist Reginald Cyntje. $10 suggested donation, BYOB. View event on calendar | Red Door website

Ebony Brass Sextet, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | In the vanguardist tradition of the World Saxophone Quartet, whose just-sax instrumentation busted apart the notion that small-group jazz in the post-war era had to be grounded in some form of a bass-and-drums rhythm section, the Ebony Brass Sextet puts the other sort of horn front and center. The band includes two trumpets, a tuba, a trombone, and, yes, one drummer. The sextet’s statements range from funky to spirituality-seeped to New Orleanian; the show at Bohemian Caverns marks this month’s installation of Transparent Productions’ “Sundays at 7 at the Caverns” series. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | 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

MC Booze Band, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Guitarist MC Booze and his small band play sunny R&B and blues-influenced rock music. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Roy Hargrove Quintet, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Considered by many to be the best trumpeter of the post-Wynton Marsalis generation, Roy Hargrove has an affinity for and proficiency in countless musical styles. With his group RH Factor, he explores (and ignores) the boundaries between jazz, funk and hip-hop. In his old band Crisol, he offered a modernist’s approach to Afro-Cuban jazz. In this performance at Blues Alley with his quintet, he will probably stick to post-bop and Latin. 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

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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