Weekend in Jazz | 2.11-2.13: The D.C. Jazz Loft returns, and hard-bop legends descend on U St.

Charles Rahmat Woods, Brad Linde, Brian Settles and the U Street All-Stars, from left, will perform at the D.C. Jazz Loft this Sunday.

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.This weekend, we’re especially excited about CapitalBop’s second-ever D.C. Jazz Loft. (Info on that can be found in the Sunday section below.) But there are loads of great shows going on this Valentine’s Day weekend, and all of our favorites are marked with a label. As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our monthly calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, FEB. 11

cb picks:

  • Freddie Redd & Butch Warren, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Buck Hill, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Lyle Link Quartet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | With a presentation that’s always strong and often sultry, saxophonist Lyle Link grabs you, tells you the music is about feeling as much as it’s about hearing. For this week’s installation of Westminster Presbyterian’s “Jazz Night,” Link leads his quartet, featuring Benjie Porecki on piano, Romeir Mendez 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), 6:30 p.m. | Commanding vocalist Karen Gray is joined by pianist Bob Sykes 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 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

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

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

Elijah & the Po’ Boys, Bayou, 7 p.m. | Tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed leads the Po’ Boys trio — usually with drums and guitar — four nights a week during dinnertime hours at the New Orleans-themed Bayou. A strong, Dexter Gordon-like player, he performs mostly tunes from hard bop’s heyday and other standards. To hear Balbed stretch out with a full quintet, stay late on a Thursday night, when he plays Bayou’s featured set. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bayou profile

Josh Walker Quartet, Levine School, 8 p.m. | Talented guitarist and composer Josh Walker will lead his quartet through original pieces at this concert, part of the Levine School of Music’s “Levine Presents” series. His group includes Russell Kirk on alto saxophone, Karine Chapdelaine on bass and Shareef Taher on drums. $15 cover, free for Levine students, no minimum. View event on calendar | Levine School website

Jerry Butler, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Before they were Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, they were Jerry Butler and the Impressions. Jerry “The Iceman” Butler scored his first hit with the group in 1958, when he was its frontman, with the classic song “For Your Precious Love.” Butler’s voice is still deep, strong and smooth as ice – and his Blues Alley performances will surely provide for some timeless R&B. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Julian Hipkins Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Julian Hipkins sings with a swingin’ flair and jaunty, deep voice that recall Jimmy Rushing. He’s joined here by Wayne Wilentz on piano, James King on bass and Chuck Redd on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Andrea Wood & Michael Kramer, Tasting Room, 8 p.m. | Singer Andrea Wood has started catching people’s ears since returning to D.C., her hometown, in 2009. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate moves fearlessly up and down octaves, all the while maintaining a distinct sense of purpose. She can explore the upper register in a beguiling waft, or plunge into the basement with buoyant, swelling articulation. Wood and guitarist Michael Kramer play Brazilian and classic jazz standards every week as background fare at the Tasting Room, a wine bar in Friendship Heights. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Tasting Room website

Freddie Redd & Butch Warren, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | In the 1950s and ’60s, pianist Freddie Redd asserted himself as one of hard-bop’s top composers, with uncanny ambition and vision. He composed the score for and starred in the late-’50s musical “The Connection,” bebop’s most eminent Broadway moment, then recorded the songs for an album, his first of three on Blue Note Records. But over the course of his career, Redd has proven to be more than just a songwriter – as an accompanist, he deploys jagged chords with syncopated savvy, and his solos bend and break the blues far more adventurously than those of some pianists who’ve gone down as hard-bop legends. Butch Warren, D.C.’s most treasured jazz elder, was a bassist on dozens of classic albums in the ’60s, when he served as Blue Note’s house bassist and toured with Thelonious Monk. That classic bass line on Joe Henderson’s “Blue Bossa” record? That groove on Herbie Hancock’s original “Watermelon Man”? Yep, that was him. The affirmation of fame and fortune has eluded both of these greats, but their music remains arrestingly strong and swingin’. Redd and Warren are joined on this two-night stand at Bohemian Caverns by a talented group of younger, local musicians: Brian Settles and Brad Linde on saxophones, and Tony Martucci on drums. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Buck Hill, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Not every jazz fan knows Buck Hill’s story. But those who do know it don’t soon forget. The tenor saxophonist was already making waves with his music by the mid-1940s, and in the coming years he would hone his skills as a bebop master who played alongside Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and other greats who came through his native D.C. to perform. Hill’s uncompromising swing and rich, reedy tone were originally “discovered” by the famous guitarist Charlie Byrd, with whom Hill recorded a series of albums in the 1950s. The catch? Hill did all this while keeping up a day job as a mailman, supporting his family by dedicatedly delivering envelopes for decades. Today, Hill is one of the nation’s capital’s jazz elders, with more than 10 albums to his name as a leader, and his concerts are not to be missed. Particularly when he plays with fellow local stars like pianist Bob Butta and drummer Nasar Abadey, who will be in the band for Hill’s weekend stint at Twins. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 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

Maureen Mullaney, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Maureen Mullaney sings jazz and blues songs with a light ensemble. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge 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. 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, FEB. 12

cb picks:

  • Freddie Redd & Butch Warren, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Buck Hill, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 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

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

Elijah & the Po’ Boys, Bayou, 7 p.m. | Tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed leads the Po’ Boys trio — usually with drums and guitar — four nights a week during dinnertime hours at the New Orleans-themed Bayou. A strong, Dexter Gordon-like player, he performs mostly tunes from hard bop’s heyday and other standards. To hear Balbed stretch out with a full quintet, stay late on a Thursday night, when he plays Bayou’s featured set. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarBayou profile

Lena Seikaly & Potomac Jazz Project, 7:30 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

Jerry Butler, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Before they were Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, they were Jerry Butler and the Impressions. Jerry “The Iceman” Butler scored his first hit with the group in 1958, when he was its frontman, with the classic song “For Your Precious Love.” Butler’s voice is still deep, strong and smooth as ice – and his Blues Alley performances will surely provide for some timeless R&B. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Sara Jones Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m.| Vocalist Sara Jones sings jazz standards sweetly; her band here includes David Kane on piano, Zack Pride on bass and Todd Harrison on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarMandarin Oriental Hotel website

Freddie Redd & Butch Warren, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | In the 1950s and ’60s, pianist Freddie Redd asserted himself as one of hard-bop’s top composers, with uncanny ambition and vision. He composed the score for and starred in the late-’50s musical “The Connection,” bebop’s most eminent Broadway moment, then recorded the songs for an album, his first of three on Blue Note Records. But over the course of his career, Redd has proven to be more than just a songwriter – as an accompanist, he deploys jagged chords with syncopated savvy, and his solos bend and break the blues far more adventurously than some of the pianists who have gone down as hard-bop legends. Butch Warren, D.C.’s most treasured jazz elder, was a bassist on dozens of classic albums in the ’60s, when he served as Blue Note’s house bassist and toured with Thelonious Monk. That classic bass line on Joe Henderson’s “Blue Bossa” record? That groove on Herbie Hancock’s original “Watermelon Man”? Yep, that was him. The affirmation of fame and fortune has eluded both of these greats, but their music remains arrestingly strong and swingin’. Redd and Warren are joined on this two-night stand at Bohemian Caverns by a talented group of younger, local musicians: Brian Settles and Brad Linde on saxophones, and Tony Martucci on drums. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendarBohemian Caverns profile

Buck Hill, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m. | Not every jazz fan knows Buck Hill’s story. But those who do know it don’t soon forget. The tenor saxophonist was already making waves with his music by the mid-1940s, and in the coming years he would hone his skills as a bebop master who played alongside Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and other greats who came through his native D.C. to perform. Hill’s uncompromising swing and rich, reedy tone were originally “discovered” by the famous guitarist Charlie Byrd, with whom Hill recorded a series of albums in the 1950s. The catch? Hill did all this while keeping up a day job as a mailman, supporting his family by dedicatedly delivering envelopes for decades. Today, Hill is one of the nation’s capital’s jazz elders, with more than 10 albums to his name as a leader, and his concerts are not to be missed. Particularly when he plays with fellow local stars like pianist Bob Butta and drummer Nasar Abadey, who will be in the band for Hill’s weekend stint at Twins. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins 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 calendarColumbia 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. 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 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. No cover, 1-drink minimum View event on calendarUtopia profile

SUNDAY, FEB. 13

cb pick:

  • Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m.
  • Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 6 & 8:30 p.m.
  • CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft – Bebop Edition, Red Door, 7 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 Vespers, Christ Episcopal Church, 5 p.m. | The Jim Levy Trio adds a straight-ahead jazz flavor to this service of evening prayer at Christ Episcopal Church. The group features the Rev. John McDuffie on saxophone. No cover, offering collected. View event on calendar | Christ Episcopal website

Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 6 & 8:30 p.m. | In a special, pre-Valentine’s Day show, D.C.-via-New York vocalist Heidi Martin performs with a small jazz combo. The vastly talented Martin emits her messages complex but clear, with an essence of mourning and resilience that hints at Billie Holiday, and delicate control that’s not unlike Joni Mitchell’s. Martin is one of D.C.’s treasures, and it’s good to see this singer, typically an attentive and amicable Bohemian Caverns waitress, where she truly shines: onstage. Two separate sets at 6 and 8:30 p.m. $20 cover, no minimum; $55 special Valentine’s package includes admission, two-course dinner and a glass of wine or champagne. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

D.C. 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

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

CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft – Bebop Edition, Red Door, 7 p.m. | CapitalBop presents its second D.C. Jazz Loft. For this installation, we’re bringing it all back home to the days when jazz cats would congregate in W. Eugene Smith’s Manhattan loft and play until the sun came up. This is the “Bebop Edition.” While all the music isn’t strictly mid-century-style bebop, most all of it will be swingin’ its butt off. Here’s a list of the four bands: U Street All-Stars, Brian Settles Trio, Brad Linde Quartet and Charles Rahmat Woods’ D.C. Love Orchestra. $5 suggested donation, no minimum. View event on calendar | Event preview

Jerry Butler, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Before they were Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, they were Jerry Butler and the Impressions. Jerry “The Iceman” Butler scored his first hit with the group in 1958, when he was its frontman, with the classic song “For Your Precious Love.” Butler’s voice is still deep, strong and smooth as ice – and his Blues Alley performances will surely provide for some timeless R&B. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Brian Robertson, Twins Jazz, 8 p.m. | Saxophonist Brian Robertson leads a combo through straight-ahead jazz that’s informed by his own love for and skill at R&B and funk. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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 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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  1. Avatar

    As a jazz rookie, I was a little nervous going in Jazz Loft. Would this be a welcoming scene for the newbies as well as seasoned musicians and listeners? Was it ever. The CapitalBob duo put together an amazing show, and though Miles Davis is about the extent of my jazz knowledge, this night was boppin’. The venue is amazing and the incredibly talented musicians will keep you moving all night long. Even if your idea of good music is the latest Britney Spears album, Jazz Loft will make your weekend.

    Sarah /

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