Weekend in Jazz | 4.26-4.28: John Clayton with the SJMO, Heidi Martin’s Moon in Scorpio & more

John Clayton performs a tribute to John Levy with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra on Friday night. Courtesy juilliard.edu

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

A few months ago, we posted an in-depth profile of the under-sung vocalist and composer Heidi Martin, who was about to debut an ambitious program called “The Race Card.” This weekend she’ll be leading a quartet at Bohemian Caverns under the auspices of her Moon in Scorpio project; it’s her first weekend run at an area club in a while, so if you just heard about Martin recently, this is your chance to check her out. Also, on Friday night, the estimable bassist John Clayton performs with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra at the Natural History Museum. There’s info on all those shows and many more in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz.” As always, you can find our full listings at CapitalBop’s D.C. jazz calendar. Our favorites have a label. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, APRIL 26

cb picks:

  • Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra w/John Clayton, Natural History Museum, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tim Green, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Cheick Hamala Diabate with Tosin Aribasala, Tropicalia, 8 p.m.
  • Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Chuchito Valdés, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Youth Ensembles, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At this week’s Jazz Night at Westminster, two youth jazz bands take the stage: the Jazz Academy ensemble, directed by saxophonist Paul Carr, and the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, under the guidance of bassist Michael Bowie. $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

Triple Double Jazz Band, 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

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

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra w/John Clayton, Natural History Museum, 7:30 p.m. | John Clayton, an erudite and swinging bassist who is best known as a leader of the Clayton Brothers and a sideman for Diana Krall, takes the helm at this show as a guest leader of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. The evening’s program pays tribute to John Levy, the stalwart bassist who moved into the business side of jazz to become the music’s first Black talent manager of wide repute. He represented Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Herbie Hancock and others. Tickets $25, $20 for members. View event on calendar | Natural History Museum website

Tim Green, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | A chittering alto saxophonist, Tim Green ruminates with command and passion. For him, meditative and cerebral don’t cancel out. The Baltimore native’s touchstones are in gospel and blues, and when he ups the ante on a solo you can feel the soul virtually dripping off his horn. Green, who was runner-up in the definitive Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, will perform here with a small combo in celebration of the release of his wide-ranging new CD, “Songs from this Season.” Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $17 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Karrin Allyson, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Karrin Allyson is a jazz vocalist whose presentation glides in simple, straightforward and precise. She tends to performs swinging jazz standards, but sometimes wades into Brazilian, Latin jazz or more rockish tunes. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $30 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Chuck Redd Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Chuck Redd, a deft and lyrical vibraphonist, performs here with a strong quartet of area musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Cheick Hamala Diabate with Tosin Aribasala, Tropicalia, 8 p.m. | Cheick Hamala Diabate, a West African historian in the griot tradition, plays the guitar and ngoni, a Malian stringed instrument. Diabate’s fingers fly around the fretboard in quick runs, and he sings in an inviting, knowing tenor. Here he celebrates the release of a new CD. Opening for Diabate is Tosin Aribasala, a Nigerian drummer who toured for two years with Femi Kuti and now plays a personal brew of music that he calls “Afroblues.” $10 cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Tropicalia website

Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | The D.C.-via-New York vocalist Heidi Martin this weekend performs a collection of slyly expressive compositions, backed by a band of longtime collaborators. As a singer, Martin emits messages complex but clear, with an essence of mourning and resilience that hints at Billie Holiday, and quavering force that’s not unlike Joni Mitchell’s. She’s one of D.C.’s treasures. Her combo includes George Burton on piano, Ameen Saleem on bass and Jeremy “Bean” Clemons 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

Chuchito Valdés, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Although he’s most recognizable for his lineage (his father Chucho and grandfather Bebo are both famous Latin jazz innovators), the pianist Chuchito Valdés deserves his own level of recognition. He’s an intense performer, with a modernistic Afro-Cuban style that’s magnanimous in demeanor and bursting with energy. Valdés’s last album, “Cuban Dreams,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy award. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 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

CaShandra J, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | CaShandra J sings jazz standards and originals with a combo. 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, APRIL 27

cb picks:

  • Tim Green, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 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

Full Ascent, 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

Karl Anthony Trio, Icehouse Café, 7:30 p.m. | The drummer Karl Anthony leads a straight-ahead jazz trio. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Icehouse website

Tim Green, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | A chittering alto saxophonist, Tim Green ruminates with command and passion. For him, meditative and cerebral don’t cancel out. The Baltimore native’s touchstones are in gospel and blues, and when he ups the ante on a solo you can feel the soul virtually dripping off his horn. Green, who was runner-up in the definitive Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, will perform here with a small combo in celebration of the release of his wide-ranging new CD, “Songs from this Season.” Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $17 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Karrin Allyson, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Karrin Allyson is a jazz vocalist whose presentation glides in simple, straightforward and precise. She tends to performs swinging jazz standards, but sometimes wades into Brazilian, Latin jazz or more rockish tunes. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $30 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Micah Smith Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | In his own work, the robust vocalist and songwriter Micah Smith pours the lapping flow of reggae and the slapping groove of neo-soul together with melismatic gospel and classic jazz. Here he will perform a repertoire of jazz standards with a strong group. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Heidi Martin, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | The D.C.-via-New York vocalist Heidi Martin this weekend performs a collection of slyly expressive compositions, backed by a band of longtime collaborators. As a singer, Martin emits messages complex but clear, with an essence of mourning and resilience that hints at Billie Holiday, and quavering force that’s not unlike Joni Mitchell’s. She’s one of D.C.’s treasures. Her combo includes George Burton on piano, Ameen Saleem on bass and Jeremy “Bean” Clemons 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

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

Chuchito Valdés, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Although he’s most recognizable for his lineage (his father Chucho and grandfather Bebo are both famous Latin jazz innovators), the pianist Chuchito Valdés deserves his own level of recognition. He’s an intense performer, with a modernistic Afro-Cuban style that’s magnanimous in demeanor and bursting with energy. Valdés’s last album, “Cuban Dreams,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy award. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 profile

Some Like It Hot, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | The drummer Anders Eliasson leads a small jazz group. 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, APRIL 28

 
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

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

Todd Simon, Kellari Taverna, 12 p.m. | The sturdy and swinging pianist Todd Simon performs every Sunday in a duo setting; his accompanists vary from bass to guitar to saxophone, depending on the week. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Kellari Taverna 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

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

Capital City Voices Jazz Choir, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The Capital City Voices Jazz Choir is a large ensemble of mostly women that interpolates jazz standards in a (secular) choir setting. But here the focus will be on holiday songs. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Kurtis Adams, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Saxophonist Kurtis Adams, the director of jazz studies at West Virginia’s Shepherd University, plays savvy modern jazz. $10 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 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 [email protected] Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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