Weekend in Jazz | 5.11-5.13: Women’s week

Terri Lyne Carrington on Saturday closes out the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. Courtesy jikatu/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Many of the jazz world’s talented women are coming out of the woodwork this weekend, some by happenstance and others by design. Most notably, the Kennedy Center’s annual triumph, the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, which began yesterday, hits its stride on Friday and Saturday. (Terri Lyne Carrington’s performance on Saturday night is particularly essential.) Then there are performances by Esperanza Spalding at the Howard Theatre on Saturday, saxophonist Sarah Hughes (among many great local players) at CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft on Sunday, and others. Find details on those performances and many 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, MAY 11

cb picks:

  • Amy K. Bormet, Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, 6 p.m.
  • Whit Williams Sextet, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Carla Cook, Allison Miller & Linda Oh, Kennedy Center, 7 p.m.
  • Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Tosin Aribisala & Afrikan Rhapsody, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Noah Haidu Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Amy K. Bormet (Women in Jazz Fest), Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, 6 p.m. | Amy K. Bormet is an exciting young piano player whose enthusiasm and lyrical sense of melody come straight to the fore when she sits down at the piano. Earlier this year, she released an exciting debut LP (reviewed on this site), featuring originals on which she signs and strikes the keys. She appears as part of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival’s Young Artists Showcase. Free. View event on calendar | Millenium Stage website

Whit Williams Sextet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Baltimore-based saxophonist Whit Williams is a strong, swinging saxophonist who’s been mentoring younger musicians in the area for decades. Here he performs with Michael Thomas on trumpet, Bill Heid on piano, David Lowe on bass, Gary Jenkins on drums and Sheila Ford on vocals. $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

Yamomanem, Sala Thai (U St.), 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

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 calendar | Sala Thai website

Carla Cook, Allison Miller & Linda Oh (Women in Jazz Fest), Kennedy Center, 7 p.m. | In one of the main events at this year’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, three eminent and entirely distinct band leaders will perform sets. Vocalist Carla Cook sings with homey gravitas, blending jazz with R&B and other branches off the blues tradition’s trunk. D.C. area native Allison Miller is a formidable drummer whose BOOM TIC BOOM trio mixes jazz with Appalachian folk and punk rock. Linda Oh, a young bass player living in Harlem, performs on both electric and acoustic bass; her band responds to a modern set of demands, focusing above all on a spider web of groove. Tickets $38-45. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center website

Janine Gilbert-Carter, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. Vocalist Janine Gilbert-Carter has a fulsome set of pipes that employs with masterful finesse and delicateness, in a style not entirely unlike Betty Carter’s. She often sings gospel, but she’s just as apt to do straight-ahead jazz – which is what’s on the bill at the Mandarin Oriental. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Arturo Sandoval is a spirited and technically stunning trumpet player. He played for a while in the 1970s with legendary Afro-Cuban ensemble Irakere, then moved on to a stalwart solo career. Sandoval is renowned for his velocity and precision in the upper register, and his ability to treat ballads with sincere tenderness. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $43 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Tosin Aribisala & Afrikan Rhapsody, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Nigeria-reared, D.C.-based percussionist and vocalist Tosin Aribisala, who toured for two years with Femi Kuti, has coined a term for his music: “Afroblues.” It’s an apt one — with his ensemble, Afrikan Rhapsody, Aribisala makes music with all the orbital power of West African dance and the cleansing urgency of blues. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $18 cover, 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

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 profile

David Bond Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Alto saxophonist David Bond has a robust attack that lives somewhere not too far from the post-bop experimentalism of the 1960s. Here he’s joined by some of D.C.’s finest: pianist Allyn Johnson, bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Nasar Abadey. Two separate sets at 9 & 11. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Peter Fields & Tara Hoffman, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Guitarist Peter Fields and vocalist Tara Hoffman team up for a light dose of jazz standards and pop tunes. 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. 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, MAY 12

cb picks:

  • Screening: In Good Time, Kennedy Center, 3 p.m.
  • Christie Dashiell Quartet, Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, 6 p.m.
  • Terri Lyne Carrington & Diane Monroe, Kennedy Center, 7 p.m.
  • Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 p.m.
  • Esperanza Spalding, Howard Theatre, 8 p.m.
  • Tosin Aribisala & Afrikan Rhapsody, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Screening: In Good Time, Kennedy Center, 3 p.m. In Good Time is a film that examines the legacy of the great Marilyn McPartland, a jazz pianist who for decades has helped to inform the public’s understanding and love of jazz with her weekly NPR show, Piano Jazz. A discussion with the filmmaker will follow the screening. Tickets $15. View event on calendar | Millenium Stage 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

Christie Dashiell Quartet (Women in Jazz Fest), Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, 6 p.m. | Christie Dashiell has taken her talents to New York City, where she started out last year at the Manhattan School of Music’s graduate program. But Dashiell, a member of Howard University’s Afro-Blue jazz choir and a star of NBC’s The Sing-Off, is still one of D.C.’s favorite young jazz personas. She has a rivetingly rich voice, with range and sensitivity and an effortless attention to detail. Whether singing over a reharmonized Stevie Wonder tune or a jazz standard, Dashiell almost always sounds like she’s smiling, her voice a welcoming hearth that sizzles and warms. She appears as part of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival’s Young Artists Showcase. Free. View event on calendar | Millenium Stage website 

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 (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 calendar | Sala Thai website

Terri Lyne Carrington & Diane Monroe, Kennedy Center, 7 p.m. (Women in Jazz Fest) | Violinist Diane Monroe opens the bill with her compelling combo, but the real highlight of the evening is Terri Lyne Carrington. The drummer just won a Grammy for her 2011 album, The Mosaic Project, an all-woman project with an energetic constructivism built into the music that lent it an inherent sense of purposefulness, beyond its activist conceit. Here she’s joined by some of the women who appeared on that disc, and a few very talented ones who didn’t: Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Tia Fuller on saxophone, Helen Sung on piano, Mimi Jones on bass and others. Don’t miss this show – it might be the best thing in Washington all weekend. A discussion with the filmmaker will follow the screening. Tickets $38-45. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center website

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., where she’s accompanied by a pianist. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Henley Park’s website

Lena Seikaly Trio, 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 and a fulsome power that approaches Sarah Vaughan’s. Here she leads her own drumless trio, joined by guitar and bass. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarExtra Virgin’s website

Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Arturo Sandoval is a spirited and technically stunning trumpet player. He played for a while in the 1970s with legendary Afro-Cuban ensemble Irakere, then moved on to a stalwart solo career. Sandoval is renowned for his velocity and precision in the upper register, and his ability to treat ballads with sincere tenderness. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $43 cover, $12 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. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Esperanza Spalding, Howard Theatre, 8 p.m. | Esperanza Spalding, the wispy, boisterously confident singer and bassist who is revitalizing (and helping to revolutionize) jazz, hails from Portland, Ore. Her newest album, Radio Music Society, is a celebration of Black American music’s past 50 years, during which most of its major steps forward have involved the music of the airwaves. For all the album’s cosmopolitan cool, with Spalding mastering a smooth glide on electric bass and belting city-slicking anthems, it belies her West Coast ease and joie de vivre. Sold out. (I wrote a feature article on her that appeared in last month’s JazzTimes.) View event on calendar | Howard Theatre website

John Pizzarelli & Kurt Elling, Music Center at Strathmore, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Kurt Elling is a constant favorite among jazz critics, constantly placing high on Downbeat magazine’s annual poll. With an affinity for belting but a sense of variety and playfulness to match, Elling is ever-unpredictable. Here he appears with the nostalgic jazz-pop guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli. Tickets $28-68. View event on calendar | Strathmore website

Lydia Lewis Trio, Tasting Room, 8 p.m. | Tasteful drummer and composer Lydia Lewis leads her trio in background fare at the Tasting Room, a wine bar in Friendship Heights. She’s consistently joined by expert side musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Tasting Room website 

Tosin Aribisala & Afrikan Rhapsody, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Nigeria-reared, D.C.-based percussionist and vocalist Tosin Aribisala, who toured for two years with Femi Kuti, has coined a term for his music: “Afroblues.” It’s an apt one – with his ensemble, Afrikan Rhapsody, Aribisala makes music with all the orbital power of West African dance and the cleansing urgency of blues. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $18 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

David Bond Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Alto saxophonist David Bond has a robust attack that lives somewhere not too far from the post-bop experimentalism of the 1960s. Here he’s joined by some of D.C.’s finest: pianist Allyn Johnson, bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Nasar Abadey. Two separate sets at 9 & 11. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz 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

Ajay Parham, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Ajay Parham is a smooth, deep-voiced vocalist who sings R&B with inflections of jazz. But on the bandstand at HR-57, where he’s long been a stalwart performer, Parham often tries his hand at jazz standards. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Dee Stone, Black Fox Lounge, 9:15 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 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. 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, MAY 13

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Chicago Underground Duo, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m.
  • D.C. Jazz Loft, The Dunes, 7 p.m.
  • Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Eme & Heteru, Twins Jazz, 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

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

D.C. Jazz Jam, Dahlak, 6:30 p.m.| This jazz jam presents a friendly, relaxed environment where professionals and amateurs can play together. This week, fleet trumpeter Donvonte McCoy is the guest “master,” making this session an even better training ground for up-and-coming musicians. No cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | View Dahlak profile

Chicago Underground Duo, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor have been making music together since the early 1990s. Both are members of an influential generation of improvisers from Chicago who have broken boundaries in multiple musical approaches. With its unique mixture of jazz, electronic music, traditional ethnic musics, and rock, their project, the Chicago Underground Duo, is a good representation of that movement. In their own separate careers, Mazurek and Taylor have been extremely active as both leaders and sidemen. Mazurek has led many groups in his “Chicago Underground” series, and has even branched out internationally with the recent release of his Sao Paolo Underground group. Chad Taylor has performed and recorded with many legends and groundbreaking musicians in jazz, such as Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark and John Zorn, to name only a few. He has also toured with indie stars Iron and Wine and Sam Prekop. This showcase at Bohemian, presented as part of Transparent Productions’ Sundays at 7 series, will certainly be captivating. $15 cover, no minimum. [words by Luke Stewart] View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Click for more info.

D.C. Jazz Loft, The Dunes, 7 p.m. | The musicians performing at at CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft this weekend are some of the best in the city, and beyond. The main attraction will be a steel pan battle between D.C.’s Victor Provost and North Carolina-based phenom Jonathan Scales (pictured on the flyer above); we’ve also got performances from saxophonist Sarah Hughes the Chicago-bound guitar master Rodney Richardson. $10 suggested donation, no minimum. View event on calendar | The Dunes 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 calendarZoo Bar website

Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Arturo Sandoval is a spirited and technically stunning trumpet player. He played for a while in the 1970s with legendary Afro-Cuban ensemble Irakere, then moved on to a stalwart solo career. Sandoval is renowned for his velocity and precision in the upper register, and his ability to treat ballads with sincere tenderness. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $43 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Eme & Heteru, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | In the supercharged grooves of Eme and Heteru’s large ensemble, the rhythms of West Africa give a hip-swiveling seminar in the roots of jazz, soul and hip-hop, and the real-time magnetism of Afrobeat. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $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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