Weekend in Jazz | 6.15-6.17: HR-57 gets back into the swing of things on H Street

Antonio Parker, left, shown performing with Kent Miller at HR-57's old location, will christen the club's new digs. Courtesy Timothy Forbes Photography

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The DC Jazz Festival is over, but in this music called jazz, there’s always a new development waiting to take shape wherever the last line left off. In that vein, this weekend marks the opening of HR-57’s new location. The popular club has been closed for about a month, in the midst of a move to a roomier locale at 10th and H Streets NE. Saxophonist Antonio Parker helps christen the new digs with a Friday night performance. Also, famous and fluid guitar master Pat Martino is in town for a run at Blues Alley this weekend, and hometown heroes the Young Lions are playing a couple of shows Bohemian Caverns. 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, JUNE 15

cb picks:

  • Pat Martino Organ Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Thad Wilson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Antonio Parker, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Great Time Jazz Band, Jazz in the Garden, 5 p.m. | The Good Time Jazz Band plays early-20th-century New Orleans-style jazz. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Earl Wilson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m.| Jazz guitarist Earl Wilson came up in the church. His mother was an Apostolic minister, and she taught him his instrument with spirituals, starting at age 12. At D.C.’s famed “Jazz Church,” he leads a stellar band that includes organist Greg Hatza, saxophonists Craig Alston and Tedd Baker and drummer Lee Pearson. $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

L’Tanya Mari Trio, Sala Thai (Petworth), 7 p.m. | Singer L’Tanya Mari is influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, singing jazz with depth and soulful warmth. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai website

A Band of Women, Urban Eats, 7:30 p.m. | No description available. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Urban Eats website

Joe Gransden, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist and trumpeter Joe Gransden performs light and swaggering jazz, in the style of the swing era. Gransden, who is based in Atlanta, performs here with a quartet featuring D.C. musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Pat Martino Organ Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Pat Martino ascended in the era of jazz-rock demagoguery, but he was an exception to prove a rule: a dangerously young guitarist with reaching, East-oriented inclinations – but indefatigable chops and vigorous sense of swing as well. In 1980, brain surgery caused him to lose the ability to play guitar, but he worked tirelessly to build it up again and has since regained his virtuosity. Here he celebrates the release of his latest CD with an organ trio performance. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $32.50 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bohemian Caverns is an old haunt for the Young Lions. At this point, both the 86-year-old club and over 15-year-old group are D.C. jazz institutions. The Young Lions formed when its three members were college students in D.C., and the band began playing weekly at the now-defunct Café Nema. Along the way, the Lions took up a late-night residency at the Bohemian Caverns and achieved area-wide acclaim for their groove-laden improvisations that tugged on the chain of the jazz tradition, urging it out of its den and into contact with the sights and sounds of the present. The trio covers a wide range of styles, but is especially gripping when dealing in its distinctive hip-hop-meets-bebop. Bassist Kris Funn is a regular sideman for superstar trumpeter Christian Scott; drummer Quincy Phillips plays in trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s quintet; and pianist Allyn Johnson directs the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. When they come together, it’s always a thrill. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover, $23 at the door, 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

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

Thad Wilson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Trumpeter Thad Wilson plays with articulation and clarity, and a deference to melody that makes it easy to fall in love with his playing. A prominent member of the D.C. jazz community, Wilson once led a resident big band at Bohemian Caverns and now teaches at George Washington University. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Antonio Parker, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swingin’ and soulful, with a bright, aggressive tone. He casually sprinkles neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bop, and his improvisation shows a redolence to Kenny Garrett’s. Tonight, HR-57’s most frequent bandleader kicks off the club’s first weekend at its new location, in the heart of H Street’s bustling Atlas District $12 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Joe Lerner & Jay Brown, Black Fox Lounge, 9 p.m. | Joe Lerner and Jay Brown form a guitar-bass duo, covering and singing old jazz and blues standards in a soft-spoken fashion. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Aaron Myers, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Vocalist Aaron Myers leads a straight-ahead jazz quartet, featuring piano, bass and drums. 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, JUNE 16

cb picks:

  • Pat Martino Organ Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 8:30 p.m.
  • Thad Wilson, 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 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 (Petworth), 7 p.m. | This jazz band plays in a number of traditional styles, from hard-bop to Dixieland to calypso. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Sala Thai 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

Pat Martino Organ Trio, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Pat Martino ascended in the era of jazz-rock demagoguery, but he was an exception to prove a rule: a dangerously young guitarist with reaching, East-oriented inclinations – but indefatigable chops and vigorous sense of swing as well. In 1980, brain surgery caused him to lose the ability to play guitar, but he worked tirelessly to build it up again and has since regained his virtuosity. Here he celebrates the release of his latest CD with an organ trio performance. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $32.50 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Joe Gransden, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist and trumpeter Joe Gransden performs light and swaggering jazz, in the style of the swing era. Gransden, who is based in Atlanta, performs here with a quartet featuring D.C. musicians. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel 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 

Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 8:30 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

Young Lions, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bohemian Caverns is an old haunt for the Young Lions. At this point, both the 86-year-old club and over 15-year-old group are D.C. jazz institutions. The Young Lions formed when its three members were college students in D.C., and the band began playing weekly at the now-defunct Café Nema. Along the way, the Lions took up a late-night residency at the Bohemian Caverns and achieved area-wide acclaim for their groove-laden improvisations that tugged on the chain of the jazz tradition, urging it out of its den and into contact with the sights and sounds of the present. The trio covers a wide range of styles, but is especially gripping when dealing in its distinctive hip-hop-meets-bebop. Bassist Kris Funn is a regular sideman for superstar trumpeter Christian Scott; drummer Quincy Phillips plays in trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s quintet; and pianist Allyn Johnson directs the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. When they come together, it’s always a thrill. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $18 cover, $23 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Thad Wilson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Trumpeter Thad Wilson plays with articulation and clarity, and a deference to melody that makes it easy to fall in love with his playing. A prominent member of the D.C. jazz community, Wilson once led a resident big band at Bohemian Caverns and now teaches at George Washington University. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Saltman Knowles, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Saltman Knowles is a band that blends Latin, straight-ahead and soul-jazz influences. The core trio consists of joyous and smooth-voiced singer Lori Williams, pianist William Knowles and bassist Mark Saltman. But the group’s ancillary instrumentation — like its musical ambitions — is always changing: On the band’s latest CD, Saltman Knowles refashioned itself as an octet, complete with the steel pan sounds of Victor Provost. $12 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

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

Some Like It Hot, Black Fox Lounge, 9 p.m. | Some Like It Hot is a small jazz and that performs traditional music from the swing era. 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, JUNE 17

cb picks:

  • Joe Brotherton, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m.

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

Joe Brotherton, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Joe Brotherton is a punchy trumpeter who ranges widely on the spectrum encompassing jazz, world music and neo-soul; here he leads his own combo at Acadiana’s weekly jazz brunch. No cover, 1-drink minimum. 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

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

Black Notes, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Following in the tradition of era-defining Black bards like GIl Scott-Heron, the Last Poets, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, Black Notes integrates deep grooves and red-blooded messages of revolution and solidarity. The accomplished band includes Reginald Cyntje on trombone and Antonio Parker on alto saxophone. $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 calendar | Grill from Ipanema profile

Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Jazz Direct (DCJF), 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

Steve Smith & Vital Information, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Not much is off limits for drummer Steve Smith and his band, Vital Information. The group incorporates influences that range from southern Louisiana’s second-line style to south India’s Canartic music. The group features Tom Coster on keyboards, Vinny Valentino on guitar and Baron Browne on bass. $25 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Jacob Garbus, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | The 18-year-old Jacob Garbus is a promising local talent on the tenor saxophone. Here he performs a tribute to the music of iconic iconoclast Thelonious Monk. Garbus is joined by a quintet featuring fellow rising stars on the D.C. scene: Wendy Eisenburg on guitar, Dan Paul on piano, Eliot Seppa on bass and Aaron Seeber on drums. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Peter Edelman Trio, Columbia Station, 9 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

Surface to Air, Bossa Bistro, 9 p.m. | With acoustic guitar, bass and tablas, Surface to Air’s repetitious music bespeaks the light, liminal contact evoked by its title. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bossa profile

 

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