Weekend in Jazz | 6.24-6.26: The Wolf attacks, Bullettes fly, and great jazz is all over town

In addition to playing drums and piano, Warren Wolf is a vibraphonist with a lively approach to post-bop improvisation. Courtesy allaboutjazz.com

by Giovanni Russonello
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What a weekend for jazz in D.C. The great Jon Faddis is at Blues Alley with his band; rising vibes star Warren Wolf plays at Westminster’s Jazz Night in Southwest; the Bullettes, the area’s only all-women jazz big band, makes its debut at NoVa Community College; innovators Sachal Vasandani and Jim Snidero each have two-night runs at U Street clubs; and a wealth of local heavies have gigs around town. Find details on all of these shows in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” our list of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. All our other 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!

NOTE: If this full post does not display correctly, please refer to capitalbop.com/calendar. All listings are available there. We apologize for any technical difficulties.

FRIDAY, JUNE 24

cb picks:

  • Warren Wolf Experience, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Jon Faddis, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Sachal Vasandani, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jim Snidero, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jazz in the Garden, Sheila Ross, 5 p.m. | For this installation of the popular Jazz in the Garden series at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, vocalist Sheila Ross will lead a band in renditions of jazz standards and the like. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Warren Wolf Experience, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At one of the District’s best jazz hangs – which just so happens to take place every week at a church a few blocks from the Southwest waterfront – Warren Wolf takes the stage this week with a stellar assemblage of local jazz stars. Wolf has an unassuming personality but a bold style on the vibraphone, reapplying Milt Jackson’s minor blues tonalities in a post-bop setting. He’s in bassist Christian McBride’s band, Inside Straight, and is an in-demand sideman on the national scene, but he resides in Baltimore. He’s joined here by Lyle Link on saxophones, Allyn Johnson on piano, Kris Funn on bass and John Lamkin III on drums. Tops. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church 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

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 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

Jon Faddis, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | Jon Faddis was a Dizzy Gillespie protege in the 1970s who by many accounts – including Gillespie’s own – eventually surpassed the bebop master in technical acuity. He spent some time playing first trumpet in the decade’s most important big band – the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra – then embarked on a solo career. The post-bop-oriented trumpeter, who has a great affinity for virtuosic flights in the upper register, was the musical director for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra in the 1990s and now directs his own large ensemble. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $37.75 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Bonnie Harris Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Straight-ahead jazz vocalist Bonnie Harris leads a talented quartet featuring Chris Grasso on piano, Zack Pride on bass and Lee Pearson on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarMandarin Oriental Hotel website

Andréa Wood & Michael Kramer, Tasting Room, 8 p.m. | Singer Andréa 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

Sachal Vasandani, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Vocalist Sachal Vasandani is a master of the shades between dark and light, whose hazy presentation is coated in what might as well be a trumpet mute. Vasandani uses swing like honey in his tea – a tested and comfortable way of adding some pep, but by no means a necessity. On record, the singer and composer is as fond of a plucked acoustic guitar as of a classic piano trio. Even when using the latter, the singer might wade in a modern, propulsive groove rather than a classic 4/4 swing feel. He performs this weekend with a talented quartet featuring Jeb Patton on piano, David Wong on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums. Separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover in advance, $30 at the door, 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

Jim Snidero, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Sure, he might be far from a household name, but Jim Snidero is a highly respected player among fellow musicians – and a thrilling improviser. The alto saxophonist uses a blistering swing like two sticks rubbing together: He wants to make fire. Snidero spent two decades in Toshiko Akiyoshi’s big band, and has accompanied a wide array of stars – from Frank Sinatra to Eddie Palmieri. Snidero, who’s also a sharp post-bop composer, leads his own combo here. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Drummer Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson is one of D.C.’s swingin’est drummers, and when he decides to bring the heat, watch out. He draws some inspiration from Max Roach’s cymbal style, and he’s always deep in the pocket. Jackson spent two decades on the road with soul-jazz master Jimmy Smith. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-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 calendarColumbia Station 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 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. Donvonte’s joined every Friday by the talented, Billie Holiday-indebted singer Integriti Reeves. 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 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, JUNE 25

cb picks:

  • Sachal Vasandani, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jim Snidero, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Elijah Jamal Balbed Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy Quintet, 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 Quartet, 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

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

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 calendarSala 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 calendarSala Thai 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 calendar | Extra Virgin’s 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. She’s typically joined by a pianist. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Henley Park’s website

Janine Gilbert-Carter Quartet, 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 likely to do straight-ahead jazz – which is what’s on the bill at the Mandarin Oriental. She’s backed by a trio of Vince Smith on piano, Donnie West on bass and Ron Compton on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarMandarin Oriental Hotel website

Jon Faddis, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | Jon Faddis was a Dizzy Gillespie protege in the 1970s who by many accounts – including Gillespie’s own – eventually surpassed the bebop master in technical acuity. He spent some time playing first trumpet in the decade’s most important big band – the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra – then embarked on a solo career. The post-bop-oriented trumpeter, who has a great affinity for virtuosic flights in the upper register, was the musical director for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra in the 1990s and now directs his own large ensemble. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $37.75 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Sachal Vasandani, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Vocalist Sachal Vasandani is a master of the shades between dark and light, whose hazy presentation is coated in what might as well be a trumpet mute. Vasandani uses swing like honey in his tea – a tested and comfortable way of adding some pep, but by no means a necessity. On record, the singer and composer is as fond of a plucked acoustic guitar as of a classic piano trio. Even when using the latter, the singer might wade in a modern, propulsive groove rather than a classic 4/4 swing feel. He performs this weekend with a talented quartet featuring Jeb Patton on piano, David Wong on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums. Separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover in advance, $30 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Jim Snidero, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Sure, he might be far from a household name, but Jim Snidero is a highly respected player among fellow musicians – and a thrilling improviser. The alto saxophonist uses a blistering swing like two sticks rubbing together: He wants to make fire. Snidero spent two decades in Toshiko Akiyoshi’s big band, and has accompanied a wide array of stars – from Frank Sinatra to Eddie Palmieri. Snidero, who’s also a sharp post-bop composer, leads his own combo here. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins 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 calendarBossa profile

Elijah Jamal Balbed Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | 21-year-old saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed is one of D.C.’s brightest rising stars. He’s got a hard-driving, metallic sound that’s both forceful and fluid, reminiscent of Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. He is this month’s artist in residence at Bohemian Caverns, but heads across town for this Saturday night set at HR-57. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-57 website

WKSP Jazz Quartet, Black Fox Lounge, 9:15 p.m. | The WKSP Quartet is a straight-ahead jazz ensemble consisting of Seth Kibel on saxophone, Kenny Peagler on piano, Percy White on bass and Will Stephens on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox 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

John Williams II, Utopia, 11 p.m. | John Williams II is a local trumpeter with a biting tone and a fluidly lyrical method of pursuing melodies. He is filling in tonight for Elijah Jamal Balbed, who usually plays Saturdays at Utopia. Williams, a member of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, will surely be leading a cohort of talented local stars for a lively jam on classic bop tunes, just as Balbed typically does on a weekly basis. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarUtopia 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, JUNE 26

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m.
  • Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes, NoVa Community College, 4 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

Alvin Trask, Bayou, 12:30 | Alvin Trask is a deft local trumpeter; here he leads his trio through a background set during Sunday brunch. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Bayou profile

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

Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes, NoVa Community College, 4 p.m. | Led by Shannon Gunn, a talented trombonist and teacher who plays in the beloved Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, this all-women big band has already recorded a well-received EP, but this show at Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernst Cultural Center Theatre marks its live debut. $15 cover, $10 for seniors, $7 for students with ID. View event on calendar | Ernst Community Cultural Center website

Carl Grubbs Ensemble, Anacostia Art Gallery, 4 p.m. | Carl Grubbs is a talented saxophonist who plays soprano, alto and tenor; he’s as indebted to free and Latin jazz as he is to the bebop tradition. His mercurial melodic barrages have punch and verve. This show is the second installation of an exciting new series called East River Jazz, in which Baltimore jazz musicians are presented at the Anacostia Art Gallery. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. [NOTE: This concert was incorrectly listed in last week’s “Weekend in Jazz.”] View event on calendar | Anacostia Art Gallery 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

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

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

Robert Kupstas, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Lithuanian vocalist Robert Kupstas specializes in the classic American pop and jazz songbooks. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $10 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins profile

Mike Phillips, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Alto saxophonist Mike Phillips’ credits stretch into R&B and rap, but his own music can generally be defined as smooth jazz. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues 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 calendarColumbia 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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