Weekend in Jazz | 7.1-7.3: Ben Williams’ debut at Bohemian, and the return of the Sun. Jazz Lounge

Ben Williams, shown here during the recording of his new album, leads his group at Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
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This weekend, jazz’s hottest young bandleader – who also happens to be a D.C. native son – comes down from New York to lead his combo at Bohemian Caverns for the first time. That man is Ben Williams, and the band is Sound Effect, a jazz combo that infuses hip-hop, R&B and go-go into the mix, sounding just as throbbingly original on pop covers as it does on Williams’ own compositions. Also, the Sunday Jazz Lounge, a popular hangout among musicians and aficionados, returns from hiatus, settling down at Twins Jazz for an indefinite run. Find details on all of these shows in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” our listing of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. All 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, JULY 1

cb picks:

  • Ben Williams, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Rumba Club, Jazz in the Garden, 5 p.m. | For this installation of the popular Jazz in the Garden series at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, the nine-piece Rumba Club ensemble plays danceable Latin jazz. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Janine Gilbert-Carter Quintet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 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. And that’s what she’ll be offering at Westminster Presbyterian for this week’s edition of the church’s famous Jazz Night. She’s backed by Brian Settles on saxophone, Eric Byrd on piano, Wes Biles on bass and Jeffrey Neal on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

Yamomanem Jazz Band, Sala Thai (Petworth), 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

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 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

Marjorie Hughes, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | Marjorie Hughes sings soul and smooth-jazz vocals. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Sharón Clark Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m.| Vocalist Sharón Clark sings with fervor and soul, plus impressive precision. She’s one of D.C.’s top jazz singers, and here she’s joined by Chris Grasso on piano, Tommy Cecil on bass and Lenny Robinson on drums – real pros. 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

Ben Williams, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bassist Ben Williams, who grew up in D.C.’s Michigan Park neighborhood and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, released his debut album earlier this week, and it’s already atop the iTunes jazz charts. Williams’ acoustic bass playing is warm, earthy and precise – not to mention richly lyrical; it’s no wonder he’s a sideman for some of the top names in the game, including Jacky Terrason and Marcus Strickland. As a bandleader, he’s a crusader for the contemporary, playing cards from throughout the deck of African-American popular music. On the album, titled State of Art, you’ll find grooving original compositions, a tune dedicated to a hard-bop great but narrated by an emcee, a Woody Shaw classic infused with go-go rhythms and covers of songs by Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Not to mention one glistening, dissected version of a jazz standard. Expect much of the same when Williams brings his group, Sound Effect, to Bohemian Caverns this weekend. The band isn’t the same as on the album – “subs” are a requisite part of touring, these days – but it’s stacked with top-notch talent nonetheless: Strickland on saxophone, Christian Sands on piano, Gilad Hekselman on guitar and John Davis on drums. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Batuque, Gaffney’s, 8 p.m. | Batuque is a five-piece Brazilian jazz band. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Gaffney’s website

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

Mary Nau Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Marty Nau is a fine alto saxophonist who can sound a good deal like his idol, bebop legend Phil Woods, but is also comfortable playing in a more traditional, swing-oriented style. Nau leads his own quartet here for a two-night run at Twins. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $15 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, JULY 2

cb picks:

  • Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Ben Williams, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 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

District Jazz Trio, Sala Thai (Bethesda), 7 p.m. | A self-described “cool swinging jazz trio,” the District Jazz Trio is saxophonist Seth Popkin, pianist Dan Nathan and bassist Roger Rosa. The group plays 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

Lori Williams Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Smooth-voiced singer Lori Williams is a regular member of the local jazz group Saltman-Knowles. Here she steps out, singing standards with a superb 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

Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | Eric Felten is well known as a trombone player, vocalist and swing bandleader. He recently released an album featuring pianist Kenny Barron and drum legend Jimmy Cobb, among others. Here he directs his own big band. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Ben Williams, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Bassist Ben Williams, who grew up in D.C.’s Michigan Park neighborhood and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, released his debut album earlier this week, and it’s already atop the iTunes jazz charts. Williams’ acoustic bass playing is warm, earthy and precise – not to mention richly lyrical; it’s no wonder he’s a sideman for some of the top names in the game, including Jacky Terrason and Marcus Strickland. As a bandleader, he’s a crusader for the contemporary, playing cards from throughout the deck of African-American popular music. On the album, titled State of Art, you’ll find grooving original compositions, a tune dedicated to a hard-bop great but narrated by an emcee, a Woody Shaw classic infused with go-go rhythms and covers of songs by Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Not to mention one glistening, dissected version of a jazz standard. Expect much of the same when Williams brings his group, Sound Effect, to Bohemian Caverns this weekend. The band isn’t the same as on the album – “subs” are a requisite part of touring, these days – but it’s stacked with top-notch talent nonetheless: Strickland on saxophone, Christian Sands on piano, Gilad Hekselman on guitar and John Davis on drums. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Marty Nau Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Marty Nau is a fine alto saxophonist who can sound a good deal like his idol, bebop legend Phil Woods, but is also comfortable playing in a more traditional, swing-oriented style. Nau leads his own quartet here for a two-night run at Twins. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $15 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

Thad Wilson Quartet, HR-57, 9 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. He returns to HR-57, an old stomping ground of his, for a night leading a quartet. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendarHR-57 website

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

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

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, JULY 3

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

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 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

Dick Smith Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 7 p.m. | Dick Smith, former Washington Redskins lineman and current organizer of the beloved Jazz Night at Westminster Presbyterian, is a charismatic singer who knows how to get the blues across. His group includes Chris Grasso on piano, Gavin Fallow on bass and Lenny Robinson on drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental website

Rachel Panay, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Rachel Panay sings straight-ahead with the Cleveland Park Jazz Quartet. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox 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 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

Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | Eric Felten is well known as a trombone player, vocalist and swing bandleader. He recently released an album featuring pianist Kenny Barron and drum legend Jimmy Cobb, among others. Here he directs his own big band. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $25 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarBlues Alley profile

Sunday Jazz Lounge feat. Greg Boyer, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | After a month-long hiatus, the Sunday Jazz Lounge is back. The noble and noteworthy project, brainchild of guitarist Rodney Richardson and trumpeter Joe Herrera, provides a weekly hang for musicians and jazz fans in search of a local venue where cats can come together and take some chances jamming on less-often-played jazz classics. The series began back in March at Twins, then spent a couple months bouncing around at different venues, before taking June off. This show marks the weekly concert’s return to Twins, where it will remain indefinitely. Every week’s show begins with a solo performance by a guest musician, and this week’s is trombonist Greg Boyer. He has performed with Prince, P-Funk, Chuck Brown and so many others, and currently plays weekly in the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. After his 20-minute solo set, the band will take the stage; in addition to Herrera and Richardson, it features Eric Harper on bass and Larry Ferguson on drums. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $5 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins 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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