Weekend in Jazz | 7.15-7.17: Chuchito Valdès’ rumba moderna, the forceful Sonny Fortune & more

Chuchito Valdès performs this weekend with a quintet at HR-57, the trendy H St. NE jazz spot. Courtesy allaboutjazz.com

by Giovanni Russonello
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Cuban-American jazz scion Chuchito Valdès is in town this weekend, back at his preferred D.C. venue: HR-57. Saxophone stalwart Sonny Fortune, a veteran of Miles Davis’ fusion days, is at Bohemian Caverns, and the District’s piano patriarch, Allyn Johnson, is bound to tear things up at Twins Jazz. 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. 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 15

cb picks:

  • Sonny Fortune, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Chuchito Valdès Quintet, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Allyn Johnson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Con Candela, Jazz in the Garden, 5 p.m. | Afro-Cuban rhythms are the basis for much of Latin jazz; Con Candela, a Cuban jazz group, will explore the idiom during this Jazz in the Garden performance at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Free View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Lori Williams, 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 band of heavyweight local musicians: Lyle Link on saxophone, Wade Beach on piano, Herman Burney on bass and John Lamkin, Jr. on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church 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

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

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

Angela Winbush, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | R&B singer Angela Winbush became famous in the 1980s as part of the duo René & Angela, but now tours as a solo artist. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Steve Washington Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m.| Steve Washington sings standards with the controlled grace of so many 1950s soul and jazz singers. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin 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

Sonny Fortune Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Sonny Fortune is a saxophonist who rose through the ranks in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s amid radical changes in both society, and in the music industry. By the time he moved to New York City from his hometown of Philadelphia in 1967, the post-bop era had all but declined, fusion’s seeds had been planted, and the great John Coltrane was dead. In fact, Fortune joined drummer and former Trane accomplice Elvin Jones’ group soon after the legend’s passing. Perhaps most notably, Fortune recorded with Miles Davis on what have been called two of the best fusion albums ever: Agharta and Pangaea. Fortune went on to have some quiet success as a saxophone trailblazer in the 1970s, using the momentum from his work with Davis to record some great fusion albums. He has since been one of the resident greats at the new Blue Note label and has continued to perform as a leader and sideman throughout the world. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. [Preview by Luke Stewart] 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

Allyn Johnson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Pianist Allyn Johnson’s roots in the church shine through most of all, but he’s got a bebopper’s agility and dynamic sensibility. He draws on the lessons of Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor in equal measure. He is one of the District’s best jazz piano players, and the director of the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Chuchito Valdés Quintet, 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), pianist Chuchito Valdés deserves his own level of recognition. His modernistic Afro-Cuban style is magnanimous in demeanor, bursting with energy. Valdés’s last album, “Cuban Dreams,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy award. He’ll perform here with a quintet. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-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 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. 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 16

cb picks:

  • Sonny Fortune, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Allyn Johnson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Chuchito Valdès Quintet, 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 Jazz Band, 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

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

Ethan Foote, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Bassist Ethan Foote, a member of top-notch progressive quartet Sanga Equation, here leads his own combo through straight-ahead and Latin jazz. He’s joined by vocalist Andréa Wood, the strong, plaintive-voice?d D.C. singer. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

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

Sharòn 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. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Angela Winbush, Blues Alley, 8 & 11 p.m. | R&B singer Angela Winbush became famous in the 1980s as part of the duo René & Angela, but now tours as a solo artist. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Sonny Fortune Quartet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Sonny Fortune is a saxophonist who rose through the ranks in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s amid radical changes in both society, and in the music industry. By the time he moved to New York City from his hometown of Philadelphia in 1967, the post-bop era had all but declined, fusion’s seeds had been planted, and the great John Coltrane was dead. In fact, Fortune joined drummer and former Trane accomplice Elvin Jones’ group soon after the legend’s passing. Perhaps most notably, Fortune recorded with Miles Davis on what have been called two of the best fusion albums ever: Agharta and Pangaea. Fortune went on to have some quiet success as a saxophone trailblazer in the 1970s, using the momentum from his work with Davis to record some great fusion albums. He has since been one of the resident greats at the new Blue Note label and has continued to perform as a leader and sideman throughout the world. $20 cover in advance, $25 at the door, no minimum. [Preview by Luke Stewart] View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Allyn Johnson, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Pianist Allyn Johnson’s roots in the church shine through most of all, but he’s got a bebopper’s agility and dynamic sensibility. He draws on the lessons of Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor in equal measure. He is one of the District’s best jazz piano players, and the director of the University of the District of Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $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

Chuchito Valdés Quintet, 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), pianist Chuchito Valdés deserves his own level of recognition. His modernistic Afro-Cuban style is magnanimous in demeanor, bursting with energy. Valdés’s last album, “Cuban Dreams,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy award. He’ll perform here with a small group. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $25 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-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 calendar | Utopia 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 17

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Jolley Brothers, B. Smith’s, 12 p.m.
  • Sunday Jazz Lounge feat. Brent Madsen, 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

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 Trio, Bayou, 12:30 p.m. | 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

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

Rachel Panay, Black Fox Lounge, 7 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 calendar | Grill from Ipanema profile

Angela Winbush, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | R&B singer Angela Winbush became famous in the 1980s as part of the duo René & Angela, but now tours as a solo artist. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $27.50 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Sunday Jazz Lounge feat. Brent Madsen, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Guitarist Rodney Richardson and trumpeter Joe Herrera lead this weekly jazz hangout, popular among musicians and fans alike. It was founded earlier this year on creative ambitions, and intends to nurture a climate where the band’s repertoire stretches beyond the typical jazz standards and the focus is on taking chances. To that end, every set starts with a 20-minute, unaccompanied solo performance. This week’s is from trumpeter Brent Madsen. Then Herrera and Richardson take the stage with their quartet for two sets. $5 cover, $10 minimum. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $5 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins profile

Origem, Bohemian Caverns, 8 p.m. | This local band plays electric Brazilian jazz, mixing samba, bossa nova, forro, afoxe, maracatu, and partido alto. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $10 cover in advance, $15 at the door, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns 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

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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