Weekend in Jazz | 8.9-8.11: Visits from royalty returning from Newport, a local legend & more

Chick Corea brings his new band, the Vigil, to the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club on Friday. Courtesy Alberto Cabello Mayero/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

We’re holding a D.C. Jazz Loft for the ages this weekend, featuring the virtuosic Dwayne Adell on piano. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: Chick Corea’s new fusion band, the Vigil, and Terence Blanchard’s expert quintet are both performing here after excellent showings at Newport last weekend (Blanchard will be at Blues Alley all weekend, and Corea will play Friday night at Bethesda Blues & Jazz).

Local standard-bearer Butch Warren celebrates his 73rd birthday at Westminster Presbyterian on Friday, and trombonist Reginald Cyntje trumpets the release of his new album, Love, with a couple of Twins Jazz performances. All our favorite shows have a label. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2

cb picks:

  • Butch Warren, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Chick Corea & the Vigil, Bethesda Blues & Jazz, 7:30 & 10 p.m.
  • Reginald Cyntje (with Heidi Martin), Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy Quintet, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Butch Warren, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | The bassist Butch Warren’s career fell off after the 1960s, when he lent his firm, felt sound to Herbie Hancock’s Taking Off and Dexter Gordon’s Go, among other records, then toured the world with Thelonious Monk. Yet he’s released a couple of his own albums in the last few years, and his performances always carry a touch of magic. He appears here in celebration if his 73rd birthday; you should go. $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

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

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

Chick Corea & the Vigil, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7:30 & 10 p.m. | One way to put a cloak on revivalism is to bring in a bright staff of young musicians to do the task for you—or with you. With his new group, the Vigil, Chick Corea manages to do himself justice, playing ’70s-style fusion like it’s never been done before (and really dialing up the influence of late mambo from the late ’70s and ’80s). The NEA Jazz Master plays in the Vigil with Carlos Del Puerto and Christian McBride on bass, Charles Altura on guitar, Marcus Gilmore on drums and Tim Garland on saxophone and clarinet—many of whom grew up on Corea’s records and are now lending it new pertness. Two separate sets at 7:30 and 10 p.m. $60 cover, $15 minimum for dining-area seating. View event on calendar | Bethesda Blues website

Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Reginald Cyntje, arguably D.C.’s most agile and expressive trombone player, is at Twins Jazz this weekend to celebrate the release of his new album, Love. Each of its tracks addresses a different emotion or virtue, from “Beauty” to “Respect;” Cyntje’s sloping, danceable compositions tap these feelings without moving too far in any explicit direction. For this gig, he’s joined by an excellent cast of musicians, a few of whom are on the album: Benito Gonzalez on piano, Herman Burney on bass, John Lamkin on drums, Christie Dashiell on vocals and the poet Lasana Mack. Opening for him at 8 p.m. is the loquacious, expressive singer and songwriter Heidi Martin, with her band Moon in Scorpio. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s new record, Magnetic, spotlights a quintet with some of the best young names in jazz, and it strikes at the place between heavy-with-ideas and buoyantly fresh. The record’s great, and at Newport last weekend, so was the band. Blanchard got his start with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1980s when he replaced Wynton Marsalis, a childhood friend. From there he’s glided, often elegiacally, over albums ranging from straightforward post-bop (his Billie Holiday tribute record) to West African and hip-hop inflections (2005’s Flow). He’s soundtracked almost all of Spike Lee’s films since the 1990s. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Craig Alston, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Craig Alston plays straight-ahead jazz with a clear tenor sax tone like burnished copper. He hails from Baltimore, and recently earned a Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Heroes Award for his work promoting the scene there. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Antonio Parker Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | The alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is swinging and soulful, colored by 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 of Kenny Garrett. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 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

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

Mike Pryor, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.View event on calendar | Ulah Bistro website

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

cb picks:

  • Jazz Brunch: Donvonte McCoy, HR-57, 11:30 a.m.
  • Reginald Cyntje (with Heidi Martin), Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy Quintet, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jazz Brunch: Donvonte McCoy, HR-57, 11:30 a.m. | HR-57, a reliable destination for strong, swinging jazz, recently added weekend brunch shows to its itinerary. The musician leading the way, Donvonte McCoy, is one of the best in the city. He plays the trumpet with focus and power and a contemporary rhythmic swagger, never overstating his case but easily drawing a soulful essence from the horn. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 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

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, Sala Thai (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

Reginald Cyntje, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Reginald Cyntje, arguably D.C.’s most agile and expressive trombone player, is at Twins Jazz this weekend to celebrate the release of his new album, Love. Each of its tracks addresses a different emotion or virtue, from “Beauty” to “Respect;” Cyntje’s sloping, danceable compositions tap these feelings without moving too far in any explicit direction. For this gig, he’s joined by an excellent cast of musicians, a few of whom are on the album: Benito Gonzalez on piano, Herman Burney on bass, John Lamkin on drums, Christie Dashiell on vocals and the poet Lasana Mack. Opening for him at 8 p.m. is the loquacious, expressive singer and songwriter Heidi Martin, with her band Moon in Scorpio. Two separate sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s new record spotlights a quintet with some of the best young names in jazz, and it strikes at the place between heavy-with-ideas and buoyantly fresh. The record’s great, and at Newport last weekend, so was the band. Blanchard got his start with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1980s when he replaced Wynton Marsalis, a childhood friend. From there he’s glided, often elegiacally, over albums ranging from straightforward post-bop (his Billie Holiday tribute record) to West African and hip-hop inflections (2005’s Flow). He’s soundtracked almost all of Spike Lee’s films since the 1990s. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Craig Alston, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Craig Alston plays straight-ahead jazz with a clear tenor sax tone like burnished copper. He hails from Baltimore, and recently earned a Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Heroes Award for his work promoting the scene there. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $18 cover in advance, $22 at the door. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

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

AJ Parham, HR-57, 9 p.m. | AJ 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 profile

Steve Synk Trio, Columbia Station, 9:30 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

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, AUGUST 4

cb picks:

  • D.C. Jazz Loft, Chez Billy, 7 p.m.
  • Herb Spice & Cinnamonstix, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Jazz Brunch: Donvonte McCoy, HR-57, 11:30 a.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

TBA, Acadiana, 11 a.m. | Performer TBA. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Acadiana website

Jazz Brunch: Donvonte McCoy, HR-57, 11:30 a.m. | HR-57 – a reliable destination for strong, swinging jazz – recently added weekend brunch shows to its itinerary. The musician leading the way, Donvonte McCoy, is one of the best in the city. He plays the trumpet with focus and power and a contemporary rhythmic swagger, never overstating his case but easily drawing a soulful essence from the horn. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 profile

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

Todd Simon, Kellari Taverna, 12 p.m. | The sturdy and swinging pianist Todd Simon performs every Sunday in a duo setting; his accompanists vary from bass to guitar to saxophone, depending on the week. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Kellari Taverna 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, 6:30 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 | 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

D.C. Jazz Loft, Chez Billy, 7 p.m. | The pianist Dwayne Adell is one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets. A bold and gifted virtuoso, his lightning runs call up the spirits of Oscar Peterson and Kenny Kirkland. He is joined on the bill at this month’s D.C. Jazz Loft by two other excellent local acts: the bassist and composer Blake Meister (whose debut CD, Septagon, won CapitalBop’s best-of-2012 honor) and the drummer and vocalist Dante Pope. $15 suggested donation, no minimum. View event on calendar | More info

Nick Colionne and Steve Cole, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7:30 p.m. | No description available. $35 cover, $15 minimum for dining-area seating. View event on calendar | Bethesda Blues website

Terence Blanchard, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s new record spotlights a quintet with some of the best young names in jazz, and it strikes at the place between heavy-with-ideas and buoyantly fresh. The record’s great, and at Newport last weekend, so was the band. Blanchard got his start with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1980s when he replaced Wynton Marsalis, a childhood friend. From there he’s glided, often elegiacally, over albums ranging from straightforward post-bop (his Billie Holiday tribute record) to West African and hip-hop inflections (2005’s Flow). He’s soundtracked almost all of Spike Lee’s films since the 1990s. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $40 cover, $2.50 surcharge, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Herb Spice & Cinnamonstix, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | Herb Scott is a young, soulful powerhouse of an alto saxophonist. As a bandleader, he sometimes veers into smooth jazz, but when working within the straight-ahead realm his fleetness and power are undeniable. Here he’s joined by a band of strong young D.C. jazz practitioners. 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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Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

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Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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