Weekend in Jazz | This Sunday at seven, the stars of swing are aligned

Kenneth Whalum brings his feverish saxophone sound to D.C. this weekend. Courtesy web.me.com/kennethwhalum

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Never judge a book by its lack of coverage. If you’ve never heard of Kenneth Whalum III, the young firebrand whose unbridled saxophone will be visited upon us this Friday and Saturday at Bohemian Caverns, you’ve been missing out. Here’s your chance to get in on the action. Then on Sunday, there are three worthy shows, all starting at 7 p.m.: CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft, featuring a wide swath of talent; Herbie Hancock at the Kennedy Center; and the Rodney Richardson Trio with gifted vocalist Lena Seikaly. Find details on these 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, MARCH 9

cb picks:

  • Kenneth Whalum III, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Clynt Hyson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At this week’s installation of Jazz Night, soulful vocalist Clynt Hyson fronts a band featuring Lyle Link on saxophone, Williams Knowles on piano, Mark Saltman on bass and Ernest “EC3” Coleman on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church 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

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

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

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

Earl Klugh, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The Grammy-winning smooth jazz guitarist Earl Klugh performs grooving music with a small backing band. In an uncommon move in smooth or straight-ahead jazz, he uses the classical guitar rather than the electric. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Lena Seikaly Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. Vocalist Lena Seikaly sings jazz standards with a confident and playful demeanor, displaying a haziness reminiscent of Esperanza Spalding, but also nodding to traditional greats. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Mandarin Oriental Hotel website

Kenneth Whalum III, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Rising saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III can deliver his message in the form of a screed or a soft whisper. Regardless of volume, there’s a constant insistence, a captivating sense of purpose. To hear his saxophone is to listen to a speaker who knows he’s got something bold to say – shutting him out is not an option. Whalum contributed lithe accompaniment to R&B star Maxwell’s latest album, BLACKsummers’night, and on Whalum’s robust solo debut, titled To Those Who Believe, the saxophonist is joined by Robert Glasper and his rhythm section. The result is a vigilant musical exploration of modern society. This means music that’s sleek and slippery, and that rides the line between genres like a skateboarder grinds on a rail, plus the occasional snatch of socially progressive spoken word. Back at Bohemian Caverns after a heart-stopping performance here on a rainy Tuesday last March, Whalum performs with a small combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $20 cover, 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

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 profile

Veronneau, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Virginia-based quartet Veronneau can sound like gypsy jazz colliding gently with Appalachian folk one moment, then slide into a smooth Brazilian samba the next. Lynn Véronneau’s voice is crisp and strong, and she sings in English, French and Spanish. Her group is rounded out by acoustic guitarists Ken Avis and David Rosenblatt, and percussionist Pete Walby. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Antonio Parker Quartet, 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. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

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

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndrey Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. 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, MARCH 10

cb picks:

  • Kenneth Whalum III, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 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

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

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 calendarSala 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

Lena Seikaly Trio, 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 and a fulsome power that approaches Sarah Vaughan’s. Here she leads her own drumless trio, joined by guitar and bass. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendarExtra Virgin’s website

Paige Martin Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Vocalist Paige Martin, who contributed to the latest album by the U.S. Air Force’s jazz band, takes a straightforward approach focused on strength and projection. Here she leads her own combo. 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

Mike Stern, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The Grammy-winning smooth jazz guitarist Earl Klugh performs grooving music with a small backing band. In an uncommon move in smooth or straight-ahead jazz, he uses the classical guitar rather than the electric. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Kenneth Whalum III, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Rising saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III can deliver his message in the form of a screed or a soft whisper. Regardless of volume, there’s a constant insistence, a captivating sense of purpose. To hear his saxophone is to listen to a speaker who knows he’s got something bold to say – shutting him out is not an option. Whalum contributed lithe accompaniment to R&B star Maxwell’s latest album, BLACKsummers’night, and on Whalum’s robust solo debut, titled To Those Who Believe, the saxophonist is joined by Robert Glasper and his rhythm section. The result is a vigilant musical exploration of modern society. This means music that’s sleek and slippery, and that rides the line between genres like a skateboarder grinds on a rail, plus the occasional snatch of socially progressive spoken word. Back at Bohemian Caverns after a heart-stopping performance here on a rainy Tuesday last March, Whalum performs with a small combo. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. $20 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Ajay Parham Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Ajay 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 calendarHR-57 website

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

Veronneau, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Virginia-based quartet Veronneau can sound like gypsy jazz colliding gently with Appalachian folk one moment, then slide into a smooth Brazilian samba the next. Lynn Véronneau’s voice is crisp and strong, and she sings in English, French and Spanish. Her group is rounded out by acoustic guitarists Ken Avis and David Rosenblatt, and percussionist Pete Walby. Two separate sets at 9 & 11 p.m. $20 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz profile

Batuque, Black Fox Lounge, 9 p.m. | Batuque is a five-piece Brazilian jazz band that ranges into the genres of partito alto, forro and xote. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox profile

Dee Stone, Black Fox Lounge, 9:15 p.m. | Dee Stone sings soul, blues, jazz and rock. The first set of every performance is usually comprised of jazz standards. 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

Brad Linde’s Jam Session, Atlas Performing Arts Center, 10:30 p.m. | Brad Linde, a multi-talented saxophonist and co-leader of the beloved Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, leads an open jam session in the lobby of the Atlas Performing Arts Center as part of the venue’s Intersections festival. Free. View event on calendar | Atlas website

DeAndrey Howard’s Collector’s Edition, Utopia, 11 p.m. | Trumpeter DeAndre Howard’s regular engagements at Utopia bring hordes to the restaurant and bar. 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 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, MARCH 11

cb pick:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • D.C. Jazz Loft, The Dunes, 7 p.m.
  • Rodney Richardson Trio w/Lena Seikaly, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m.
  • Herbie Hancock, Kennedy Center, 7 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

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

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

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D.C. Jazz Loft, The Dunes, 7 p.m. | CapitalBop’s monthly D.C. Jazz Loft returns. Joseph Bowie, the trombonist who founded the famous funk-fusion band Defunkt and the brother of trumpet master Lester Bowie, will perform in a free-jazz duet with drummer Nasar Abadey. D.C. vocal master Jessica Boykin-Settles will show off her bright, glistening vocalism and savvy composing and arranging skills. And boy wonder bassist Eliot Seppa will air out some fresh compositions. As always, there’ll be a night-capping jam session. Don’t miss out! $10 suggested donation, no minimum. View event on calendar | D.C. Jazz Loft website

Rodney Richardson Trio w/Lena Seikaly, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Guitarist Rodney Richardson, the house guitarist in the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, melds a post-bop sensibility, bluesy chops and an ear for indie rock experimentalism. He’s a pithy composer and a clever re-interpreter of pop tunes. Here he appears with his organ trio and the formidable singer Lena Seikaly, whose voice is both as warm and as round as a lightbulb. $12 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns profile

Herbie Hancock, Kennedy Center, 7 p.m.| Perhaps the most lionized living pianist, Herbie Hancock has helped to shape so many of jazz’s machinations in the past 50 years. By his early 20s, Hancock was recording definitive hard-bop albums for Blue Note Records; soon after, he was a sideman in Miles Davis’s second great quintet, which exploded the rhythmic and harmonic barriers that had until then hemmed in most mainstream jazz. By the 1970s, Hancock was on the forefront of jazz-funk fusion, and he created one of the most successful albums that the genre would ever know: Headhunters. The list of his achievements runs on and on, like a broken faucet. The best way to experience the Grammy-decorated legend is to sit in the audience and let his music wash over you, live and in the flesh. Tickets vary ($35-$85), no minimum. View event on calendar | Kennedy Center 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

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 calendarZoo Bar website

Earl Klugh, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The Grammy-winning smooth jazz guitarist Earl Klugh performs grooving music with a small backing band. In an uncommon move in smooth or straight-ahead jazz, he uses the classical guitar rather than the electric. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $43 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Andrea Pais, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m. | The young Andrea Pais plays piano and sings pop music covers and originals. 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

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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