by Giovanni Russonello
This Saturday, CapitalBop joins forces with the Pink Line Project and dozens of artists, musicians, architects, DJs and clothiers at the free, 12-hour-long LUMEN8Anacostia festival. Throughout the afternoon, from 2 to 6 p.m., we’ll be showcasing some of the District’s top young musical innovators — all players who have wowed listeners at past D.C. Jazz Lofts.
The festival is stationed at the Lightbox, a four-floor pop-up venue in a (perhaps haunted) former Metropolitan Police Department evidence warehouse. (Check out these pics from the secret party and concert that went down there last month.)
At the LUMEN8Anacostia website you can find a full guide to the multifaceted artistic bonanza that will run from noon to midnight on Saturday. For our portion, CapitalBop will present Kris Funn & Corner Store, the Donvonte McCoy Quartet, DJ 2-Tone Jones and a jam session led by Hope Udobi, Eric Wheeler and Warren “Trae” Crudup. Superstar photographer Jati Lindsay will also be showcasing a collection of his spectacular jazz shots. Below is a guide to the bands that will perform. Hope to see you there on Saturday!
KRIS FUNN & CORNER STORE
At just 23, Kris Funn was called to serve in the Kenny Garrett Quartet, one of jazz’s most revered groups. Soon after, he joined the Christian Scott Quintet, a group whose bristling, socially conscious music has gathered praise from the New York Times, NPR Music and just about everywhere else you might imagine. But forget all that for a second: Funn recently debuted his own group, Corner Store, at one of CapitalBop’s jam-packed D.C. Jazz Lofts, and the band burned the house down. Funn’s blues-battered bass lines, rocking originals, and dramatically danceable revisions of John Coltrane and Sam Cooke tunes were all irresistible and infectious. Corner Store returns for a performance at 4:30 p.m. at LUMEN8Anacostia.
Kris Funn & Corner Store, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
DONVONTE MCCOY QUARTET
Even just trying to be a great jazz trumpeter demands a heap of conviction, and maybe a touch of swagger. Every solo on jazz’s most iconic horn is a negotiation with a storied ancestry – think Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard – and a battle against mere passableness in the present. Pick up the instrument, blast a line clarion and cutting from its bell, and you better have something to say. Over the past decade, Donvonte McCoy has proven himself the performer best suited to carry on the trumpet’s heady legacy in D.C. He can blow a stark, sinewy solo over classic bebop changes as well as anyone, but in his own band Donvonte McCoy infuses a fresh, information-era strut into the proceedings. Squint your ears and you’ll hear go-go, ’70s funk, old-school jazz and Golden Age hip-hop all mixing it up together. His most recent CD, 3rd Floor, earned the No. 2 spot on CapitalBop.com’s Best Records of 2011 list. The Donvonte McCoy Quartet performs at 3 p.m. at LUMEN8Anacostia.
Donvonte McCoy, “Rough”
HOPE UDOBI, ERIC WHEELER & TRAE CRUDUP
As practice, jazz is deeply reflective of the human condition. It’s made of an improvisatory push-and-pull, and its beauty is in the fleeting, the volatile, the ever-developing. So it makes sense that jazz cats always say that sharing experiences off the bandstand is crucial to an ensemble’s growth. Imagine, then, the synergy of a band that doesn’t just play together every day – it listens to music together, eats dinner together, watches movies together. In fact, its members all live under one roof in Takoma Park. That’s the case with pianist Hope Udobi, bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Warren “Trae” Crudup III, all of whom are in their mid-20s and share backgrounds in the church, classic jazz and contemporary R&B. The collective will host a jam session all afternoon at LUMEN8Anacostia’s outdoor stage. Any other musicians who’d like to participate are invited to bring their instruments and join the community; listeners can come by to reap the rewards.
Photo of Kris Funn on flyer by Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop. Photo of the Lightbox courtesy Liz Gorman/letsnottalkaboutart.blogspot.com.