Weekend in Jazz | 4.20-4.22: Record Store Day, Howard gets the blues, and an avant-garde Sunday

This weekend, the freshly reopened Howard Theatre features its first blues concert. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This Saturday is national Record Store Day. It’s looking like it’ll be a beautiful day until the rain starts pouring in the evening, so get out early and hit up your local record shop. (With the demise of Melody Records, D.C.’s only reliable source for new jazz CDs and vinyl, Som Records on 14th Street and Red Onion in Dupont Circle are your best bets for used jazz.) On Sunday, the Howard Theatre marks its first blues concert with a blowout featuring the likes of Taj Mahal, Shemekia Copeland and Corey Harris. Also that evening, two excellent avant-garde shows are happening: Diamond Terrifier at the Back Alley Theater and Jason Kao Hwang at Bohemian Caverns Find details on those 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, APRIL 20

cb picks:

  • Hiromi Trio Project, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Barry Harris Trio, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Buck Hill Quintet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jazz at the Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial, 12 p.m. | As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a wide variety of local jazz bands will perform at free, all-day concerts on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. On the second day, the focus is on straight-ahead jazz: Performances come from the Brad Linde Quartet, Will Smith & The W.E.S. Group, the Nasar Abadey Quartet, the Victor Provost Steel Pan Quartet and vocalist Akua Allrich’s quintet. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz at the Jefferson website

Carlos Johnson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Tonight at Westminster Presbyterian’s weekly fish fry and jazz concert, Carlos Johnson, the well traveled and beloved D.C. saxophonist and singer, brings a swinging combo to the house of God. $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

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

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

Sharón Clark, 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

Keiko Matsui, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The music of keyboardist and vocalist Keiko Matsui exists somewhere between smooth jazz, classical and pop. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $45 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Davell Crawford, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Like a family reunion held on familiar ground, Black music in New Orleans is always returning to the roots from which it has sprung even as it nurtures and embraces new developments. There’s no better place than the Bayou to find artists who reaffirm the notion of a continuum, of music that began as blues and prayer songs and turned into jazz and then became R&B and hip-hop, two modern genres that can never shaken themselves entirely loose of their roots. Davell Crawford, a pianist and singer, performs in a preacher’s gravely howl, often interspersing warm-hearted, didactic soliloquys into his soul-jazz performances. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $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

Doug Lawrence, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Doug Lawrence plays the tenor saxophone with swift dexterity. For this weekend run at Twins, he’s joined by a highly skilled straight-ahead quartet: Bob Butta on piano, James King on bass and Nasar Abadey on drums. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Aaron Myers, Black Fox Lounge, 9:30 p.m. | Vocalist Aaron Myers leads a straight-ahead jazz quartet, featuring piano, bass and drums. No cover, 1-drink minimum. View event on calendar | Black Fox Lounge 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

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

cb picks:

  • Jazz at the Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial, 12 p.m.
  • Listen Here!, American Art Museum, 2 p.m.
  • Davell Crawford, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Doug Lawrence, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jazz at the Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial, 12 p.m. | As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a wide variety of local jazz bands will perform at free, all-day concerts on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. On the third day, the lineup includes the 17-piece Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Latin ensemble Trio Caliente, Zydeco outfit Little Red & The Renegades, vocalist Lori Williams and her quartet, and the straight-ahead Thad Wilson Quartet. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz at the Jefferson website

Listen Here!, American Art Museum, 2 p.m. | This celebration of jazz and poetry – and the common creative space they fill – brings together two preeminent names on the D.C. arts scene: poet Sami Miranda and bassist Pepe Gonzalez. It’s all part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month and National Poetry Month. Free. View event on calendar | American Art Museum’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

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

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 calendar | Sala 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

Keiko Matsui, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. |The music of keyboardist and vocalist Keiko Matsui exists somewhere between smooth jazz, classical and pop. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $45 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Blues Alley profile

Bonnie Harris Quartet, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 8 p.m. | Straight-ahead jazz vocalist Bonnie Harris leads a very talented quartet. 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 

Davell Crawford, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. | Like a family reunion held on familiar ground, Black music in New Orleans is always returning to the roots from which it has sprung even as it nurtures and embraces new developments. There’s no better place than the Bayou to find artists who reaffirm the notion of a continuum, of music that began as blues and prayer songs and turned into jazz and then became R&B and hip-hop, two modern genres that can never shaken themselves entirely loose of their roots. Davell Crawford, a pianist and singer, performs in a preacher’s gravely howl, often interspersing warm-hearted, didactic soliloquys into his soul-jazz performances. Two separate sets at 8:30 & 10:30. $20 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | Bohemian Caverns 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

Kent Miller Quartet, HR-57, 9 p.m. | Strong and swinging bassist Kent Miller leads his own straight-ahead quartet. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | HR-57 website

Doug Lawrence, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m. | Doug Lawrence plays the tenor saxophone with swift dexterity. For this weekend run at Twins, he’s joined by a highly skilled straight-ahead quartet: Bob Butta on piano, James King on bass and Nasar Abadey on drums. Two separate sets at 9 and 11 p.m. $15 cover, $10 minimum. View event on calendarTwins Jazz 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, APRIL 22

cb picks:

  • Marshall Keys, Acadiana, 11 a.m.
  • Jazz at the Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial, 12 p.m.
  • Jason Kao Hwang, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m.
  • Diamond Terrifier, Back Alley Theater, 8 p.m.

Jazz at the Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial, 12 p.m. | As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a wide variety of local jazz bands will perform at free, all-day concerts on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. On the final day, the lineup includes Virgin Islands native and trombonist Reginald Cyntje; African-French vocalist Loide Jorge with her trio; young boogie-woogie and blues pianist Matt Wigler; and saxophonist Will Smith and the W.E.S. Group. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz at the Jefferson website

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

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 Vespers, Christ Episcopal Church, 5 p.m. | The Jim Levy Trio adds a straight-ahead jazz flavor to this service of evening prayer at Christ Episcopal Church. The group features the Rev. John McDuffie on saxophone. No cover, offering collected. View event on calendar | Christ Episcopal website

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

Jason Kao Hwang, Bohemian Caverns, 7 p.m. | Violinist and composer Jason Kao Hwang has played games with sound and texture over the course of many formats, from works of chamber opera to modern dance accompaniment. Recently he formed Egde, a group that at least calls itself a jazz quartet. The band – and especially Hwang’s ever-plunging violin – gives off the sense of glaring inward while careening outward into a wild beyond. He’s joined by expert collaborators: Ken Filiano on bass, Taylor Ho Bynum on trumpet and Andrew Drury on drums. $15 cover, no minimum. View event on calendar | View Bohemian Caverns profile

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

True Blues, Howard Theatre, 8 p.m. | Taj Mahal, the renowned electric blues guitarist, pours Delta blues, Zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll and more into his work. He appears here on a bill with the great blues singer Shemekia Copeland and guitarist Corey Harris, one of the leading roots-blues exponents of his generation. Tickets $49.50 in advance, $55 on the day of the show. View event on calendar | Howard Theatre website

Keiko Matsui, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m. | The music of keyboardist and vocalist Keiko Matsui exists somewhere between smooth jazz, classical and pop. Two separate sets at 8 & 10 p.m. $45 cover, $12 minimum. View event on calendar | Twins Jazz profile

Diamond Terrifier, Back Alley Theater, 8 p.m. | At a venue that’s about as secretive and seductive as it sounds, saxophonist and effects pedal master Diamond Terrifier – a.k.a. Sam Hillmer, a veteran of the New York City jazz world and a member of the indie rock band Z’s – performs his shrieking, haunting repertoire. Also on the bill are Patrick Higgins, performing his Bachanalia program; Joey Molinaro; and Valerie Kuehne. $10 cover, BYOB. View event on calendar

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 

2 Responses to Weekend in Jazz | 4.20-4.22: Record Store Day, Howard gets the blues, and an avant-garde Sunday

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