by Giovanni Russonello
Kris Bowers, winner of the 2012 Thelonious International Jazz Piano Competition, brings his shimmering, electric-ephemera sound to Bohemian Caverns on Friday and Saturday for his first weekend run in D.C. as a leader. A producer on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne, Bowers is known in hip-hop and pop circles, as well as jazz; he’s seen as one of the new jazz generation’s creative scions. Another powerful young player is also headlining on U Street this weekend: the herculean drummer Billy Williams is at Twins on Friday and Saturday.
A few elders are also coming through: The trumpet virtuoso and former Irakere member Arturo Sandoval plays all three nights at Blues Alley this weekend, and Roy Ayers — self-proclaimed “King of Neo-Soul” — is at the Howard Theatre on Friday. You can also find our full listings at CapitalBop’s D.C. jazz calendar. All our favorite shows below have a label. Happy hunting!
FRIDAY, MAY 9
- Arturo Sandoval, Blues Alley, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
- Roy Ayers, Howard Theatre, 8 p.m.
- Billy Williams, Twins Jazz, 8 p.m.
- Cyrus Chestnut, Montpelier Arts Center, 8 p.m.
- Kris Bowers, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
- Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.
- U St. Jazz Jam, Dukem, 11 p.m.
Lavenia Nesmith, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | The singer Lavenia Nesmith, who has portrayed Mahalia Jackson in one-woman shows, performs here with the type of all-star local cast we’ve come to expect from Westminster Presbyterian’s weekly Jazz Night. This concert is an album release special that features a string quartet. Nesmith brings her gospel-influenced style to bear alongside Eric Byrd, Alphonso Young, Bhagwan Khalsa Paul Carr, Lyle Link, James King, Kenny Rittenhouse, Marcia McIntyre, Michelle Ruiz, Leslie Delanie, and Elize Cuffy. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading