by Giovanni Russonello & Luke Stewart
As you might already know, next month CapitalBop will present the biggest shows in our history. The goal is to show all of D.C. how alive and contemporary the global jazz scene is today, and to do it in ways that are simply a lot of fun. At the third annual D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival, we’ll be putting on three shows, and working with some stellar local visual artists (as well as national ones), DJs, chefs, and others to make them more than concerts — they’ll be immersive experiences, with the spontaneity of jazz as their compass.
But we can’t make it all happen without your support. So we’re asking that you to take a look at our newly launched Kickstarter campaign, and think about backing us up. If you donate, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of awards — and, honestly, the prizes that we and our artists are offering are out of sight. ERIMAJ has contributed some signed, very limited-edition 45″ vinyl. Other D.C. Jazz Loft Series performers are offering you personal music lessons (they can be intense theory workouts or simple music-appreciation sessions, depending on your level). We’ve got beautiful posters that all the festival headliners will be signing. We’re giving personal guided tours of U Street, focusing on the 100-year history of its jazz scene. You could even win airtime on WPFW-FM, DJing and talking to listeners. And all donors who give $20 or more will win tickets to the series, along with their other rewards.
The performers at the series are simply the most exciting and illustrious we’ve ever presented. They’ll range from the rising stars Karriem Riggins and ERIMAJ — who both blend the insistent pulse of hip-hop with jazz improvising — to the legendary Peter Brötzmann, a German saxophonist who has spent almost five decades paving the path that avant-garde jazz musicians now walk.
We’re already getting some nice attention from the press for this year’s series. The Washington City Paper’s Michael J. West wrote in last week’s Summer Entertainment Guide: “CapitalBop’s 2011 entry into DCJF signaled outreach to the newer, younger, hipper District, and the offerings have only deepened since,” adding that “CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft bring[s] cutting-edge, often up-and-coming artists into the fold.”
With your help, we’re ready to take this next big step in our work to make sure jazz stays part of D.C.’s artistic boom.