CapitalBop :: Videos

Video | D.C. Jazz Loft Series highlight reel, feat. Karriem Riggins, ERIMAJ, Peter Brötzmann & more

Scroll down for the video.

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

For three balmy days this past June, a wide variety of D.C. music fans came together around some of the most far-reaching, cutting-edge jazz that this city has experienced in a long time. It was all part of CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series, presented at the 2013 DC Jazz Festival. With each show taking place at a different DIY venue (a warehouse, a back-alley gallery, a converted retail space), the context was always as unexpected and exciting as the content.

Today we’re unveiling a recap video, filmed and produced by the remarkable Paul Bothwell, that captures the spark-like energy of those shows. The video has a powerful live soundtrack, thanks to hip-hop and jazz experimenter Karriem Riggins’s performance at the series’ Blowout Show on June 15. You’ll also spy ERIMAJ, Peter Brötzmann, Gerald Cleaver, Darius Jones, Orrin Evans, Michael Bowie, Heidi Martin and all the others who performed at the series. (You can also check out our photographic recap here.)

Stream the video, share it with your friends, and keep your eyes out for our next show series. We’ll be announcing something else exciting very soon! Like, a few days kind of soon. Stay tuned….


Watch this video on YouTube and explore CapitalBop’s channel>>

News | Rosslyn Jazz Festival’s breathtaking lineup includes Joshua Redman, Don Byron & more

Joshua Redman performs this weekend at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park. Courtesy @Siebe!/flickr


by Luke Stewart
Editorial board

Now in its 22nd year, the Rosslyn Jazz Festival has developed into one of the D.C. area’s most anticipated musical events. Taking place outdoors amidst the tall buildings of downtown Rosslyn, Va., just across Key Bridge from Georgetown, over the years the festival has featured some of the most popular names in contemporary jazz. Best of all, it is free. For us here at CapitalBop, the festival holds a special place: We officially launched our website at the festival in 2010, when Jason Moran and the Bandwagon and the Bad Plus performed. (We did an interview with Moran and his band that day; you can watch it here.)

This Saturday, yet another lineup of premier jazz artists will be gracing the stage in Gateway Park. Just keep an eye on the weather – there’s a chance of thunderstorms this weekend, so cancellation is a slight possibilty.

Joshua Redman

As the son of jazz and saxophone legend Dewey Redman, it might have been easy for Joshua Redman to get lost in the shadow of his father. On the contrary, over the past two decades he has emerged as one of the most acclaimed and innovative saxophonists of his generation. He was exposed to a wealth of music in his youth in Berkeley, Calif. His artistic parentage contributed to his development (his mother was a sometime dancer), as did the rich cultural diversity of the region, which exposed him to music from around the world. Redman graduated from Harvard University with a degree in social studies and moved to Brooklyn, where he quickly became engulfed in the jazz scene there. Numerous gigs with the luminaries of the time in the late 1980s and early ’90s culminated in his winning the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition for saxophone in 1991. It was only then that he decided not to attend Yale Law School – where he had been accepted – and instead to seriously pursue a career in music. Redman’s subsequent record deal with Warner Brothers placed him firmly in the mainstream jazz community, granting him the exposure he deserved. Now he is one of the most recognizable jazz saxophonists, as famous for his masterful straight-ahead post-bop improvisations as he is for his explorations of groove-based idioms. He recently co-founded the exciting all-star quartet James Farm, which released a critically acclaimed album last year. At Rosslyn, he’ll lead his own combo.

Don Byron

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Don Byron has achieved the status of jazz legend in a career that dates back to the 1970s. Throughout that time, he has explored many facets of jazz history through recreations and tributes to many forgotten and underrepresented forms in the music. Through these historical explorations, he has also developed a strong dexeterity on a range of instruments in the clarinet and saxophone families. As a sideman, he has recorded and performed with other members of the vanguard in jazz and other genres, from David Murray and Anthony Braxton to Alan Toussaint and Bill Frisell. At the Rosslyn Jazz Festival, Byron will bring his New Gospel Quintet, which explores his spirituality and in-depth study of gospel music.

Rene Marie

One of the most dynamic vocalists in mainstream jazz today, René Marie has received some of the highest honors in jazz, including the coveted “crown” rating in the Penguin Guide to Jazz. She began her professional career at 42, landing gigs in and around the D.C. area. Most notably, she was “discovered” while singing at the legendary Blues Alley and was signed to MaxJazz, with whom she has recorded four albums. Her music is often charged with political consciousness and her own self-awareness as an African-American woman in jazz. A gifted performer and conceptualist, she has also produced one-woman shows to explore feminist issues and society. Her latest album, Black Lace Freudian Slip, was released on Motéma in 2011.

Afro Blue

Howard University’s a capella jazz vocal ensemble, Afro Blue made a name for itself on the national stage last year, when it was featured on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” None of the members who participated in that contest remain, as they have since graduated, but the legacy and momentum still lingers as the next generation of gifted vocalists emerges. Led by Connatrie Miller, the ensemble has received awards from critics and music institutions and adoration from thousands of fans. This ensemble is certainly one of the premier vocal groups – not just among college ensembles, but in the music industry at large.

The Rosslyn Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday at Gateway Park in Rosslyn, Va. Afro Blue appears at 1 p.m., René Marie at 2:20, Don Byron’s New Gospel Quintet at 4 p.m., and Joshua Redman at 5:45. Admission is free, and more information is available here.

Video | Jazz Loft MegaFest preview: Marc Cary breaks down Cosmic Indigenous’s global groove

Marc Cary, left, with Igmar Thomas and Awa Sangho of Cosmic Indigenous, shown here performing at Winter Jazzfest. Jati Lindsay/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The D.C. Jazz Loft Series got off to a running start last week, with two jam-packed shows on Friday and Saturday. But now those are past, which makes them prologue for the blowout main event that’s coming up this Saturday.

Over the course of eleven hours, the Jazz Loft MegaFest will showcase four different bands; a dozen visual artists from around D.C., in a “floating” gallery curated by SHAM; a documentary on contemporary jazz; a panel discussion on jazz and hip-hop; a range of food and drink, presented by the Taste of DC; and an excellent local DJ. Swing by in the afternoon, and you’ll have the option to purchase a special “Beer & Bop Happy Hour” ticket. That gets you full admission, plus all the craft beer you can drink until 7 p.m. (If you buy a regular admission ticket in advance, you’ll still be able to grab a happy hour deal at the door.) Continue reading

Video | D.C. Jazz Loft Series preview: Todd Marcus on his nine-piece band & its sense of community

Todd Marcus will play at the D.C. Jazz Loft Series' opening show tomorrow. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Tomorrow, Todd Marcus, Baltimore’s undersung bass clarinet master, will bring his remarkable nine-piece ensemble to the Dunes for the kickoff show at CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival. (Speaking of which, if you haven’t checked out our full, day-by-day guide to the festival, it’s here.) Marcus’s band has a stellar CD under its belt, 2006′s In Pursuit of the Ninth Man, but he’s always writing new material. It’ll be a thrill to hear what he comes up with at the Dunes. Continue reading

Video | D.C. Jazz Loft Series preview: Nasheet Waits discusses the Tarbaby mission

Nasheet Waits will perform with Tarbaby this weekend at CapitalBop's D.C. Jazz Loft Series. Courtesy Bob Doran/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

We’re just two days away from the DC Jazz Festival (CapitalBop will post a full preview of that later this week), which means that CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the festival is almost upon us. This weekend, we’ll host two consecutive performances at local galleries by some of the country’s most impressive, inventive musicians. On Friday, the loft series kicks off at the Dunes, with a performance by the Todd Marcus Jazz Ensemble and D.C.’s Christie Dashiell Quartet (a video preview for that is coming shortly). Then on Saturday, the New York City-based super trio Tarbaby is at the Fridge alongside the District’s Kris Funn & Corner Store.

Tarbaby features pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Nasheet Waits — all eminent stars who breezily blend hard-edged experimentalism with the music’s roots in bebop, big-band swing and New Orleans jazz. They throw their talent and synergy toward addressing some of the country’s stubbornest sins, as in “Jena 6″ and “Tar Baby.” It’s cathartic, rhythmically powerful, jarringly beautiful stuff. Continue reading

Video | D.C. Jazz Composers Collective hits the studio for first recording

Members of the Bobby Muncy Quintet, shown here at the first D.C. Jazz Loft, have formed the D.C. Jazz Composers Collective. Giovanni Russonello/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Bookmark and Share

The D.C. Jazz Composers Collective has a mission: to expand the horizons of the District’s music scene by focusing more attention on the importance of writing original music.

A couple months ago, the DCJCC’s members – saxophonist Bobby Muncy, pianist Gene D’Andrea, bassist Kevin Pace and drummer Andrew Hare – entered the studio to begin work on a debut album that will feature, of course, all original tunes. The session is currently being mastered, and if all goes well the collective expects to release it on CD in September, D’Andrea said. On CapitalBop’s behalf, D.C. jazz video handyman Ed Stansbury tagged along for the recording session and has put together a clip from that day.

You might remember hearing these musicians perform in the Bobby Muncy Quintet, either on a Wednesday night at Utopia, where they had a longstanding residency until earlier this year, or at the December D.C. Jazz Loft. If so, you’re familiar with the sleek modernity of their compositions, informed by bebop, Western classical and popular music. From the sound of things in this video, the DCJCC album should be well worth checking out. Continue reading

Video | Our campaign to fund the D.C. Jazz Loft Series is down to the wire; support it & get rewards!

The Kickstarter campaign to help us bring innovative jazz shows to D.C. going down to the wire.

by Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart
Bookmark and Share

As you might have noticed, next month will bring CapitalBop’s biggest live music moment to date. We’re creeping into the DC Jazz Festival under the cloak of night (don’t worry – they know we’re there) and setting up DIY-esque jazz loft shows at alternative venues around D.C.


We’re extremely excited about this, especially because these four shows will go above and beyond all of our past D.C. Jazz Lofts: They’ll feature fabulous New York City-based innovators J.D. Allen, Darius Jones and Tomas Fujiwara in double-bills with local stars.


But to make it all happen, we really need your help. Please take a moment to check out the informational video below, and see if you’d be willing to pledge to our Kickstarter campaign. All the money we raise will be used strictly to pay and accommodate the musicians. (We never take any money from our lofts.) The fundraising drive is down to the wire, and we need your help! Continue reading

Video | HR-57 reopens on H Street

Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson sits in on vocals with the Antonio Parker Quartet at HR-57's reopening. Giovanni Russonello/CapitalBop

by Ed Stansbury and Giovanni Russonello
Bookmark and Share

After 18 years on 14th Street NW and four months of limbo while management worked things out with the D.C. government, HR-57 is alive and swingin’ on H Street NE. The new digs – which make it H Street’s only jazz club – are a bit more intimate, which means everyone is close enough to appreciate the music loud and clear.

On Friday night, the Antonio Parker Quartet’s soul-infused hard bop – a constant at the old location – was back. The group offered renditions of standards like “In Your Own Sweet Way,” “Little Sunflower” (with the illustrious drummer and HR regular Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson sitting in on vocals) and “Birk’s Works.” And, to the relief of at least one audience member in the video below, HR still encourages guests to bring their own booze. Here’s CapitalBop’s video feature on the club’s reopening. Continue reading

Video | The Brian Settles Trio blows your mind, and other highlights from February’s D.C. Jazz Loft

Saxophonist Brian Settles debuted a new trio, featuring Tarus Mateen and Tiacoh Sadia, at the last D.C. Jazz Loft, drawing an exuberant response. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart
Bookmark and Share

Gearing up for CapitalBop’s third D.C. Jazz Loft this Sunday, we thought the time was right to share some of the amazing music and art that got passed around at Red Door during the previous loft. That was almost two months ago, but the music is still fresh and brimming in our memories. As it is in these audio recordings and this video compilation – which has clips of all four acts at the last loft.

The Brian Settles Trio undeniably ran away with the show – Settles’ saxophone mastery was augmented by globally renowned bassist Tarus Mateen and globe-trotting drummer Tiacoh Sadia. This group had never played together before, so spontaneity and bold experimentation reigned throughout its set. It was clear that the tunnels these experts were traveling were unfamiliar even to them. That’s why it was such a mind-mashing experience – the trio shot a contagious sense of kinetic abandon throughout the room. The video and audio below capture at least some of that energy.

Other audio clips available for download are the U St. All-Stars’ wailing take on “A Night in Tunisia” (things really heat up at 1:40, when the solo section opens) and a poem recited by Charles Rahmat Woods of the avant-free quartet D.C. Love Orchestra. (The Brad Linde Quartet’s thrilling set of post-cool-jazz innovation wasn’t caught on record. Bummer!) Updated 4.7.11 1:25 p.m.: Despite our own technical issues, Brad Linde caught his quartet’s performance on tape. The group’s free improvisation is now available below. Continue reading

Video | From the D.C. Jazz Loft

The Elliott Levin Trio jams at the D.C. Jazz Loft on Dec. 5. Kyoko Takenaka/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Bookmark and Share

Invite a broad array of D.C.’s greatest jazz players into a cozy studio nestled in the heart of the city – free of pomp, frills or clinking glasses – to feed off each other’s energy. Everything else will take care of itself.

Or at least, that was the theory behind CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft, which went down at Red Door on Dec. 5. From the Tri-O Trio’s (a.k.a. OOO) fiery free jazz to the swingin’ soloists in the U Street All-Stars, the whole night was proof that this city’s improvisers just need fertile ground on which to grow and thrive, and they’ll wow you. As a final recap, here are videos from each performance, plus one downloadable track from each. Enjoy!

Updated: Scroll all the way down to access the full audio playlist, via SoundCloud.
Continue reading