CapitalBop :: Weekend in Jazz

Weekend in Jazz | 3.28-3.30: Jon Batiste, Sunny Jain, Kris Funn, Mickey Bass and much more

Kris Funn performs on Friday at the Hill Center. Before the performance, he speaks to the Washington Post’s Chris Richards. Courtesy dcmusicdownload.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This Friday night, D.C. bass powerhouse Kris Funn brings his funky quartet, Corner Store, to the Hill Center. Before his performance, he will be interviewed by the Washington Post‘s pop critic, Chris Richards. At Bohemian Caverns this Friday and Saturday, another top-flight bassist, the hard-bop icon Mickey Bass, presents his Manhattan Burn Unit band.

And on Saturday night, the Hamilton and the Howard Theatre both have exciting shows: Sunny Jain at the former, and Jon Batiste’s Stay Human band at the latter (read our interview with Batiste here). 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, MARCH 28

cb picks:

  • Antonio Parker, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m.
  • Lyle Link, Loews Madison, 8 p.m.
  • Tim Whalen Septet, Twins Jazz, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Mickey Bass & Manhattan Burn Unit, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.
  • U St. Jazz Jam, Climax Sports Bar & Lounge, 11 p.m.

Antonio Parker Quintet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | The alto saxophonist Antonio Parker’s playing is doggedly swinging, soulful and colored by a bright, aggressive tone. He casually sprinkles neo-soul and R&B influences into his otherwise straight-ahead bop. His improvising can show a redolence of Kenny Garrett. Here he features the trombonist Reginald Cyntje, the pianist Darius Scott, the bassist Cheyney Thomas and the drummer Keith Kilgo. $5 cover, free for children under 16. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 3.21-3.23: Washington Women in Jazz Fest finale, Amiri Baraka tribute & more

Amiri Baraka. Courtesy blues.gr

Amiri Baraka, center, shown with musicians and actors in front of his Spirit House in Newark in 1966. Courtesy blues.gr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This weekend marks the end of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. The best way to celebrate is on Friday night, at Westminster Presbyterian, where Shannon Gunn performs with the Bullettes. On Saturday, Howard University honors the legacy of the poet, jazz critic and activist Amiri Baraka with a star-studded tribute called “In the Tradition.” On Friday and Saturday nights, the saxophonist Craig Handy performs with his organ-driven, New Orleans-themed band, 2nd Line Smith. 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, MARCH 21

cb picks:

  • Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes (WWJF), Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m.
  • Kevin Eubanks, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith, BoheImian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • U St. Jazz Jam, Climax Sports Bar & Lounge, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes (WWJF), Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Led by Shannon Gunn, a talented trombonist and teacher who plays in the well-loved Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, this all-female big band plays traditional tunes as well as original material. The band includes the pianist Amy K. Bormet, the drummer Lydia Lewis and other prominent players on the D.C. scene. This show marks its third annual appearance at Westminster Presbyterian as part of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 3.14-3.16: Miles Davis tribute, young gun Kush Abadey & Wash. Women in Jazz

Rising star Kush Abadey performs this Friday and Saturday at Twins Jazz. Courtesy  michal.barejko/flickr

Rising star Kush Abadey performs this Friday and Saturday at Twins Jazz. Courtesy michal.barejko/flickr

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

All this weekend Blues Alley features a cross-generational tribute band to Miles Davis, offering the rare opportunity to see a star fusion guitarist like Mike Stern needle NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb, a bebop and hard-bop clinician — and vise versa. On U Street, Bohemian Caverns presents two exciting local acts, Siné Qua Non and Integriti Reeves, and the precocious young drummer Kush Abadey leads a fabulous young band at Twins Jazz on Friday and Saturday.

Reeves’ show marks the beginning of the fourth annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival, a weeklong showcase that has grown impressively since its start in 2011. The festival also presents a free concert on Sunday that’s very much worth your time: Jessica Boykin-Settles’ tribute to Shirley Horn at the Anacostia Community Museum. 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, MARCH 14

cb picks:

  • Charles Covington, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m.
  • Kush Abadey Quartet, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • 4 Generations of Miles, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Johnathan Parker, The Dunes, 8 p.m.
  • Siné Qua Non, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Charles Covington, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Charles Covington, a faculty member in the Howard University music department, is an elder statesman on the D.C. jazz scene. A melodic improviser on both the organ and piano, Covington plays with a swinging savvy and bluesy sensibility. Joining him in the quartet is Charlie Young on saxophone Nasar Abadey on drums, and James King on Bass. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 3.7-3.9: Make some noise for Women’s History Month: Bullettes, Bormet & more

Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes perform this Sunday at Bohemian Caverns, where they'll be recording an album of Count Basie's music. Courtesy bullettesjazz.com

Shannon Gunn & the Bullettes perform this Sunday at Bohemian Caverns, where they’ll be recording an album of Count Basie’s music. Courtesy bullettesjazz.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

You can hardly go wrong this weekend on the D.C. jazz scene. Two exciting jazz projects with consciously African roots are at the Atlas, where the brimful Intersections Festival is coming to a close. The rising-star guitarist Matthew Stevens brings his project to Bohemian Caverns (it’s the band’s D.C. debut; catch them here for a preview of his forthcoming debut album on Concord Records). Kenny Rittenhouse is sure to please at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Friday night.

But the weekend’s obvious theme is that a number of exciting female acts are on display — both vocalists and instrumentalists. The vocalist and pianist Laila Biali is at Twins Jazz, with a killer complement in Tim Green’s saxophone; Akua Allrich performs at the Atlas on Saturday; Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, a reputable all-female big band, plays a special jazz brunch show at Bohemian on Sunday. And of course, CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft gets in the mix on Sunday evening with performances from three fabulous young talents, including the pianist and Washington Women in Jazz Festival director Amy K. Bormet. 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, MARCH 7

cb picks:

  • Kenny Rittenhouse, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m.
  • Lewis Nash Quintet, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Laila Biali feat. Tim Green, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Snarky Puppy, THEARC, 8 p.m.
  • Matthew Stevens, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Eme & Heteru, Atlas Performing Arts Center, 10 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Kenny Rittenhouse, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Kenny Rittenhouse was a mainstay on the D.C. jazz scene throughout much of the 1990s, playing at venues such as the One Step Down and Twins Lounge. Recently he’s reemerged as a force, releasing a strong album last year and playing out much more frequently. The respected trumpeter – who has played with the U.S. Army Band and the Smithsonian Masterworks Jazz Orchestra – boasts an understated attack that moves from mellow to punchy. Here he performs with his quintet, plus Darden Purcell on vocals. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 2.28-3.2: Young talents take the Kennedy Center stage; Baltimore’s best hit U St.

Gerald Clayton will play at the KC Jazz Club on Friday. Courtesy GeraldClayton.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The pianist Gerald Clayton and the drummer Jamison Ross are two early bloomers who owe a lot to the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Clayton’s career got a boost after he came in second at the piano contest in 2006; last year, when the competition focused on drums, Ross took home first place and found himself instantly morphed from a dark horse into a rising star. The Monk competition always takes place at the Kennedy Center, so it will be with a touch of pride and nostalgia that Clayton and Ross return to play their own gigs at the concert hall this weekend. Friday night, Clayton brings his lush and lilting trio to the KC Jazz Club; the following evening the same stage welcomes Jamison Ross and Joy Ride, a band that refracts modernism through the time-resistant vitality of New Orleans.

At the clubs on U Street on Friday and Saturday, two talented horn players with roots in the Baltimore area perform: The saxophonist Tim Green is at Bohemian Caverns, and the trumpeter Alex Pope Norris is at Twins Jazz. 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, FEBRUARY 28

cb picks:

  • Gerald Clayton, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Alex Norris, Twins Jazz, 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
  • Tim Green, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Mavis Waters, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This time the compelling vocalist Mavis Waters performs with an all star quintet featuring Elijah Jamal Balbed on saxophone, Todd Simon on piano, Eliot Seppa on Bass, Donvonte McCoy on trumpet, and Robert Shahid on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 2.21-2.23: The Intersections Fest builds bridges & Kris Funn sets the Store ablaze

Christylez Bacon

The emcee and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon performs this weekend alongside the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. Courtesy ytupaltatambien.blogspot.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The Atlas Peforming Arts Center’s Intersections Festival aims to eliminate the gulfs between different musical genres, and as a result between communities. Check out Christylez Bacon, the self-proclaimed “progressive hip-hop” emcee and multi-instrumentalist who’s always made his affection for jazz clear, in concert with the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. Or try Remembering the Palladium, a musical that celebrates that storied Manhattan meeting ground, where dancers of all stripes demanded powerful sounds from the post-war period’s top Latin bands.

The best club shows this weekend are at Bohemian Caverns, where Kris Funn’s Corner Store will be cooking up its own intersections on Friday and Saturday, playing around with James Brown funk and Tony Williams jazz-rock, and at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, where the Latin jazz innovator David Sánchez performs on Sunday. 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, FEBRUARY 21

cb picks:

  • Kimberly Thompson, KC Jazz Club, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Marshall Keys, Loews Madison, 8 p.m.
  • Kris Funn & Corner Store, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Bonnie Harris, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week, Bonnie Harris leads a quintet in a tribute to Gloria Lynne. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 2.14-2.16: Valentine’s jazz and the jam-packed Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival

Christian McBride performs on Saturday night at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. Courtesy Brian Callahan/Wikimedia

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This Friday night, the clubs are bounding with Valentine’s Day specials. Check out Irene Jalenti at Twins Jazz or Akua Allrich at Bohemian Caverns — two vocalists ready with their own singular sorts of romantic entertainment. And all weekend long the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival will be bringing some of the best straight-ahead jazz musicians with roots on the East Coast: Benny Golson, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride and many others. 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, FEBRUARY 7

cb picks:

  • Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Rockville Hilton, all evening
  • Ann Hampton Calloway, Kennedy Center, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
  • Jonathan Parker’s Under the Covers, The Dunes, 8 p.m.
  • Irene Jalenti, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Rockville Hilton, all evening | The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, a major ritual for some D.C.-area fans, packs three days full of straight-ahead jazz — it’s a celebration and a circling of the wagons, and a soaring good time. Among the highlights today are the vocalists Freddy Cole and Kristin Callahan. A full schedule is available at midatlanticjazzfestival.org/schedule. Ticket prices vary (general admission for the full weekend costs $205). View event on calendar | Festival website

Greg Lamont, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Greg Lamont is a jazz pianist and singer with an affinity for the Great American Songbook. Here he performs with his quartet. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 2.7-2.9: The jazz loft premiers new acts; Kenny Garrett headlines at Blues Alley

Elijah Jamal Balbed

Elijah Jamal Balbed performs this weekend at Twins Jazz. Jesse Allen/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This is your weekend to discover something new. The February edition of the D.C. Jazz Loft is all about new bands; the young and always-fresh tenor saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed leads a quintet for a two-night run at Twins Jazz; and on Friday at the Strathmore Mansion, the Nigerian percussion whiz Tosin Aribisala performs music from his new CD. But the masters can’t be ignored, either: Catch the saxophone great Kenny Garrett at Blues Alley, and you’re not likely to be disappointed. 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, FEBRUARY 7

cb picks:

  • Maurice Lyles, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Elijah Jamal Balbed Quintet, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Kenny Garrett, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Lyle Link, Loews Madison Hotel, 8 p.m.
  • Tosin Aribisala, Strathmore Mansion, 8:30 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Maurice Lyles, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Every year at Westminster Presbyterian, Maurice Lyles rings in Black History Month with an expert straight-ahead sextet in celebration of Black American music. The band includes Herb Smith and Carl Cornwell on saxophones, Wade Beach on piano, Steve Novosel on bass, and Lyles on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 1.31-2.2: Tootie Heath sets his tempo, and avant-garde documentaries abound

Albert “Tootie” Heath, who’s recorded with John Coltrane and Nina Simone and many others, plays Bohemian Caverns on Friday evening. Courtesy humbertoamorim.blogspot.com

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Albert “Tootie” Heath hasn’t just played with the masters — he’s one of them. Since the 1950s, he has lent his gallivanting swing feel and hi-hat dexterity to bands led by John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Nina Simone, Yusef Lateef and so many others. Now he’s stepping forward as a leader, something he does too rarely, helming a trio that also features Ethan Iverson (of Bad Plus fame) and Ben Street. The band plays on Friday night at Bohemian Caverns.

Also this weekend, two screenings of documentaries on avant-garde jazz: a double feature at the Library of Congress on Friday, and a showing of Black February at the Takoma Park Community Center on Sunday. 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, JANUARY 31

cb picks:

  • Film Screening: Double feature, Library of Congress, 7 p.m.
  • Bobby Muncy, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Corey Harris, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Tootie Heath, Ethan Iverson & Ben Street, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Bonnie Harris, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | What began as an experiment over a decade ago continues today as one of Washington’s greatest weekly traditions: Westminster Presbyterian Church’s “Jazz Night.” Every Friday night, the house of God becomes a hub for fish frying, communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz. This week, Bonnie Harris leads a quintet in a tribute to Gloria Lynne. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 1.24-1.26: Christian Scott aTunde Adjah and the Afro-Bop Alliance light up U Street

Christian Scott aTunde Adjah performs this weekend at Bohemian Caverns. Courtesy nothingtodisplay.co.uk

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The prodigious young trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjah — a comfortable amalgamator of jazz, hip-hop, rock and other American music traditions — has become a lodestar for his generation over the past 10 years. He brings his influential quintet to Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Down the block at Twins Jazz, the excellent local group, Afro-Bop Alliance, performs its hybrid of bebop and Afro-Cuban music. 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, JANUARY 24

cb picks:

  • Vince Evans, Westminster Presbyterian, 6 p.m.
  • Afro Bop Alliance, Twins Jazz, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Sharón Clark, Loews Madison Hotel, 8 p.m.
  • Roy Ayers, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Sammy Figueroa & His Latin Jazz Explosion, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 8 p.m.
  • Christian Scott (aTunde Adjuah) Quintet, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Elijah Jamal Balbed, HR-57, 9 p.m.
  • Jazz Jam, Ulah Bistro, 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th St. Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Vince Evans, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | At this week’s installation of “Jazz Night,” the soulful, rhythmic pianist Vince Evans leads a hard-hitting band that includes the drummer Percy Smith, the bassist Eliot Seppa and the saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading