Tag Archives: hip-hop

Announcement | This Sunday: One Mic festival’s panel on jazz and hip-hop, featuring Derrick Hodge

One Mic

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

You knew it was only a matter of time before the Kennedy Center undertook an earnest, deep-in-the-stacks celebration of hip-hop: The genre has been working its way into the canon for years, no matter whether the establishment was paying attention. Well, now it is. One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide begins today at 6 p.m., with a free show at the center’s Millennium Stage.

Over the next three weeks, the festival will celebrate many of the crisscrossing streams that have fed into and flowed from hip-hop. (The iconic emcee Nas’s performance with the NSO Pops at the end of this month is sure to be a highlight.) There are also a handful of satellite events happening around the city in association with the festival, and CapitalBop is thrilled to be co-sponsoring one of them. This Sunday, don’t miss the free panel discussion Young Lions & Lionesses: Jazz in a Hip-Hop World. The panel’s major star power comes in the form of Derrick Hodge, one of the world’s best young jazz bassists and music producers. He plays bass in the boundary-blurring Robert Glasper Experiment, and is also the musical director for the R&B singer Maxwell’s ensemble.

The other panelists will have loads of insight and experience to share too: Dr. William Smith is a jazz saxophonist as well as an author and scholar on the intersection of jazz and hip-hop; DJ 2-Tone Jones is well-known for his Shaolin Jazz Project, blending Wu Tang Clan tracks with classic Blue Note Records instrumentals; Gerald Watson is a formidable organizer and presenter who helped Jones realize Shaolin Jazz; and the singer Tamara Wellons imbibes many influences, from jazz to hip-hop to soul to house. The discussion will be moderated by the veteran journalist John Murph, who has covered jazz and hip-hop for such publications as DownBeat, JazzTimes, NPR Music and the Washington City Paper. Continue reading

Photos | The D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival: Three nights of powerful improv and art

Jamire Williams prepares for ERIMAJ’s performance at the D.C. Jazz Loft Blowout Show on June 15. Elliot Blumberg/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

The DC Jazz Festival spent the past two weeks drawing some tremendous jazz out of the District’s woodwork, and what a festival it was. From our biased standpoint, the highlight was CapitalBop’s very own, third annual D.C. Jazz Loft Series. It culminated on Saturday night in a jam-packed Blowout Show on H Street, where the great Karriem Riggins and ERIMAJ headlined at a pop-up dance hall and art gallery featuring Jati Lindsay’s inimitable jazz photographs.

The Washington Post has a kind review zeroing in on the statement that our Blowout Show made — by presenting these unbelievable artists, we aimed to show D.C. something about the unbreakable ties between present-day jazz and the parallel innovators in hip-hop, R&B and other popular genres. But hey, from the crowd’s resounding response and the awesome vibe in the place, it seems like you folks didn’t need to be told.

Earlier in the series, we set up a double-exhibition at Union Arts and Manufacturing (Four Days in May and DECON/RECON), in conjunction with a concert by the legendary Peter Brötzmann and Joe McPhee, stalwart improvisers who draw sounds from their saxophones that you’ve never imagined. They shared the bill with D.C.’s own Anthony Pirog. And the day after that, Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host — a band that’s supporting a fabulous and broadly acclaimed debut album, which sounds like a kitchen sink’s worth of alternative music, from death metal to soulful free jazz to punk rock — played amidst a remarkable exhibition at the Fridge, along with Brian Settles & Central Union.

Some beautiful photos from all those shows are below, taken by the photographers Paul Bothwell and Elliot Blumberg. To keep up with future D.C. Jazz Loft shows like these, subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Continue reading

Announcing the D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Fest: Karriem Riggins, ERIMAJ, Brötzmann & more

There’s a sea change taking place in jazz these days. Young musicians are putting jazz back in touch with pop culture, and along the way they’re reconnecting the music with its rhythmic roots. A solid beat lies at the heart of hip-hop, R&B and almost any popular music; so it makes sense that drummers are at the forefront of jazz’s current innovations — making it more danceable, more relatable and more popular.

We’re so excited to announce the fact that during our third annual D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival this June, CapitalBop will present three excellent, world-renowned young drummers — all of whom blend their jazz training with other forms of musical inspiration. And we’re continuing our tradition of putting the music forward in non-traditional venues that are as welcoming and music-friendly as they are unadorned and simple.


June 8 – Peter Brötzmann & Joe McPhee (with Anthony Pirog Quartet), Union Arts, 8:30 p.m. [tickets $15]

June 9 – Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host (with Brian Settles & Central Union), The Fridge, 8:30 p.m. [tickets $15]

June 15 – Blowout Show: Karriem Riggins Quartet & ERIMAJ (with Heidi Martin & Siné Qua Non), D.C. Jazz Loft Pop-Up Hall, 6 p.m. [tickets $16]

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Photos | Christian Scott’s smoldering modernity wins a few converts at Bohemian Caverns

Christian Scott leads his innovative quintet on Saturday night. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello

Over the course of a five-song set and one encore on Friday night, the Christian Scott Quintet satisfied its true believers and won over more than a few converts. On the surface, this group might seem to have its work cut out for it: Playing instrumental music, it’s already at a disadvantage with most in the under-40 crowd not enrolled in music school. At the same time, the band’s slash-and-burn dynamics, propelled by hip-hop and indie-rock beats and the frontman’s slyly confrontational trumpet attack, doesn’t seem positioned to go down easily with the elder generation, either.

Still, by the end of Scott’s set, the club was resounding with hoots and hollers, many from those who – having showed up to check out the club more than this particular act – had been stoic a few songs in. The night began with “Love as Revolution,” one of about 30 new compositions Scott has been working out with the quintet in preparation for a triple-album release next year. A burner, the tune found the band more overtly in touch with hip-hop’s bombastic heartbeat than it has been in the past. The group returned to this mode two songs later with another new number, “Liar, Liar,” to which drummer Jamire Williams added a heady dose of mercurial rhythmic tapestry. On “Spy Boy, Flag Boy,” also a fresh composition, Scott paid homage to his New Orleans roots – and the great Mardi Gras Indian tradition amongst which he grew up – with Williams transmuting his urban pound into a more tribal beat, governed by the tom-tom.

The set finished with “The Eraser,” a tune composed by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, as Scott stretched the melody like a thin canvas over Lawrence Fields’ subtly syncopated chord pattern. Egged on by a now-eager crowd, the quintet returned to the stage for an encore of “K.K.P.D.,” a tumultuous protest anthem from 2010′s Yesterday You Said Tomorrow that Scott wrote after a humiliating attack at the hands of a white police officer in his hometown. With guitarist Matt Stevens applying heat underneath Williams’ pattering drums, Scott brought the band to a slow simmer, then a rumbling boil.

CapitalBop staff photographer Carlyle V. Smith was at Bohemian to grab some shots. Continue reading

Celebrating a year of swingin’ and spreading the gospel: CapitalBop’s first anniversary

Cricket Fusion performs at the D.C. Jazz Loft on Sep. 11. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello

This past Sunday, Sep. 11, while the nation honored a sorrowful anniversary, CapitalBop was celebrating a landmark of our own. That day, as we hosted another of our D.C. Jazz Lofts at Red Door, this website was turning one year old.

Over the past year, we’ve watched a lot of encouraging occurrences on the D.C. jazz scene; while we mourned the closing of one club that was crucial to the resurgence of jazz in this city, we also saw two other promising venues open, in Black Fox Lounge and Bayou.

D.C.’s only resident big band, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, came into its own in the past 12 months, as did Bohemian, which now books the nation’s top acts when it’s not spotlighting formidable District-area talent. The club also reinstated the Hang jam session late every Saturday night. Twins Jazz has opened itself up to innovative, artist-originated programming, from the splendid but short-lived Sunday Jazz Lounge to the current series of Lyle Link Tuesdays. Continue reading

News | A jazz reworking of Wu Tang Clan’s classic hip hop, plus free beer – what’s not to like?

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer

by Giovanni Russonello
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This Saturday, a duo of local hip-hop heads presents a celebration of the nexus between boom-bap and bebop. They couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.

In the jazz world, folks are finally starting to recognize the influence of hip hop on jazz. It took a while for the jazz cognoscenti to get on board (we’re more than 15 years past the end of hip hop’s Golden Age), but finally there seems to be a consensus forming around the idea that rap music exerts at least as great an influence on modern jazz as, say, Bach.

But what’s been around for much longer is jazz-inflected hip hop. The music that grew up in the Bronx, with DJs cutting and splicing old soul records at block parties and dance halls, quickly moved across the country and incorporated other genres. Check out Ahmad Jamal on Nas’ “The World Is Yours,” or Lucky Thompson on “Jazz (We’ve Got)” by A Tribe Called Quest, or Herbie Hancock on Eric B. and Rakim’s “Untouchables.” You get the point.

Well, this weekend you’ll have the opportunity to hear a mixtape featuring the music of one of rap’s most influential groups, re-imagined entirely with jazz samples. The group is Wu-Tang Clan, and the freshly minted reworking is called SHAOLIN JAZZ – The 37th Chamber, a play on the band’s 1994 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The mixtape release party is at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Palace 5ive, a skateboard and sneaker boutique in Shaw. And there will be free Heineken. Yes indeedy. Continue reading