Tag Archives: Red Door

News | Paul Carr, Donvonte McCoy & MadCurious to play inaugural D.C. Jazz Loft at the Dunes

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

It’s hard to envision a better way to have said goodbye to Red Door than last month’s loft. Listeners and performers alike contributed to a sense of joy and communal freedom that made that seven-hour marathon a perfect tribute to the past year-plus of D.C. Jazz Lofts at the old venue.

Luckily, there’s no time to grieve over the loss of Red Door – the loft has a new home in the Dunes, a gorgeous art space and performance venue in Columbia Heights. This Sunday, we’ll be hosting our first show there, and things are going to start off with a bang: This is arguably the strongest lineup of any D.C. Jazz Loft, ever. We’ll be featuring performances by hard-swinging saxophone giant Paul Carr, Lenny Robinson’s deep-seeking trio MadCurious (featuring Brian Settles and Tarus Mateen) and trumpet innovator Donvonte McCoy.

The new venue has a full and reasonably priced bar, so there’s no longer a need to bring in your own booze. As always, the loft is a donation-based affair; we strongly suggest that you drop at least $10 into the musicians’ donation box on your way in the door. And, as usual, the show will end in an open jam – musicians, bring your axes! See you all at the Dunes this Sunday at 7 p.m. Continue reading

News | Announcing the December D.C. Jazz Loft: battling saxes, brotherly bop and virtuoso guitar

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by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

On Dec. 5 of last year, five acts — ranging from pugnacious metal fusion to swingin’ hard-bop — crammed into a tiny room in the lofted studios at 443 I St. NW, and gave what some called one of the most memorable concerts this city has seen in years. It was CapitalBop’s first D.C. Jazz Loft. At the lofts that have followed, a slew of local acts has passed through the infamous Red Door tucked in a nondescript Chinatown alley. In the process, they have made a musical case for the breadth and bite of this city’s teeming jazz scene.

This month, we’re rounding the corner on a milestone — the D.C. Jazz Lofts’ one-year anniversary — while gliding onto a homestretch: At the end of January, Red Door will shut down, and the lofts will have to relocate. But we’re not slowing down. This month’s jazz loft, to be held on Sunday, features a ferocious lineup including the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra’s saxophone section (which will duke it out in a friendly fight to the death, a Battle of the Saxes), jazz loft stalwarts the Jolley Brothers and the talented Michelle Webb. Tell your ma, tell your pa, there’s gonna be a burner at the D.C. Jazz Loft this Sunday at Red Door. Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 12.2-12.4: Notes from the underground

Little Women perform at Red Door on Saturday. Courtesy Ben Goldstein

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

This weekend, two of the world’s most exciting avant-garde acts arrive in D.C. for one-off shows. At Red Door on Saturday, there will be a rare performance by noise/punk/jazz band Little Women, featuring alto saxophonist and D.C. Jazz Loft Series star Darius Jones. And the following night, the last installation of Transparent Productions‘ series at Bohemian Caverns will also constitute the first public performance by the William Parker Organ Quartet. (You can read our interview with Parker, a legendary bassist, here.) Find details on these performances and many more in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” a listing of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. Our favorites have a label, and as always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our D.C. jazz calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!


cb picks:

  • Gretchen Parlato & Gerald Clayton, Atlas PAC, 8 p.m.
  • Etienne Charles, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Jackie Hairston, 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, Jackie Hairston leads an organ trio featuring Michael Hairston on saxophone and Earl Ivey on drums. The group is joined by vocalist Marlene Ross. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website

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News | Ideal Bread joins D.C.’s Reginald Cyntje for double-bill show presented by CapitalBop

Click for a high-resolution version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart
Editorial board

This past Sunday’s D.C. Jazz Loft was a thrill because all three bands came out in top form, swinging, grooving and burning the place down. But the reason why the four-hour-long affair was worth staying until the very end – as most in the audience did – was the wide variety of approaches on display.

That high level of diversity, coupled with dazzling talent, will be the name of the game again this Monday at 8 p.m., when CapitalBop hosts a double-bill concert at Red Door. The show pairs Ideal Bread, fresh off the boat from the New York City vanguard, with D.C.’s trombone master Reginald Cyntje. Continue reading

Photos | Sounds and spirits run the gamut at the D.C. Jazz Loft

Akua Allrich performs at the D.C. Jazz Loft last Sunday. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello

Over the spare backing of standup bass and conga drums, Akua Allrich was shrieking. “You’re makin’ me crazy! Can’t take it anymore! Crazy!” Her own original composition, “You Make Me Crazy” is half desperate plea, half parody of the lunacy of passion. A little later, she struck a solemn bearing, and dipped deeply into Nina Simone’s “Four Women,” a consciousness-raising tale of oppressed, tenacious women across the globe. With nothing more than a two-man rhythm section and the occasional solo from saxophonist Brian Settles, Allrich led the audience through a labyrinth of styles and emotions, earning an overjoyed ovation from the packed room at the end of the night.

Allrich’s set, performed with the help of the talented Kris Funn on bass and Agyei Osei Akoto Hargrove on percussion, was a metaphor for every one of CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Lofts, of which this was the seventh: On a bare-bones foundation, a range of sounds and spirits take hold. Preceding Allrich was the straight-ahead duo of bassist Herman Burney and trombonist Reginald Cyntje, playing a collection of original compositions before ending the set with a brisk take on Sonny Rollins’s “St. Thomas.” The first act was the avant-garde guitar player Anthony Pirog and his quartet, which sent a quavering, electric energy bouncing around the four walls at Red Door. Saxophonist Aaron Martin and trumpeter Ben Frock slid into spontaneous harmonies while Pirog’s full-fisted chords shuddered under the shifting effects of his pedals.

CapitalBop staff photographer Carlyle V. Smith was on hand to capture the vibe visually. Continue reading

News | The D.C. Jazz Loft returns this Sunday, with sounds both straight-ahead and far-out

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello

This coming Sunday, Oct. 9, is the second of the month – and that means another D.C. Jazz Loft. The lineup this time includes a wide array of musicians, with all manner of sounds for your aural appreciation: Afrocentric soul jazz, straight-ahead swinging and experimental electronic improvisation. Come ring in this blustery, damp autumn by packing into warm and cozy Red Door with friends and musical masterminds. You know the drill: Doors open at 7 p.m., and the music will be going on all night. It’s BYOB, and a $10 donation is suggested.

We’ve only got a few more left before the D.C. Jazz Loft will be forced to relocate, so come and make the most before they pave paradise and put up a condo plot. Continue reading

News | Announcing the D.C. Jazz Loft, 9.11.11

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello

The powers that buy have decided, and so it is final: In four months, there will be no more Red Door. That’s why it was with slight melancholy and an added sense of dutifulness that we set about planning the upcoming D.C. Jazz Loft. Luckily, we got some tremendous musicians on board, and we’re thrilled about the company we’ll be keeping. It’s time to make the most.

So here it is: We’re announcing the next D.C. Jazz Loft, scheduled for 7 p.m. this Sunday, Sep. 11. It’ll feature music ranging from hip-hop fusion to straight-ahead to post-bop. The night will end with a commemorative free jazz jam session, in honor and contemplation of the show’s fateful date. As always, the loft is donation-based and BYOB. Don’t miss out on the grunge and grit at Red Door, where the music is elevated.

Todd Marcus is only one in a handful of jazz musicians ever to call the convention-fragging bass clarinet his primary instrument. It’s a naturally quiet horn, with a papery whisper and a doleful gentleness. But Marcus can really tear things up on there, swinging his butt off and marshaling a thick, powerful tone. He’s signed to Hipnotic Records (which is also a friend of CapitalBop), and he recently released In Pursuit of the 9th Man, his debut record, filled with his modern-skewing compositions. Here the Baltimore native performs with a tremendous band of D.C. and Charm City brethren: Harry Appelman on piano, Eric Wheeler on bass and Eric Kennedy on drums. Continue reading

D.C. Jazz Loft Series recap: In a loft, a gallery and a basement, fire music and fellowship thrive

The JD Allen Trio plays at Subterranean A on June 11. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Luke Stewart and Giovanni Russonello
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CapitalBop began nine months ago, out of frustration. We saw something great – the D.C. jazz scene – that was ripe and waiting to get the respect it deserved. But not enough folks were aware that the sounds of spontaneity were being forged all across town, every night of the week. Soon after starting the site, we decided to add a shot of DIY adrenaline to the scene itself, by presenting our own D.C. Jazz Loft shows in a beat-up old Chinatown studio – the type of intimate, communal space where we believe the music thrives most easily. The shows have always fit neatly within our mission: expose curious listeners to the innovative jazz going on in this town, and remind (or show) them how exciting it is to hear this music live.

The response to the jazz lofts has been anything but frustrating; redoubtable, passionate crowds turn out consistently to these monthly shows. So seven months after our first jazz loft, we brought things up a notch by partnering with the DC Jazz Festival, and reaching out to top-line New York City stars as well as D.C. players to present the D.C. Jazz Loft Series. Now we’re looking back on the series with a debt of gratitude to the performers and listeners who made these shows a resounding success. Here’s our full recap. All photos are from Staff Photographer Carlyle V. Smith; more of his work can be seen at soulfotography.com.


June 3

The Brian Settles Trio. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

The Fridge hosted the first installment of the D.C. Jazz Loft Series, where hometown tenor saxophone great Brian Settles performed with his trio, comprised of bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Tiacoh Sadia. The sound was sparse but bristling, powerful emotion oozing from each note that came out of Settles’ horn. Mateen, a world-renowned musician, plucked his bass like taut elastic, and the result was cooped-up-and-busted-out energy, whether the band was playing Mateen’s own “King Hassan,” an uptempo tune that rides on pitter-patter groove, or a slow blues. The music was Africa. All three musicians are culturally conscious (Sadia, who hails from the continent, sports a “Suport Local Music” sticker on his bass drum) and it shone through in the performance. Continue reading

Musician profile | Darius Jones: Jazz ain’t nothin’ but soul

Darius Jones will bring his soul-baring experimentation to Red Door on Friday. Courtesy Peter Gannushkin

This is the third of four articles profiling the headliners in CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series. The Darius Jones Trio will play the series’ third show on Friday at Red Door in Chinatown.

by Luke Stewart
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For a long time, contemporary jazz has been codified into the realms of in or out, free or straight-ahead. What is often overlooked is the common tradition, which forms the foundation of the music. Some of today’s jazz musicians are struggling to fuse the two, creating a statement that is influenced by the whole tradition of jazz while also forging ahead. Alto saxophonist Darius Jones has played straight-ahead. He has played free. But he chooses to be defined not by the short-sighted labels of critics, but by his own unique sound – which comes straight from his soul.

“I would have to say that what I’m trying to do musically is combine the mind and the heart,” he said in an email interview. “I want my musical craft to be extremely strong. Essentially that means a lifelong process of study and experimentation. In some ways, I feel it would be a mistake to define my concept because I am extremely open-minded…. Simply put, I am still developing, still learning. I’m still trying to make my sound better and play with a deeper understanding of how melody is rhythm. I’m still working to compose all the ideas that are birthed in my imagination. One core thing that I could say will always be there is my desire to develop organically without boundaries.”

Jones, who plays at Red Door this Friday in CapitalBop’s third D.C. Jazz Loft Series show, was born and raised in rural Virginia and deeply influenced by the roots of Southern culture. He heard the sounds of gospel and the blues regularly, and the music’s soul and depth provided a solid grounding in what it means to evoke deep emotion through sound. 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
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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