Tag Archives: Reginald Cyntje

Album review | Amid difficult times, Reginald Cyntje’s Freedom’s Children insists on optimism

Reginald Cyntje's debut album offers a strong message of positivity and resilience. Kyoko Takenaka/CapitalBop

Editor’s note: This is the first of four album reviews that will be published over the next two weeks, spotlighting new releases from some of our favorite D.C. jazz musicians.


by Luke Stewart
Avant music editor

D.C. trombonist Reginald Cyntje has been active in the area’s jazz community for over a decade. Throughout that time he has developed a reputation as one of the region’s most creative and hardworking musicians. With the release of his debut album, Freedom’s Children: The Celebration, he displays those qualities, and then some – namely, a strong sense of cultural awareness.

The sidemen for the release are some of the area’s best musicians, with bassist Herman Burney and steel pan player Victor Provost hailing from D.C., and multi-instrumentalist Warren Wolf and drummer Amin Gumbs joining him from the Baltimore area. True to the album’s title, the music is celebratory – so optimistic that it would make a manic depressive crack a smile. The blends of African and Caribbean musical heritages with jazz make for an impressive display of crafty musicianship and composition. And at the forefront of the music is a tireless message of social justice and cultural awareness. All told, this album – which Cyntje will ring in with a CD release performance at Bohemian Caverns this Sunday – displays the best of a great musician.

The recording process for Freedom’s Children was nothing less than phenomenal. As Cyntje explains in his liner notes, the vibe and energy was at a high as the spirit of musical creativity flooded the hearts and minds of the musicians, engineers, producers and all those involved. The emotional intensity seems to jump out of the music, as the sounds are lively and energetic while expressing a variety of moods. Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 8.26-8.28: CapitalBop splashes into Columbia Heights, & U St. is drenched in jazz

Rising trumpet star Duane Eubanks plays Bohemian Caverns this weekend. Courtesy myspace.com/duaneeubanks

by Giovanni Russonello
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CapitalBop is very excited to present our own show tonight (Friday) at Columbia Heights’ newest southern BBQ joint, Acre 121. Saxophonist Herb Scott’s soulful jazz quartet, Herb Spice & Cinnamonstix, will be bringing his raucous, danceable rhythms from 8 to midnight, so stop through if you can. That aside, this dark and stormy weekend is a great one for jazz all around, with modern bop trumpeter Duane Eubanks performing at Bohemian Caverns on Friday and Saturday and the thoughtful piano innovator Dan Tepfer playing at Twins Jazz. Cuff your jeans, throw on your boots, and go get soaked in sound. You can find details on everything in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” our 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!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26

cb picks:

  • Herb Spice & Cinnamonstix, Acre 121, 8 p.m. (CapitalBop)
  • Duane Eubanks, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Dan Tepfer w/Brad Linde Quartet, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Bill Burke & Bruce Ewan, Jazz in the Garden, 5 p.m. | Guitarist Bill Burke and harmonica man Bruce Ewan play the blues. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Wendell Shepherd, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Trumpeter Wendell Shepherd leads a hard-bop sestet through a celebration of the music of Lee Morgan and Jimmy Smith, practitioners of Philadelphian soul-bebop. The group includes Greg Hatza on organ, Diane Daly on vocals, Earl Wilson on guitar and vocals, Ron Pender on saxophone and George Gray on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Photos | New room, same old familiar vibe: Local luminaries shine at July’s D.C. Jazz Loft

Reginald Cyntje performs at Sunday's D.C. Jazz Loft. Carlyle V. Smith/CapitalBop

by Luke Stewart
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After a series of shows last month presented in conjunction with the DC Jazz Festival, CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft returned to its roots at Red Door on Sunday evening, offering a program of the District’s top guns doing what they do best: communal invention.

This time, instead of the compact rehearsal studio used in previous lofts, the show was presented in Red Door’s larger, more accommodating common space. The audience had more room to relax, and the musicians performed on a makeshift stage in front of a pair of iconic French red doors, providing some great photo opportunities for CapitalBop’s official sharpshooter, Carlyle V. Smith. Some samples are below. Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 7.8-7.10: Benito Gonzalez, Todd Marcus and the return of the D.C. Jazz Loft!

Benito Gonzalez – shown here recording his newest album, Circles – performs at Twins Jazz on Friday and Saturday. Courtesy benitogonzalez.com

by Giovanni Russonello
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This Sunday night, CapitalBop’s D.C. Jazz Loft returns after a very successful series at the D.C. Jazz Festival. Also, talented bass clarinetist Todd Marcus is at Bohemian Caverns on Friday, and D.C. fave Benito Gonzalez brings his irascible pianistics to Twins Jazz. Find details on all of these shows in this week’s edition of “Weekend in Jazz,” our 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!

FRIDAY, JULY 8

cb picks:

  • Todd Marcus, Bohemian Caverns, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.
  • Benito Gonzalez, Twins Jazz, 9 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, Jazz in the Garden, 5 p.m. | For this installation of the popular Jazz in the Garden series at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet gives the Great American Songbook a four-part-harmony makeover. Free. View event on calendar | Jazz in the Garden website

Lori Williams, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6 p.m. | Smooth-voiced singer Lori Williams is a regular member of the local jazz group Saltman-Knowles. At this week’s edition of Jazz Night, she steps out with her own backing band: Tracey Cutler on saxophone, Dr. Weldon Hill on piano, James King on bass and Mark Prince on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

News | Announcing this Sunday’s D.C. Jazz Loft: free jazz jam and more!!

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer

by Giovanni Russonello
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At last month’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Fest, hundreds of you braved massive heat to hear some of the city’s top acts double-billing with major musical innovators from New York City. We were thrilled by the enthusiastic response those shows received.

Prior to the June festival shows, CapitalBop hosted a number of smaller-scale D.C. Jazz Lofts on a monthly basis, and we’re getting back to it. This Sunday, three of D.C.’s most original and captivating jazz combos will share their singular sounds at July’s D.C. Jazz Loft. Then the floor at Red Door will open up into a free-jazz jam.

For the first four lofts, we closed things out with the U Street All-Stars, a hard-bop and bebop ensemble. At the very end of the night, anyone who wanted to bring their ax and join in on some jazz standards was welcome. In my humble opinion, the night-ending jam session was usually the most exciting part of the loft. Continue reading

Video | U St. All-Stars bring the swing to Bayou, one door down from a D.C. jazz landmark

The U St. All-Stars perform at Bayou. Giovanni Russonello/CapitalBop

by Giovanni Russonello
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CapitalBop brought the U St. All-Stars to Bayou, a recently opened restaurant and bar that’s been having jazz as background music during dinner most nights of the week, on Friday, Apr. 22. Bayou also hosts a featured hard-bop quintet on Thursday evenings, but most weekend nights are reserved for rock and blues. So when the folks over there offered to have us present a show, we were happy to oblige – and evangelize. As it turned out, a strong showing of jazz fans showed up, and a ring of attentive listeners formed around the stage, remaining in place all night.

It was nice to see a solid group of people getting turned on by front-and-center live jazz in a space where that doesn’t happen all the time. A lot of folks seemed like longtime jazzbos. But was it the first time for some? Seemed as though it could have been. (There’s always those who don’t know quite when to clap — and we love ‘em for it!) In that way, it had the come-one-come-all feel that so many people have said characterized the One Step Down, a historic D.C. jazz club situated right next door to Bayou’s address until it closed in 2000. In the video below, shot and produced by Ed Stansbury, musicians reflect on the bygone club, the rise of jazz at Bayou and all the energy that’s pervading the D.C. scene these days. Continue reading

News | Announcing the U St. All-Stars at Bayou, presented by CapitalBop

Click for a hi-res version of the flyer.

by Giovanni Russonello
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Our mission with CapitalBop has always been to build something new – a wider jazz audience, a scene where musicians have more places to play that encourage innovation – while drawing on the traditions of this legendary jazz town that is D.C.

That’s why we’re especially excited to announce our concert at Bayou on Friday, Apr. 22, featuring the U St. All-Stars.

 
Dig this: Any jazzbo who was in D.C. during the 1980s and ’90s will tell you the One Step Down was the place to be. National stars came through on weekends to play at the Pennsylvania Ave. club, and on weeknights local legends like Lawrence Wheatley led jam sessions. The spot had a jukebox stacked with the great hard-bop recordings – tunes by Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Pianist George Colligan recalls that in D.C., “the One Step was the REAL jazz club.” Continue reading

Weekend in Jazz | 3.25-3.27: A stacked Sunday

Marshall Hawkins, a legend who toured with Miles Davis, returns to D.C. for a concert this Sunday. Courtesy idyllwildjazz.com

by Giovanni Russonello
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Welcome to this week’s installation of “Weekend in Jazz,” our list of every D.C. jazz show on our radar. There’s plenty to hear all weekend long, but this week we’ve got an especially auspicious Sunday lineup. For one, Twins Jazz is hosting a special fundraiser show for Reginald Cyntje in the afternoon, as well as the latest installation of the popular Sunday Jazz Lounge series at night. Plus, there’s a major homecoming at All Souls Unitarian Church, where D.C. bass legend is back in town from California. All of our favorite shows have a  label. As always, you can read CapitalBop’s full listings directly at our D.C. jazz calendar, if you’d rather. Happy hunting!

FRIDAY, MAR. 25

cb picks:

  • Kevin Eubanks, Blues Alley, 8 & 10 p.m.
  • Nasar Abadey Trio, Twins Jazz, 9 & 11 p.m.
  • Donvonte McCoy, 18th Street Lounge, 10:30 p.m.

Carlos Johnson Quartet, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6:30 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 Friday, saxophonist and vocalist Carlos Johnson leads an organ quartet through a swingin’ set. Jackie Hairston is on organ, plus Alvin White on guitar and Leon Alexander on drums. $5 cover for adults, no cover for attendees under 16, no minimum. View event on calendar | Westminster Presbyterian Church website Continue reading

Reginald Cyntje leads flock of D.C. musicians turning to Kickstarter.com

Trombonist Reginald Cyntje, like many D.C.-area musicians, is raising money through the pledge-drive website Kickstarter.com.

by Giovanni Russonello
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Reginald Cyntje knew he wanted to make an album. He knew that the process would cost thousands of dollars. And he knew – from experience – that finding funding without having to compromise his artistic vision would be difficult.

“It’s hard for you to say, ‘Well, I want to do it my way’ when someone is offering you five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 thousand dollars,” said the D.C.-based trombone player, recalling an episode years ago when he turned down the opportunity to record an album because his benefactor wanted to dictate the music.

But when Cyntje found out about the pledge-drive website Kickstarter.com, he realized he’d found the solution. On Kickstarter, Cyntje dictates the terms of his own project and finds small-time donors who specifically want to support the goal he has defined. Continue reading