Spring Arts Guide 2012

Spring Arts Guide: Must-See Jazz

March 11
Herbie Hancock at the Kennedy Center
One of the most important musicians (and musical thinkers) of the past half-century is still as astonishing behind the keys as ever, and a charming master of ceremonies to boot. He’s got five decades worth of repertoire that he still refines with each appearance—and no, he won’t play “Rockit.” Kennedy Center, $35-$85.

March 23
Warren Wolf
The Baltimore vibe player is already a favorite sideman and an up-and-coming leader on the national level, with a gorgeous sense of melody and a daring contemporary streak. That he’s a familiar face in the area doesn’t make this gig any less promising. Bohemian Caverns, $18.

April 4
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
One of the most buzzed-about big bands in an era where “buzzed-about big bands” largely don’t exist, Argue is remolding orchestral jazz for rock- and post-rock-trained ears. His recent concert-scale project, “Brooklyn Babylon,” is a multimedia smorgasbord—just right for the landmark of the new H Street NE. Atlas Performing Arts Center, $15-$25.

April 13
Oliver Lake
Lake, a saxophonist who made his name in the “loft jazz” scene of the mid ’70s, is a relentless experimenter whose seemingly every move examines the jazz tradition from a unique new angle. We don’t know what he’s up to this time, and it doesn’t matter: The mere mention of his name is a ticket to a sonic adventure. Twins Jazz, $25.

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