Best Reason to Leave the House on a Monday Night

Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra at Bohemian Caverns
2001 11th St. NW, Washington, DC, (202) 299-0800

Ten years is a long time for a city that doesn’t keep presidents that long. So it says something that trumpeter Wilson has maintained both a big band and an audience since 1998. It’s easy to see why: Wilson’s orchestra, founded as a tribute to Ellington’s D.C. legacy, has a gloriously classic sound and a contagious enthusiasm that fills Bohemian Caverns every Monday. Wilson (who resembles a thinner, healthier Charlie Parker) has a mellow, humorous charisma that infects both audience and bandmates; a book that’s as adventurous (Pat Metheny’s “Always and Forever”) as it is uproarious (Wilson’s original “Georgia Avenue Blues”); an impossibly tight ensemble; and a crew of great soloists, such as altoist John Kokur, pianist Gerald Pennerman, and Wilson himself, all equally capable of romance and hard-charging groove. In jazz, that’s an unbeatable combination. W

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