Arts Desk

D.C. Jazz Loft Moves to The Dunes in February

The Dunes

This Saturday marks the final musical sendoff for Gold Leaf Studios on I Street NW. But while the art space and DIY venue will soon be vacated, making way for fancy-looking apartments, DC Jazz Loft will live on.

Beginning next month, say organizers (and CapitalBop editors)  Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart, the shows will continue in their new location at The Dunes at 14th and Monroe streets NW in Columbia Heights.

The new space is ideal for Jazz Loft, say Russonello and Stewart. It's a large L-shaped room with a wall of windows overlooking 14th Street NW ("very Manhattan," Russonello says) and the bandstand in the L's corner. But the really big change, says Stewart, is that the new incarnations of the Jazz Loft can discard their BYOB rule. "There's a bar," he says. "Low-key, and small, but a bar. And not even a cash bar: You can swipe your plastic there."

The suggested donation of $10 for admission will remain intact, with all of that money going to the artists.

Jazz Loft premiered in December 2010 in Gold Leaf's "Red Door" space, and almost immediately became a staple of the D.C. jazz scene, bringing a regular crowd into Gold Leaf and a surprisingly successful new arm to the D.C. Jazz Festival. The monthly presentation for local jazz musicians pays homage to the New York Loft Jazz scene that peaked in the mid-'70s.

At The Dunes, Russonello and Stewart will step up their efforts to film and record every performance; they want to create a complete CapitalBop archive, something which The Dunes is all too happy to facilitate. The space's proprietor, Ora Nwabueze, has filmed local indie-rock bands for a Web video series called Sofar Sounds, and he'll supervise CapitalBop's recordings.

Stewart and Russonello haven't started planning the lineups for their Dunes shows yet. At the moment, they say they're focused onSaturday's "Close Down the Red Door" concert on I Street. It features six acts, culminating in the trademark jam session at the end of the night—which Russonello emphasizes could come very late. "We want it to go all night this time," he says. "Six acts, an hour set for each, with some time in between to hang out and then hopefully a jam session that'll go on for a good long time. There's enough going on that if you don't show up precisely at 7 [the Loft's start time], you don't have to feel like you're missing out too much." And for the last time, BYOB.

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