Arts Desk

The Marsalises, Chelsey Green, and William Hooker: Jazz Setlist, August 14-20

Thursday, August 14
William-HookerHe's a drummer and percussionist, a composer and an improviser, and a conceptualist. But even within the ivory tower of avant-garde jazz, William Hooker's is a somewhat obscure name. It needn't be, considering the heft of his resume: He's worked with everyone from David Murray to David S. Ware, from DJ Spooky to Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. He doesn't even need to be an accompanist—or to have accompanists—to say something on his instrument. Hooker can create beautiful, affecting expressions with nothing else but his kit and sticks. Even so, he arrives in D.C. as part of a tour with a trio of creative musicians who are closely associated with our fair city: guitarist Anthony Pirog and drummer Luke Stewart. (For the remainder of the tour, the guitarist will be Ed Ricart, New Atlantis Records honcho and another musician with a D.C. association.) It's exciting stuff. William Hooker performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $10.

Saturday, August 16
Delfeayo-and-Ellis-345x290You know about at least two of the Marsalis brothers, Wynton and Branford. If you're paying attention, then, you also at least recognize the name of Delfeayo Marsalis, their trombone-playing, record-producing younger brother who apprenticed with Art Blakey and Slide Hampton before establishing an ambitious career of his own as a leader. And those with some real savvy will know about Ellis, the Marsalis family patriarch. In New Orleans, modern, bebop-based jazz is a sideline to the Big Easy's directly descended musical traditions, and Ellis reigns at the top of that underground as he has for over half a century. Together, the two lesser-known Marsalises have produced a recording called The Last Southern Gentlemen, featuring standards as well as original compositions; in touring its release, they will perform both. Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis perform at 8:30 p.m. at Bethesda Blues and Jazz, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. $30.

Monday, August 18
chelseyChelsey Green has been on a roll lately. She's been working all over town—all over the area, in fact, and making stopovers in places like Durham, N.C., as well. And through it all, the jazz/funk/soul violinist and violist has been working on her new album, The Green Room, with a band that she appropriately calls the Green Project. Green's sound with the bow truly is sublime: mostly short notes in wending melodic forms, lyricism that's full of surprises and suspense, and a firm command of rhythm. And then there's her tone—clean, bright, with just a soupçon of pitch bends and vibrato. She's a visibly passionate player, but as her performing intensity increases, this sound never wavers. Chelsey Green and the Green Project (personnel TBA) perform at 7:30 p.m. at Vicino's Ristorante Italiano, 959 Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring. Free.

Tuesday, August 19
Last week in this space, I talked about the fabulous local trumpeter Joe Herrera, the man of many projects who is currently the artist in residence at Bohemian Caverns. But Herrera, it seems, was gigging in New York that night instead of playing his scheduled show at the Caverns. Word is that Elijah Jamal Balbed, who held down the stage in his stead, gave the audience every bit the satisfaction they came looking for. Nevertheless, Herrera should be seen at his own residency, and this week he's premiering a new ensemble—or at least, a new version of an existing one. The Harry Bells, cofounded with tenor saxophonist Matt Rippetoe, is a group dedicated to the music of calypso icon Harry Belafonte. They've played before, but never in the new large configuration they're organizing for the Caverns: five horns and three percussion pieces. If that's anywhere near as cool as it sounds, it'll be the best $10 you've ever spent. Joe Herrera and the Harry Bells perform at 7:30 and 9 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh Street NW. $10.

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