Posts Tagged ‘D.C. Jazz Festival’

DC Jazz Festival: What to See Tonight

It's always a joy to see Ron Carter, the most recorded bassist in jazz history and surely the greatest one living. That's why, anytime he plays D.C., he will always be one of my picks. But under the current circumstances, it's significant, perhaps overshadowing, that he brings his Golden Striker Trio. The original incarnation of [...]

DC Jazz Festival: What To See Tonight

What you get with bassist Michael Formanek and his quartet is outside, to be sure... but only just. What you hear in his music is fully formed melody and arrangement, but expressed in Formanek's unique harmonic language. His splendid band members—alto saxophonist Tim Berne, pianist Jacob Sacks, drummer Gerald Cleaver—have mastered that language so surely [...]

DC Jazz Festival: What to See Tonight

The name seems fairly straightforward: The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. But what the conga player and bandleader really does is take Latin jazz and pour hot sauce all over it. That's to say that there's as much spicy, gritty soul jazz in Sanchez's music as there is Afro-Cuban music; how else do you get [...]

DC Jazz Festival: What to See Tonight

The Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra needs no help in drawing an audience. They have a regular residency at the city's best jazz venue, every Monday night, and they routinely sell the place out. Deservedly so, too: The 17-piece big band fits in a huge proportion of the city's best musicians, and an awful lot of [...]

DC Jazz Festival: The Third Wheel

On the festival flyers and Twins schedule, they were listed as Double Date: a collective improvisation between two sets of partners, saxophonists Brad Linde and Sarah Hughes, and guitarist Anthony Pirog and cellist Janel Leppin (better known as Janel and Anthony). But Linde got stranded on his way back from the Banff Jazz Workshop in [...]

DC Jazz Festival: A Conversation with Black Host’s Gerald Cleaver

Black Host is the brainchild of drummer Gerald Cleaver, one of the most technically proficient, versatile, and all-around enticing traps players in the world today. The quintet itself includes alto saxophonist Darius Jones, guitarist Brandon Seabrook, keyboardist Cooper-Moore, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper. Their 2013 debut recording, Life in the Sugar Candle Mines, is so laden [...]

DC Jazz Festival: What to See Tonight and Saturday

For proof that the DC Jazz Festival is rapidly and thoroughly diversifying, look no further than the presence of guitarist Kenny Wessel on the bill. How many past renditions of the festival have included a onetime member of Ornette Coleman's revolutionary Prime Time ensemble?
But then, the fest has always been interested in a one-world approach [...]

DC Jazz Festival: What to See Tonight

The resurrection of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is still very much a work in progress, but one of its successes has been the rediscovery of its musical legacy. The city's brass band tradition, in particular, has seen an explosion: the Rebirth, Dirty Dozen, Olympia, and Stooges Brass Bands have forged busy new career paths [...]

DC Jazz Festival: Opening Opener

Just because an artist is second on the bill doesn't make he's fluff or filler. Nasar Abadey pummeled the drums, especially his rack toms, following fierce volleys from trumpeter J.S. Williams, alto saxophonist Joe Ford, and pianist Allyn Johnson while playing Wayne Shorter's "Free Fall" last night at the Hamilton. Jabari Exum (percussion) and James [...]

D.C. Jazz Festival: Opening Day

Ah, that magical time of year when D.C.'s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of jazz. Which, for the next 12 days, will be everywhere, in greater diversity and density than ever before. Yes, the D.C. Jazz Festival is determinedly getting better and better every year; it remains to be seen whether this year's incarnation, which [...]