Follow us on Twitter

What people are saying about DC Jazz Shows

"We love your blog"
— Marketing Department, Strathmore Music Center

"I have needed this for years."
— NPR's A Blog Supreme on Twitter

"In DC and want jazz, follow @DCJazzShows."
— @fureousangel

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Music and News from U Street

Please click here to see the jazz calendar.

Fans of great bass players are going to hate on me — I got to meet the great Roy Hargrove Quintet bass player Ameen Saleem Saturday night. I went out to see my son's regular gig at Utopia (the Elijah Jamal Experience) and Ameen, along with Victor Provost (steel pan) and Nate Jolley (drums) sat in. They played the coolest rendition of Alone Together I've ever heard live.

The musicians on the gig were Elijah on tenor, Samir Moulay on guitar, Elliot Seppa on bass, and Dave McDonald on drums. The crowd at Utopia was incredibly young, with twenty-somethings streaming in all evening.

Samir is a regular member of Elijah's group. He's from Montgomery County but he spent some years in LA, playing for Natalie Cole for two years, and more recently, he's played, toured, and written music with Macy Gray. Samir told me he moved back here because he was dying to play more jazz, and LA's jazz scene is nothing like DC's. He sure got what he was looking for — I see Samir's name on a lot of local jazz gigs.

Drummer Dave McDonald plays with the Airmen of Note, along with DC-based sax players Tedd Baker (Cafe Nema, Friday nights) and Grant Langford, who told me he'll be playing with the Count Basie Orchestra at Blues Alley from April 21-25.

Nate Jolley said that he and his brother Noble, who play as The Jolley Brothers, recently went from playing 1 gig a week at B. Smith's upscale soul food restaurant in Union Station, to playing 4 gigs a week. That's 4 regular gigs per week.

Guitarist Pete Muldoon came out to the show, and he told me he'll soon start playing Monday nights at Utopia. He'll have more information on his lineup soon.

I got confirmation that Howard University's sax and improvisation teacher Charlie Young will be touring Russia and Eastern Europe with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. First stop, Kremlin Palace on April 9th. The trip also includes stops in Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Romania.

After Europe, the Duke Ellington Orchestra will be hitting Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo (5/29, 5/30, and 6/2.)

Jazz Appreciation Month in Washington, DC [UPDATED]

UPDATED with Howard University's Jazz Week events.

I sincerely apologize for the late update on Jazz Appreciation Month. I have a computer that's been threatening to die for some time, and it almost did, and ever since then it's been acting very sketchy. As in, intermittently and spontaneously shutting down for no apparent reason.

But on to better news. It's April, and DC is all about Cherry Blossoms and jazz. This is the best city in the world to be in during Jazz Appreciation Month — JAM was created by the Smithsonian Institution, based in DC, and because of that we are the beneficiaries of unbelievable jazz treats this month, and most of them are free.

There's amazing free music, like the Allyn Johnson Trio at UDC on Tuesday at 12:30, and a jam session with Jason Moran, Greg Osby and SJMO Musicians. There are films, book talks, curator tours, and even a Family Jazz Day at Fort Dupont Park on the 10th, that includes a performance by Delfeayo Marsalis.

April 26th is a big day in DC jazz — the day of the Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival, featuring Howard University, Maryland University, and the University of the District of Columbia's big bands.

If you love jazz, April is a great time to be in DC. Here are many of the Jazz Appreciation Month events:

Jazz Appreciation Month Events

APRIL 6TH


April 6th 12:30
JazzAlive UDC: Allyn Johnson Trio | UDC Recital Hall (Bldg 46-West) | 4200 Conn. Ave. NW Wash. DC | 202-274-5803

April 6, 7:30 - 9:30
Howard University: Jon Hendricks, Aria Hendricks & Afro Blue | Andrew Rankin Chapel, 500 Howard Place, NW, Wash DC | 202-806-7097

APRIL 7TH


April 7, 6:30 - 8pm
American History Museum: Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense (documentary & discussion w/ Lars Larson, John Comerford, and Jason Moran and Greg Osby) | Carmichael Auditorium | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

April 7, 8:30pm
American History Museum: Jam Session with Jason Moran, Greg Osby and SJMO Musicians | Carmichael Auditorium | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

APRIL 8TH


April 8, 12:45pm
Howard U: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the music of Freddy Hubbard. | Howard University Main Campus, Childers Hall Rm. 3001 | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

April 8, 6:30pm
American History Museum: Guy & Madeline On A Park Bench (film) | Carmichael Auditorium | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

April 8th 7pm
JazzAlive UDC: Icons Among us: Jazz in the Present Tense, Episode 1: The Quiet Revolution Film Screening & Discussion w/ Lars Larson, Greg Osby & Bruce Williams, moderated by Reuben Jackson | UDC Recital Hall (Bldg 46-West) | 4200 Conn. Ave. NW Wash. DC | 202-274-5803

APRIL 9TH


April 9, 12-2pm
American History Museum: Guitarist Workshop with Bucky Pizzarelli | Carmichael Auditorium, 1st Floor | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

APRIL 10TH


April 10, 1-4pm
Fort Dupont Park: Family Jazz Day /Delfeayo Marsalis (workshop, lecture, performance) | Fort Dupont Activity Center | 202-426-7723

April 10, 7:30pm
Museum of Natural History: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Hub-Tones The Life of Freddie Hubbard | Baird Auditorium
10th & Constitution Avenue, NW | 202-633-3030

APRIL 11TH


April 11, 2pm
Anacostia Community Museum: Rhythm Cafe: Basie (Jamal Muhammad of WPFW 89.3 FM discusses Count Basie, Count Basie’s music performed by Howard University Jazz Band) | Program Room | 202-633-4866

APRIL 12TH


April 12, 7pm
Arena Stage: The Music in the Musical: "The Light in the Piazza" & "Sophisticated Ladies" | Arena Stage's Crystal City Theater, 1800 South Bell St. Arl. VA | 202-488-3300

APRIL 13TH


April 13 12:30pm
UDC: UDC Small Jazz Ensembles, Allyn Johnson, Director | UDC Recital Hall (Bldg 46-West) | 4200 Conn. Ave. NW Wash. DC | 202-274-5803

APRIL 14TH


April 14 7pm
UDC: JAZZ Forum –Special Film Screening: "Music Inn" | UDC Recital Hall (Bldg 46-West) | 4200 Conn. Ave. NW Wash. DC | 202-274-5803

APRIL 15TH


April 15, 5pm
Smithsonian: Take Five! A Tribute to the Tax Man with Sandy Asirvatham | Kogod Courtyard | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

April 15, 6pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Jazzin' It Up Tour | Meet in the F St. Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

April 15, 6pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Ethel Merman: Face-to-Face Portrait Talk | Meet at F Street Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306 jazz@si.edu

APRIL 18TH


April 18, 7:30
Katzen Arts Center: John Eaton on Jazz | 4400 Mass. Ave Wash DC | residentassociates.org

APRIL 20TH


April 20, 5pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Panel Discussion: Future of Jazz Diplomacy | McEvoy Auditorium Lower Level (enter from G. St.) | americanart.si.edu/calendar Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 20, 7pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet | Kogod Courtyard | americanart.si.edu/calendar Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

APRIL 21ST


April 21, 11am
Sylvan Theater, National Mall: Big Band Jam, High School Big Bands | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 21 12pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Curator Tour: Meet Ella Fitzgerald | Meet in G Street Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 21, 2pm
American Indian Museum: Big Band Jam's Alfred Educational Series Panel: Jazz Composition | Room 4018, 4th Level | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

APRIL 22ND


April 22, 11am
Sylvan Theater, National Mall: Big Band Jam, High School Big Bands | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 22 12pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Curator Tour: Meet Ella Fitzgerald | Meet in G Street Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 22, 3pm
American Indian Museum: Big Band Jam's Alfred Educational Series Panel: Jazz Composition | Room 4018, 4th Level | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

APRIL 23RD


April 23, 11am
Sylvan Theater, National Mall: Big Band Jam, High School Big Bands | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 23 12pm
American History Museum: International Sweethearts of Rhythm, book talk & signing | Carmichael Auditorium, 1st Floor | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 23 12pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Curator Tour: Meet Ella Fitzgerald | Meet in G Street Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 23 2pm
American Indian Museum: Big Band Jam's Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Workshop with Connaitre Miller | Room 4018, 4th Level | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 23 6-8pm
National Building Museum: Jazz and Crafts (Music Teaching Project students perform with Michael Bowie & Thad Wilson) | 4th and F St. NW | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

APRIL 24TH


April 24 5pm
Sylvan Theater: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Ella Fitzgerald Tribute | National Mall near Independence Ave. & 15th St. | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 24, 6-8pm
National Building Museum: Jazz and Crafts (Music Teaching Project students perform with Michael Bowie & Thad Wilson) | 4th and F St. NW | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

APRIL 25TH


April 25, 11:30-5pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Happy Birthday Ella! (storybook readings, art project, jazz tour, and 3pm performance by Brade Linde Ensemble ft. Lena Seikaly | Kogod Courtyard and Education Center | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 25, 1pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Curator Tour: Jazz | Meet in G St. Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 25, 6-8pm
National Building Museum: Jazz and Crafts (Music Teaching Project students perform with Michael Bowie & Thad Wilson) | 4th and F St. NW | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306


APRIL 26TH


April 26 8pm $20 suggested donation
UDC: Calvin Jones BIG BAND Jazz Festival | University Auditorium (Bldg. 46-East) | 4200 Conn. Ave. NW Wash. DC | 202-274-5803


APRIL 29TH


April 29, 6-6:30pm
American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery: Lena Horne: Face-to-Face Portrait Talk | Meet at F St. Lobby | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

April 29, 7:30pm
Katzen Arts Center: One Two Three: Jerome Sabbagh Trio | 4400 Mass. Ave. Wash DC | Smithsonian Special Events tel. 202-633-3306

Jazz Week at Howard University


(Some of these events may also be listed under the Smithsonian JAM events list)

Tuesday, April 6 10:00-11:00am
Howard U: The Flutes of Howard University | Childers Recital Hall 3001,
2455 Sixth Street, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Tuesday, April 6 12:40pm-1:30pm
Howard U: Paul Carr's Jazz Academy of Music | Andrew Ranking Memorial Chapel, Sixth Street and Howard Place, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Tuesday, April 6, 7:30-9:30pm
Howard U: Jon Hendricks and Aria Hendricks / Afro Blue Concert | Andrew Ranking Memorial Chapel, Sixth Street and Howard Place, NW | ($20, $10 for students w/ ID) | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Wednedsay, April 7, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Howard U: Howard University Jazz Faculty Concert | Blackburn Center Gallery (Art Gallery located on 1st floor) 2397 Sixth Street, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Thursday, April 8, 10:00am-11:30am
Howard U: John Mercer & Guests Lecture: Music in the Digital Age | Childers Recital Hall 3001, 2455 Sixth Street, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Thursday, April 8, 12:40-1:30pm
Howard U: the Smithsonian Masterworks Ensemble - The Music of Freddie Hubbard | Childers REcital Hall 3001, 2455 Sixth Street, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Friday April 9, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Howard U: The Navy Commodores (Big Band) | Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Sixth Street and Howard Place, NW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Friday April 9, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Westminster Church: The Howard University Jazz Ensemble | 400 I St., SW | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Sunday April 11, 2:00-4:00pm
Anacostia Community Museum: The Howard University Jazz Ensemble, music of Count Basie, Jamal Muhammad, Lecturer | 1901 Fort Place, SE | Prof. Fred Irby at firby@howard.edu or 202-806-7066

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Elijah Balbed Named Best New DC Jazz Musician By Washington City Paper



This is my son, and I couldn't be more proud, or more grateful to Mike West and Washington City paper:
...along with Balbed’s dedication comes a sleek but hefty saxophone sound and a great ear for improvisation. It all makes him one of the most exciting players in town—with one of the brightest futures.
» Best New D.C. Jazz Musician Elijah Balbed
» ElijahJamalJazz.com

Friday, March 19, 2010

Howard University's Amy K. Bormet, DC Jazz Shows' first interview



Here's our interview with piano player, vocalist, and composer Amy K. Bormet, one of DC's brightest young stars.

DCJS: You've taken an amazing musical path, from Duke Ellington School for the Arts, University of Michigan, Howard University, and now Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead. Did you make a pact with Satan?

Amy: Awesome. I have been tremendously blessed with incredible teachers, from Davey Yarborough at Ellington helping me apply to and prepared me for college, to fabulous Ellen Rowe at U. of Michigan who gave me so much love and knowledge. From there, Geri Allen, who went to Howard, and Fred Irby for convincing me to go back to grad school with the enticement of a free trip to Japan and a chance to write and perform music with all of the amazing people who I can't imagine my life without now. And of course Charlie Young told me to put together my application for Betty Carter Jazz Ahead.

DCJS: Did you get to work with Geri Allen at Michigan?

Amy: Of course. I stalked her from the first time I saw her play at the Kennedy Center when I was 16. She's a powerhouse and an incredibly passionate person. Last time I saw her was backstage at the McCoy Tyner/HUJE concert at the Kennedy Center. It was a remarkable night and I have a fond memory of sitting next to her in the wings watching McCoy's solo piano on "Search for Peace".

DCJS: Who are some of the other musicians (students or teachers) who most left an impression on you?

Amy: I have always been lucky to be around people who push and inspire me. From the notorious Ben Williams at Ellington, to CV Dashiell and Karine Chapdelaine at Howard University. At Michigan I had a great "Nat King Cole" style trio with my fiancee Matt Dievendorf (guitar) and Keith Reed (bass). I lived with a hilarious and monster bass player Andrew Kratzat. I love that guy. I have stayed in touch with most of the guys I went to school with and we all support each in our diaspora of jazziness. One of my favorite teachers at Michigan was Donald Walden, a beautiful tenor player who lived in Detroit. He passed away recently, and I always laugh thinking of him showing up to my senior recital in an all red outfit and declaring he was color-coordinating with my red cocktail number. He had me play on the Detroit Jazz Festival and it was a real memorable show.

DCJS: How's Jazz Ahead going? I heard the schedule is intense. I heard you guys killed it at JoJo's Thursday night.

Amy: It is ridiculously great. I'm exhausted already, but having such a good time. Dr. Billy Taylor is showing me voicings and Curtis Fuller is talking about my comping style. What more could a girl want? All of the players are really inspiring, and I can't wait for the shows next week. I have alot of people coming!

DCJS: Did you know Mark Williams before Jazz Ahead? (I found him on Twitter, and I LOVE his playing)

Amy: I knew he was going to be there because he went to Howard and was in HUJE. Irby was so excited that 4 of his students from Howard were going to be there in the same year. Mark is in my band, and he is a energetic and dramatic musician. I am so happy to get a chance to work with him, and to be around his upbeat personality.

DCJS: What's good and bad about the DC jazz scene? What would make it better?

Amy: I love the scene here. I feel like I have a big support system and I can do whatever I want to do artistically and be appreciated. I can't wait for the new Bohemian Caverns Big Band in a month so I can hang with some of my favorite people. We are lucky to have Mike West to write about Jazz in DC, and to have all the great places like Bohemian, or Rock and Roll Hotel, to see live music in and around town.

DCJS: How did you fall in love with jazz?

Amy: My mother is a clarinet player, and loves some Benny Goodman. I started out listening to Ella, and singing along with all of the tunes. From there I started playing piano in Jazz Band, and going to camps during the summer. There were always so many more good looking boys at the jazz camps in comparison to the musical theater camps I was attending. And that can be a really influential factor when you're 14.

About Amy Bormet:

Washington D.C.'s Amy K. Bormet is an active performer and current graduate student in the Howard University Jazz Department. With the Howard University Jazz Ensemble Amy performed at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater with NEA Jazz Master McCoy Tyner and toured Japan last May.

Amy has also been selected to participate in the Kennedy Center's inaugural Mary Lou Williams Piano Workshop in May 2010.

In addition to her piano performances Amy is a prolific composer. Her compositions have been performed on the HU Jazztet and HUJE 2009 CDs. She has been commissioned to arrange her composition "Lightning" for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and HU's Afro Blue to be premiered April 24, 2010 on the National Mall.

Amy also composes and performs on piano, accordion, and voice with Brazilian Jazz Band "Aqui oh".

Find Amy Bormet on the web:

aquioh.com

AmyKBormet.com

Huge News — the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra!

The Village Vanguard, Smoke, and other New York clubs have their own house big bands, and now DC has one too.
Monday nights have been dark at Bohemian Caverns since the demise of the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra last fall. But that’s about to change: Omrao Brown, co-owner and booker for the venerable jazz club, and baritone saxophonist Brad Linde have just finalized plans to resurrect Big Band Mondays. This time, however, it will be starring the brand new Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra.
The big band makes its debut on April 19, during Jazz Appreciation Month. Check out the Washington City Paper story for the full scoop and the full lineup.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Apollo Theater Exhibition Coming to Smithsonian in August

The first exhibition to explore the Apollo Theater’s seminal impact on American popular culture, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment examines the rich history and cultural significance of the legendary Harlem theater, tracing the story from its origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its starring role at the epicenter of African American entertainment and American popular culture.

Jazz at the Apollo:

Many music fans might associate the Apollo primarily with soul, R&B and funk, but Ramsey is quick to point out that a sizable segment of the theater’s heyday corresponds nicely with the period when jazz was very much a popular music. Therefore, few of the notable jazz bands and orchestras of the 30s and 40s didn’t perform there. Among the jazz artists who regularly appeared there were the orchestras of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb and Cab Calloway, as well as artists like Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan.The shift away from jazz occurred in stages but it happened concurrent with the birth and subsequent growth of rock and roll, soul and R&B. » continue reading here

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment will be on view at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History from April 23, 2010 until August 29, 2010

City Paper: Three DC Musicians in This Year’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency

DC should be proud:
The Kennedy Center’s prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program this year includes three D.C. jazz musicians in its ranks of 29 young artists from around the world.

Alto saxophonist John Kocur, pianist Amy Bormet, and drummer Nathan Jolley join musicians from Austria, Brazil, China, England, France, Greece, Israel, Japan, and Singapore, as well as elsewhere in the United States.
» continue reading here
Also in the program is Howard University's Christie Daschiell, and because of her longstanding ties to DC, I think we should claim her too. Christie sings with Howard U.'s Afro Blue, and she won the '08 Downbeat award for Performance in the Jazz Vocal Soloist Category.