by Steve Monroe
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Lori Williams, Buster Williams, Lamkin, Hughes
highlight weekend; Women in Jazz Festival coming
Vocalist Lori Williams, all-star bassist Buster Williams, saxophonist Sarah Hughes and John Lamkin II head the tasty live jazz menu for the area this weekend as March takes flight, with the Washington Women in Jazz Festival coming up next weekend.
Lori Williams performs in a tribute to the Deltas & Lou Taylor at 6 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church tonight, Friday March 2, with Benje Porecki on piano, Tracey Cutler, sax, Zach Pride, bass and Mark Prince, drums. Bassist Williams, with cohorts Lenny White, George Colligan and Bruce Williams, continues his stay at Blues Alley tonight through Sunday, while trumpeter Lamkin plays tonight and tomorrow, Saturday, March 3 at Twins Jazz.
Tonight, at Rhizome (www.rhizomedc.org), in upper Northwest, saxophonist Hughes plays with drummer/percussionist Nate Scheible as part of a show featuring avant genre music with Eve Essex, Kayla Guthrie and Praxis Cat. Hughes also performs Sunday, March 4 at Twins Jazz.
Also this weekend, vocalist Shacara Rogers performs Saturday night March 3 at The Alex at The Graham Georgetown Hotel, while also Saturday at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club, the Mingus Big Band performs under the direction of Sue Mingus, and on H Street at the Atlas Intersections Festival, in the Free Café concerts, Britney Allen & Herman Burney perform at 5 p.m., with Hope Udobi playing at 7 p.m.
Washington Women in Jazz Festival
WWJF events get started with the Young Artist Showcase and Jam Session 12 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday March 10, presented by the Levine School of Music at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Center (THEARC/www.thearcdc.org)) at 1901 Mississippi Ave. S.E.
The showcase, admission $5 at the door, is “for emerging jazz women musicians in high school and college,” with selected artists performing with the WWJF trio, meeting and getting advice from professionals and hosting a jam session according to WWJF information.
“Many women are active professionals in the Washington, DC jazz scene, but few are represented as performers on regional jazz festivals,” says the WWJF website. ” Created by Amy K Bormet in 2011, the Washington Women in Jazz Festival creates equitable performance opportunities for women while uplifting the image of the jazz community and drawing in dynamic new audiences.”
Later Saturday, March 10, trombonist/bandleader/composer Shannon Gunn presents a Tribute to Women Composers in a free show from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smithsonian American Art Museum downtown.
Other WWJF events around town include the WWJF Kickoff Jam at the DC Jazz Jam at the Brixton Restaurant;
Amy K. Bormet
the Music Business Panel with singer/songwriter/cellist Shana Tucker, March 12, Southeast Library; bassist Judith FerstlAustrian Cultural Forum, March 13, Embassy of Austria; Shana Tucker, March 14, Hill Center; Amy K. Bormet’s Ephemera/Isabel Escalante, March 16, Georgetown University; Leigh Pilzer/WWJF All-Stars, March 16, Westminster Presbyterian Church; the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra and works by composers/musicians Anna Webber and Angela Morris. March 17, THEARC; Sarah Hughes “Coy Fish” Album Release, March 18, Rhizome.
See http://www.washingtonwomeninjazz.com for complete information.
East of the River Jazz Brunch
A new monthly jazz series is making waves East of the River, thanks to Vernard Gray of East River Jazz and the Anacostia Arts Center.
The next concert in the series, which occurs the second Sunday of each month through September, is at 3 p.m. March 11 at the Anacostia Arts Center.
The show, “A Sunday Kind of Love,” features The Lovejoy Group and songstress Karen Lovejoy, a longtime favorite for her soulful, sultry, distinctive phrasing. Lovejoy’s band, including Jerrold Allen, piano, Emory Diggs, bass and Steve Walker, drums. will be performing classics by Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Carlos Jobim, Sergio Mendes and others.
Lovejoy, with a group that included dazzling trumpeter Freddie Dunn, delivered some poignant numbers in her show at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival a couple of weeks ago in Rockville, including “You’ll Never Get to Heaven …,” “I Concentrate on You” and “Willow Weep for Me.”
“The Jazz Brunch has become a growing success, we are thrilled to be able to provide an experience such as this to the Anacostia community,” says Kadija Bangura, marketing manager for ARCH Development Corp. (www.archdevelopment.org), which runs the arts center. “Each month I meet a new guest who says, ‘I never knew this was here’ or ‘this is such a great event.’”
Gray says, “The Arts Center asked for East River Jazz to partner with a Jazz Brunch series based on our presenting Sunday afternoon performances during our annual JAZZFest series …
“Of course we were very much interested in the idea. Our immediate plans are to present a good mix of instrumental and vocal based interpretations of the music. Each of our events are ‘conversations’ with an audience that mixes performance and related performer/patron discourse.”
Other March highlights include: Antonio Parker & Friends, March 9, Westminster; Orrin Evans/The Bad Plus, March 10-11, Blues Alley; Dwayne Adell, March 13, Blues Alley; Shana Tucker/WWJF, March 14, Hill Center; Kevin Eubanks, March 15-18, Blues Alley; Tim Whalen Quartet, March 16-17, Twins Jazz; Christie Dashiell, March 17, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel; Eric Byrd Trio, March 19, Blues Alley; Allyn Johnson Meet The Artist/Jamal Brown, March 20, UDC Recital Hall, Bldg. 46-West; Reuben Brown Tribute, March 23, Westminster; Jeff Antoniuk/David Bach Consort, Marcy 23-24, Twins Jazz; Irene Jalenti/Marco Panascia, March 24, The Alex; Akua Allrich, March 24, Kennedy Center Jazz Club; Japanese Jazz Series, March 26-29, Blues Alley; Samuel Munguia, March 27, UDC Recital Hall, Bldg. 46-West; Rene Marie, March 29, Clarice Smith Center/UMD College Park;
Corcoran Holt CD Release, March 29, Bethesda Blues & Jazz … Ricky Ford Quartet, March 30-31, Twins Jazz; Howard University Jazz Ensemble, March 30, Westminster; Night at the Movies/Buck Hill, March 30, Westminster.
Thank You, John Conyers
Among our annual best New Year’s wishes, a special best wish and thank you went out to John Conyers Jr., a longtime Democrat in the House of Representatives who has stepped down from his post.
We thank Conyers for being the highest-ranking best friend our music has ever had. His signature accomplishment for our musical heritage was sponsorship of the 1987 Congressional legislation known as H.R. 57, which honors jazz as a national treasure.
It reads in part: “Whereas, jazz has achieved preeminence throughout the world as an indigenous American music and art form, bringing to this country and the world a uniquely American musical synthesis and culture through the African-American experience and
1. makes evident to the world an outstanding artistic model of individual expression and democratic cooperation within the creative process, thus fulfilling the highest ideals and aspirations of our republic,
2. is a unifying force, bridging cultural, religious, ethnic and age differences in our diverse society,
3. is a true music of the people, finding its inspiration in the cultures and most personal experiences of the diverse peoples that constitute our Nation,
4. has evolved into a multifaceted art form which continues to birth and nurture new stylistic idioms and cultural fusions,
5. has had an historic, pervasive and continuing influence on other genres of music both here and abroad …”
What is more, Conyers has been the driving force behind the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation annual September jazz concert and panel discussion, and he has followed up his sponsorship of H.R. 57 by introducing other legislation in the last few years, including H.R. 2823, the National Jazz Preservation and Education Act, which would “create oral and video histories of leading jazz artists, acquire, preserve and interpret artifacts, and conduct exhibitions and other educational activities; encourage the introduction of jazz to our youth … [through] a Jazz Artists in the Schools Program; and create a new Ambassadors of Jazz Program …”
Conyers also introduced the National Jazz Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act of 2014, H.R. 4280, which would establish programs and provide funding for a National Jazz Preservation Program and a Jazz Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools program, and “contemplates” the establishment of a “Promulgation Program to support business and enterprise initiatives in the field of Jazz.”
Besides the accomplishments Conyers achieved during his long and distinguished career for the great state of Michigan, and the nation, we owe him many thanks for his putting jazz firmly in the national spotlight. And it is now up to all of us to pick up the ball and push his efforts ever forward.
InReview … Roberto Magris Sextet “Live in Miami”
One notable release last month was the “Roberto Magris Sextet Live in Miami” CD on the JMoods Record label. The internationally acclaimed pianist Magris, musical director for JMoods Records, which is based in Kansas City, has fashioned another winner in his illustrious recording career.
Having played far and wide with many of the greats in the jazz world — including our own sax man Paul Carr, featured on the Magris 2010 CD “Mating Call” — Magris shines on the “Live in Miami” CD, recorded at the WDNA radio station’s Jazz Gallery with his clean, elegant, rippling and melodic piano runs. He is ably backed by Brian Lynch, trumpet, Jonathan Gomez, tenor sax, Chuck Bergeron, bass, John Yarling, drums and Murph Aucamp, congas.
Says a Downbeat review in January, “While the mostly original material is comfortably within Magris’ revered bop tradition, the fire with which this group plays—goosed by the leader’s keyboard pyrotechnics—puts the recording over the top.”
Indeed, Magris original “African mood” truly whips things into high-intensity gear under the relentless, rolling melodicism of Magris’ piano, and grooving bass of Chuck Bergeron, the percussion of Yarling on drums and Aucamp on congas, and the soaring horns of Lynch on trumpet and Gomez on tenor sax. Lynch especially flies again on “What blues,” while Magris gets down for some soulful bluesy runs on piano. “April morning,” the Rahsaan Roland Kirk tune, features some deft, lilting, entrancing interplay between Magris, Lynch and Gomez, with Magris at his melancholy best, urgent, squeezing emotion out of every note, and Bergeron’s solo a true gem. “Chachanada,” a majestic composition, whips the ride back into a Latin romp, led by the horns and Magris’ often frenetic, but always artful ripples, with Gomez then pushing his tenor higher and higher and Lynch’s pure, smooth lines framing Magris’ piano runs and Aucamp’s conga songs. A meditative beauty here is Billy Strayhorn’s “A Flower is A Lovesome Thing,” with Magris ruminating with more than a touch of Monk in a florid, kaleidoscopic solo treat.
See wwwjmoodsrecords.com for more information.