Jazz Avenues March/April BLOG 2017

By Steve Monroe

 

… follow @jazzavenues

 

 

Appreciating Buck Hill

“… Some think it was an unfortunate comment on society’s view of art that Buck Hill had to take himself to New York City in early 1982 and surround himself with established players, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Billy Hart to burst onto the national scene as an artist worth noting in many jazz and music magazines and newspaper columns. But what of all the hours playing his ripping, driving riffs, gentle caressing tones that Hill played with talented players of D.C.’s and Baltimore’s past — players no one will ever hear of? Hill’s star was actually made then, not in New York City clubs, or New York City newspaper reviews in the ’80’s.” — From the original manuscript of “Violet Avenues: A Poetry of Jazz,” by Steve Monroe, copyright 1998, Washington, D.C.

 


Funeral services for Hill, who passed away last week at the age of 90, were held March 26 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with a sumptuous feast afterward and a celebration jam session. We appreciate you Buck Hill, who entertained us mightily many an April — Jazz Appreciation Month. And see more on Buck below, including a review of his 2013 tribute day.

 

 

Howard Univ. Jazz, Marcus, Hargrove, Cyntje on tap
as April rolls in for Jazz Appreciation Month

 

The Howard University Jazz Ensemble takes the stage at Westminster Presbyterian Church Friday March 31 to kick of the weekend at 6 p.m., with Todd Marcus, Roy Hargrove and Reginald Cyntje also among the highlights this weekend.
The Howard University Jazz Ensemble, which delivered another swinging session for its show last month at the campus that featured vibraphonist Warren Wolf, who received the Benny Golson Jazz Master Award that day, performs at Westminster tonight under the direction of the esteemed Fred Irby, followed by Jazz Night at the Movies, “Nat King Cole: A&E Biography.”

 

 

Reginald Cyntje appears at Twins Jazz March 31, April 1.
Saxophonist and composer Marcus brings a band to the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel Friday night, while trombonist Reginald Cyntje appears with his group at Twins Jazz tonight and Saturday and trumpeter Roy Hargrove finishes his week at Blues Alley with shows Friday through Sunday. Also Friday night, sax man Elijah Jamal Balbed is at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 1, “Baltimore Rising” presented by George Spicka/Baltimore Jazz Works features a group with vocalist Charlene Cochran, Leo Brandenburg on reeds and Spicka at the piano, and a group led by virtuoso drummer John Lamkin III appears at Caton Castle in Baltimore.
Meanwhile, Jazz Appreciation Month gets into gear Saturday April 1 when the exhibit “First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald at 100” goes on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, in the Archives Center, 1 West. JAM daytime concerts are staged at the museum April 6 — beginning with the USAF Airmen of Note, and then on April 13, 20, 27, at 12, 1and 2 p.m. in Wallace Coulter Plaza 1 West. See http://americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz/jazz-appreciation-month for complete JAM activities in April, including jazz objects and archives exhibits April 4, 11, 18 and 25.

 

 

Lena Seikaly performs at Westminster Presbyterian Church April 6.
The Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra celebrates its 7th anniversary with a show Monday April 3 at Blues Alley. Also next week, the Twins Jazz Orchestra is at Twins Jazz April 6; “Lena Swings!” featuring vocalist Lena Seikaly with Chris Grasso, Marshall Keys, Zach Pride an C.V. Dashiell is at Westminster April 7.The SF Collective: The Music of Miles  Davis & Original Compositions is at Blues Alley April 7-9. Saxophonist/bandleader Carl Grubbs’ Jazz/String Ensemble performs his Inner Harbor Suite Revisited: A Tribute to Baltimore April 8 at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore, while saxophonist Tim Warfield is at Caton Castle April 8. And “United Shades of Artistry,” with Levon Mikaellan, Randy Brecker and Gary Thomas performs April 9 at Twins Jazz.

 

 

 

 

 

The Carl Grubbs Jazz/String Ensemble

performs at Eubie Blake Center April 8.
Other April Highlights: Paul Carr “All In” Quartet, April 9, Jazz and Cultural Society; UDC Small Jazz Ensembles, April 11, UDC Recital Hall (Bldg. 46-West); Tony Martucci Quintet/Ingrid Jensen, April 12, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club; Twins Jazz Orchestra, April 13, Twins Jazz; Howard University Jazz Ensemble, April 13, Smithsonian National Museum of American History/Coulter Plaza; Allyn Johnson, April 14, Montpelier Arts Center/Laurel; Bowie State Jazz Ensemble, April 14, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Discovery Artist/Marquis Hill Blacktet, April 14, Kennedy Center ;Tim Whalen, April 14-15, Twins Jazz; DADA People, April 15, Atlas Performing Arts Center; Integriti Reeves/Ella Fitzgerald Tribute, April 16, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton; Erena Terakubo Quartet, April 18, Blues Alley ; JAZZForum/”The Life and Music of Tadd Dameron, April 19, UDC Recital Hall; Bill Heid, April 19, Jazz and Cultural Society; Lenore Raphael Quartet/Oscar Peterson Tribute, April 19, Bethesda Blues & Jazz.

 

 

Integrit Reeves leads an Ella Tribute

April 16 a the DC Jazz Jam
Also: Todd Marcus Orchestra, April 20, Atlas; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, April 20, Museum of American History; Roberta Gambarini, April 21-23, Blues Alley; Greg Hatza/CD Release Party, April 21, Westminster; Celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th Birthday, April 22, Wesley United Methodist Church; Luis Faife Quartet, April 21-22, Twins Jazz; Jazz Talk/Allyn Johnson, April 23, Montpelier; Dante Pope, April 23, Jazz and Cultural Society; Dr. Lonnie Smith, April 23, Creative Alliance/Baltimore; Jessica Boykin-Settles/Ella Fitzgerald Tribute, April 23, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton; Calvin Jones BIG BAND Festival, April 24, UDC University Auditorium; Afro Blue, April 24, Blues Alley; Jazz Piano in LeFrak Lobby, April 24, 25, 26, 28, Museum of American History; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra w/Sharon Clark, April 25, Blues Alley; Cyrus Chestnut, April 26, Bethesda Blues & Jazz;

photo by Michael Wilderman

 

Andrew White’s 75th birthday bash

is April 26 at Blues Alley.

 

 

 

 

Andrew White’s 75th Birthday Celebration, April 26, Blues Alley; Jimmy Cobb/Four Generations of Miles, April 27-30, Blues Alley; George Washington University Latin Jazz Band, April 27, Museum of American History; Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald/Alison Crockett, April 28, Westminster; Thinking About Jazz/Ella Fitzgerald Celebrating 100 years, April 29, Westminster; Marty Nau, April 30, Twins Jazz; Imani Grace Cooper/Ella Fitzgerald Tribute, April 30, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton; Jazz Lecture/Ella Fitzgerald, Stefon Harris Master Class, April 30, Levine School of Music.

 

 

 

 

Sharon Clark appears with the Smithsonian Jazz

Masterworks Orchestra April 25 at Blues Alley.

 

 

 

 

A Buck Hill Day – Revisited

photo by Michael Wilderman
The remarkable Mr. Roger Wendell “Buck” Hill was a leading force on the tenor saxophone, as well as a fine clarinet and flute player, and a formidable composer and bandleader as well during his years on this side of ancestry. After his funeral Sunday at Westminster, he was honored by a jam session featuring many of his former cohorts in the music and many who learned at his knee, including Davey Yarborough, Michael Thomas, Jerry Jones, William Knowles, Darius Scott, Kent Miller, Tracy Cutler, Antonio Parker, Cheyney Thomas, Roberta Washington, Nasar Abadey, Russell Carter Sr., Wes Biles, Fred Foss and others.

 

 

Here is a look back at “Giving Flowers …” while you are still around, a report in the Jazz Avenues BLOG, on the June 2013 Buck Hill tribute:
“Buck Hill Day a jamming tribute

“Speaking of special tributes, thanks again from all of us Buck Hill fans to those who made the Roger ”Buck” Hill tribute June 30 a star-studded event and a great day of music for the large crowd that gathered at Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Beltsville, Md.
The Buck Hill Tribute Band — Davey Yarborough, sax, Michael Thomas, trumpet, Jon Ozment, piano, James “Tex” King, bass, Keith Killgo, drums — led the way with a jamming set featuring Hill originals, including “Jasing,” “The Sad Ones,” “Scope” and “Little Bossa.”
As King pointed out, Hill’s tune “The Sad Ones” is one of his tunes that ranks with any tune by anyone, and King played it lovingly, driving the haunting melody with his throbbing, lyrical lines. Known for his golden saxophone sound and witty and lyrically fascinating riffs and solos, it was appropriate that the tribute highlighted the complete musician Hill has been and remains.

 

 

 

 

 

From the top, Michael Thomas, Nasar Abadey,

James King and Fred Foss were among those

who attended Buck Hill event March 26 at Westminster.

 

 

 
Glowing, heartfelt tributes were made by many for Hill, seated in the front pew of the beautiful, two-year-old church, and dressed to the nines in a bright blue dress shirt, tie and black suspenders that had little silver saxophones on them on each side.
Tributes came from family members and from long distance from those like saxophone guru Andrew White, drummer Billy Hart, Lenny Cujoe, Bootsie Barnes and Ted Carter, all praising Hill’s humble nature and his willingness to mentor and help other musicians and his work ethic that helped him become an icon in the industry for his dynamic saxophone stylings.
Proclamations were read from Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, and artists and others on site also honored Hill fondly, with remarks from those including King, Ozment, Killgo, Yarborough and Thomas, as well as W.A. “Bill” Brower, Nasar Abadey, Chad Carter and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

Chad Carter attended the Buck Hil Tribute

in June 2013 and the services last week at Westminster.

 

 

 

 
Other artists honored Hill with their playing in the jam session that lasted well into the evening, with a special heartfelt number done by vocalist Sharon Clark, “I’ll Remember April,” particularly capturing the essence of the day.
Clark’s stirring vocals, and those of Julian Hipkins and Selena McDay were supported well by other musicians who came for the jam session, like pianist Darius Scott, saxophonists Antonio Parker and Frankie Addison and Whit Williams, drummer Gary Jenkins, saxophone master Fred Foss and guitarist Mark Mosley, and bassists Herman Burney and David Jernigan, among others.
Thanks to Cheyney and Tonya Thomas, Undaunted Productions, Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church and its Rev. B. Kevin Smalls, Rusty Hassan and Ellen Carter of WPFW Pacifica Radio, and everyone who had a hand in making the Roger ”Buck” Hill Tribute a warm and memorable day.”

 

 

From “Violet Avenues: A Poetry of Jazz”:
buckhill
gentle
smiling
man
cafe au lait
colored
man
easy
going on
the bandstand
now riffing
gruff, rough
tones chopping melodies
into
he gots rhythm
we gots rhythm
diving planes
of hawkins
divided by webster
multiplied by gordon
he gots rhythm.

gentle
breezes into
guts bucket
blues blowing
now lullaby
my sweet
through
your golden horn
softly
cymbal
sighing.
Clapping hands bow to you
smiling man
full
brims golden melody.”

 

 

 

 

InPerson… Brad Mehldau’s “Three Pieces After Bach”
These engagements where artists cross over, so to speak, from the jazz world to play classical and jazz with classical motifs can be a unique treat for real patrons of music and art in general, as was the case when Washington Performing Arts presented pianist Brad Mehldau at Sixth & I in D.C. March 16. The event showcased Mehldau’s “Three Pieces After Bach,” a commissioned work he debuted two years ago and has since performed at selected venues. The real treat is when one forgets what one might have read in the program at the beginning of the show and just listens, and just enjoys, and then doesn’t really notice where the “classical’ ends and the “jazz” begins, and vice versa.
So on that mild late winter night, with signs of a recent snowfall still clinging to the busy streets and sidewalks as a crowd of patrons entered Sixth & I, an august, balconied chamber, to hear Mehldau, a celebrated figure in the jazz world with Grammy awards on his shelf, the luckiest one might have been one with no ties to any particular type of music, who just sat and listened when Mehldau entered, to solid applause, dressed in all dark attire, and smiling, and sat down in front of the gleaming Steinway, lowered his hands and began playing sprightly, light ripples of melodies, becoming more insistent but no less precise as he went along, his left hand chords driving the beat under the light ripples of melody, continuing to spiral his way through his journey, then segueing into more slightly jagged riffs, still driving the mood forward, having treated that lucky one to first Bach as laid down for centuries, then Mehldau innovations on tone and form.

The audience, a good crowd though not a packed house, was nonetheless at rapt attention throughout and applauded instantly when Mehldau would stop, before obviously then starting a new piece. For the record, the program had Mehldau start with J.S. Bach’s “Prelude No. 3 in C-sharp Major, BWV848” from The Well-Tempered Clavier, followed by Mehldau’s “After Bach 1: Rondo,” from his “Three Pieces of Bach” work and then J.S. Bach’s “Prelude No. 1 in C Major, BWV870,” then an “Improvisation on Bach I.” Then another J.S. Bach piece, Mehldau’s “After Bach 2: Ostinato and intermission. The second half featured a similar order of J.S. Bach, then Mehldau and so forth.

That first half then, following the sprightly, precision textured melodies of J.S. Bach — which to this listener seemed an appropriate call to spring, a prelude for us all waiting to be freed from cold and snow — with Mehldau’s first piece at first a meandering stroll, then stepping up to a methodical journey forward before taking off side to side with spirals upward, settling then into contemplative intensity, his head bending down occasionally in emphasis as chords delved deeper then lighter. His J.S. Bach passages seemed appropriately more ordered and straightforward for the most part, though Mehldau and Bach are an appropriate match since Bach himself was known for complex and multi-melody works as well as more ordered compositions.

 

 

 

 

The performance, enhanced by the Mehldau choreography of sometimes rippling along steadily, then gradually slowing and bending his head to the keys, then lifting his head, and his hands up gradually, before gently laying them back on the keys to softly weave a different tapestry of sound in another direction, took place in the center of the chamber bathed in spotlight, with, on each of side of him, giant golden candelabras with bright white bulbs for more illumination.

After the brief intermission, the second half of the program was highlighted by Mehldau’s “After Bach 3: Toccata, a jamming blend of flights of colors segueing into quiet respites before more ripples and further, higher intensity and more colors, all grounded by the left-hand chords, like a bass player grooving underneath him, seeming piano/bass duet soliloquies with more than a little blues here and there. Passages somewhat reminiscent of Mehldau’s “Ode,” an acclaimed piece of jazz that veers into classical motifs with its driving singlemindedness over the top, though with diverging colors.

At the close of the final “Improvisation on Bach” the applause was steady and resounding and there were some shouts as Mehldau stood, and gently bowed, smiling, to the audience. “Thanks very much,” he said, “it’s great to be here … thanks for going with me on my Bach journey.”

He ended the formal program with the “J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in F minor,” with an almost waltz-like dreamy delivery, then the improvisation afterward stepped up the cadence, the intensity, the colors, adding layers, different melodies, pausing for a time for deeper more somber notes, then taking off again, rippling higher notes in a joyful romp, echoing the opening passages of the evening, seeming to call to meadows and blue skies and greenery all around, with streams and brooks winding just over the rise, an insistent stream of rhythms and colors up and down the scale, then gently slowing, as the sun might be slowly setting in the far sky, as dusk approaches, then dimming to a quiet end.

The steady applause as he rose and bowed, and then walked off, called for an encore, and he came back and delivered a Mehldau favorite, a sweetly opening “And I Love Her,” the popular Beatles tune, careful and melodic and poetic then more forceful and propulsive taking off on the melody to enhance it with layers of ordered passages interwoven with jazzier riffs.

Steve Monroe is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at steve@jazzavenues.com or @jazzavenues.

 

 

 

 

Jazz Avenues March 2017 BLOG

By Steve Monroe

…follow @jazzavenues

 

 

 

Trombonist, arranger – and pioneer
for women in jazz, Melba Liston

“Melba [Liston] had the incredible ability of making musicians sound better through what she wrote for them. That’s the mark of a great arranger,” says jazz master pianist, composer and bandleader Randy Weston in his autobiography, “African Rhythms,” written with our own DC Jazz Festival guru Willard Jenkins. “She wrote for Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Gloria Lynne, the Supremes, Bob Marley …”

 

 

melba-liston1

photo from http://www.randyweston.info

 

 

Weston, whose career has included a National Endowment of the Arts tribute and many other awards, also said in the book: ” … By this time I had met Melba Liston and this record [“Little Niles”] became our first collaboration … [It] was a great example of the genius of Melba Liston. We had Jamil Nassar on bass, Johnny Griffin on tenor sax, Ray Copeland and Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Charlie Persip on drums, and Melba Liston herself played trombone.”

 

 

 

Washington Women In Jazz events
headline rich weekend of sounds

 

 

KarineChapdelaineppi

Karine Chapedelaine

 

 

 
This March we again celebrate Women’s Month and we here honor the legacy of women in jazz, like Melba Liston, known for her musicianship and her arrangements, (born 1926 in Kansas City, MO.; died 1999) who helped pave the way for stars of today, like this year’s Washington Women In Jazz Festival performers Amy Bormet, Leigh Pilzer, Jessica Boykin-Settles, Sarah Hughes, Shannon Gunn, Laura Dryer and many others.
Bormet leads a band tonight, Friday, March 3 for “An Evening with the Washington Women in Jazz Festival at 6 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Performers include Bormet, piano and vocals,
Shacara Rogers, vocals, Gabrielle Murphy, alto sax, flute, Kim Sator, harp, Delandria Mills, flute, Karine Chapdelaine, bass and Ana Barreiro, drums.
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 4, WWJF presents a “Young Artist Showcase and Jam Sessions at Levine at THEARC in Southeast D.C., with “emerging jazz women musicians in high school and college,” per WWJF information. And uptown Saturday, eclectic multi-instrumentalist Anita Thomas appears with the Amy K. Bormet Trio at Wesley Church, 5312, Connecticut Avenue N.W. WWJF performers will also appear Sunday, March 5 at the DC Jazz Jam at The Brixton Restaurant and Friday March 10 at Bowie State University, with Bormet on piano, Hughes and Vinkeloe, saxophones, Karine Chapdelaine, bass and Savannah Harris, drums.

 

 

SONY DSC

Jessica Boykin-Settles appears at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum March 11.

Other WWJF events this month include vocalist-educator Jessica Boykin-Settles’ show, “Oh Ella! Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald,” a Rhythm Café performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 11 at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place, S.E. The free event features “a special tribute to one of jazz music’s most distinctive voices known for her scat style of singing, diction and perfect pitch.” Museum information advises to register early, online or by calling 202.633.4844. See http://www.anacostia.si.edu for complete information. And Swedish alto saxophonist/flautist and bandleader Biggi Vinkeloe leads an Improvisation Workshop at 2 p.m. March 12 at Robert Harper Books, 6216 Rhode Island Avenue, in Riverdale Park, Md.

See http://www.washingtonwomeninjazz.com for complete information on WWJF events.

 

 

 

ellaeventanacostiamuseum032017

Ella Fitzgerald

 

 

 
Other women performers this month include award-winning composer and conductor Maria Schneider and her Orchestra Saturday, March 4 at the Kennedy Center, and The Jennifer Scott World Jazz Ensemble Saturday, March 4 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, as part of its 2017 Intersections Festival.
Vocalist Christie Dashiell is at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club March 11, vocalist Alison Crockett will perform March 11 at Twins Jazz, while Vocalist Danielle Wertz appears March 11 at The Alex inside The Graham Georgetown Boutique Hotel, with Howard University’s own, vocalist Shacara Rogers at the Alex March 18.

 

 

 

dwertz2

Danielle Wertz is at The Alex in Georgetown March 11.

Christie Dashiell

Christie Dashiell is at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club March 11.

loriwilliams1

Lori Williams is at Westminster Presbyterian Church March 24.

 

 

 

Dynamic multi-genre vocalist Lori Williams will appear March 24 at Westminster. Vocalist Jackie Ryan appears March 26 at The Baltimore Museum of Art, and vocalist Marianne Matheny-Katz performs March 26 at O’Callaghan Annapolis Hotel, with a band that includes saxophonist Craig Alston, Vince Evans, piano, Eric Kennedy, drums and Tom Baldwin, bass.
And, women are featured at the Montpelier Arts Center jazz series in Laurel, Md. this month with Baltimore’s internationally known vocalist Ethel Ennis March 9; vocalist Esther Williams with her husband Davey Yarborough March 10; vocalist Kristin Callahan performing with the Thad Wilson Quartet March 17; saxophonist Laura Dreyer appearing March 24; and the series closes with the special event “Women in Jazz: From Classrooms to Careers” March 26, with Dreyer, trombonist and bandleader Shannon Gunn and others. Call 301-377-7800 or 410-792-0664 for more information on the Montpelier jazz.

 

 

 

kristincallahan1

Kristin Callahan is at The Montpelier Arts Center

with Thad Wilson March 17.

 

 

Pianists Johnson Evans, Mehldau, Eldar highlight other events

Our own pianist Allyn Johnson, jazz studies director at the University of the District of Columbia, performs Saturday, March 4 at the Intersections Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, presenting “Music of D.C. Musicians Past and Present” for a 6 p.m. show. Later this month, Johnson plays host for this month’s JAZZforum March 21 at the UDC Recital Hall (Bldg 46-West) when he interviews living legend educator Dr. Arthur Dawkins, former professor and director of jazz studies at Howard University. See http://www.jazzaliveudc.org.

AllyJohnsonbyWABrower

Allyn Johnson appears March 4 at the Intersections Festival

at the Atlas and hosts the JAZZForum with Dr. Arthur Dawkins

March 21 at UDC.

 

 

orrinevansartsclub03062017

Pianist Orrin Evans is at the Arts Club of Washington March. 6.

 
Philadelphia’s young master pianist Orrin Evans plays the Arts Club of Washington Monday, March 6 for a 7 p.m. show in the club’s piano jazz series. Publicity for the show notes that Evans “… keeps his music on the front burner with the neo-soul/acid jazz ensemble Luv Park, the collective trio Tarbaby, and the raucous Captain Black Big Band. With 25 CD’s to his credit, Mr. Evans paints with a broad musical brush that encompasses small and large jazz ensembles, poetry collaborations, and film scoring.” See http://www.artsclubofwashington.org.
Another highly acclaimed pianist, Brad Mehldau appears at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in downtown D.C. March 16. See http://www.bradmehldau.com. Eldar, the “pyrotechnic” marvel of a pianist appears with his trio March 22 at Blues Alley. See http://www.eldarmusic.com.

 

bradmehldau03162017washperformarts

image from http://www.washingtonperformingarts.org

 

 

OTHER MARCH EVENTS INCLUDE: Jeff Antoniuk and The Jazz Update, March 3-4, Twins Jazz; Chuck Redd, March 4, The Alex/Georgetown; Project Natale, March 8, Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society (JACS); Antonio Parker & Friends, March 10, Westminster; Marty Nau, March 15, Twins Jazz; Steve Washington, March 15, JACS; Nicholas Payton CD Release Party, March 15-16, Blues Alley; Brad Mehldau, March 16, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue; Twins Jazz Orchestra, March 16, 30, Twins Jazz; Michael Thomas Quintet, March 17-18, Twins Jazz; Arnold Sterling’s Favorite Sons, March 17, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Rick Alberico, March 19, Twins Jazz; Howard Kingfish Franklin, March 19, JACS; Allyn Johnson Meet the Artist/Dr. Arthur Dawkins, March 21, UDC Recital Hall/Bldg. 46 West; Cheyney Thomas, March 22, JACS; Eldar Trio, March 22, Blues Alley; Kevin Eubanks Group, March 23-26, Blues Alley; R&B Jazz Quintet/Kenny Rittenhouse, Herman Burney, March 24-25, Twins Jazz; Jordon Dixon, March 26, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton; Marianne Matheny-Katz, March 26, O’Callaghan Annapolis Hotel; Meet the Artist/Ralph Peterson, March 28, UDC Recital Hall; Roy Hargrove, March 28-31, Blues Alley; JAZZforum/Bob Porter: Soul Jazz, March 29, UDC Recital Hall; Reginald Cyntje, March 31, Twins Jazz; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra/Women in Jazz: The Influence of Ella Fitzgerald, Mary Lou Williams and Lil Hardin Armstrong, March 31, Museum of American History; Howard University Jazz Ensemble, March 31, Westminster; Jazz Night at The Movies/Nat King Cole, March 31, Westminster; Todd Marcus, March 31, Montpelier …

 

 

michaelthomas1

The Michael Thomas Quintet is at Twins Jazz March 17-18

toddmarcus2

Todd Marcus is at Montepelier March 31.

 

 

 

“Tell Me More and Then Some”

“Baltimore was geographically located conveniently in the center of New York, Atlantic City and Washington D.C. It was also not too far from Chicago and New Orleans. With a central location in the country, it was a common stopping point for many well-known touring musicians,” says information on the website for the film in production, “Tell Me More and then Some,” about jazz in Baltimore.
“It was home to a variety of night clubs and destinations that included … the famous Royal Theatre on Pennsylvania Ave, a definitive stop on the Chitlin Circuit. Baltimore hosted legends such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton. All the while, simultaneously having a strong local music and entertainment scene that included Eubie Blake, Chick Webb and Cab Calloway. Even the famous Lady Day spent most of her youth and teenage years growing up in Baltimore. It was a city that was an essential part of American jazz History.”
Stay tuned. See http://www.tellmemoreandthensome.com for complete information, and to donate to donate to this worthy venture.

 

 

 

Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation

herbscottmajf2017

photo by Steve Monroe

Herb Scott performing at the Mid-Atlantic

Jazz Festival in February.

 

 

 

 
Saxophonist/jazz activist Herb Scott said recently he is launching the website soon for his Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, at http://www.capitolhilljazzfoundation.org. Scott, who spoke about the foundation at the February Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival panel presentation on “Jazz Preservation, Education and Promulgation: Building A Mid-Atlantic Network,” says “The mission of the foundation is to produce a weekly jazz jam session, annual jazz festival and Conference and, daily arts advocacy related work. Our mission is to financially assist D.C. based Jazz musicians, venues and Jazz education programs.”
–InPerson … Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival

 

Vanessa Rubin, dazzling in her gold-sequined top and white pants, sang in a shout to the large crowd, “Are You Ready for Me?” at the feature show the first night of the 8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival at the Hilton Hotel & Meeting Executive Center in Rockville last month. Then Rubin, with her guest Paul Carr, the festival impresario himself playing tenor sax, sang her way through a thoroughly entertaining set, including a rousing “All Blues,” delighting her fans and officially kicking off the festival.
Indeed, a VIP pre-event the night before featuring Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Rhythm Orchestra was a blast, per reports, and that first afternoon the T.C. Williams (Alexandria, Va.) High School jazz band and then trumpeter DeAndrey Howard & Collector’s Edition with sax man Tracy Cutler opened the weekend with some spicy sounds. Howard and Cutler shined on “Theme for Maxine,” “Yesterdays” and other tunes, along with pianist Bob Butta. Alto sax man Herb Scott, backed by pianist Hope Udobi’s melodic riffs. played a fine set that evening at the MAJF Club, with standards and originals, like his “Catch Me At The Jazz Show” jazzy rapping jam.

 

 

paulcarr2 (2)

Paul Carr

 

 

 
Saturday that weekend opened in the large hotel atrium with Carr’s Jazz Academy of Music group, highlighted by its Latin jam “Armando’s Hideaway,” the horns singing sweetly over he catchy beats of the rhythm section, and then the Olney Big Band delivered a fiery session of standards, with swinging horn section riffs.
The festival’s vocalist competition highlighted our own Danielle Wertz, shining on “Beautiful Love,” and a fine performance by Monica Pabelonio, among the other contestants, but Boston’s Lydia Harrell, with her dramatic, heartfelt and sultry phrasing on tunes like “Black Butterfly,” stole the show for this observer. Then Noel Simone Wippler, the 2016 MAJF vocal winner, delivered a hot set of her own, the statuesque beauty a sultry, hip-shaking wonder on tunes like “Sophisticated Lady” and “Moody’s Mood for Love.”
Also on Saturday, the panel discussion moderated by producer, journalist, promoter W.A. “Bill” Brower on “Jazz Preservation, Education and Promulgation: Building A Mid-Atlantic Network,” featured Scott, Barbara Grubbs of Contemporary Arts Inc., Prof. Judith Korey, Curator Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives at UDC, vocalist/jazz activists Aaron Meyers and others for a lively session that aired thoughts and action steps on providing a better nurturing environment for jazz, including its musicians, its venues and its audiences.
The East Carolina University Jazz Ensemble, with saxes and swinging horns overall, wowed he atrium crowd, with vocalist “Samantha Kunz” soaring on “Stella By Starlight” and “I Wish I Would Know How It Would Feel to be Free” and “September. Vocalist Kathy Kosins delivered a bluesy, downhome set and the Guitar Summit featured Russell Malone, Paul Bollenback and Bobby Broom strummed up a storm with their session Saturday night.

 

 

JanelleGillArtsClubof Wash

Janelle Gill

AkuaAllrich

Akua Allrich

klovejoygroupmajf2017

Karen Lovejoy at Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival

 

 
The MAJF Collective, Akua Allrich on vocals, Janelle Gill, piano, and Savannah Harris, drums, were a highlight that Sunday of the festival, Allrich a witty and engaging entertainer as well as a stirring vocalist, leading the way on tunes like “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” “Black Coffee,” and her own tunes like “Take My Time” and “Red Bark,” with Gill’s insistent melodic charms on piano and Harris’ efficient drum passages complimenting Allrich’s rich and bluesy vocals and scatting riffs. Vocalist Karen Lovejoy, the “Jazz Goddess,” had a fine set of her own that day on “Close Your Eyes,” “St. Louis Blues,” here with her own sultriness and her vintage half-cry phrasing and then bluesy, finger-snapping, blues shouts. The Paul Carr Quartet that night featured Carr’s bluesy sax, and vocalist Jamie Davis’ booming baritone romantic treats on tunes like “Night and Day.”

Steve Monroe is a Washington, D.C. writer who can be reached at steve@jazzavenues. com and followed at http://www.twitter.com/jazzavenues.