Jazz in the District This Week

Jazz in the District This Week

by Michael J. West

Tuesday, August 13
Jazz has been blurring genres and experimenting with other traditions since at least Jelly Roll Morton, and it’s been a hallmark of the avant-garde since at least Cecil Taylor. So when a bill concert featuring a bunch of musicians who freely hover on the borders of experimental jazz, rock, folk, and none-of-the-above appears, none of us really should be batting an eyelash. At least, not at the broad range of music on the bill. We might want to bat several eyelashes, however, toward the promising quality of the lineup. D.C.’s own none-of-the-above guitarist extraordinaire, Anthony Pirog, opens the evening in a duo with saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Jarrett Gilgore; following them are the spacious, alternately shredding and whispering soundscape trio Memory Dregs; and closing the show is another wonderful duo of sonic spelunkers, guitarist-banjoist-vocalist Wendy Eisenberg and guitarist (and erstwhile Ahleuchatista) Shane Parish, who together perform (or at least record) as Nervous Systems. It ain’t gonna be an evening of easy listening; it ain’t gonna be an evening of easy anything, really. But it’s going to be fascinating. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Rhizome, 6950 Maple Street NW. $10.

Wednesday, August 14
The name of Sara Gazarek’s CD is Thirsty Ghost; the cover features a black-and-white photo of Gazarek—a young, casually dressed white woman—with computer-generated, pink-and-purple rays shooting out of her chest. Between title and cover, the album seems on the surface a lot closer to indie rock in its aesthetic. The music, well, somewhat bears that out. Gazarek is clearly closer to jazz than anything else, with her robust but supple voice and instantly jazzy articulation. Not for a moment, though, does she approach her songs as though they were conventional jazz tunes. Some of them are; standards like “Never Will I Marry” and “I Get Along Without You Very Well” appear on the album, although both of them get a terrifically contemporary treatment (the former more than the latter). But then there are renditions of Bjork, Dolly Parton, and Nick Drake that let you know that she’s quite willing and ready to break the mold. Beautifully so, too: There’s no one quite like Sara Gazarek. She performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $25.

Friday, August 16
Do not mess with Jordon Dixon. The well of soul from which that man drinks is not just deep, it’s full, and it gives some serious nourishment to his tenor saxophone sound. That sound itself is also deep, and gruff to boot—not in a menacing sense, but the one of setting you down exactly where the visceral action is. Louisianan by birth, Dixon was schooled in jazz at the University of the District of Columbia—putting him in the hands of D.C.’s own maestro Allyn Johnson. How could he emerge anything but a beast? He certainly did so, and it’s apparent on his latest release On!, in which he plays the straightforward hard bop that is a signature of this town, but also tweaks it in subtle, subversive ways that make it unquestionably a product of his own imagination. It’s exactly what you need to get you grooving on a Friday night in the nation’s capital. Jordon Dixon performs at 9:30 p.m. at Jojo Restaurant and Bar, 1518 U Street NW. $10.

Saturday, August 17
When Kenny Rittenhouse isn’t performing his splendid trumpet with the U.S. Army Blues, of which he’s a longtime member, or in the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, of which he’s also a longtime member, he is often heading up the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Youth Orchestra, where he has settled in as a replacement for the late Fred Foss. He keeps busy, in other words. But Rittenhouse—whose bright trumpet sound carries with it gymnastic figures and blues anchoring, as well as a startling cleanness of tone—also makes sure to appear regularly at Twins Jazz, bringing in an ensemble of various sizes and personnel several weekends a year. Each one is, or should be, an event. Rittenhouse is easily one of the greatest trumpeters ever to make a home in the Washington D.C. area, a brass man extraordinaire. If you haven’t seen him perform, you’re doing it wrong. Kenny Rittenhouse performs at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $15.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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Maryjo Mattea @ Jackpot

Maryjo Mattea @ Jackpot

Washington, DC-based songstress Maryjo Mattea captivates audiences with her uniquely melodic songwriting and hauntingly beautiful voice. Mattea’s music, which has garnered comparisons to Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair, and Jenny Lewis is the perfect hybrid of polished pop and raw rock. In addition to performing original music and more as a solo artist and with a band, she is also a member of the grunge-garage rock duo, Two Dragons and a Cheetah; electro-rock group, Color Palette; synth-pop band, Loi Loi; and post-rock ensemble, Endless Winter.

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
7:00 PM

Jackpot
726 7th St NW, Washington, USA

bandsintown.com

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Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, Part III

Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, Part III

Los Empresarios

By Dylan Nuamann

Get up and shimmy your way to the dance floor because Los Empresarios is about to grace the stage at the DC Music Rocks Festival with their high energy Latin grooves. The group Los Empresarios has been embarking on a sonically diverse journey for years. Touring through Puerto Rico, appearing on numerous Puerto Rican TV shows and showcasing one of their hit songs, “Sabor Tropical” on the 2012 FIFA video game has kept their energy at an all-time high. Blending multiple genres together such as hip-hop, salsa, cumbia, alternative and house creates a one-of-kind sound in the world of Latin alternative music.

The 8-piece band is based in Arlington, VA. All eight members bring their own unique flavor and experience to the music, especially during live performances. The abundance of genres that are blended throughout their music is justified by the rich diversity that’s represented in the band. From African American, Asian American, Puerto Rican, and Caucasian, the group casts a multi-cultural experience that vibrates throughout the DC area and beyond. Be sure to check out their music here and see their set at the D.C Rock Festival on August 17th

Dylan Naumann

Dylan Naumann is a freelance musician, composer, writer, and improviser. Born and raised in Towson, Maryland, he’s currently finishing up his degree from Towson University for jazz commercial performance. He enjoys wondering around town, from local venue to venue, trying to find the inspiring sounds from local artists.

More AM Than FM

More AM Than FM

by Daniel Warren Hill

Selena Benally, Mel Mast, and Anjalee Sharma are the fiery rock and roll trio that is More AM Than FM. This all-female guitar, drums, and bass powerhouse based in Southern Maryland follows the vein of American punk-rock bands like The Ramones and Social Distortion, while finding creative ways to share their influences by alt-country acts like Old 97’s and Uncle Tupelo, as well as Piedmont blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Etta Baker.

Fast-paced, tightly driven hard rock rhythms combined with intricate guitar licks set the tone for thought-provoking lyrical content, all carefully crafted into hooks and melodies that will have you head-banging while simultaneously questioning the status quo. This depth of songwriting and instrumental proficiency combined with the band’s unwavering passion and energy will captivate you from the first note. More AM than FM has indeed “found their niche amongst the chaos of the rock ‘n’ roll cosmos.”

When More AM Than FM takes the stage at 9:30 Club in Washington DC on August 17, it will mark, almost to the day, the two year anniversary of the band’s sophomore release, Oh, the places I have been…. Fans may be able to expect new recorded music soon, though we contend that the best way to hear new music by this incredible Washington DC area band is to experience it live and in-person.

Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is a songwriter, producer, and performer. He currently rocks guitar and vocals for Alt/Rock band YellowTieGuy, Produces, sings and mixes live video for Data Recovery Project, and lends his talents to Beach Boys Tribute Band “Back To The Beach”. When not performing, Daniel is actively engaged in family activities with his wife, two daughters, roommate,and dog. Daniel enjoys exploring creative and business outlets, spending time in nature, and is currently addicted to Star Trek Timelines.

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Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, PART II

Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, PART II

The Eli Lev Collective
By Kimberly Shires

The Eli Lev Collective is a group of some of the DMV’s most talented musicians who come together for various shows for a complete production of original work by Eli Lev. For the DC Music Rocks concert, the Collective presents vocals from Meaghan Leigh, who frequently performs and tours with Eli Lev as part of a folk duo; Jarreau Williams on vocals, Andrew Toy on drums, Julian Lofton on bass, and Tiffany Shanta on violin. 

Eli Lev is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Silver Spring, MD. Eli’s work sits somewhere between folk, pop and country for a truly original manifestation of Eli’s spirit. Eli is currently working on his third EP as part of the Four Directions Project, a four album series representing the four cardinal directions, including  “All Roads East”, “Way Out West” and the soon to come “Deep South”. Eli Lev has released the first single, “To the Stars”, from the anticipated next album. Check out the live video here.

On playing at the 9:30 Club, Eli says, “It means the world, playing on the same stage where I went to go see all my heroes growing up as a kid is hard to wrap my head around – but I’m so ready to rock that sound system.”

Kimberly Shires

Kimberly Shires is a native of the DC Metropolitan area. Kimberly is a freelance writer, music degree holder, road bike warrior, songwriter, corporate ladder climber, and a Subaru driving nature enthusiast.

Sub-Radio

Sub-Radio
By Logan Deiner

The year is 2004. The United States was in the middle of a nail-biting election between incumbent George W. Bush and opponent John Kerry, we were about a year into the war in Iraq which had split the country, and we were still being rocked by the 9/11 attacks three years prior. In short, the world, specifically America, needed an excuse to be happy again. Then, out of nowhere, a savior came in the form of The Killers. With their debut album Mr. Brightside and Sam’s Town a few years later, The Killers made a generation of people feel glad to be born in the time that they were. They had catchy hooks, excellent instrumentation, a retro yet timeless feel and simple but powerful lyrics. The DMV based band Sub-Radio brings a similar feeling of happiness to their music and evokes the sounds of bands like The Killers. If this piques your interest then you are in luck, because they will be playing live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on August 17th. 

A talented band requires talented band members, and Sub-Radio ticks all the boxes. Adam Bradley has a very powerful vocal quality about him, and evokes artists like Adam Levine from Maroon 5, and of course, Brandon Flowers from The Killers. Complementing Adam are Michael Pereira on drums, Barry Siford on bass, and three different guitarists, Matt Prodanovich, John Fengya, and Kyle Cochran. Matt, John and Kyle take on double duties in the band, with Matt as a secondary vocalist and John and Kyle playing keyboard. Overall, the band members work very well together and create a very tight, poppy sound that easily grab the listener’s attention.

As of now, Sub-Radio has released two EPs and a handful of singles. The two EPs, Same Train // Different Station and Dog Years, are both very well put together and an amazing look into what is to come from the band in the future. The production is very solid and well mixed, and the band really put their best foot forward with a high quality performance. The lyrics are very deep and well written, tackling pop standard subjects like love so poetically, they may as well have reinvented the topic. The instruments are outstanding as well, and do a great job of helping paint the scene that the lyrics depict.

To put it simply, Sub-Radio is truly excellent, the lyrics are fun and meaningful, the vocals and instruments work well together, and the music overall has a good vibe. If you want to have a nice, fun weekend, I highly recommend seeing the band live at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. If you want to support the band, you can check out their website, where you can buy merch, and join their official newsletter; listen to them on Spotify here, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The band is sure to put on a spectacular performance. Get tickets here. 

Check back for more bands tomorrow!

Logan Deiner

Logan Deiner is a writer and journalist who enjoys hanging out with friends and listening to music in his spare time. He enjoys most genres of music, and has a vinyl collection of over 500 records.

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Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, Part I

Talk of the Town: DC Music Rocks Festival, August 17th, Part I

DC’s famed 9:30 Club, known for hosting various artists mainstream, local, and underground, is back with its annual DC Music Rocks Festival. Bringing the DMV together for a night of music, dancing, and partying, the event will feature five local bands, six DC based singer-songwriters, a photobooth, giveaways and even more surprises to be announced. 

The event highlights its local, community gathering intentions. The show is all-ages and will donate a portion of its proceeds to The Musicianship, a “local music education organization which helps educate underprivileged youth with music through after school and summer programs.” 

Join Alchemical Records for a lively night of musical entertainment by buying a ticket here, and make sure to check out the featured performers below.

Iza Flo

Iza Flo
By Molly Guillermo

Maracas, drums, guitar shreds, keys and low-end lines on bass–all are blended in a whirlwind of heart and soul by the Iza Flo’s MC Dior Ashley Brown and vocalist Jillian Willis. This is the harmony of Iza Flo’s hip-hop, funk and disco, soon to be rocking the stage at DC Music Rocks Festival on August 17th. 

The newly formed glitter clad supergroup, based in the DMV, features the Natalie Ahearn’s synth, Tiffany Lloyd’s bass funk, guitar riffs by Alena Budd, energetic drummer Isabelle De Leon and percussionist Rikayyah Wilson. Entering center stage are the vocals of Jillian Willis on the hook and the playful and fast-paced MC Dior Ashley Brown. Their sound is the musical equivalent of long nights at the disco, late-night after parties, and the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. In short, it’s an adrenaline pumping good time.

“Super group with super grooves to make you move,” their purple and pink toned Instagram reads in its bio. And if that’s their goal, it’s working– if their performance at DC’s Block Party at the Apple Carnegie Library last month is any indication. The proud all-lady group is both empowering, fun, and worth paying attention to.

Take my word for it and check them out here. And make sure to catch them at the 9:30 Club at all-ages DC Music Rocks Festival for $15 a ticket. 

Check back for more bands tomorrow!

Molly Guillermo

Based in DC by way of San Francisco, Molly originally hails from southern California and has a background in English. She aims to explore music’s inextricable tie to pop culture and its evolving relationship with politics.

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This Weekend’s Jazz in The District

This Weekend’s Jazz in The District

by Michael J. West

Thursday, August 8
Let no one argue but that Elijah Jamal Balbed has earned his place at the top of the musical heap in D.C.’s jazz (and jazz-adjacent) scene. Now 29 years old, Balbed has been working the scene since he was just out of high school, a shy tenor saxophone student hoping that musicians with more established gigs would let him sit in. When they did, he would wow them, and anyone else who might be in the house. Well, Balbed has only gotten better, more confident, and more fully realized in his own musical vision in the time since then. And now we can see that his ambition has taken him to the heart of official Washington. At least, to the geographical heart. That is, of course, the long-running Jazz on Jackson Place program, one of the staples of summertime in D.C.; Balbed has worked that gig before, and if they bring him back it’s because, just like with everything else he’s doing now, he’s earned it. Elijah Jamal Balbed performs at 6:30 p.m. at Decatur House, 748 Jackson Place NW. $35

Friday, August 9
Listen, you just don’t want to miss Tarus Mateen. It’s just about as simple as that. The native of Bakersfield, California has nothing to do with the rock-ified country music sound that was ascendant in his hometown when he was born. He does, though, have more than a bit of the experimental funkiness that comes out of Atlanta, where he also spent time. Mateen has worked with everyone from Art Blakey and Betty Carter to Greg Osby and Jason Moran (he’s the regular working bassist for the latter’s renowned Bandwagon trio), and he’s got a vast palette of stylistics in his music that obviously includes jazz, but also some slippery funk, avant-garde, sleek soul, hip-hop, and not a little bit of African music. All of that will undoubtedly make its way into the sound you hear when he performs at 9:30 p.m. at Jojo Restaurant and Bar, 1518 U Street NW. $10.

Saturday, August 10
Reginald Cyntje is a great DC musician. Though he’s a native of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, the trombonist has been in D.C. for over two decades now, playing with everyone and at every venue, not to mention doing everything. The past decade has seen him ascendant as a composer-bandleader. He released an album of new material, Rise of the Protester, earlier this year, a panorama that captured the present moment and politically charged mood in Washington and everywhere else. But the ever-restless Cyntje is already back with another package of new music. He calls this one “MAGNETISM”—a name that could mean anything, but have no fear: He will undoubtedly explain it. He will also provide context by way of a murderer’s row of local players: Lenny Robinson on drums, Herman Burney on bass, Elijah Easton on tenor sax, and Dave Manley on guitar. The lineup alone is magnetism personified. The Reginald Cyntje Group performs at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $15.

Sunday, August 11
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but every time I’ve seen Cheney Thomas play in the last, oh, five years or so, he is playing on a battered, weather-beaten upright bass with the finish worn off around its edges and in a large patch on its front. I could just be imagining this, or it could be that that’s the house bass at AJACS, where Thomas tends to gig regularly. It’s also possible, however, that Thomas has simply found an instrument that he meshes with, that helps to provide the incredibly robust wood sound that remains the hallmark of his stalwart swing and resonant playing style. It would explain a lot, not least Thomas’s incredible consistency in his music—the kind of straightahead, knock-‘em-dead jazz that probably immediately springs to your mind when you hear the name of the music itself. Thomas has been playing it for a long time now…and maybe that’s the thing that explains the frayed condition of his axe. That bass has seen some action. Cheney Thomas performs at 6 p.m. at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, 2813 Franklin Street NE. $10.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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JON ANDERSON of Yes – 1000 Hands Tour with Eric Scott

JON ANDERSON of Yes – 1000 Hands Tour with Eric Scott

Eric Scott, a soul/pop/folk singer/songwriter and sought-after bass player from the Washington, DC/Baltimore Area will be opening for Jon Anderson of Yes on Monday, August 5th for the JON ANDERSON of Yes – 1000 Hands Tour with Eric Scott (Duo) at the Birchmere Music Hall.

Birchmere Music Hall
3701 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305

The show begins at 7:30pm and tickets are just $85.00
Limited VIP Meet & Greet Tickets available through Ticketmaster. VIP Meet & Greet ticket includes Early Admission, Tour Poster, VIP Laminate and Pre Show Meet & Greet are available for $210.

birchmere.com

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Flippin’ Eyelids at Port Tobacco Marina

Flippin’ Eyelids at Port Tobacco Marina

Join the Flippin’ Eyelids for their first show in almost a month!
They can’t wait to see everyone again.
Saturday August 3rd
3-7pm

facebook.com/PortTobaccoMarinaRestaurant

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Mozzy @ Milkboy Arthouse

Mozzy @ Milkboy Arthouse

Go see MOZZY this Saturday at Milkboy Arthouse.

Mozzy started rapping in 2004 under the name Lil’ Tim eventually changing his stage name to Mozzy in 2012. He received little attention until the release of his 2015 album Bladadah, which was ranked as the 22nd best rap album of 2015 by Rolling Stone and which gave him the “best run” of 2015 according to Complex Magazine.

SAT · AUGUST 3, 2019
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

MilkBoy ArtHouse
7416 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD, 20740

ticketfly.com

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Concert @Reverb Friday

Concert @Reverb Friday

Go see the show at Reverb this Friday!

Red This Ever: Attack! is our 6th album and we feel we are on a creative roll with this one. We have 13 heart-pounding SynthRock tracks. Lyrically and musically this is some of the strongest stuff we have ever written. We hope it holds an honorable place in your music collection.

Maryjo Mattea (band): Washington, DC-based songstress Maryjo Mattea captivates audiences with her uniquely melodic songwriting and hauntingly beautiful voice. Mattea’s music, which has garnered comparisons to Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair, and Jenny Lewis, is the perfect hybrid of polished pop and raw rock. In addition to performing original music and more as a solo artist and with a band, she is also a member of the grunge-garage rock duo, Two Dragons and a Cheetah; electro-rock group, Color Palette; synth-pop band, Loi Loi; and post-rock ensemble, Endless Winter.

Woodfir: Woodfir’s home base of Baltimore is a perfect geographic mid-point of their biggest influences: the West Coast USA and British UK, circa 1980’s. Bits of psych, soul, and country glimmer in the seams of what is generally a straightforward punk rock trio. On guitars, Reda does the low fuzz and TK takes the high slides. On drums, Al provides the expert clatter and bash that propels them all forward. In a local scene polarized by either artsy indie-pop or ultra-heavy rock, Woodfir persists on the sidelines like a hallucinatory tracer, and a night with them will make you nostalgic for a time and place you’re not sure ever existed. (FFO: Wipers, The Fall)

Shea: “Pop, folk, R&B, indie”

Friday, August 2nd, 2019
8:00 PM

Reverb
2112 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218

bandsintown.com

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