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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Jazz Avenues

Organ Maestro Porecki Plays Anacostia Arts Center
Fans of the jazz organ tradition popularized by the likes of Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Charles Earland and others get a treat with a show by Baltimore’s Benjie Porecki Organ Ensemble in the Second Sunday Jazz series on Oct. 14 at the Anacostia Arts Center.

A star of the Baltimore-Washington jazz corridor and elsewhere for several years now, Porecki began playing the trumpet as a child, then later piano, synthesizer and organ. He attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston and began playing music full-time, with players like Ron Holloway, Marshall Keys and Chuck Brown.

The show at the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE., is free, from 3 to 5 p.m., and is co-produced by East River Jazz. For more information, see www.eastriverjazz.net, www.AnacostiaArtsCenter.com or call 202-631-6291.

Montpelier Fall Jazz Series Returns
The Live! At Montpelier Jazz Series has returned at the Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Road in Laurel, Md. October shows include a special “Smooth Sounds for Seniors” event with the Eric Byrd Trio at noon on Thursday, Oct. 11, in an afternoon series designed for ages 60 and older, with tickets $12.

Then the show on Friday, Oct. 26, presents “Svetlana Shmulyian: Svetlana’s New York Swing Collective.” Tickets are $25/person, with a 10 percent discount for Montpelier members and seniors.

For more information, call 301-377-7800.

Codas and Kudos for the Lives of Randy Weston, Ron Sutton
Our WPFW programmer and DC Jazz Festival guru Willard Jenkins, collaborator with Randy Weston on his “African Rhythms” autobiography, said in his recent www.openskyjazz.com blog: “Saturday, September 1, 2018, NEA Jazz Master and tireless African world inquisitor Randy Weston passed on to ancestry quite peacefully at his home in Brooklyn … No illness, injury or accident befell Randy Weston; I suppose somewhere deep inside he felt his work was done on this earthly plain and it was time to join his beloved ancestors; his fabled quest for the Spirits of Our Ancestors (title of one of his greatest records) concluded as he split to dance with and consult those very same spirits he constantly pursued throughout his 92 years on the planet.”

And our own CapitalBop journalist and promoter Giovanni Russonello had this appropriately descriptive passage in his New York Times obituary: “At 6 feet 7 inches tall, often favoring flowing garments from North or West Africa, Mr. Weston was an imposing, though genial, figure whether performing onstage or teaching in university classrooms. Even before making his first album, he was giving concerts and teaching seminars that emphasized the African roots of jazz. This flew in the face of the prevailing narrative at the time, which cast jazz as a broadly American music, and as a kind of equal-opportunity soundtrack to racial integration.”

Thanks to the word passed by George V. Johnson of the Washington DC Jazz Network and others, we honor the recent passing of longtime saxophonist and jazz ambassador in his own right, Ron Sutton.

October Highlights: Jane Monheit, Oct. 8, Blues Alley … … Diana Krall, Oct. 9, Warner Theatre … Gene Bertoncini/Ed Laub, Oct. 11, Germano’s Piattini/Baltimore … Madeleine Peyroux, Oct. 11-12, City Winery … Jeff Denson, Oct. 12, Atlas Performing Arts Center … Saltman Knowles Presents Yvette Spears, Oct. 12, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Irene Jalenti, Oct. 13, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel … Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra/Brian Krock, Oct. 15, Levine School of Music/Silver Spring … Akua Allrich, Oct. 13, Atlas … Paul Carr, Oct. 15, Blues Alley … Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Oct. 18, Millennium State/Kennedy Center … Dee Bridgewater, Oct. 18-21, Blues Alley … Odean Pope, Oct. 19, Kennedy Center … Larry Brown, Oct. 19-20, Twins Jazz … Lena Seikaly, Oct. 20, The Alex … Glenn Angus Jazz Quartet in “George Gershwin Meets Horace Silver,” Oct. 21, Germano’s Piattini/Baltimore … Jacqui Naylor, Oct. 24, Blues Alley … George Spicka & Baltimore Jazz Works, Oct. 24, An Die Musik/Baltimore … Harry Appelman/Tribute to Bill Evans, Oct. 26, Westminster … Keith Kilgo, Oct. 26-27, Twins Jazz … Louis Hayes Quintet, Oct. 27, Caton Castle/Baltimore … Thinking about Jazz/Bill Evans, Oct. 27, Westminster … Marty Nau, Oct. 28, Twins Jazz … Joe Herrera’s Remix, Oct. 31, Blues Alley …

October Birthdays: Walter Bishop Jr. 4; Jo Jones, Larry Young 7; Pepper Adams 8; Abdullah Ibrahim, Kenny Garrett 9; Thelonius Monk 10; Junior Mance, Harry Edison, Art Blakey 11; Mel Rhyne 12; Art Tatum, Ray Brown, Von Freeman, Lee Konitz, Pharoah Sanders, Johnny Lytle 13; Fela Anikulapo-Kuti 15; Roy Hargrove 16; Cozy Cole 17; Wynton Marsalis 18; Jelly Roll Morton 20; Dizzy Gillespie, Don Byas 21; Ernie Watts 23; Jimmy Heath 25; Milton Nascimento 26; Zoot Sims 27; Clifford Brown 30; Illinois Jacquet, Booker Irvin 31.


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

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