Jazz Avenues

Bandleader, percussion master and composer Nasar Abadey performs for the 20th Anniversary Jazz Night show at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Jan. 18.

New Year’s Wishes. Davey to Bring back Bohemian Caverns?
Happy New Year to all and wishing you many good nights and days and nights of our finest musical offerings! Warmest wishes for all our favorite performers and venue operators for 2019, and warmest sympathies and wishes for the families of our departed heroes in 2018, including Cecil Taylor, Randy Weston, Roy Hargrove and Nancy Wilson.

And best wishes for Davey Yarborough in efforts to bring back Bohemian Caverns. As reported in the Washington Business Journal in November, Yarborough, jazz program director and band leader at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, “wants to revive legendary jazz club Bohemian Caverns,” closed since 2016. 

Oren Wins Monk Piano Competition
Tom Oren, 24, of Tel Aviv, Israel, was named winner of the 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition last month in DC.

Presented by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, since renamed the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, the competition awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a major scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group for the winner, according to institute information. Judges included Monty Alexander, Joanne Brecken, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Perez and Renee Rosnes.

Oren commanded the audience’s attention with his performance of “Just One of Those Things” and “Just as Though You Were Here.” Second-place winner Isaiah Thompson, 21, of West Orange, New Jersey, performed “A Prayer/Good Intentions” and “The Other Originals” (both originals) and third-place winner Maxime Sanchez, 31, of Toulouse, France, performed “The Mothers of the Veil” and “Gone with the Wind.”

MidAtlantic Jazz Festival Coming Soon
See www.midatlanticjazzfestival.org for headliners, schedule and ticket information for the festival coming Feb. 15-17.

DC Jazz Festival News
The DC Jazz Festival has announced its dates and an initial list of artists for the 2019 DC JazzFest presented by Events DC, June 7-16, with performers including perennial DC favorites Snarky Puppy and Jose James, as well as the new Bill Withers Project, tenor sax titan Joshua Redman, singer-songwriter Michael Franks, vibes master Stefon Harris & Blackout and 14-year-old Joey Alexander, according to a festival statement.

“This extraordinary lineup represents an incredible range of artistry, representing an array of jazz expressions, both classic & contemporary, as well as a broad representation of what we like to refer to as the International Language of Jazz,” said DC JazzFest Artistic Director Willard Jenkins.

The DC Jazz Festival also has announced the launch of its 2019 international jazz band competition, DCJazzPrix, and has issued a call for applications at www.dcjazzprix.org, according to a DC Jazz Festival statement. The entry fee for the DCJazzPrix remains $49 per band.

The winner of the 2018 DCJazzPrix, Cornerstore, won a $15,000 cash prize and will perform June 15 as part of the 2019 DC JazzFest at The Wharf. For more information about the DC Jazz Festival and its programs, visit: wwwdcjazzfest.org. 

InReview … Roberto Magris CD ‘World Gardens’
Kudos to Italian pianist Roberto Magris for his most recent CD, “World Gardens,” a charming, melodic, cosmopolitan journey with Dominque Sanders on bass, Brian Steever, drums, and Pablo Sanhueza, percussion.

Jazz, folk, blues, free jazz and other genres are highlighted here, including on Magris’ own “Blue Bamboo” arrangement, his “Song for an African Child,” “Stella by Starlight” and others. Magris and Sanders on bass exchange playful licks on Magris’ “Blues at Lunch,” with Andrew Cyrille’s “High Priest” a quicksilver exploration into many sights and sounds, colors and rhythms.

See www.jmoodrecords.com for more information.

January Highlights: … Terence Blanchard & The E-Collective, Jan. 10-13, Blues Alley … DeAndrey Howard/Collector’s Edition, Jan. 11, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Benito Gonzalez, Jan. 11-12, Twins Jazz … Elin, Jan. 12, The Alex … 20 Year Anniversary, Jan. 18, Westminster … Noah Haidu Quartet featuring Gary Thomas, Jan. 18-19, Twins Jazz … Charles Covington, Jan. 19, Germano’s Piattini/Baltimore … The Twins Jazz Orchestra, Jan. 24, Twins Jazz …. Roy Ayers, Jan. 24-27, Blues Alley … The John Lamkin Favorites Jazz Quintet, Jan. 25-26, Twins Jazz …. Davey Yarborough/Remembering Buck Hill, Jan. 25, Westminster … Nicole Saphos, Jan. 26, The Alex … Carl Grubbs Ensemble, Jan. 26, Walters Art Museum/Baltimore … Karen Lovejoy, Jan. 27, Jazz and Cultural Center … Marty Nau, Jan. 27, Twins Jazz … Pat Martino Quintet, Jan. 27, Baltimore Museum of Art … The JoGo Project Album Release Party, Jan. 29, Blues Alley … Joshua Bayer, Jan. 30, Jazz and Cultural Center

January Birthdays: Frank Wess 4; Kenny Clarke 9; Max Roach 10; Jay McShann 12; Melba Liston, Joe Pass 13; Gene Krupa 15; Cedar Walton 17; Jimmy Cobb 20; J.J. Johnson 22; Gary Burton 23; Antonio Carlos Jobim 25; Bobby Hutcherson 27; Roy Eldridge 30.


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