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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Jazz Avenues

Black History Month Spotlight: UDC
“From its founding, University of the District of Columbia [UDC] has been a hot spot for jazz performance, education and history … The journey to JAZZAlive that we enjoy today [see February highlights below] – a jazz studies program, citywide and regional events that culminate each year with the Calvin Jones BIG BAND Festival, education and outreach programs and the acclaimed Felix E. Grant Jazz Archive … reflects the vision and contributions of many dedicated individuals and reveals a story that continues to unfold.” ―Judith A. Korey, “From Federal City College to UDC: A Retrospective on Washington’s Jazz University” from “DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC,” edited by Maurice Jackson and Blair A. Ruble.

Enjoy Living Jazz History Events
Black History Month events to enjoy this February include the DC Jazz Jam Sunday events, Feb. 10, 17 and 24, at the Brixton restaurant on Ninth Street Northwest, with the Nat King Cole Centenary tributes featuring vocalists Langston Peacock, Aaron Myers and Anthony Compton. And there’s dynamic, pioneer, free/avant-garde saxophonist Archie Shepp’s All-Star Tribute to John Coltrane on Feb. 10 at the Kennedy Center; and the late master bassist Jamil Nasser tributes by his son Muneer Nasser, Feb. 22, at Westminster Presbyterian Church; and the Thinking About Jazz program on Jamil Nasser the next day, Feb. 23, at Westminster.

From U Street to Lenox Avenue/“Washington, DC, Jazz”
On Feb. 10, there is a conversation and book signing for “Washington, DC, Jazz” at the Busboys and Poets of Springfield, Virginia, with Shellee Haynesworth, co-authors Rev. Sandra Butler-Truesdale, Regennia Williams and pianist Mark G. Meadows. The event will take place between shows of Signature Theater’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” across the street. For more information see www.busboysandpoets.com.

Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival
Carving its own illustrious history, building on the history of the former East Coast Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival presents its 10th annual edition on Feb. 15-17 at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, courtesy of our own saxophonist and impresario extraordinaire Paul Carr.

This year’s festival features Brian Lynch and the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra, Regina Carter, Sean Jones, Lori Williams, the Michael Thomas. The JD Allen Quartet, the Charles McPherson Quartet, Branford Marsalis and more. See www/.midatlatiicjazzfestival.org.

InReview … “Coy Fish,” “On the Streets”
Catching up on some year-end news we need to mention Sarah Marie Hughes’ “Coy Fish” album, which drew the attention of CapitalBop.com as one of 2018’s top recordings. Highlights of the free-flowing session, driven by Hughes’ soaring, spearing alto sax riffs, include “Again,” “Sexual Sensuality” and “Fourth of December.”

Also from CapitalBop’s top discs was one from saxophonist, composer and bandleader Todd Marcus, “On the Streets,” a remarkable multimedia Baltimore production. It is a bopping, grooving ride with gritty street narrative, historical perspectives and on-the-street interviews. Highlights include “On the Corner,” “Fear of the Known” and “Covered in Snow.”

February Highlights: … Paige Wroble, Feb. 9, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel … Archie Shepp’s All-Star Tribute to John Coltrane, Feb. 10, Kennedy Center … Nat King Cole Centenary Tribute/Landon Paddock, Feb. 10, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … From U Street to Lenox Avenue/“Washington, DC, Jazz” jazz talk and book signing, Feb. 10, Busboys and Poets/Shirlington, Virginia … Mark Meadows, Feb. 11, Blues Alley … Tom Teasley and Chao Tian, Feb. 12, UDC Recital Hall-Bldg. 46 West, Kristin Callahan, Feb. 14, Twins Jazz … Veronneau, Feb, 14/AMP at Strathmore … Gregory Porter, Feb. 15, Music Center at Strathmore … James Francies, Feb. 15, Kennedy Center Jazz Club … Marshall Keys & Friends, Feb. 15, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Cold Spring Jazz Quartet, Feb. 16, Germano’s Piattini … Pedrito Martinez/Alfredo Rodrigues, Feb. 16, KC Jazz Club … Stephanie Nakasian, Feb. 16, The Alex … John Lamkin III/Music of Phyllis Hyman, Feb. 16, Caton Castle/Baltimore … Nat King Cole Centenary Tribute/Aaron Myers, Feb. 17, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Keigo Hirakawa Trio, Feb. 17, Twins Jazz … David Binney’s Angelino Quartet, Feb. 19, Blues Alley … Jazz Concert: UDC Small Jazz Ensembles, Feb. 21, UDC Recital Hall-Bldg. 46 West … “Tribute to Dad”/Muneer Nasser, Feb. 22, Westminster … Thinking About Jazz/Jamil Nasser: Upright Bass, Feb. 23, Westminster … Lara Downes, Feb. 23, Sixth & I … Shacara Rogers, Feb. 23, The Alex … Nat King Cole Centenary Tribute/Anthony Compton, Feb. 24, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … KW Big Band/Michael Kramer, Tim Whalen, Feb. 25, Blues Alley … Eddie Henderson, Feb. 27, Blues Alley … Twins Jazz Orchestra, Feb. 28, Twins Jazz … Joey DeFrancesco, Feb. 28, Blues Alley …

February Birthdays: James P. Johnson, Joshua Redman 1; Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz 2; Eubie Blake 7; Chick Webb 10; Machito 16; Stan Kenton, David Murray 19; Nancy Wilson 20; Tadd Dameron 21; James Moody 26; Mildred Bailey, Dexter Gordon 27.


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

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