Jazz Avenues

Trumpet maestro Thad Wilson leads his quintet in performance for the Tribute to Billy Eckstine show, April 26, at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Time to Appreciate Pan African Jazz, Double Time Jazz and More
Charmaine Michelle’s Pan African Soundtrack and Double Time Jazz are east-of-the-river events for April, with the Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month events featured downtown.

Trumpeter Michelle, raised in northern Virginia, leads a group for a 3 p.m. concert on April 14 at the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Sherrita Harris will be on drums, Trey L Sorrells, sax, Justin Taylor, piano, and Jeron White, bass. See www.anacostiaartscenter.com.

Double Time Jazz is back at THEARC in Southeast with a History & StoryTelling Double Nickels show on April 13, Go-Go Symphony on April 20 and In Series-Duke Ellington shows on April 26-27 at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. See www.thearcdc.org. 

Enjoy JAM at Smithsonian, Calvin Jones Big Band Festival
Jazz Appreciation Month shows at the Smithsonian Museum of American History at 12th and Constitution Ave. NW, on the Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1 West, include free daytime concerts by the George Washington University Latin Jazz Band on April 18 and Howard University’s Women’s Vocal Ensemble SAASY on April 25. For more information see www.americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz/jazz-appreciation-month.

Other events this month include the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters show on April 15 at the Kennedy Center, honoring Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider and Stanley Crouch. Robinson. Visit www.arts/gov/honors/jazz for more information.

The third annual Ella Fitzgerald Competition, April 27, on the occasion of Fitzgerald’s 103rd birthday, includes the competition from noon to 2:00 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium with the gala concert at 7:30 that night, with vocalist Rene Marie in concert with the Count Basie Orchestra. The five finalists, hailing from the United States, Italy, Latvia and the United Kingdom, are Arta Jacobsone, Melinda Rodriguez, Emma Hendrick, Ella Mohnen-Ford and Emitia Zamunes. For tickets and more information Visit www.ellafitzgeraldcompetition.org.

The Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival at the University of the District of Columbia celebrates 33 years with its show at 8 p.m. on April 29 at University Auditorium (Theatre of the Arts, Bldg). The show features jazz ensembles from the University of the District of Columbia, Howard University and the University of Maryland. Tickets are $20 (general admission), $15 (seniors) and $10 (students). For more information go to www.bigbandjazzfest.org.


InPerson … Dana Hawkins, Antonio Parker, WWJF
In live music recently, we caught drummer Dana Hawkins’ group in a CapitalBop showcase date at Local 16 on U Street in DC, playing some rollicking, funky grooves highlighted by guitarist Elijah Coles’ sharp, soulful licks on tunes like “Never in Your Sun” and “One Note Samba.” Alto sax master Antonio Parker led a jamming session at Westminster Presbyterian Church one Friday night, delighting a capacity crowd on tunes like “Dat Dare,” “Just One of Those Things” and “Robbin’s Nest.”

Notable Washington Women in Jazz Festival events included an all-star jam before a packed house at Mr. Henry’s with alto saxman Herb Scott, Amy K. Bormet’s piano and vocal charms, bassist Zoe Jorgenson and drummer Ana Barreiro. And there was a WWJF Young Artist Showcase at Publick Playhouse in Cheverly, Maryland, and a Bormet-led happy hour jam at Wild Days at the Eaton Hotel in DC, with bassist Clarissa Corey-Bey.


April Highlights: … Lisa Sokolov, April 13, Rhizome … Carl Grubbs Ensemble, April 13, Roland Park Branch Library/Baltimore … Lena Seikaly, April 14, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel … Kris Funn’s Cornerstone, April 17, Hill Center … Capital Jazz/Elijah Jamal Balbed, Akua Allrich, Mark Meadows, April 18, Mansion at Strathmore … Arturo Sandoval, April 18-21, Blues Alley … GW Jazz Orchestra, April 19-20, Twins Jazz … Howard University Jazz Ensemble, April 19, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Aaron Goldberg Trio, April 19, Atlas Performing Arts Center … GW Jazz Orchestra, April 19-20, Twins Jazz … Jazzmeia Horn Quintet, April 20, Library of Congress … Cissa Paz, April 20, Montpelier Arts Center … Sharon Clark, April 21, The Alex … Andrew White Quartet, April 23, Blues Alley … Carl Cornwell, April 24, Jazz and Cultural Society … 3 Divas Celebrate Ella, April 24, Blues Alley … Akua Allrich, April 25-26, Local 16 … Tribute to Billy Eckstine/Thad Wilson Quintet, April 26, Westminster … Integriti Reeves, April 26-27, Sotto … Thinking About Jazz/Billy Eckstine: Mr. B, April 27, Westminster … Alison Crockett, April 28, The Alex … A Day of Jazz in Washington DC, April 29, Warner Theater … Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival, April 29, University of the District of Columbia, Bldg. 46-West …

April Birthdays: Harry Carney 1; Booker Little 2; Jimmy McGriff 3; Stanley Turrentine 5; Randy Weston, Gerry Mulligan 6; Billie Holiday, Freddie Hubbard 7; Carmen McRae 8; Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau 12; Gene Ammons 14; Richard Davis 15; Bennie Green, Herbie Mann 16; Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente 20; Slide Hampton 21; Charles Mingus 22; Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson 24; Ella Fitzgerald 25; Teddy Edwards 26; Connie Kay 27; Duke Ellington 29; Percy Heath 30.


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