Jazz Avenues

May 2019

Multi-talented, multi-genre songstress Akua Allrich performs “Celebrating Nancy Wilson,” May 26 at Blues Alley.

Herb Smith Group Plays Anacostia Arts Center
The Anacostia Arts Center, in conjunction with East River Jazz, presents saxophonist Herb Smith’s Confirmation Ensemble in a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at the center, 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE.

The show, “Hard Bop Proponents,” features veteran horn-man Smith, frequently heard in recent years with the Karen Lovejoy Group, and his ensemble performing interpretations of the music of Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderly and Benny Golson. Smith will be on saxophone and flute, with Taimoor Saeedi, guitar, Emory Diggs, bass, and Lawrence “Bubbles” Dean, drums.

15th Annual DC JazzFest, East River JazzFest Offer ‘Capital Sounds’
This year’s DC Jazz Festival marks the 15th year of its diverse mosaic of music around the city, June 7-16, presented by Events DC. East River JazzFest offerings in early June include the Kent Miller Quartet at 6 p.m. on June 7 at the Anacostia Busboys & Poets, 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.; Anacostia BID’s Jazz MeetUp, beginning at noon on June 8 at the Anacostia BIG CHAIR, 2101 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, with performers to include Bill Washburn, Jeron White, Tamika “Love” Jones, Craig Alston and Charmaine Nokuri, and Justin Taylor and the Khalid Gray Quartet. Also, Terrance Nicholson, Frederico Pena, Marshall Keys and Mark Prince perform at 7:30 p.m. on June 9 at the Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE.

For information on all June shows see www.eastriverjazz.net.

Elsewhere, DC JazzFest is literally everywhere, including the Jazz ‘N Families Prelude Weekend, June 1-2, at the Phillips Collection downtown, with music, art and family fun events. Other events, beginning June 7, include those at Hamilton Live, City Winery, the Kennedy Center, The Wharf and others at many other clubs and venues.

See www.dcjazzfest.org for complete information.

Paul Carr Named Jazz Hero for 2019
Congratulations to our own Paul Carr, saxophonist, educator and impresario of the annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival for being named the DC-area Jazz Hero for 2019 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

We also send congratulations to Baltimore’s WEAA-FM (88.9) radio personality and jazz club emcee George “Doc” Manning, named as Baltimore’s JJA 2019 Jazz Hero.

For more on Carr and Manning and all the national JJA Jazz Heroes, see www.jjajazzawards.org/p/2019-jazz-heroes.html.

InPerson … NEA Jazz Masters Show
Our favorite correspondent, saxman/bandleader Rahmat Shabazz, provided this on the April National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters show at the Kennedy Center: “It was a wonderful evening … [with remarks] by each awardee (Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, Patrick Dorian representing the late Bob Dorough, and Loren Schoenberg of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem representing the medically ailing Stanley Crouch) … preceded by short video bios and live band performances by music director Terri Lynn Carrington and outstanding guests.” Continuing, he notes that Abdullah Ibrahim’s elegant “Tuang Guru” was performed with Cleave Guyton flute, Terrance Blanchard, trumpet, Noah Jackson, bass, Jason Moran, piano, and Carrington drums. “Vocalists Kurt Elling and JD Walter came out swinging with Bob Dorough’s ‘Nothing Like You Has Ever Been Seen Before.’ Maria Schneider’s ‘Walking by Flashlight’ featured not only her longtime bandmates Frank Kimbrough and Scott Robinson, but also famed opera soprano Rene Fleming. Stanley Crouch’s musical tribute opened with ‘Lynn’s Grin’ featuring saxophonists Charles McPherson and David Murray, trumpeter Blanchard, bassist Christian McBride, pianist Sullivan Fortner and Carrington on drums. This ensemble also closed out the program with a rousing version of Charles Mingus’ ‘Better Git It in Your Soul’ that brought the audience to its feet!”

Coda for Fred Foss
Fond remembrances are ours from the splendid music of saxophonist and flutist Fred Foss, who departed last month to join the ancestors. We give condolences to his family and his jazz fans everywhere.

May Highlights: … Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, May 11, Kennedy Center … Sharon Clark, May 11, Montpelier Arts Center … Bill Charlap Trio, May 11-12, Blues Alley … Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra at Levine Music, May 13, Levine Music/Silver Spring, Md. … Kenny Garrett, May 16-19, Blues Alley … Shades of Mel Torme, May 17, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Unexpected Italy, May 21, 26, 28, Kennedy Center … Twins Jazz Orchestra, May 23, Twins Jazz … CapitalBop DC Jazz Loft, May 19, Rhizome … Paige Wroble, May 19, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel … Jazz Legends Series #9, May 24, Westminster … Lori Williams, May 25, Blues Alley … Akua Allrich/Celebrating Nancy Wilson, May 26, Blues Alley … Joe Pino Quartet, May 26, Twins Jazz … The Amazing Lena Seikaly, May 31, Westminster … The Messenger Legacy/Ralph Peterson, May 31, Kennedy Center …

May Birthdays: Shirley Horn 1; Richard “Groove” Holmes 2; John Lewis 3; Ron Carter 4; Mary Lou Williams 8; King Oliver 11; Red Garland 13; Jackie McLean 17; Fats Waller 21; Sun Ra 22; Archie Shepp 24; Miles Davis 25; Hilton Ruiz 29, Benny Goodman 30; Louis Hayes 31.


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