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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Jazz Avenues

DC to Launch First Music Census
In a move reportedly welcomed by the entire music community, the District of Columbia will initiate its first music census, according to an announcement last month by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration.

The administration said in a statement that the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, in partnership with Georgetown University, is launching the DC Music Census. The goal is to “capture the DC music industry and economy and provide needed data to assist city officials and community members in making more informed decisions that will strengthen and grow the District’s music ecosystem.”

Bowser said, “The musicians, the venue owners, the educators, the technicians, all areas of the music economy are important to who we are as a city.”

The census will include a survey, open for three weeks, to be completed by anyone “working creatively in music as a musician or participating in any music-related product, service or venue.” The data will be released in September during the mayor’s 202Creates, a month-long celebration of creativity in the city.

As reported in a story by CapitalBop, Anna Celenza, professor of music at Georgetown University, said, “There are so many presenters doing events that don’t have a stable place to do it, or they can do it in one place for two months and then have to move. That surprised me and so that opened up my eyes to the possibility of more venues here.”

Also in that CapitalBop story, jazz vocalist and activist Aaron Myers said, “We have a thriving jazz/music ecosystem in DC.” He hopes the data will show “to players in music infrastructure (agents, managers, publicists, labels, etc.) that DC is a great place to plant their base and scout for talent, while offering those key services to DC-based artists.”

For more information on the DC Music Census and to register see www.dcmusiccensus.com.

InPerson … DC Jazz Fest/East River JAZZFest
A plentiful stretch of days of music blessed us in June with the DC Jazz Festival, including East River JAZZFest sounds that showcased pianist Bill Washburn’s group, off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, playing some vintage hard bop, and Tamika “Love” Jones delivering some powerful soul jazz and gospel-tinged sets that entertained good crowds who also enjoyed events like the Vinyl Listening Event, the Hip/Bop Convergence, the Peter Brown Project, Kenny Rittenhouse and others.

Overall, DC Jazz Fest highlights included clarinetist Anat Cohen’s brilliance in quartet and the exquisite, unique vocal artistry of Cecile McLorin Salvant achieving beautiful duet symmetry with pianist Fred Hersch, both events at The Hamilton Live; and the Ernest Turner Trio of Durham, North Carolina, winning the DC JazzPrix competition, according to DC Jazz Fest information.

Also, for this listener, there was saxophonist Jordan Dixon blowing hot, raw riffs on his horn at the CD release party at the University of the District of Columbia for his new recording, “ON!”; and more Jazz in the ‘Hoods with drummer/vocalist Dante Pope and After Five Experience at Franklin Park downtown, with some pumping, funky soul jazz. And there was powerhouse drummer William Hooker and his trio uptown in Takoma Park at Rhizome, with pulsating, tuneful free jazz sounds; and Shannon Gunn leading her ensemble in some melodic, hard-jamming sets at Gallery O on H on H Street.

And at The Wharf, one day with pianist Janelle Gill shining on “Reflections” and other tunes; and bassist Taurus Mateen’s group, hard-grooving with saxman Brian Settles’ braggadocio bluesy riffs; and the next day drummer Ralph Peterson’s big band pumped its hot melodies of bop, Latin and a little funk for the mingling crowds under the sunny blue skies.

July Highlights: … Todd Marcus Ensemble, July 12, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Celebrating Carl Grubbs at 75, July 13, The Motor House/Baltimore … Joe Herrera, July 14, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … The Settles Quintet, July 15, Blues Alley … Jeff Antoniuk & Helluvaband, July 16, Blues Alley … Keith Butler Trio, July 18, Twins Jazz … Poncho Sanchez, July 18-21, Blues Alley … Male Storytellers & Crooners, July 19, Westminster … Jen Krupa, July 21, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Northern Virginia Jazz Collective, July 21, Twins Jazz … 3 Divas Jazz Trio, July 23, Blues Alley … Alison Crockett Swings, July 26, Westminster … John Lamkin “Favorites” Jazz Quintet, July 26-27, Twins Jazz … Veronneau, July 27, JoJo’s Bar … Thad Wilson, July 28, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Vivian Lee, July 28, Twins Jazz … Aimee Allen, July 30, Blues Alley

July Birthdays: Rashied Ali 1; Ahmad Jamal 2; Johnny Hartman 3; Hank Mobley 7; Louis Jordan 8, Billy Eckstine, Lee Morgan 10; Albert Ayler 13; Philly Joe Jones 15; Cal Tjader 16; Chico Freeman 17; Sonny Clark 21; Billy Taylor 24; Johnny Hodges 25; Carl Grubbs 27; Charlie Christian 29; Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell 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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