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Melissa Aldana online with DCJazzFest From Home
Melissa Aldana has traveled around the world to play on some pretty famous stages. The tenor saxophone player was born in Santiago, Chile, and started her career as a teenager performing in that city’s jazz clubs. Her talent took her to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and then to New York City to study under George Coleman. After she won the legendary Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, The Washington Post wrote that Aldana represented “a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz.” Just a few weeks from now, the DC Jazz Festival was set to bring 300 artists to 40 venues across D.C. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans for the festival, and the nonprofit organization recently decided to postpone the June event. But once again, Aldana represents a new sense of possibility within jazz. The DC Jazz Festival is rolling out the DCJazzFest From Home Series, and on May 9, Aldana is on the lineup. The weekly free video series is a way for the nonprofit to support featured jazz artists and provide music education to students around D.C. For listeners, it’s also a chance to watch never-before-seen footage and livestreamed shows from DCJF alumni. Tune in for a Melissa Aldana Quartet performance from 2018’s festival at The Wharf. After all, an evening of inspiring jazz music is just what the doctor recommended. The video begins at 7 p.m. on May 9. RSVP for Aldana’s performance at dcjazzfest.org. Free. —Sarah Smith
Dan Tepfer’s piano livestream
Dan Tepfer‘s improvisations unfurl themselves with the masterly pacing and suspense of Alfred Hitchcock at his best. The jazz pianist has a working trio, though truth be told, he doesn’t need a rhythm section. His unaccompanied playing conveys tiptoes, scurries, lopes, and irregular and manic dances. (He also provides his own bass, as do most pianists, though few with the rhythmic assurance of Tepfer.) Passing phrases refashion themselves in real time as compelling motifs; riffs develop into full-scale variations; new ideas burst forth, fully formed, out of nowhere. It’s on this last front that the comparison with Hitchcock loses its footing: For all the virtuosic suspense of Hitch’s films, you ultimately knew when they started where they were going. With Tepfer, from moment to moment, you haven’t a clue. Catch his solo piano concert on May 11 on a livestream sponsored by the Arts Club of Washington. Dan Tepfer performs at 7 p.m. on May 11. Tickets are available at instantseats.com. $5. —Michael J. West