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The much-admired weekend jazz series at Southwest’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel packed its lobby-level lounge every week with a mix of tourists and local jazz lovers for seven years, until the series was canceled in July. It was the brainchild of pianist and bandleader Chris Grasso, who lost no time in finding a new venue for it. The hiatus lasted only two months, with Grasso now returning to the bandstand at Petworth bistro Chez Billy. The premiere features Grasso on piano, a yet-to-be-named bassist, and Lena Seikaly, one of the District’s best and most popular singers, fronting the band. It’s an attempt to replicate the Mandarin success in a less tourist-friendly spot—but since when do Washingtonians complain about too few tourists?
Chris Grasso performs with Lena Seikaly at 9 p.m. at Chez Billy, 3815 Georgia Ave. NW. Free. (202) 506-2080. chezbilly.com.