Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon

Gary Burton at Blues Alley
Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

One of the greats of jazz vibraphone has assembled one of the hippest quartets around—with guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Antonio Sanchez. They’ve got edgy rhythm as well as layers of lyricism, shrouded in a delicacy that tempts you to underestimate them. Do not.

Edmar Castaneda at Bohemian Caverns
Oct. 7 and 8

Nobody connects modern jazz with the harp, and they certainly don’t connect it with Latin jazz. But Castaneda is rooted in the folk music of his native Colombia, in which the harp has a long and important tradition. None of that tradition sounds quite like Castaneda, though. Actually, nothing does.

Sonny Rollins at the Kennedy Center
Oct. 10

As long as Rollins lives, there will be no contest for the title of World’s Greatest Jazz Musician. The saxophone colossus makes his annual D.C. appearance, sponsored by the Washington Performing Arts Society, with his longtime quartet and an improvisational heat that’ll peel the skin from your bones.

Matthew Shipp at Bohemian Caverns
Nov. 6

Just having celebrated his 50th year, Shipp—no doubt the most innovative and progressive pianist of his generation—shows no signs of mellowing with age. His work is as avant-garde as they come, dangerous as hell, and, when you dig into it, stocked with the full spectrum of jazz history as played on the 88s.

Miguel Zenon at Atlas Performing Arts Center
Nov. 9

A MacArthur Genius Grant winner, Puerto Rican alto saxophonist Zenon filters jazz through all aspects of the music of his homeland. His music is beautifully designed and played, and gives off a surprisingly raw energy that can take even Zenon by surprise. It’s some of the most exciting new jazz out there.