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Andrea Parkins plays traditional instruments—piano and accordion—but makes very untraditional music. Best described as an electronics improviser or, more vaguely, a “sound artist,” Parkins has worked with seemingly every big name in New York’s downtown avant-garde jazz scene in her 20-plus-year career. Parkins’ jazz incorporates musique concrète and free and contemporary electroacoustic improvisation; the genre mouthful aside, her rock music roots show in the two aggressive collaborative albums she recorded with Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and brilliant free-jazz drummer Tom Rainey. In those, she’s as comfortable with creating bombast as she is painting pseudo-ambient soundscapes. Which side of her multifaceted talents will she choose to exhibit at the Velvet Lounge? There’s only one way to find out.
ANDREA PARKINS PERFORMS WITH JANEL LEPPIN AND SUSAN ALCORN AT THE VELVET LOUNGE, 915 U ST.NW. $10. (202) 462-3213.