We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Transparent Productions’ latest festival of far-out jazz features musicians from Germany, England, Africa, and the United States and takes place at Mr. Henry’s, an Ethiopian restaurant that serves American food (when the chef shows up, that is). The three-day fest kicks off Sunday, April 16, with saxophonists Evan Parker and Ned Rothenberg, the former a legend of improvised music, the latter a restlessly experimental player influenced by Ornette Coleman. Parker is a Brit whose approach is both deeply intellectual and deeply affecting; his highly developed circular breathing technique allows him to deliver melody lines that sing and scream with life. Parker is a prolific recording artist, but he consistently challenges himself, from his 1997 duet with Rothenberg, Monkey Puzzle, to his recent Electro-Acoustic Ensemble discs on ECM, Toward the Margins and Drawn Inward, to After Appleby, his spirited collaboration with fellow improvisers Marilyn Crispell, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton. On Monday, April 17, the beautiful, chest-rattling roar of baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett’s trio Rain Shout comes to town, but it will probably sound like a whisper compared to the bark of Die Like a Dog, which performs on Tuesday, April 18. Led by the infamously brutish-sounding saxophonist Peter Brotzmann (pictured) and featuring the estimable lineup of trumpeter Roy Campbell, bassist William Parker, and drummer Hamid Drake, the breathtaking group easily lives up to its name. Let the multicultural sonic meltdown begin. All shows are at 8 p.m. at Mr. Henry’s, 1836 Columbia Road NW. $10. (202) 546-8412. (Christopher Porter)