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District Curator’s latest dare-to-be-different entry in its “Jazz Arts ’97” festival is saxophonist Sam Rivers, who has been challenging audiences for over 45 years. While best known for his new conceptions in the ’60s with Blue Note (exquisitely compiled by Mosaic last year), Rivers also wrote celebrated large-scale works in the ’70s and ran the Studio Rivbea loft space. It was at Rivbea that the versatile Rivers began experimenting in trio settings with no written compositions. Rivers’ latest trio is based in Orlando, living in the shadow of the mouse. But unlike his neighbor, the 66-year-old Rivers still roars. His playing is free but lyrical and logical: He doesn’t relinquish the reins of his charging instrument to chaos; instead he navigates uncharted terrain with the patience and dignity of a monk (or Monk). The Sam Rivers Trio plays at 8 p.m. at D.C. Jewish Community Center, 16th & Q Sts. NW. $15. (703) 783-0360. (CP)