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Friday, Sept. 15
If you’re reading this column, you surely already know about the Sonic Circuits Festival, D.C.’s annual experimental music extravaganza. And there’s also a very good chance you’re already aware of Ryan Keberle, the highly acclaimed, incredibly prolific trombonist. He plays in most of the top big bands in New York jazz, for one thing. For another, he leads a respected and imaginative band, Catharsis (which exists in quartet and quintet form, depending on whether vocalist Camila Meza is in tow) that’s unusual in jazz in that it focuses on melody and lyricism and groove, not complex harmony. (They don’t have a piano player, though that doesn’t usually stop bands from prioritizing harmonic concepts.) But they’re not usually on most people’s lists of experimental music, certainly no more than other jazz artists. What are they up to that brings them to an intersection with Sonic Circuits? Let’s find out. The evening begins at 8 p.m. (with Catharsis closing the show) at Rhizome, 6950 Maple St. NW. $15.
Sunday, Sept. 17
The delightful Maija Rejman, if you’ve never seen her before will surprise you. She doesn’t look, or even initially sound, like a Brazilian-jazz singer of impressive ability; she’s tiny, husky, and you’ll probably assume that she’s a member of the audience who knows someone in the band. When she starts singing, you’re still not sure; then you discover her astounding rhythmic ear, and more importantly, horsepower to go with that ear. She also has a marvelous facility with the delicate lyricisms of the Brazilian Portuguese tongue. I saw her last summer at Old Engine 12; I came in uncertain about what I was about to see, and came out a true believer. It’s uncertain who her band will be this time out, but she works frequently with bassist David Jernigan and pianist Wayne Wilentz—the latter probably the top-line Brazilian jazz musician in the city—and also likes having a trombonist on hand. Majia Rehman performs at 6 p.m. at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, 2813 Franklin St. NE. $10.
If Down Beat was doing a piece on Dave Kline, they would probably consider him in the “beyond” part of their “jazz, blues and beyond” mantra. Kline, a violinist, essentially plays any kind of music where jamming is permissible. Funk, bluegrass, calypso, Brazilian jazz… earthy stuff. Kline is an improvised musician and that’s just about the size of it. But improvise he does, and he’s got serious chops. He also works frequently with another D.C. Brazilian jazz specialist Lynn Veronneau, who’s got chops to spare as well. Beyond jazz, but with definite grasp of its core ideals, and able to swing and groove with the best of them. It puts Kline in a good position to have his CD release party at Blues Alley—a place that is also very much interested in the “beyond” of jazz. Kline performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $22.