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Friday, March 31
You may know that pianist Billy Childs is an extremely accomplished composer with a deep, rich well of melody and soul at his disposal. You may not know how much debt to Laura Nyro he claims in that capacity (assuming you haven’t heard his 2014 recording Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro). But if you know anything about Nyro, you can’t be terribly surprised. She had that same depth of melody and soul, and channeled it into some of the best hits of the late ‘60s (“Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “And When I Die,” and the glorious “Eli’s Coming”). In tackling her work on Map to the Treasure, Childs gave it a majestic symphonic jazz treatment, working with a wide variety of musicians that included Kennnedy Center classical curators Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma. It’s under their auspices that Childs performs the music at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Gallery, 2700 F St. NW. $35.
Saturday, April 1
Reginald Cyntje is recording a new album. That should be enough to get your interest aroused. Better still, it’s a live album! This weekend! You may also recall that the trombonist and composer had a previous live album in the works early last year called Moods and Colors; the tunes were beautiful but the recording never materialized for a variety of reasons. Ah, but that was an older, simpler time when The White House wasn’t occupied by human garbage; the moods and colors were decidedly brighter. Cyntje’s new suite of songs is adapted for the new era: It’s called The Rise of the Protester. It features a five-piece version of Cyntje’s ensemble, with Brian Settles on tenor sax, Hope Udobi on piano, Herman Burney on bass, and Tyler Leak on drums. And it features you, as the appreciative audience. The Reginald Cyntje Group performs at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U St. NW. $15.
Monday, April 3
Seven years ago this month, baritone saxophonist Brad Linde joined forces with trumpeter Joe Herrera to form a 17-piece big band with a weekly residency on U Street. They held that residency for six years, until it expired last spring with the club’s own expiration. But the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra has held together, doing performances where it could and apparently having recorded in the time since as well. Every year its anniversary was a major event, with cake and champagne and fantastic music that sometimes involved guest stars and the return of former members to celebrate. The demise of the Caverns can’t be a roadblock to such a commemoration, can it? Blues Alley doesn’t think so, and neither does the BCJO. The band gets back together for the evening at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $20.