Thursday, July 30
Saxophonist Lyle Link is a D.C. native, has been playing music since childhood, and as long as most of us can remember, has been one of D.C.’s most penetrating and distinctive musical voices. But the city won’t have him for much longer. Link and his family are moving to San Francisco next week, a relocation that will hopefully enrich their lives, but will assuredly make ours a little dimmer. There’s little better a way to treat your inner jazz lover this week than to give him the send-off he deserves—-or at least to attend the one that’s already on the books. Link is giving a final quartet performance, accompanied by some of the District’s other longtime favorites: pianist Chris Grasso, bassist James King, and drummer Lenny Robinson. The second set will be a jam session, so some people will not only get the chance to see him one final time, but to play with him one final time, too. The Lyle Link Quartet performs at 9 p.m. at Dukem, 1118 U Street NW. Free.
Friday, July 31
If you were going to describe Akua Allrich’s music in a soundbite, you might start off by saying that it’s the point where Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba meet. Both are female vocalists who freely borrowed from whatever musical territories they could use, and both filtered those through their own cultural experience: Makeba as a black South African and Simone as an African American. They were visionaries, and it takes a visionary like Allrich to not only reconcile those visions but to weave them into an idiosyncratic art of her own. For seven years, she has gone back to those roots and given a tribute concert for both Simone and Makeba at Bohemian Caverns. It’s as essential as nutrition: a rich medley of cultural flavors brought together. Akua Allrich performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh Street NW. $25 advance, $30 door.
Saturday, August 1
Last year’s Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition was held in Los Angeles, not its usual D.C., which caused us all to miss the youngest of the 2014 semifinalists. Aidan Lombard—-who was born in Washington but raised outside of Chicago—-plays in an ever-so-slightly nasal tone with an emphasis (perhaps not a conscious one) on the higher partials. They provide him an uncommonly bright-sounding tone. But he also ping-pongs between fluid, loquacious improv lines and long, startlingly placed silences. He has a lot to say, in other words, but he excels in making audiences wait for him to say it. It’s the kind of unique conception that we all hope for in a young trumpeter, and it’s helpful to see him holding down the front line himself (with the rhythm section of pianist Davis Whitfield, bassist Tyrone Allen II, and drummer Aaron Seeber). The Aidan Lombard Group performs at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $15.
Tuesday, August 4
As long as we’re talking about great local vocalists (see above), there’s quite a number of them in the D.C. area that don’t get enough attention—-and Setlist is partially at fault, leaning as it does toward instrumentalists. Recently, the most intriguing and exciting vocalist to emerge has been Integriti Reeves. She’s actually been around for a while, but something about her performances this year has been really special—the making, in a sense, of Reeves the artist. She’s a remarkable and appealing presence onstage, making audiences feel like they’re watching an old friend take the bandstand, talk to you about nice people, and tell you warm stories. No small part of that comes from her extraordinarily supple contralto voice, which she wields with a considerable nod to Billie Holiday. (Really—-check out those pitch bends and the liberties she takes with melody.) Integriti Reeves performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $20.