Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Friday, July 24
When Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill re-established its live music programming earlier this year, it did so with a two-part rotation on Friday night. (Later came the Wednesday night Capitol Hill Jazz Jam.) Well, it’s been successful enough that the rotation has now expanded to four artists, and this week is Aaron Myers‘s turn—-and, by happy coincidence, it’s his birthday. Myers is a vocalist, and a truly brilliant one. And a surprising one, too: When he talks to you from the stage, his demeanor is so smooth and friendly (he’s nicknamed “the Class Act”) that his gruff tenor singing will completely take you aback. But only for a moment, since it’s wonderful and skillful and full of surprises of its own. Myers has promised to announce the details of a forthcoming album release, so don’t sleep on this one. He performs at 8 p.m. at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free. (But there’s a two-item minimum, so order something!)
Saturday, July 25
When Harry Schnipper set foot in Blues Alley for the first time, he was 17 years old; it was 1973. On the bandstand (then in a separate room from the walled-off bar) was Larry Coryell, leading the funky fusion Eleventh House band, also for the first time in the club. Fast forward to 2015: Schnipper owns the Georgetown club and is trying to decide how to celebrate its 50th anniversary. His talent buyer, Bob Israel, mentions that he needs to find a space for Coryell—-and the deal is sealed. Not only do Schnipper and Coryell share that introduction to the club, but Coryell remained a longtime regular performer, coming back to Blues Alley through every era of the club’s history and of his own artistic career. Putting him in for Saturday night’s 50th anniversary celebration is not only a no-brainer, it’s poetic justice. And he’s not the whole party either: Coryell is leading Strings Attached, a five-guitar ensemble that includes Jack Wilkins, Jimmy Bruno, Joe Cohn, and Vic Juris, plus rhythm section. They perform at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. $25.
Tuesday, July 28
The Greater U Street Jazz Collective’s mission is to reflect the cultural legacy of the U Street NW corridor—-that is, African-American life and music in D.C., past and present. U Street has long been the core of that culture, of course, but the “Greater” is a reminder that there’s a whole community surrounding that core. It’s also a reminder that we’re not talking about a single moment in time, but a long, rich history. Imagine, then, that GUSJC is a condensation of 150 years of Washingtoniana into a jazz quintet: trumpeter Carl McIntyre, saxophonist Russell Carter, pianist Pete Frassrand, bassist Thomas View, and drummer Art Cobb. They perform tunes drawn from the historical epoch that they spotlight and originals that evoke and celebrate that epoch. They are the artists in residence at Bohemian Caverns for July, so this is their last performance. They perform at the club (at 11th and U streets NW) at 7:30 and 9 p.m. $10.
Wednesday, July 29
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen City Paper‘s coverage of JACS, the Jazz And Cultural Society, trumpeter DeAndrey Howard‘s new, very grassroots venue in the heart of Brookland. I mean grassroots in the sense that JACS feels not like a shiny, ready-for-a-magazine-shoot business; it feels like watching a jam session in somebody’s basement. And that’s a good thing: The place, as its name implies, is not a club but a neighborhood gathering place that seeks to be of, and organic to, that neighborhood. It also happens to bring in some hard-swinging, blues-belting, straightahead jazz every Wednesday night. This week, it’s Virginia-based trumpeter Lewis “Flip” Barnes, who isn’t always a straightahead player; his resume includes extensive work with avant-garde artists like William Parker, Jemeel Moondoc, and Burnt Sugar Arkestra. Even there, Barnes showcases a Kenny Dorham influence in his tone and phrasing. He drives it home in his straightahead playing, and in this instance it’s with a band that includes Jerry Queene on tenor saxophone, Fred Foss on alto, Herman Burney on bass, and J.C. Jefferson on drums. They perform at 6 p.m. at JACS, 2813 12th St. NE. $5.