Thursday, July 9
It’s always good to see Shannon Gunn, one of the area’s sharpest trombonists and jazz lovers (with a very deep well of knowledge). She’s been busy lately, as a member of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra on Monday nights who also frequently appears at Columbia Station in Adams Morgan. But lately we haven’t seen very much of her all-female big band, The Bullettes, or any of its satellite small groups. That changes this week, when Gunn takes official, picture-postcard Washington by storm. The gig is the popular summer series “Jazz on Jackson Place,” which takes place in the courtyard of Decatur House on, yes, Jackson Place. (That’s the closed street on the west side of Lafayette Square, right by the White House.) Gunn leads her quartet, featuring the superb local drummer Savannah Grace Harris as well as New York pianist Miki Yamanaka and bassist Adi Meyerson. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at Decatur House, 748 Jackson Place NW. $30.
Friday, July 10
For all of our great wealth of options within the D.C. jazz community, we really do have a sad lack of options when it comes to traditional jazz. D.C. is less and less identified with hard bop, and the stigma of that stuff, beyond the unfortunate “Dixieland” trappings, is that it’s outrageously old and crude, even corny. But in the right hands, those that understand what they’re playing, trad jazz is as good, as lively, and as populist as it gets. So it’s good to see Orange Kellin & The New Orleans Blue Serenaders on the calendar for this week. Kellin is a clarinetist and arranger from the Crescent City itself, and the Blue Serenaders are a trio featuring pianist/singer Steve Pistorius, drummer Walter Harris, and singer-actor Vernel Bagneris taking on the great tunes of Jazz-Age New Orleans. They perform at 8 p.m. at Bethesda Blues & Jazz, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. $30.
Sunday, July 12
For all of the CapitalBop Jazz Loft sessions—and there have been many in the nearly five years they’ve been doing the series—there haven’t been very many that featured vocalists. That puts the lovely-in-every-sense Rochelle Rice in rare company, which is where she belongs anyway. Rice is one of the most talented and finely honed singing talents to be found in the District in any genre. While she doesn’t limit herself to any single genre, her chops are rooted in jazz. Rice, of course, is but one of three acts on the bill Sunday night; she shares the evening with Baltimore bassist Deron White, leading a sextet in the show’s opening act, and an unusual duet between the great drummer Lenny Robinson and great saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed. It begins at 7 p.m. at Union Arts, 411 New York Avenue NE. $15 suggested donation.
Wednesday, July 15
If you’re a TV-watching American, you almost certainly know the name of Kevin Eubanks, the guitarist who for years was the sidekick and bandleader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If you’re a jazz head, you almost certainly know the name of his brother Robin Eubanks, the extraordinary trombonist who has worked with Dave Holland and SFJazz, among others, in addition to his own solo career. You may not be quite as familiar with Duane Eubanks, their trumpet-playing younger brother. Of the three, Duane’s music is the most straightforward: His trumpet sound uses the virtuoso lyricism and rhythm of Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis as its foundation, but it’s also accounted for the harmonic slippage of Woody Shaw, and amped them up with unique ideas of his own that add intrigue to what might otherwise be confounding layers of sound. Top it with a kind of knowing warmth, and you’ve got a crucial trumpeter, the kind who makes wonderful albums like Eubanks’ Things of That Particular Nature. He performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $20.