Friday, May 8
Among my favorite trombonists is a man named Kuumba Frank Lacy. He’s a 56-year-old Houstonian who actually plays just about every brass instrument under the sun, but it’s his virtuosity on the slide (and he has soul, blues, R&B, hip-hop, and even classical chops on it) that makes the windows rattle. His conception as a bandleader is also fascinating: Lacy is a composer and arranger in his own right, a gifted melodist with a shrewd understanding of the instruments he works with, but he’s also very invested in celebrating the music of lesser composers of the ’70s and ’80s, from George Cables to Joe Bonner to Kirk Lightsey. And, as with so many other musicians, he is a mentor as well as a bandleader: His Legacy Band features younger players Josh Evans on trumpet, Stacy Dillard on tenor sax, Theo Hill on piano, Ameen Saleem on bass, and Kush Abadey on drums. (The latter two are D.C. natives, too.) They perform at 8 and 10 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh Street NW. $23 advance, $28 door.
Sunday, May 10
The Bobbies! It’s not just a nickname for police officers on Downton Abbey—-not anymore. CapitalBop’s May edition of the Jazz Loft has two guys named Bobby headlining and playing some new and ambitious music. The first, Bobby Jasinski, is a formidable pianist and composer of straightahead jazz; his fantastic new album, Retrospection reveals his ear for gorgeous harmonies and hooks, not to mention his impeccable taste in sidemen. (It includes 12 original tunes and great players like altoist John “The Smoker” Kocur, trumpeter Joe Herrera, trombonist Corey Wallace, and bassist Kris Funn, as well as the incomparable Lena Seikaly on vocals.) Then comes a set of poetry set to music by Karega Bailey and his band, and a closing set by tenor saxophonist and composer Bobby Muncy and his Big Bastard Big Band, an expansion of Muncy’s Kung Fu Bastard project with remarkable guitarist Anthony Pirog. Pirog will be on hand, too, and the music will be divided between his and Muncy’s compositions. The Jazz Loft takes place at 7 p.m. at Union Arts, 411 New York Avenue NE. $15 suggested donation.
Monday, May 11
The name Janelle Gill is wrongly under-praised in the D.C. jazz community, perhaps because the music still retains many of its boys-club trappings. This writer is guilty of neglecting Gill as well, and that’s shameful, especially when you consider her lyricism, an extraordinarily powerful utility. She has a kind of eccentric poetry in her phrasing (she has a weakness for melodic curlicues) and an ability to lock into a groove. But as you’re following that melodic-rhythmic trajectory, she’ll blindside you with a hip chord sequence. That, too, is poetic. And that’s just what she does on the fly, in improvisation—-Gill is also a composer, and she’ll no doubt perform some of her work in this final concert of the Arts Club’s season of piano jazz. Janelle Gill performs at 7 p.m. at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW. $30.
Wednesday, May 13
Joe Lovano is on the short list of Greatest Living Tenor Saxophonists. Dave Douglas is one of the most expansive and important trumpeters of his generation (and actually studied under Lovano at NYU in the mid-’80s). Both of them cite Wayne Shorter as one of their great inspirations, and their new co-led quintet Sound Prints is suitably inspired by him. But if you’re going into their music looking to hear Shorter peeking out from every corner, you’ll be surprised. (Although in fairness, there are two Shorter tunes in their set, written specially for the band by the man himself.) The band draws its influence from the saxophonist and composer’s aplomb, not from his personal musical language. The excitement is in their five-way (that’s Douglas, Lovano, pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Joey Baron) interplay. It’s about their own ideas—-and borrowing a soupçon of Shorter’s artistic courage to put them across. Sound Prints performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $30.