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Friday, October 24
The easy move is to guess that Luis Faife, born and raised in southern Cuba, played Afro-Cuban jazz on his alto saxophone and clarinet. And you’d be right—-partly. He knows as much about clave and guajeo as anyone, having learned from childhood at the feet of his father (Luis Sr.). But Faife is also a descendant of the Kenny Garrett school of alto sax (and Garrett’s musical father, Jackie McLean—-you can hear both in Faife’s salty tone). He’s almost as likely to break out the bop-based language when he’s working the bandstands as he is the salsa rhythms. Having said that, Faife (who now lives in New York) was primarily known during his several years in D.C. as a Latin jazz artist, probably the city’s most prominent. He might, if only for one night, reclaim that mantle this weekend. Faife performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh Street NW. $18 advance, $23 door.
Saturday, October 25
We haven’t seen Anthony Nelson for a while. He’s no stranger to D.C., where he’s played with the city’s best and brightest, but Nelson is also very busy in the New York City area—-he tours with violinist Regina Carter, and also leads a couple of his own ensembles, among other projects. And it’s no wonder he stays working so much, with his mastery of multiple saxes, flutes, and clarinet (which is what he plays with Carter, mostly), and his cavernous tenor sound: broad, deep, bluesy, and muscular, a real hefty approach drawn from the Sonny Rollins saxophone lineage. His weekend stand at Twins finds him in the company of a fellow New Yorker, pianist Paul Odeh, as well as our own Herman Burney on bass and Nasar Abadey on drums. Only the best for Nelson. He performs at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW.
Sunday, October 26
It’s been called “arguably the most seminal jazz concert series ever held.” The October Revolution in Jazz was a four-night concert series in 1964, curated by trumpeter Bill Dixon and held at a coffeehouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The idea was to provide a multifaceted showcase for what was then called the New Thing (we know it better as “free jazz,” perhaps an even more vague description), since experimental musicians weren’t getting gigs easily, and it ended up being a groundbreaking festival whose aftershocks reverberate to this day. That, perhaps, is why Luke Stewart—-bassist, CapitalBopper, and talent booker at the Union Arts loft—-has organized a 50th anniversary celebration. The evening will feature restless musicians from the DMV including Stewart, Aaron Martin, Brian Settles, Jeron White, and Nate Scheible, plus New York adventurers Ras Moshe and Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, and almost certainly others. They’ll engage in a series of duos that show where the headwinds from the October Revolution in Jazz have sent us today. It begins at 7 p.m. at Union Arts, 411 New York Avenue NE. $10.