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Jam-session culture in D.C. is hitting peak bloom. For one thing, the phrase “jam-session culture in D.C.” is now a sentence that’s possible to state without drawing blank stares. Even if you subtract the sessions that are gone, or at least on temporary hiatus (HR-57 has closed on U Street, but has plans to reopen soon in or around U Street; the U Street Jam Session has recently been canceled from its Saturday night slot at Dukem, and is searching for a new location), you’ve got no shortage to choose from. The intrepid listener can travel up to Takoma Station on Tuesday nights; the second set at Dukem on Thursday nights; the Black Fox Lounge on Sunday afternoon; and Dahlak on Sunday evenings. Each of these is no-cover.
Add another to the list: the Twins Late Session, on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Late Session has actually been in operation for several weeks, though it’s gone largely under the radar. Twins Jazz doesn’t really advertise it and it’s gone otherwise underpromoted (including by myself: I got a tip in August that it would be starting, and let it slip my mind in the crush of other jazz events. Mea culpa.) But if you stick around after the Friday or Saturday night 11 p.m. set, usually right around midnight, you’ll find a small combo of local players taking the stage—-usually about three people, leaving plenty of room for latecomers. Indeed, the latecomers are what it’s all about: folks who want to sit in and hone their skills with the pros. Or, pros in their own right who just want to have some fun. And, once again, it’s without cover charge—-but, you know, be a good patron and buy a drink and some cheesecake.
This weekend, the Late Session is hosted by trombonist Shannon Gunn. Friday night, she’s joined by bassist Nathan Kawaller and drummer Abinnet Berhanu. Saturday’s group is TBD, but in either case you are welcome to join in, or just to listen. Just hit Twins Jazz (1344 U Street NW) at midnight Friday or Saturday.