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The Doldrums are already here. The period usually strikes in August (not coincidentally, around the time of the Congressional recess), when bookings are light and often far-flung; maybe it’s the heat, but this year July is a sparse one, too. Here, though, are some highlights among the lowlights.
Thursday, July 11 Probably the most active trombonist in D.C. jazz, Reginald Cyntje is also among the most in demand. While he’s long been a presence both as leader and sideman, it’s only recently, with 2011’s Freedom’s Children: A Celebration, that his thoughtful, sensitive writing has fully emerged. That’s helped make his sophomore effort, Love, an eagerly anticipated release. Cyntje’s description of the project has helped, too: He calls it “a series of tone poems that expand in the imagination with each listen.” An ambitious promise, to be sure, but the samples he shared—-meditations in jazz, soul, and the Caribbean rhythms of Cyntje’s St. Thomas upbringing—in the lead-up to release made it seem easily within reach. Find out for yourself with its release today, and with Cyntje’s first concert in celebration of that release. Reginald Cyntje performs at 7:30 p.m. at Bethesda Blues & Jazz, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. $20.
Saturday, July 13 Matvei Sigalov hasn’t been at the headline of a band for a minute, a shame since the classically trained violinist is an extraordinarily talented and imaginative musician. Not to mention his wild diversity of interests (R&B, gospel, pop, soul, samba, and rock), which nonetheless all are expressed with an undiluted dosage of the blues. All of this is stuff that I’ve praised Sigalov for in the past, but it doesn’t cover his other great musical facets, such as his mastery of the guitar—-Sigalov doesn’t play it quite as often, but when he does it’s got a beautiful, full, round sound with some dark overtones. Better still are Sigalov’s own beautiful compositions, extraordinarily melodic and with a keen sense of harmony. Collectively, they make Sigalov one of the best musicians in town—-so go see him so he’ll headline more often. Matvei Sigalov performs at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $18.
Sunday, July 14 You had your Mother’s Day Jazz Loft; you had your Father’s Day Jazz Loft. What can possibly follow but your Bastille Day Jazz Loft? That’s right, celebrate the French Republic with American music right here in our nation’s capital. CapitalBop, as always, will be your présentateur. The evening starts off with an organ trio, led by guitarist Joshua Bayer (artist-in-residence and director of the student jazz ensemble at American University). Next comes Corey Wallace, the great local trombonist, leading a new group. Finally, Heidi Martin, the incredible vocalist, composer, and poet who is having a banner summer this year, will take the stage with brothers Todd (piano) and Shawn (bass) Simon to pay tribute to the legendary singer Abbey Lincoln. Who needs fireworks at the Eiffel Tower when you can see them in Petworth? The DC Jazz Loft takes place at 7 p.m. at Chez Billy, 3815 Georgia Avenue NW. $15 (suggested donation).