Thursday, July 19
Butch Warren still cuts quite a figure around these parts. Partly because a very tall man in a fedora, with a double bass, is going to draw attention. But also because he’s the greatest living legend of D.C. jazz, the former house bassist for Blue Note Records and—-though his playing can be erratic and often short—-the standard-bearer for the D.C. jazz-bass tradition. Freddie Redd, meanwhile, is not a Washingtonian. He is, however, a tremendously underrated pianist who like Warren is a great keeper of the hard-bop flame. Hence, the very idea of having the two of them on a bandstand together ought to have you salivating. But there’s more. They’ll be joined by Brian Settles, probably the current king of D.C. tenor saxophone, and Brad Linde, who’s not far behind him and is also one of the central organizing figures of the local scene. That, folks, is an unbeatable combination. 5 p.m. at the Kogod Courtyard of the American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. Free.
Friday, July 20
HR-57 is a jazz club for the age of hyperlocal: It’s got a healthy, regular stable of D.C.-based jazz musicians who occupy its stage, and bring in appreciative audiences, month in and month out. It does, though, have a couple of out-of-towners who stop in every time they’re in the area, and one of them is Chuchito Valdés. Born in Havana, Valdés is the third generation of great Cuban Valdés pianists: His grandfather, Bebo Valdés, is the founding father of Afro-Cuban jazz piano, and his father, Chucho, is another world-renowned great. That’s a dynasty, any way you slice it, and it means that Chuchito’s teachers were two of the finest pianists ever to come out of Cuba. (He even led Chucho’s Irakere band for two years.) But the youngest Valdés virtuoso distinguishes himself with a jubilant flash: His hands and arms fly in huge gestures over the keyboard, his fingers moving like lightning bolts, especially on the high end. It’s an explosive experience in one of the most comfortable and intimate jazz rooms in town. Chuchito Valdes performs at 9 p.m. at HR-57, 1007 H St. NE. $25.
Saturday, July 21
The two eldest, and undoubtedly greatest, of the elder statesmen of jazz drummers are Roy Haynes and Louis Hayes. Of the two, Hayes is the subtler, in the sense that he’s not known for huge dynamic solos. It’s something that comes with being the preferred drummer of Oscar Peterson; you stay out of the way and provide support. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the swing under his music is low-key. No, Hayes is relentless in his quest for the groove, and once he finds it he’s not afraid to wield it like a blackjack. Ask his band, the Jazz Communicators (a revival of the name he used for his all-stars 1970s combo): It’s straightahead jazz that features the likes of saxophonist Abraham Burton, bassist Santi Debriano, and pianist Anthony Wonsey. These are burning, incredibly capable musicians, and yet working with Hayes means they’ve got their work cut out for them. Hayes and the Jazz Communicators perform at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $23.