Thursday, Feb. 9
The resurgence of the New Orleans brass band in the late 2000s was just about the unlikeliest musical development of its time. In some ways, it was a product of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, a living proof of the steadfastness of the people of the Crescent City who endured such horror, natural and manmade. It’s also a powerful reminder—-a welcome one—-that that city has been and remains the crucible of American music. The sound’s most prominent exponent these days is the aptly named Rebirth Brass Band. These denizens of New Orleans’ famed Treme neighborhood are celebrating their 30th year of fusing second-line brass music—-proto-jazz—-with funk, soul, rhythm & blues, and hip-hop, revitalizing a music that was always about celebration and dancing with modern and cutting-edge sounds. They perform with local favorites Funk Ark at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25.
Saturday, Feb. 11
When NBC’s The Sing-Off was forced by popular demand to bring back fourth-place finishers Afro-Blue for last fall’s season finale, it was clear that a star had been born. And the name at the crest of that star was Christie Dashiell, the telegenic young vocalist who was frequently the smooth, sparkling lead on the Howard University ensemble’s performances. By that time, of course, Dashiell had already been an established presence in our fair city; the North Carolina native was a popular participant in last year’s inaugural Washington Women in Jazz Festival, did splendid work with the Jolley Brothers, and performed regularly on her own and with the various configurations of Afro-Blue. In short, America, Dashiell was ours first. And this weekend she’s back, showcasing her extraordinary talents with two of her brothers, bassist Christian and drummer C.V.; stellar D.C. pianist Allyn Johnson; and a fellow Afro-Bluer, singer Integriti Reeves. Dashiell performs at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $20.
Sunday, Feb. 12
Sunday, kids, is blowing up. From Andrea Parkins and IRIS at the Caverns, to D.C. fusioneer Mychael Pollard at Twins, to Al Jarreau and the Airmen of Note at DAR Constitution Hall. Something for everyone. This writer, however, has two other recommendations that day; both start at the same time, but one will still be running strong when the other ends.
First is the Overtone Quartet, an all-star ensemble that started five years ago as the Monterey Quartet (in celebration of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary), then re-formed two years later in the wake of a live recording from the Festival. By that time pianist Jason Moran had joined, replacing original player Gonzalo Rubalcaba and joining bassist Dave Holland, tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, and drummer Eric Harland. Each member is a prominent, cutting-edge member of the national jazz landscape; each is also a prominent composer in his own right, and represented within the band’s repertoire. The key to their ar, however, is the kinetic sense of interplay the musicians share. They shift on a dime, complement each others’ improvisations, and make time and harmony a thing of wax to be molded at will. They perform at 7 p.m. at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Route 193 and Stadium Drive in College Park. $9-$45.
Second, on your way home, stop in Columbia Heights, where CapitalBop is presenting its first D.C. Jazz Loft in its new locale: The Dunes. Helping them inaugurate the venue are three of the city’s most innovative, edgy acts. Paul Carr, the saxophonist and educator who curates next week’s Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, leads his band; drummer Lenny Robinson’s exploratory trio Mad Curious, featuring saxophonist Brian Settles and bassist Tarus Mateen, adds fuel to the fire; and the Donvonte McCoy Quintet, named by Arts Desk as 2011’s Best Small Jazz Group, caps things off…except, of course, for the open jam session at the end of the night. The Dunes is at 1402 Meridian Place NW. $10 suggested donation (and this time no BYOB!).