If you saw last week’s Setlist, you already know what this Thursday’s pick is; Jazz at Jackson Place has from its inception been the first Thursday of the month, but this time there seems to have been a private event booked in that slot. Hence, Matvei Sigalov performs at Decatur House (748 Jackson Place NW, on Lafayette Square) tonight at 6:30 PM.
Friday, May 13
There’s certainly no shortage of debate on who the best trumpeter in D.C. might be: Donvonte McCoy’s got startling technique; Joe Herrera’s got endless imagination; Thad Wilson has incredible lyricism. For sheer prettiness of tone, however, Kenny Rittenhouse is awfully hard to beat. Rittenhouse, a trumpet professor at George Mason University (as well as a veteran of Army Blues and a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra), has the sound of a wounded heart—-romantic and tender—-and the soul of a poet, with long, flowing, smart lines of notes. Rittenhouse is best known as the leader of a quartet, which he’s presented around town steadily since 1995; this week, it’s a quintet (personnel TBA). It’s been a good long time since Rittenhouse has gigged on the town so this is a homecoming of sorts. The Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet performs at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $18.
Saturday, May 14
It’s always delightful to talk about a new jazz event or series, which makes this a good day—-especially if you happen to live in the Petworth neighborhood. The Petworth Jazz Project is a new monthly outdoor concert series to be held throughout the summer on the lawn of Petworth Playground, four blocks from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station. The music takes place on the second Saturday of each month from May to September, and begins 90 minutes before sunset —- so concert and daylight end at the same time. For this week’s inaugural presentation, the artists are D.C.’s beloved Jolley Brothers, drummer Nate and pianist Noble, fresh off their tenure as Artists in Residence at Strathmore and ready for an evening of their own crisp, adventurous postbop style. Joining them will be Christie Dashiell, one of the city’s finest (and most underrated) vocalists. They perform at 6:45 p.m. at Petworth Playground, 8th and Taylor streets NW. Free.
Sunday, May 15
So you know James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good),” right? You know that cool, seven-note sax riff in the bridge of that record? That’s Maceo Parker, who mastered the proto-funk rhythms of Brown’s music so perfectly that he often took long, careening solo features at Brown concerts. Parker later became part of the “Horny Horns” ensemble that worked with George Clinton’s bands, then toured as part of Prince’s New Power Generation in the ’90s. Through all that time, however, Parker was playing as a leader in his own right, working some of the hottest soul-jazz you’ve ever heard. As might be expected with those credentials, he keeps a steady, rollicking groove going, but the fiery licks from bebop and rhythm-and-blues nonetheless are potent enough to throw anyone off their game. You’ll love it. Parker performs at 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria. $29.50.