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If you’ve been paying attention, you know by now about this year’s big innovation at the DC Jazz Festival. The CapitalBop Jazz Loft, six months old and already an indispensable staple of the city’s jazz landscape, will be presenting a series of four double-billed concerts throughout the festival this year, mixing local favorites with cutting-edge artists from the national scene.
If you are familiar with the festival and how it works, though, you might be a bit thrown off by the Loft: it’s its own animal, with a DIY aesthetic and the feel of a downtown party more than your usual fest gig. It’s for that reason that you might want to stick your toes in the water at the Red Door —- the home base for CapitalBop’s loft series —- for a concert that CB honchos Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart bill as “a special preview show” for the DCJF series. It might even be fair to call it two special preview shows: Where the festival programs will have two acts every night, this one will have four. Chicago avant-garde cornetist Rob Mazurek brings his free trio Starlicker, joining a bill that also includes DC tenor saxophone favorite Elijah Jamal Balbed and his quartet; The OOO Trio, with the aforementioned Luke Stewart (a skilled and adventurous bassist) in an experimental setting with saxophonist Aaron Martin and drummer Sam Lohman; and, of course, the U Street All Stars, the Jazz Loft’s trademark assemblage, whose exact lineup this weekend will be a surprise (apparently, a surprise to the organizers as well).
It’s tomorrow at 7 PM at the Red Door, 443 I Street NW. The show is BYOB, and it’s a $10 suggested donation at the door. (Please pay it; the money goes to the artists.) If this doesn’t get you exciting for this year’s festival, nothing will!