OK, so they don’t actually call it “Jolley Month.” But D.C. twins Nate and Noble Jolley are artists in residence at Strathmore this month, and their premiere performance as such is tonight.
Pianist Noble and drummer Nate are heirs to a musical dynasty. Their father, Noble Sr., was a respected jazz guitarist-turned-evangelist who brought his sons up with those two great pillars, jazz and the church. The boys inherited their dad’s musical yearnings, and he schooled them in music history and encouraged their development as musicians until they became some of the most prominent and beloved musicians on the scene. As it happens, they’re not only extraordinarily gifted, skilled players, they’re also two of the nicest guys in town. Their jazz is also a conduit for gospel, soul, and a pinch of hip-hop; they’re also both imaginative composers with a flair for pieces that unfold dramatically. (Noble aspires to be a film composer).
Composition, in fact, is one of the important foci of Strathmore’s artist in residence program. The artists design an educational outreach program of their own and perform twice, at the opening and closing of the month, but the second performance is of an original work Strathmore commissions from its artists in residence. That second performance showcases the evolution of the artist—-but how do you measure that without seeing the first one? Hence, tonight’s program. It’s at 7:30 at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike in Rockville. $12.