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Thursday, August 19
At this point it’s probably quicker to stop counting how many pies Brad Linde has his fingers in, and instead start counting how many hands he must have to keep up with those pies. Linde is co-leader of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, leader of the Brad Linde Ensemble, and a sideman for fellow saxophonist Sarah Hughes and God knows how many others. One of his most interesting and unusual projects, though, is the one he calls Sax of a Kind. The eight-piece band features three rhythm players (guitarist Rodney Richardson, bassist Tom Baldwin, and drummer Tony Martucci) and a five—-count ’em!—-saxophonists including Linde on baritone and tenor, Hughes on tenor and alto, Charles Phaneuf on tenor and alto, Brian Settles on tenor, and Leigh Pilzer on baritone. The magnificent horn quintet will be giving tribute to one of their instrument’s greatest benefactors, tenor legend Lester Young, in a celebration of his centennial. They’ll also throw in songs by other jazz greats, and some originals as well. Sax of a Kind performs at 5 p.m. at the Museum of American Art, 8th and F streets NW. Free.
Saturday, August 21
If you wanted an Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter to hold up as an icon, an archetype in the Louis Armstrong mode, you couldn’t do much better than Arturo Sandoval. Blessed with a clear, powerful tone that can also be sweet as honey (especially when he plays the flugelhorn, his axe of choice on ballads); even when he puts the hammer down, though, Sandoval’s playing is incomparably warm and inviting. But even though he also plays timbales (and piano), Sandoval’s music goes far beyond Latin jazz; like his mentor, Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval has worked in (and mastered) every style of jazz up through the post-bop era. That makes him not only a true polymath and virtuoso, but an unpredictable one; from show to show, or even song to song, you never know what you’ll get. Except excitement, of course. Arturo Sandoval performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $43.
Sunday, August 22
It’s really the traditional New Orleans style that is most marginalized in jazz. Once the wild party music of speakeasies and Big Easy brothels and dance halls, it’s now more associated with white-bearded cornpone dudes in straw hats and suspenders, or commercials for prepackaged red beans and rice. In any case, it’s treated as something quaint and regional, a hallmark of eccentric days gone by. However, clarinetist Doreen Ketchens and her band Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans are out to prove that traditional New Orleans Jazz is as vital and culturally resonant as ever. They’ve been featured in two episodes of Treme and performed for four presidents, doing shows that encourage audience participation and give them a quick primer in the musical culture around New Orleans for the occasion. You’ll likely get the proof they’re peddling…and if not, you’ll definitely get a hell of a lot of fun. Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U St. NW. $20.