Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Friday, August 13
If you’ve been watching HBO’s Treme, you’ve probably seen an appearance by Trombone Shorty, a real-life native of the show’s titular neighborhood in New Orleans. But pay TV isn’t where the 24-year-old, born Troy Andrews, is making his mark. Shorty (who plays…oh, you guessed!) is a living musical mash-up: Having worked as a backup player for Lenny Kravitz, U2, Galactic, and Harry Connick Jr., he spins all of it into a post-bop matrix of his own design. Oh, it’s still jazz, assuredly…but nobody will ever accuse it of being trapped in a bygone era. Hell, it’s already on a rocket-ship trajectory out of this one. Trombone Shorty performs with his band, Orleans Avenue, at 8 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25.
Saturday, August 14
According to Reginald Cyntje, D.C.’s own trombone master, what he does is not so much music as “vibrations flowing thru the air to inspire something greater.” The ever-mystical Cyntje adds that “Your presence is needed so we can inspire each other.” A major staple of local jazz, Cyntje and his live sets steer toward bebop standards played with energy and passion, with the trombonist delivering powerhouse solos that break the sound barrier. Sounds good, huh? Wait till you place him in at the lead of a quartet featuring fellow virtuosos Allyn Johnson (piano), Romeir Mendez (bass), and Nasar Abadey (drums). It’s the cream of the crop, and one newcomer (Mendez), making a joyful noise on U Street. The Reginald Cyntje Quartet performs at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh St. NW. $20.
Sunday, August 15
The weekend ends with a jazz-rock fusion set, courtesy of the Chinese Irishman. John Lee proudly refers to himself by his ethnicity, but it tells you nothing whatever about his bone-shearing guitar work that has stood him in good stead playing with sonic adventurers like John Zorn and Calvin Weston. But Lee is a Washington player, and if he’s got a hearty rock base he’s also got fiery jazz and ethereal tones up his sleeves—-made manifest on his stunning debut record, this year’s Somewhere Impossible to Find. That album is made by Lee’s primary outlet, the John Lee Experience, a trio featuring bassist Steve Zerlin and drummer Bruce Guttridge. On Sunday, after a long series of gigs at home and abroad behind Cyro Baptista and Beat The Donkey, Lee returns the band to D.C. stages. It happens at 9 p.m. at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW. Free.