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Thursday, April 8 If you didn’t know, you might have guessed that Paquito D’Rivera was a protégé of the late Dizzy Gillespie. The Havana-born clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer is a practitioner of the Afro-Cuban jazz that Gillespie helped invent, but more to the point he’s an onstage clown who can be as goofy brandishing his axe as he is joking with the audience and musicians between songs. But if he’s an entertainer, he’s also a man of deep artistry, a virtuoso on the reeds whose facility with dance rhythms and folksy melody is second to none. If there’s another element of a fine jazz performance, I’d like to know about it. The Paquito D’Rivera Quintet performs at 8 p.m. at BlackRock Center For the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown. $40-50.
Saturday, April 10 April is the Smithsonian Institution’s Jazz Appreciation Month, and will feature several sponsored events, including the annual Family Day festivities. Mainly known for his behind-the-scenes work as a record producer, Delfeayo Marsalis—-the younger brother of Branford and Wynton—-is also a gifted trombonist and outspoken advocate of the music (even if he does have an irritating tendency to revert to the long-passé spelling “jass”). All of his talents will be on display in his lecture, demonstration, and performance at this year’s Family Day, which takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at Fort Dupont Park, Massachusetts Avenue and Fort Davis Drive SE. Free.
Sunday, April 11 In many ways, as I noted a couple weeks ago, the jam session is the barest essence of jazz; get a rhythm section in there to hold down the chords and the sing, and you can add in players young and old, progressive and traditional, and across the stylistic range who are able to communicate and converge on the bandstand with their improvisational skills. It’s where chops are on their rawest, least-disguisable display. So much the better that one more jam has been added to the city’s jazz calendar. The DC Jazz Jam brings U Street’s Dahlak Eritrean Restaurant in on the action, featuring a rotating four-piece rhythm section (guitar, bass, drums, piano) and inviting as many musicians as can make it through the door—-with no cover, either for musicians or spectators. The session is 6-9 p.m. at Dahlak, 1771 U St. NW. Free.
Wednesday, April 14 One of the zestiest sounds in D.C. comes from the Third Truth Trio—-a lean ensemble featuring guitarist Jon E. Mischler, electric bassist Craig Fielder, and drummer Scott Fitzpatrick. There’s a strong component of funk in the band, especially with the slippery work of Fielder, but it also veers into fusion, progressive rock, and even a bit of folk along with inspired takes on straightahead jazz and the standard repertoire. All of it is served up with nearly boundless energy and irresistible groove. Third Truth Trio performs at 8:30 p.m. at Columbia Station, 2325 18th St. NW. Free.