For the D.C. Jazz Loft Series, we're putting on four affordable shows that will demonstrate just how vibrant and innovative today's top jazz music can be – both within the nation's capital and around the country. We will bring together some of the world's freshest young improvisers at unassuming DIY venues in the heart of D.C.
With these shows, taking place under the aegis of the renowned DC Jazz Festival, we're going to show that jazz has something to say to people of all audiences – no matter your age or your background – and it doesn't need fancy presentation to get its point across. In fact, sometimes a little grit can be a good thing.
That's why we've chosen the Fridge, an art gallery and performance space in Eastern Market; Red Door, a DIY studio in Chinatown; and Subterranean A, an alternative concert space in Logan Circle. All of these venues have presented forward-thinking jazz before, and none of them employs a single waiter or a bouncer. In fact, they employ no one.
So why do we need money? Just one reason: The musicians! In order to keep the ticket prices reasonable and our payout to the talent respectable, we are appealing to you for help. Give what you can, and we will pass it on directly to the bands. All of it.
The performers are all fresh improvisers and songwriters; all of the bandleaders are under 40, and most of them in their 20s. Their styles range from free jazz to bebop to modes of expression that haven't yet been defined.
Headliners JD Allen, Darius Jones and Tomas Fujiwara have all gotten rave reviews from the New York Times and other major publications. Allen describes his music as "urban," Jones plays some of the most melodic stuff ever to be called "noise jazz," and Fujiwara composes tunes that are as subtle and shape-shifting as his playing.
But wait! Those cats are all from New York. And one of the most important things we're doing here is demonstrating what a great place D.C. is to hear jazz. So it's only logical that each of those bands will be playing alongside a group of top-shelf local innovators. From Tarus Mateen (the bassist on NPR's number-one jazz album of 2010) to Elijah Jamal Balbed, a 21-year-old wunderkid saxophonist.
We are Luke Stewart and Giovanni Russonello. We run CapitalBop.com, a website dedicated to promoting the city's jazz scene by providing full-press coverage and by putting on concerts (apparently!). CapitalBop was recently named Best Jazz Website in the Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. 2011 issue. For the past few months, we've been organizing D.C. Jazz Loft shows to spotlight this city's vast and varied jazz talent. With the D.C. Jazz Loft Series at the DC Jazz Festival, we're bringing in national acts to mingle with our local heavy-hitters. We're very excited about it, and we hope you can support us!
- (62 days)