5 jazz concerts to mark the beginning of autumn

Have a great start to fall and have a great Hispanic Heritage Month. Although I don’t have the space here, Georgetown’s famed jazz club, Blues Alley, is devoting significant resources to celebrating Latin jazz this month, including weekend residencies by two of the greatest practitioners of the style: pianist Eddie Palmieri 10.6 – 9 and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. 10.27 – 30 This is your last chance to catch outdoor shows for the year, so enjoy the dopamine of the sun while you can.


hill party

The Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation was established in 2018 to create more opportunities for jazz musicians to perform around DC – especially in the Capitol Hill neighborhood – and to advocate for music and musician issues on the hill. The foundation’s annual live jazz extravaganza, Hillfest, returns October 8 to Garfield Park with a day packed with live jazz from some of the city’s best – like trombone and bandleader Bobby Felder or drummer Dante Pope – with rising voices – like singer and flautist Alex Hamburger – as well as a strong headliner: saxophonist Billy Harper, disciple of the legendary John Coltrane. Free. All day. Garfield Park: 1-299 South Carolina Ave., DC; hillfest.org // @hillfestdc


The Blackbyrds

In 1973, Donald Byrd – already a legendary jazz trumpeter at the time – then a professor at Howard University, wanted to explore the new electronic sound of jazz (called fusion). He gathered a group of his students and recorded a contagiously groovy, melodically melodious titled album black byrd. The students, with Byrd’s guidance, formed their own band named after the album and went on to produce some of the jazz and the most jazzy R&B 70s and 80s. The band’s original drummer, Keith Killgo, carries on the tradition. $39+. 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club: 7719 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD; bbjlive.com // @bethesdabluesjazz

10:20 a.m.

The comet is coming

Imagine a house DJ playing energetic electronic beats, maybe they add a gritty dubstep texture and space-age sounds worthy of Daft Punk; then add a moaning saxophone over it. It’s an idea of ​​the wildly exciting and specialized kind of music made by The Comet Is Coming, an electro-jazz trio straight out of London’s underground electronic and jazz scenes. Led by mighty saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, a leader in British jazz and music around the world, the band’s jazz rave gigs are not to be missed. $25+. 8 p.m. Union stage: 740 Water St. S.W., DC; unionstage.com // @unionstage


Terence Blanchard with the E-Collective and the Turtle Island Quartet: Absence

Here is a quick introduction to Terence Blanchard – beyond the one you may have had hearing him play the trumpet parts for the grooved alligator Louis in Disney”The princess and the Frog.” Born in New Orleans, this melting pot of jazz, Blanchard went through two of the best “schools” in the jazz world: the big band of vibraphonist Lionel Hampton and the legendary Jazz Messengers, led by Art Blakey. It has the classic, sharp, bright trumpet side of jazz, but can also get extremely funky and exploratory. He is also the first African-American composer to have an opera – “Fire locked in my bones” – staged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. That’s quite a resume. He performs at the Kennedy Center with his versatile E-Collective as well as the Turtle Island String Quartet to present a project he calls Absencewhich is a tribute to (widely agreed) greatest living composer in jazz: Wayne Shorter. $30+. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Terrace Theatre: 2700 F St NW., DC; kennedy-center.org // @kennedycenter


Two pianos: Mark G. Meadows and James Fernando

By this time, Mark G. Meadows was a well-established figurehead in the DC jazz scene. He can hold the ivories any way you want, from the exuberant melodies of stride pianist Fats Waller to the soulful style of a bop titan like McCoy Tyner; or he can create a groove in the vein of Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. James Fernando is a rising voice on the scene, often playing with other young guns trying to get on any bandstand they can and stand out in the musical battlegrounds of bars, restaurants and clubs in DC But he brings a seasoned lyrical touch to the keys. The two play a special duet. $18+. 8 p.m. Strathmore MPA: 11810 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, MD; strathmore.org // @strathmorearts

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Willie J. Johnson