Five jazz concerts to savor in August

What do you think of when you hear the word “jazz?” Perhaps it’s the image ingrained in popular consciousness by Ken Burns documentaries and Blue Note album covers of men in suits flashing trumpets and saxophones, playing 10-minute solos on a strolling rhythm and swinging rhythms. These elements are an important part of jazz history, but these days – especially in more liberal and progressive musical circles – tend towards a large congregation, blurring the lines between traditional jazz and woozy hip-hop beats. , chill-wave R&B and music. which borders on noise. You don’t have to, and you probably shouldn’t, dive into that weird deep end just yet, but with this regular column recommending jazz shows in DC, I hope you can dip your toes in the water. and try your luck on some vital live music.

8:20 am

Mark G. Meadows
Pianist and vocalist Mark G. Meadows made a name for himself in DC playing with his band The Movement, a group of young musicians from the DC jazz scene who also didn’t stick to strict interpretations of jazz. His work can cover everything from catchy originals and covers of The Beatles and Michael Jackson to righteous and quirky protest anthems in the vein of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. Lately, he’s been channeling 1980s Stevie Wonder in both the covers he plays and the songs he writes, but his music hits the hot, sweet spot of feel-good shows. Free. 5 p.m. Walter Reed Parks: 1010 Butternut Street NW, DC; theparksdc.com // @theparksdc

8.25

Slum Village
Slum Village began as an underground hip-hop trio in Detroit with emcees Baatin and T3 and a young producer and DJ named J. Dilla. Dilla influenced jazz in the late 1990s and early 2000s, perhaps more than any other musician, carving out beats from samples of 1970s and 80s jazz tunes. His music was so compelling that pianists, drummers and many others began to emulate his style in traditional jazz. T3 is the only remaining original member and the village is now a duo, but the band still takes you on a sonic adventure. $20. 7 p.m. Union stage: 740 Water Street SW, DC; unionstage.com // @unionstage

8.26

AYO and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra: A Tribute to Jazz in DC
Singer AYO is a rising star on the DC jazz scene who recently starred as young Ella Fitzgerald in the HBO documentary “The Apollo.” The Bohemian Caverns Orchestra was the house big band of the now-closed Bohemian Caverns, wowing crowds with blasted performances of classic tunes from Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The band has also played contemporary jazz orchestral pieces by the likes of Maria Schneider. Now the two come together to present a program honoring important figures in the history of jazz in our nation’s capital, as well as the timeline of jazz history. Free. Registration required. 6 p.m. Unitarian of All Souls Church: 1500 Harvard St. NW, DC; all-souls.org // @allsoulsuudc

8.27

Reginald Cyntje Quartet
Trombonist Reginald Cyntje was born in the Virgin Islands and incorporates a folk music tradition emphasizing storytelling – called quelbe – which gives his tracks a strong personal touch. Although he can play tender ballads as well as warm and catchy songs, his real focus is his original music, which often focuses on themes of justice, protest, spirituality and the beauty of life. . You’ll leave the room buzzing with his magnanimous spirit and energy, your head still swimming in the charged tunes he played. $15+. 7 p.m. Takoma Station Tavern: 6914 4th St. NW, DC; takomastation.com // @takomastationtavern

8.28

Black Butterfly
Bassist Ben Williams is a proud son of DC and an exemplary product of the DC jazz scene. He attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts curriculum – an incubator for many of our city’s top musicians – and won the 2009 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition, the most prestigious and competitive competition in jazz music. . Today his music is much more open and blurs genre boundaries with hip-hop, modern R&B and soul. As such, he recently formed an R&B duo in Los Angeles where he now lives with singer Syndee Winters (“Butterfly Black”). Winters is considered an heir to duos like Ike & Tina Turner or Yarbrough and Peoples, crafting funky tunes with celestial vocals. $15+. 7 p.m. Songbyrd Music House: 540 Penn St. NE, DC; songbyrddc.com // @songbyrddc

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Willie J. Johnson