Thanks for a great jam

We had a fun time at Dahlak last night, when we welcomed special guest Glenn Donnellan from the National Symphony Orchestra to the second Sunday DC Jazz Jam. Glenn is a violinist with the orchestra, but for this gig brought along his electric “batolin.” This is not just a baseball bat turned into a musical instrument, but a custom Louisville Slugger made especially for that purpose.

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I think we were successful in bridging the classical-jazz gap with a selection of standards that gave Glenn space to take the lead (and take some solos). I was also pleased that we had a chance to perform a new tune of mine, “Three for Three” (available on the original music page), and end the session with a super-fast rendition of the “18th Street Theme.”

By the way, there’s still time to vote for the DC Jazz Jam (“DC Jazz Jam @ Dahlak”) as Best Jazz Jam Session in DC in the Washington City Paper Best Of Poll.

December gigs: MetroSongs live!

This month’s performance schedule starts with a live MetroSongs performance by Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors, with me in the keyboard chair. We’ll be at Ebenezers Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill in DC on Thursday Dec. 6, performing about an hour of MetroSongs, including a new song about Union Station and my composition for Cleveland Park. DC singer-songwriter Amanda Lee is opening for the Open Doors. The coffeehouse is at 201 F St. NE in Washington, a couple of blocks from Union Station. Tickets for the show are $10, and doors open at 7:00 pm.

My regular Black Fox gigs with Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble continue in December, with with two performances on Dec. 7 and 21. As always, these Friday night shows start at 9:30 pm, and as always there’s no cover charge for the music. I have a new instrumental tune, “Three For Three”, that I’m hoping to play at one of these shows.

The DC Jazz Jam is going strong in December as well. I’ll be in the second Sunday house band on Sunday Dec. 9, 6:30-9:30 pm at Dahlak, joining the house band of Mark Caruso on guitar, Dahni Scally on bass, and Paul Jung at the drums.

Busy musical weekend starts tonight

Three gigs in three days this weekend, starting tonight (Friday Sept. 7) with the regular first Friday show at the Black Fox Lounge in Dupont Circle DC. I’ll be at the piano backing vocalist Aaron Myers along with the rest of the Black Fox Ensemble: Percy White on bass and Will Stephens at the drums. The show starts around 9:30 pm, and as always there’s no cover charge for the music.

The music continues on Saturday Sept. 8th at 8:00 pm, when I join Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors for a special MetroSongs performance at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park DC to celebrate the release of MetroSongs Volume 3: “Red Handed”. Harris Face and Zia Hassan are opening for our band.

As part of our set, we will perform my contribution to the metroSongs oeuvre, “Cleveland Park“, which is included in Volume 3.

The musical trifecta wraps up on Sunday Sept. 9 at 6:30 pm, when I join the second Sunday house band for the DC Jazz Jam at Dahlak, 1771 U Street NW, Washington, DC.

Hope you can come out and hear the music!

Funk Me To The Moon

Here’s another live recording from a recent gig with Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble, this time Aaron’s unique funky take on “Fly Me To The Moon”. We have a lot of fun with this one. Enjoy!

I’ll be back at the Black Fox Lounge with Aaron and the band on Friday Sept. 7, the start of a very busy weekend of music. Hope you can come out and join us.

Jamming with Lyle Link on Aug. 26

I’ll be in the house band for the weekly DC Jazz Jam on Sunday August 26, sharing the bandstand with this month’s jazz master, DC sax great Lyle Link. Looking forward to another exciting session with the band and guest musicians.

I found this video of Lyle playing one of my favorite tunes, Moanin’, at a Jazz Night at Westminster session in SW DC. I’ll make a note to call this one on Sunday.

Hope to see you there!

Happy birthday Aaron!

I’m delighted to be accompanying Aaron Myers this Saturday July 28 for a special birthday performance and fundraiser at the Black Fox Lounge (where we perform regularly two Fridays a month).

Aaron’s cause is the Urban Arts Partnership, which is dedicated to creating and delivering “arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap” in underserved public schools.

 

The show starts at 9:30 pm. There’s no cover charge, but of course donations to the Partnership are welcome at the party or online.

Hope to see you there!

On a personal note, this looks like an excellent cause to support. It’s a natural fit with my day job at PBS, where I’m building education products that help teachers engage students and teach more effectively. 

New videos: MetroSongs & Steely Dan

Thanks to Jason for posting some videos of recent performances by the Open Doors. For some reason, I always seem to be out of frame on the right side. You can hear the keys, though, which is what matters.

First, in our traditional MetroSongs mode, playing “Ballston” at Artomatic in Crystal City, VA on June 2

Second, in expanded Steely Dan guise, playing “Black Cow” at the Classic Albums 1977 showcase at Iota in Arlington, VA on May 24

(please pardon the moving camera at the beginning)

More videos over in Jason’s YouTube channel.

3rd Friday at the Fox

I’ll be back at the Black Fox Lounge tonight, Friday June 15, from 9:30pm, with Aaron Myers and the rest of the Ensemble, Percy White and Will Stephens.

It’s been a thrill to play with the same musicians on a regular basis for a long time (over a year); that’s given us the opportunity to work out arrangements and respond well to any surprises that come up in the show. For me, it’s also been an excellent opportunity to showcase some of my original material, like this tribute to the DC subway.

Hope you can join us at the show!

 

DC Jazz Festival: doing our part

The DC Jazz Festival starts this Friday, June 1, bringing an almost overwhelming selection of excellent jazz to the DC area over the 10-day run of the festival.

I’ll be playing at the start and end of the festival timeline, in regular gigs that the Festival recognizes as part of the Jazz in the ‘Hoods series.

  • On June 1, I’ll be at the Black Fox Lounge for our regular first Friday show with Aaron Myers and the ensemble.
  • On June 10, I’m happy to announce that I will be joining the house band of the DC Jazz Jam as the regular second Sunday pianist. The jam has grown into a very active and high quality gathering of excellent local players. I’m looking forward to a fun session on the 10th and future Sundays.

In addition to this jazz activity, I’m also playing in a more pop vein on June 2 at 4:00 pm, joining Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors to play some MetroSongs at Artomatic in Crystal City.

Although I’m happy to be playing with Jason and the band, this means that I’ll have to miss Marianne Solivan singing at the Jazz ‘N Families Fun Days At The Phillips Collection earlier in the afternoon. If you haven’t heard her yet, you’re missing something special. Definitely worth checking out! (there might even be time to Metro down to Crystal City to catch our 4 pm show as well…)