Two jams in April

I’ll be joining the house band for the DC Jazz Jam twice this month. The first session will be Sunday April 7, when I’m looking forward to playing with the first Sunday house band and guest master artist Pepe González on the bass. I’ll be back in the band on Sunday April 21, joining the third Sunday band.

Hope you can come out to hear and play!

Dinner jazz at Dahlak continues

Looking forward to my second session of dinner jazz at Dahlak Restaurant in Adams Morgan this Wednesday April 3 at 7 pm. I’ll be joined by the great Russell Snyder Percy White on bass for several sets of standards and some original tunes.

Hope you can come out to enjoy the music and tasty Eritrean food.

Updated April 2: Russell Snyder will be on the bass instead of Percy, who will be in New York recording with Aaron Myers

March music: new dinner jazz and WWJF

March is shaping up to be a busy musical month. I’m looking forward to kicking off a new Wednesday night dinner series at Dahlak Restaurant, which hosts the weekly DC Jazz Jam. I’m taking on the first Wednesday slot, starting on March 6 at 7 pm. I plan to invite a variety of musical partners to join me in this Adams Morgan spot. Stay tuned for more information on the personnel.

Speaking of the DC Jazz Jam, I’m really excited to be joining the third Sunday house band on March 17 at 6:30 pm, as we welcome vocalist Rochelle Rice to kick off the 3rd annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival. We’re looking forward to a particularly talented group of guest musicians to join the house band: yours truly on piano, alongside Duff Davis on guitar, Phil Ravita on bass, and Anders Eliasson at the drums.

857105_10200486193744790_477450560_oIf that wasn’t enough, I’m heading back to 1979 with Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors at Iota in Arlington, VA on March 21, recreating highlights of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in the Classic Albums 1979 showcase. This collection of some of the top pop sounds of my high school years includes re-creations of The Eagles, The Clash, Tom Petty, and Michael Jackson. Tickets for this blast from the past are $12 at the door.

Finally, Fridays at the Black Fox continue in March, with two shows with Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble, Mar. 1 and 15. Those shows start at 9:30 pm, and as always there’s no cover for the music.

Hope to see you in March!

Playing for a cause: American jazz and Swiss cuisine

Update (Feb. 19): this event has been postponed to mid-March. Please watch this space for further information!

fairgirls-logoI’m excited to be joining Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble for a benefit performance supporting FAIR Girls, a DC-based organization dedicated to preventing the exploitation of girls worldwide with empowerment and education.

The event, sponsored by the Swiss Ambassador, will take place on February 20 at 6:30 pm at the Swiss Residence, 2920 Cathedral Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008.

The band features Aaron Myers on vocals, backed by Percy White on bass, Will Stephens at the drums, and me on piano.

Tickets are $50 ($80 per couple), for the American jazz and Swiss food. This promises to be a fun event in a beautiful setting. We’d love to see you there.

Please download this flyer and share it with your friends and contacts! You can also check out the event on Facebook.

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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.

Vote for the DC Jazz Jam!

Just got word from Will Stephens, leader of the weekly DC Jazz Jam, that the DC CityPaper has finally included “Best Jazz Jam Session” as one of the categories in their annual and influential “Best of DC” readers poll. I’m going to vote (of course) for the DC Jazz Jam, and strongly encourage you to do so as well (using the name “DC Jazz Jam @ Dahlak”)

The “Best Jazz Jam Session” category is in the first section, under “Arts & Entertainment.” You can only vote once with each email address.

Speaking of which: I’ll be in the house band on Sunday January 13 as we welcome National Symphony violinist Glenn Donnellan to the jam. We asked him to bring his famous baseball bat violin in addition to his regular axe. Yes, you read that correctly. Must be seen to be believed:

Hope to see you at the jam!

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.

Jamming for Monk on Oct. 14

This month’s second Sunday edition of the DC Jazz Jam falls on October 14, and this time we’re paying tribute to the great Thelonious Monk with a selection of Monk tunes over the course of the evening. If you play an instrument or sing, please come out and join the band. If you enjoy good jazz or tasty Eritrean food, please come out and enjoy the show.

Hope to see you there!