Appreciate jazz (almost) all week

April 5, 2013

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and there's no lack of opportunity to engage with the art form here in D.C. In fact, if you're so inclined, you can see jazz almost every night next week. Here are a few top choices to keep you busy.

Tuesday - El Negro at Lisner Auditorium

Legendary jazz percussionists Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo perform alongside GW's own Latin ensemble, Los Gringos. Expect more cowbell than you can shake a stick at plenty of cowbell. Free, tickets required.

Wednesday - The Bad Plus at The Hamilton

The excruciatingly hip piano-bass-drum trio shares its signature blend of postmodern jazz -- intricate originals and inventive covers ranging from "(Theme From) Chariots of Fire" to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," all executed with thoroughly contemporary sophistication. Local guitar virtuoso Anthony Pirog opens. $30.50 in advance, $33 at the door.


The Bad Plus is Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, and Dave King. Photo by Cameron Wittig.

Thursday - Aaron Meyers at Busboys & Poets

The local pianist performs a blend of jazz, blues, and neo-soul at a release show for his new album, "Leo Rising." Free.

Friday - Hugh Masekela at Lisner Auditorium

The South African trumpeter who helped pioneer bebop in his home country sold millions of copies of "Grazin' In The Grass" in America in the late '60s. He went on to tour with Fela Kuti, perform with Bob Marley, record with the Byrds and Paul Simon, and write an anti-Apartheid anthem "Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)" in the '80s. He has released several records since then, performed alongside luminaries like U2, and was last in Washington in 2012 performing "Songs of Migration," a musical he created. $30-$45.

Saturday - Howard University Jazz Ensemble at National Portrait Gallery

Celebrate the work of Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver with Howard University's Jazz Ensemble. A DJ from WPFW will discuss the lasting impact of the bebop champions, and the ensemble will perform some of their most notable compositions. The event is sponsored by the Anacostia Community Museum. Free.

Sunday - Matthew Shipp Trio at Bohemian Caverns

The outspoken pianist Matthew Shipp brings his forward-thinking jazz to Bohemian Caverns with help from Michael Bisio and Whit Dickey on bass and drums, respectively. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

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Alex Baldinger | April 5, 2013