D.C. Jazz Festival picks from founder Charlie Fishman

June 19

D.C. Jazz Festival founder Charlie Fishman has yet to discover a low gear. In addition to being Dizzy Gillespie’s manager late in the trumpeter’s life, Fishman has been a prolific television and recording producer, working with countless musicians over the years.


Charles Fishman (Sage Communications).

Unsurprisingly, his tastes are eclectic. Here’s just a sample of what Fishman is excited to bring to audiences:

  • Brass-A-Holics: Opening this year’s festival on Tuesday at the Hamilton, this electrifying jazz, go-go, hip-hop and brass band has been bringing the funk every year, giving listeners a taste of New Orleans.
  • Cyrus Chestnut: The renowned pianist and his quartet will perform a tribute to jazz icon Dave Brubeck on Wednesdayjune25 at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.
  • The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience: Featuring Machito Jr., this band carries on Gillespie’s enduring contributions to jazz, not only as a co-creator of bebop, but also for his integration of Afro-Cuban and African rhythms into the jazz genre. The group plays the Hamilton next Friday.
  • Trombone Shorty: He electrified audiences at the 2009 D.C. Jazz Festival and is one of the most gifted trombonists and trumpeters around. Trombone Shorty will be performing with his band, Orleans Avenue, on June 28 at Yards Park.
  • Gregory Porter: The Grammy-winning jazz vocalist has a rare, raw talent. Also on the same bill June 28 at Yards Park: Mos Def and the Robert Glasper Experiment.

D.C. Jazz Festival. Tuesday through June 29 at various D.C. locations. www.dcjazzfest.org.

Nordic Jazz Festival

For those who can never get enough jazz, there’s another offering in town — the eighth annual Nordic Jazz Festival, also starting Tuesday and running through June 29. Organizers promise a distinctly Nordic brand of jazz that “tends to be experimental but melodically strong with a spacious sound and open song structures.”

One highlight: Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, who has a loyal local following. She’ll be performing with her trio on Tuesday at Twins Jazz, which is hosting the festival along with the Finnish Embassy and the House of Sweden.

For information, visit usa.um.dk/nordicjazz2014.

 

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