We hear talk of a jazz renaissance in Washington DC. A talented musical community, developing the sound in different directions, pushing the boundaries. Musical influences from around the globe intertwined, drawing on soul, jazz, funk and world themes, with virtuosity and musicality.
This is music which isn’t typically heard on commercial radio. Music which is heard in small spaces, corners and basements, lofts and house concerts, as well as gracing such venues as DC’s legendary Blues Alley, the DC Jazz Fest, Takoma Park Jazz Fest, Mr Henry’s, the Kennedy Center, and Strathmore. You might equally hear these musicians delighting audiences in New York, and further afield in Europe, Canada, Latin American and the Middle East. This is the music which features on our weekly Antidote radio program on WERA 96.7FM, and it’s the music we’re proud to present on this first Antidote album release Capital Jazz.
Prepare to suspend your idea of what jazz is. Sure, this album has horns, but it also has violins, string sections, acoustic guitars, steel pans, bandoneon. Maybe you think jazz is about the classic “American Songbook”? On this album every track is an original composition; released in the last year or due to be released in the future. Tracks by Veronneau, Rochelle Rice and the Bumper Jacksons have even been recognized in prestigious song-writing competitions this year.
We’re fortunate to have these musicians based on our doorstep. Some are DC born, some from Quebec, Brazil, Argentina, England, Nigeria The UK and Senegal. The vibrant, styles and flavors of our current jazz-scape is all here – traditions seasoned with innovation, virtuosity infused with soul. Jazz, world, and funk styles meet at DC’s international musical crossroads. Go support these artists. Enjoy the music of Capital Jazz, the music of the DC area….a music city with a politics habit! Ken Avis – Antidote Radio-WERA 96.7FM
CAPITAL JAZZ – Track By Track
Akua Allrich: Lost in Translation – Vocalist and DC-native Akua Allrich lets loose, bringing a jazz sensibility to a composition rich in Caribbean rhythm on this track. Her performances meld jazz, soul and African influences with a passion to move her audiences. A vocalist beyond categorization. www.akuaallrich.com
Mark G. Meadows: Know Now –Supported by a band which includes guitarist John Lee (who pops up on the Kris Funn track a little later) vocalist and pianist Mark G. Meadows lays down the funk with words of wisdom…’If I knew then, what I know now”. In addition to fronting his own band Mark recently carried the lead role of Jelly Roll Morton in the Signature Theater’s “Jelly’s Last Stand”. – www.MarkGMeadows.com
Elijah Jamal Balbed feat. Alex Norris: Checking In – Tenor sax player Elijah is a DC jazz ambassador, leading his own quintet and the JoGo Project as well as popping up all over town as a first call musician. Elijah has performed with Nicholas Payton, Winard Harper, and Cyrus Chestnut, all the way to Lalah Hathaway, Eric Benet, The Blackbyrds, and Dr. John. www.ElijahJamalBalbed.com
VERONNEAU: Waltz for Youssef – Lynn Véronneau’s elegant vocals made their mark on US jazz and world music charts with two top 10 CDs, and awards for Best Vocals, Band and Recording awards in the mid-Atlantic area. This jazz-waltz reflects the melodic side of jazz, which Veronneau do so well. Their ability to blur the line between jazz, world, and acoustic music has earned a growing audience at home and in Europe performing at festivals and clubs. www.VeronneauMusic.com
Cristian Perez feat. Victor Provost: Hojas Podridas – Virtuoso, Argentinian acoustic guitarist Cristian Perez has toured his music through Latin America, Korea, and the USA. Classically trained but with a deep understanding of Latin American rhythms as he shows on this spirited, infectious, tango inspired track, which features the steel pan of Victor Provost, and the bandoneon of Emiliano Truffiliano, both DC based musicians. www.CristianPerezGuitar.com
David Schulman & Quiet Life Motel: Farewell Sir Charles – The “Sir Charles” of this tribute is none other than, once again, DC legend Chuck Brown. Violinist David Schulman creates a rich bed of layered violin grooves, providing a springboard for the trumpet of Tilleray – a Chuck Brown Band alumni – to weave his melody. David’s music features regularly on NPR. His album Anhinga was a 2017 pick of the year for Capital Bop Magazine. www.quietlifemotel.com
Rochelle Rice: Wonder – Rochelle reflects on the wonder of her daughter, Little Ruthie, in this rich ballad featuring the Invoke string-quartet. Named Jazz Vocalist of the Year by Washington City Paper in 2014, Rochelle has continued to success performing and touring as part of the legendary vocal quartet Sweet Honey in The Rock, and earning 2018 song-writing honours . www.RochelleRiceMusic.com
Cissa Paz: Reza Cigna – This composition by Cissa Paz and JP Silva was recorded in Brazil in 2016. Vocalist –songwriter Cissa has provided the heartbeat of the Brazilian community with her regular performances at DC club Bossa, creating and rearranging songs that are melded with the rich traditions of Afro-Brazilian and Luso-African concepts. www.CissaPaz.com
Kris Funn: Visceral – Between touring the world as bassist with luminary contemporary musicians such as Cristian Scott and Nicolas Payton, Kris plays regularly around the DC area. Kris’s own album debut as bandleader Cornerstore, presents a phenomenal and cohesive collection of compositions reflecting on his life, the challenges and joys of growing up in Baltimore, which was named Album of the Year in this year’s “Jazzies” www.Funndamentals.com
Alison Crockett: Every Song – A track from Alison’s forthcoming album, recorded in Rio De Janeiro, 2017. Alison is a leading light of the DC jazz scene, both as a performer and vocal coach – a vocalist’s vocalist! As vocalist with the band Us3, Alison headlined stadiums and festivals throughout Europe, the US and Japan in the early 2000’s before embarking on her own musical journey. www.alisoncrockett.net
Dave Kline Band: Paris – Band-mates from Colombia, Senegal and Nigeria accompany London expat violinist Dave Kline on this track from his album Shifting Borders a world-jazz-fusion collection which spent 4 weeks at #1 on the Roots Jazz Chart in 2017. This track features vocalization by Quebecoise Lynn Veronneau plus the Argentinian bandoneon player Emi Triffiliano. A truly international affair! www.DaveKlineBand.com
Bumper Jacksons: Old Birds – One of the most successful touring bands out of DC, and one of the least classifiable. Influenced by just about all the music from the 1920’s to the current day, the Bumper Jacksons bring a post-bop-old-time-country-folk tradition to their pre-bop contemporary jazz. This composition addresses important contemporary themes….well worth a visit to their web-site to see the thoughtful video which accompanies it. www.BumperJacksons.com
JoGo Project: One For Pops – JoGo project is a relatively new band with a deep tradition and a strong future. Led by sax player Elijah Jamal Balbed – who once played with “Godfather of GoGo” Chuck Brown – the band merges the storied DC funk style with jazz stylings and hip-hop vocals. One of the most irresistible live bands in town. tells the story of JoGo in this tribute to Pops. www.jogoproject.com
“This compilation provides an exceptional representation of the depth & breadth of the music scene in our nation’s capital…an impressive range of the music and talent that make living in DC a consistent and often uplifting font of musical discovery.” – Willard Jenkins, Artistic Director, DC Jazz Festival