Tag Archives: jazz

All That Jazz at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society

Outdoor murals set the scene for the cool vibes inside.

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, which has its second anniversary this month, certainly isn’t shy about the music it celebrates.

Right from the street, striking murals of jazz musicians lead you toward an unassuming front door. Step through that portal on a typical Wednesday or Sunday evening, and you’ll find yourself in one of Brookland’s coolest little haunts.

Inside, rustic brick and plaster walls are decorated with photographs of jazz musicians, framed prints of jazz-themed artwork, and African masks and artifacts. A collection of tables and chairs line up in front of the main stage, where from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., local and visiting musicians play everything from Cuban jazz to blues to neo-soul.

JACS celebrates jazz musicians of all generations.

Visit midway through a set, as I did several times recently, and you’ll be pleasantly shocked by the blast of trumpet, the cool tinkling of piano keys, the heartbeat thrum of a guitar, the rumble of drums. It’s a unique sensation all the more precious for being right in our own backyard.

While the ambiance is leisurely, it should be noted this isn’t the kind of jazz you zone out too. There’s nothing smooth or quiet about the music here at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society. This is jazz that holds your heart in its palms, that excites you, that moves you. It’s impulsive, scattered, free-form.

Artistic director DeAndrey Howard has another, simpler way of putting it. His first words at the start of a recent show say it all: “Jazz, jazz, jazz.”

Jazz, and its historical roots, are everywhere you look.

The brainchild of Howard and Dr. Alice Jameson, Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, a 501(c) nonprofit organization, is about more than just great jazz performances. It’s also about jazz education, about sharing the music with different generations of listeners and performers. During two shows I attended, the room was filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, some alone, some in groups, everyone looking straight up at the stage in the dim lights, marveling at these cats working their musical magic.

During breaks in the sets, people chat with one another or with musicians. There’s also time for guests to grab a meal from a local caterer serving dinners on-site. Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are available throughout the evening.

In addition to serving as a cultural center for jazz, JACS also hosts other events, including lectures, spoken word performances, and writer’s groups. The building itself is available to rent for parties and special events.

A spoken-word performance piece celebrating the spirit of jazz

Coltrane. Ellington. Davis. Titans of jazz music, all of them. And all of them resurrected – along with other voices just waiting to be discovered – twice a week at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society.

So the next time you pass by those vibrant jazz murals on 12th Street between Franklin and Girard and you hear that cymbal crash or trumpet call, do yourself a favor: Go inside and listen closer.

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society is located at 2813 12th Street NE. Open on Wednesdays and Fridays. For a list of upcoming performances, visit jazzandculturalsociety.com. Cover charge is $5.00 (some events are free).

Meet Force of Habit, A Band Led By Nuns At Catholic University

This story came out a while ago, but we thought readers who missed it would enjoy this lighthearted article from the Washington Post about Force of Habit, a band led by nuns who live and study at Catholic University. Along with religious music the band plays jazz standards. Here is a clip.

From the article:

The sisters, and those who know them, note that the band is part of a larger mission — to be a presence on the campus, connect with other students, and share and demonstrate their faith. It also serves as a reminder of what makes Catholic, the Vatican’s university in the United States, unique.

You can check out another video of a Force of Habit performance here.

JACS Brings Live Jazz To Brookland, Storefront Brightens 12th Street

JACS, (Jazz & Cultural Society) is  “a community oriented space for musicians and listeners”at 2813 12th Street NE (near the corner of Franklin).  We spoke with  owner DeAndrey Howard last summer as he was making plans to open JACS.  He emphasized that it would be a “family friendly” place that showcases local talent and spoke of discovering jazz in DC’s storied U Street nightclubs as a young man. Now JACS is open and hosts live entertainment every Wednesday and Sunday from 6:00 – 9:00 pm for a $5.00 cover charge. We thought readers would enjoy these photos of their newly painted storefront, pretty cool! Check out JACS Facebook page here.

 

Amplify Brookland! Live Jazz Series Comes To San Antonio B&G Through June

San Antonio bar and grill WOOKA new live music series called Amplify Brookland! is coming to San Antonio Bar and Grill.  For six weeks, WOOK, an online streaming radio station, will be hosting a series of live jazz and soul performances that will take place at 8:00 p.m., onThursdays and Saturdays through June 6th. Here is the run down from the WOOK website here:

Saturday, April 25 – Manny Kellough Trio
Thursday, April 30 – TBA
Saturday, May 2 – George V. Johnson
Thursday, May 7 – The Light
Saturday, May 9 – Copper Rose & Bone
Thursday, May 14 – Ida Campbell
Saturday, May 16 – Ebony Khan
Thursday, May 21 – Bliss feat. Why Not Me?
Thursday, May 28 – TBA
Saturday, May 30 – Ebony Khan
Thursday, June 4 – Chuck Holden
Saturday, June 6 – Coneice Washington

A donation of $10 is requested. San Antonio Bar & Grill is located at 3908 12th St NE.