5 ways to get down with the DC jazz scene

The Madison Sounds of Deliverance play in Dupont Circle

Did you love Al Haddad’s article on jazz in DC in our most recent issue? Do you aspire to be just as booted and avoiding of clinkers? Al has generously offered to share his secrets:

  1. Go to www.dcjazz.com and sign up for their weekly email newsletter. You would probably be horrified to discover how much my article owed to this single website.
  2. Been to Adams Morgan? Good job. Now get down to U Street. For fans of live jazz and blues, U Street is to Adams Morgan as Bitches Brew is to Birth of the Cool. Just walk up and down a single block of U Street during the evening and you’re likely to come across three or four poorly-marked venues that are grooving right down to the foundations. You might have to sweet-talk some of the doormen, but believe me, it’s well worth the effort.
  3. A lot of venues around DC have good websites: Wolf Trap, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, HR57. Check these early and often.
  4. Cheap is better, but free is best: The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage has free performances every Friday night. It’s not always jazz, but the acoustics are great and the musicians are always top quality. Check the Kennedy Center website for weekly details.
  5. John Hasse, the Smithsonian’s brilliant and innovative Curator of American Music, has since 2001 conducted a weekly concert series, held each Friday night at 6.30pm at the Smithsonian Jazz Café, located on the ground floor of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. After a summer hiatus, performances start up again Friday, September 6th. The Smithsonian also has an extensive jazz program, as well as some internships for the really zealous among you: check it out at www.smithsonianjazz.org.

Flickr photo from user JamesCalder used under a Creative Commons license

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