Entertainment, Fun & Games, Music, The Daily Feed

Live Jazz All Weekend!

Photo courtesy of
‘Live Jazz’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

I make it no secret that I believe Jazz is an underappreciated portion of American music history by the millennial generation. With that said, I shared with you one man’s love for the trombone and how he brought it to the forefront of band leadership. Now, I ask you to give something a try (if you’ve never done so before) … go see some live Jazz.

I leave you with two options for the weekend if you’ll be sticking around the District:

1) Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra – Doc means business. His band is considered a Jazz institution in the area, having been around for a decade now. Their specialties include anything from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Their final performance at the Carlyle Club (where they play live every Friday unless their on break or on tour) until June 18 is tonight at 8 pm. Tickets are required but the Carlyle Club is a dinner club as well, so come and make an evening of it. I’ll be there! Ticket information is available on the Carlyle Club’s website.

2) The Kaleidoscope Orchestra – The Orchestra is just one of many acts performing at this year’s 33rd Annual City of Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival on Monday. The entire event is from 1 to 7 and features some of the top Jazz acts in and around the area. They include: The Jazz Ambassadors Dixieland Band, the Joe Baione Trio, WAMMIE Award winner Al Williams, straight ahead jazz group and the Washington Area Music Association’s Best Jazz Group for 2009, the Larry Brown Quintet. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Big Sam’s Funky Nation

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courtesy of ‘gas_station_sushi’

It’s rare in Jazz music to see a trombone player in the role of band leader. Some of the greatest and most remembered names in Jazz among the vast majority of Americans include: Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. None of those players ever once led a band with trombone in hand.

While there are notable Jazz greats who played the slide trombone while commanding a room and conducting a band, it still remains common place to have a trumpet be the focal point. Big Sam leads on trombone.

Big Sam was always a big boy. In the 6th grade, he was 6 foot tall and 200 pounds while playing little league basketball. When the time came that he grew out of playing the sport – literally – Sam approached his school’s band leader and asked him what instrument they needed someone to play.

Sam’s band leader replied, “The trombone.”

“What’s that?” Sam said. That’s all it took to hook him.

Continue reading