CapitalBop’s Jazz Loft MegaFest @DC Jazz Festival

Today begins a ten-day, multi-venue celebration of jazz in Duke Ellington’s hometown. Consisting of over 100 performances, from elegant presentations at the Kennedy Center to outdoor family festivals to late-night club parties, the DC Jazz Festival offers enough choices to make a music lover’s head spin. But there’s one offering that stands apart from the rest: CapitalBop’s Jazz Loft Series, culminating in the Jazz Loft MegaFest. A unique, multimedia experience of the creative community of jazz, the Jazz Loft MegaFest, June 9 from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., also presents an exciting opportunity to listen local.

CapitalBop, founded in 2010 by Giovanni Russonello, aims to unite and highlight the vibrant jazz scene that calls DC its home. “I’ve always been a huge fan of jazz,” says Russonello. “But when I was going out to jazz shows as a kid, what I noticed was, no one was at them! There’d be these amazing shows with just very small audiences… CapitalBop was founded on the premise that the DC jazz scene itself has never lacked for impressive experiences, high-quality art, and exciting personalities. What people don’t understand, especially in this town, is they think it’s this historical art form that loses relevance as time passes. But for all the tropes, it’s not dying, and it never will die. It’s improvisatory, and it changes with the times. Because it’s made in the moment, you experience its creation, and that’s why live jazz shows are so thrilling…I thought of magazines like Time Out New York and the Village Voice, or the City Paper here in Washington. They serve an important purpose just by letting people know what’s going on around here. So I wanted to create something like that: an online home for the DC jazz scene.”

Soon after the CapitalBop site launched in 2010, Russonello’s friend and collaborator Luke Stewart joined him as an editor. Stewart’s band, Laughing Man, rented space at Gold Leaf Studios (a.k.a. Red Door), which became the home for the DC Jazz Loft Series starting that December. Russonello calls the Loft Series “unmediated spaces for unmediated music.”

“DC jazz performers and audiences needed not just an online resource, but to experience different presentations of the scene, get it out of the club circuit and give young people—and everyone else who may not have known about what’s happening here—a chance to participate in the jazz scene.”

The site launched in September 2010. The first project was a calendar of jazz events all over the city, which exists today as a complete, monthly catalog of every single upcoming show in DC. Beyond basic event info, the calendar contains previews, descriptions, and editor recommendations regarding each event, “so that you’ll know what you’re going to get out of every show,” as Russonello said. But there’s more to building a music scene’s online home. “The site itself is built around being most utilitarian to those who don’t know the scene,” said Russonello. As such, it also hosts a guide to DC’s jazz-friendly neighborhoods and the bars and clubs where jazz cats play. Its front page and blog are home to a wealth of articles, videos and photos. Posts may be video previews for shows, profiles of dynamic local artists, or info on the city’s weekend lineup.

The concert series known as the DC Jazz Loft Series, on the other hand, gained prominence at last year’s Jazz Fest. Russonello considers working with an organization as large and respected as the DC Jazz Fest to have been a major taking-off point for CapitalBop, which presented four Loft Series shows for Jazz Fest last year. “For every show, we paired really renowned bands from out of town—last year they were all from New York—with local bands. It both gave the most innovative musicians in the country a home right here in DC, and gave the local bands a lot of really good exposure as the openers for nationally renowned groups.” Among CapitalBop’s local collaborators are two of Listen Local First’s featured artists for the month of June, Donvonte McCoy and Kris Funn, who headlined CapitalBop’s section of Lumen8Anacostia earlier this year. Russonello said that the success of last year’s Loft Series also greatly increased traffic to the CapitalBop site. “It’s interesting, because we started the site as a tool to get people out to the live shows, but it turns out to work the other way around as well.”

This year, CapitalBop is presenting some similar Loft Series shows to last year’s: nationally renowned groups paired with local jazz bands. The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, unique in that it is led by a bass clarinet, headlines with Christie Dashiell Quartet tonight (6/1/12) at The Dunes, and Kris Funn & Corner Store—one of LLF’s June featured artists—open for “absolute star” group Tarbaby on Saturday 6/2 at The Fridge.

But the big event, the Jazz Loft MegaFest, is in a whole other league. From 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., visitors to the three-floor “loft” at 629 New York Avenue will experience music, film, food and fun as only DC could do it. MegaFest will feature:

-Concerts all day, leading up to a two-set headline show by Marc Cary’s Cosmic Indigenous
“Danceable, futurist, roots-exploring but also totally experimental jazz”

-Spotlight of up-and-coming high-school all-stars of the Jazz Academy, under Paul Carr

-Screening of “Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense,” a film about the living jazz scene

-Panel on the cross-pollination of jazz and hip-hop by Shaolin Jazz

-Pop-up shop of vintage clothes and records, plus “floating art gallery,” by SHAM

-Catering and drinks by Taste of DC‘s network of local chefs

Russonello says that the diverse multimedia format of MegaFest “stresses the idea that jazz is a way of integrating thoughts, feelings, and experience into a real-time form of expression. It’s music that really knows no bounds, because you can create what you want, and create with your heart, and have the musical vocabulary to do that…It’s really about creating a community around an art form, or around the shared experience of art being created in front of you. The most exciting thing is how much of an experience it will be.”

Saturday, June 9 / 3 p.m.-2 a.m. / 629 NY Ave. NW / $10-12 online, $15 at the door. Tickets & Schedule

Live Showcase & Panel on Web Streaming

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UPDATE: Listen to the Audio from the panel discussion HERE

PANEL DISCUSSION – Web Streaming and Tech Development for a Local Music Community

In order to develop a thriving cultural community, artists musicians and fans must explore and adopt new technologies and platforms that enhance promotion and distribution of the arts. Join us on Thursday May 17th to hear from DC developing media and technology platforms who are striving to better the local cultural community.

Suggested Donation $5-$10 is encouraged though Tixelated:

https://d.tixelated.com/#/00118

(check it out – the ticketing platform of the future, space and beyond)

Presentations and Discussion Panel 7:00pm – 8:00pm :

Jennifer Vinson – DC Setlist – Moderator

Philippe Chetrit – Tixelated
Rob Connelly – ESL Radio
Paul Vodra – Hometown Sounds
Alex Sleighter – DC Decibel
(More Speakers TBA)

LIVE MUSIC SHOWCASE: 8:30pm – 11:00pm

Adrian Krygowski – http://adriankrygowski.bandcamp.com/
Teen Mom – http://teenmomdc.com/
The Grey Area – http://onesheet.com/thegreyareadc/
Redline Graffiti – http://redlinegraffiti.bandcamp.com/

April Featured Artists and Showcases!!!

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April Featured Artists: Visit their site, download their album
Latristic –  http://latristic.com/
Victoria Vox – http://www.victoriavox.com/
Les Rhinoceros – http://lesrhino.bandcamp.com/
Kindlewood – http://kindlewood.co/

 

APRIL SHOWCASES

During Lumen8 Anacostia (http://www.lumen8anacostia.com/), using a combination of projection, art installation and live music performance, Gallery O onH Streetwill recreate their gallery and courtyard in a historic Anacostia building.  Located at2021 Martin Luther King Blvd.the event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. and will showcase outsider artist, Brian Dowdell and live music by Listen Local First.  The pop-up gallery, much like the space at 1347 H Street, will combined art and music allowing music to flow into the street using using speakers to project the music out the windows of the second floor space.

Performing Artists: Rene Moffatt, Justin Trawick, The Sweater Set, Jess Dye of Lightfoot

Listen Local First presents Birdlips at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium – April 20th  

Friday 20th Listen Local First kicks off its newest monthly Kennedy Center local showcase withe Birdlips at the Millennium Stage 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

Blossom Bake & Brew at Gallery O on H St – April 21st 4:00pm – 7:00pm

– Exclusive Beer Tasting from Chocolate City

– Pocket Pies from Dangerously Delicious Pies

– Listen Local First Music Showcase featuring Lightfoot and Victoria Vox

More event details HERE

The Water St. Project and Listen Local First – April 20th – 21st

Friday April 20th 8PM – 2AM Water Street Project Grand Opening

The Water Street Project opening, sponsored by Honest Tea, showcases the core collaborators of this project “the Artists.” The Water Street Project includes Murals and Installations by artists Kelly Towles, Brandon Hill, James Kerns, Dafna Steinberg, Kate Campagna, Maggie O’Neil, James Meade, Paul Mericle, Billy Mode, Gaia, Gregg Deal, Jacqueline Levine, Drew Storm Graham, Tariq Tucker, and Hamilton Riley . Evening Programming and Listen Local First Showcase will include special music performance by Lightfoot, Ugly Purple SweaterTypefighter, and Cold Fronts (Philly).

This event is Free ($8 Suggested Donation – proceeds go to musicians) Open to Public http://www.waterstproject.com/

Saturday April 21st 8PM – 2AM Listen Local First presents Record Store Day Showcase

Listen Local First DC is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for LOCAL MUSICIANS and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene. LLF partners with local musicians, local arts organizations, local venues and locally owned businesses to create performance opportunities and new avenues for local music exploration. In honor of Record Store Day, LLF presents The Silver Liners, Les Rhinoceros, Shark Week, and The Young Rapids at the Water Street Project space.

This event is Free ($8 suggested donations proceeds go to musicians) Open to Public http://www.waterstproject.com/


Taking a LEAP into The Dunes

Howard Liebers (MarbleRoad Founder), Jonny Grave (Bluesman), Patrick Hawkins (of Benny), and Linsay Deming (Singer/Songwriter)

Performing for a cause is different than the average concert; there’s a certain appeal philanthropy brings to a musical experience. Musicians can’t be stereotyped as self-promotional or egoistical; instead, they’re lending their voices as a catalyst for change, creating new pools of potential fans and interested attendees. The LEAP Sessions event this Wednesday, Feb. 29th, presented in partnership with Listen Local First (LLF), sheds light on the relationship between philanthropy and music. No, it doesn’t have the publicity of Bono and the ONE Campaign, but it’s a microcosm for the power of 21st century art and advocacy.

Howard Liebers, founder of MarbleRoad, followed the typical path of many DC transplants: college, then an entry level position at a non-profit, and ultimately a director level position working in health policy with the DC Primary Care Association. As a young professional in DC, Howard was a driven 9-5er, using his free time to map his love for indie pop culture around the city. But, unlike most DC dwellers in their early 20’s, who are slowly making their way out of the Adam’s Morgan bar crawl, Howard was unexpectedly faced with the death of one of his closest friends, Craig Nolan. Prior to Craig’s death, Howard didn’t know anything about “rare diseases”, but after Craig’s tragic experience with a rare cancer, a type of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Howard became passionate about learning more about this issue – what qualified, who’s affected, and how society addresses these health issues. What he discovered was extremely disheartening.

Firstly, it’s difficult to be diagnosed correctly if you have a rare disease because of the disconnect between primary healthcare physicians and rare disease specialists. Rare disease researchers are often siloed within their own specialties with limited patient interaction. The general knowledge base of primary care physicians often cause rare diseases to go undiagnosed and subsequently untreated. Additionally, since rare diseases in the US are defined as diseases affecting less than 200,000 people, there is little financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in research. Treatments are often extremely expensive and unaffordable.

In 2010, Howard Liebers incorporated the organization MarbleRoad here in DC, and saw an opportunity to integrate his love for indie culture with his newfound passion for rare diseases. MarbleRoad utilizes a campaign called IndieMatch to raise funds to support its mission. The IndieMatch strategy seeks to develop strategic partnerships between independent artists and musicians to support philanthropic opportunities. Using this model, MarbleRoad launched a kickoff event on Make a Difference Day in 2010, held in Alexandria, VA, featuring donated artwork by David Foox, Meredith Towsand, Elizabeth Jameson, Regina Hooliday, and Vesna Jovanoic, and Julie Gideon-Smith. In 2011, MarbleRoad hosted the Flammable Heart Exhibition  during National Health Center Week, displaying collections of artwork at the Lyons Wier Gallery in New York City, in partnership with Lutheran Family Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Brooklyn. Money raised for the organization goes towards subsidizing rare disease treatments and bridging the communication gap between rare disease specialists and primary care physicians.

Fast forward to 2012 – MarbleRoad’s third event, but the first ever “LEAP Session”.  By now, it’s not difficult to see why MarbleRoad and Listen Local First have partnered for this debut. In contrast with previous MarbleRoad events, LEAP Sessions brings together indie musicians (not artists). Yet, the IndieMatch concept still holds strong. As an advocate of the local music scene, LLF is bringing together some of DC’s best artists and bands, and introducing some new acts to the excitement of the DC music marketplace: Nelly Kate (Richmond), Linsay Deming (DC), SoftSpot (Brooklyn), Caged Animals (Brooklyn), Benny (DC), and Jonny Grave & The Tombstones (DC). Together, IndieMatch and Listen Local First will be able to connect individuals through music and philanthropy by showcasing local talent and raising awareness for rare diseases.

The first of many to come, these LEAP sessions will be held annually on the last day of February. (Rare Disease Day is always held on the last day of February – the fact that Feb. 29th only happens once every four years reflects the low incidence rate of rare diseases, hence the name – LEAP Sessions: a rare day for rare disease.) Deidree Bennett, Managing Director at the Dunes, shares her excitment:

“As managing director of the Dunes, and I’m looking forward to the LEAP
SESSIONS event on a very personal level; I suffer from a rare
hereditary form of Primary Lymphedema. Therefore it is my pleasure to
welcome MarbleRoad to help spread awareness about the more that 6,000 rare diseases in the U.S., and the people with them who need your
support. Here is my story.
I look forward to hearing your stories, and rocking out to Benny, Jonny Grave, and everyone else Wednesday night from 7:30 – 11:30 PM at The Dunes. Be a Rockstar!” http://leapsessions.eventbrite.com/

February DC Local Music Day, Live Panel Discussion & Music Showcase

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FEBRUARY FEATURE ARTISTS

DC Local Music Day – Wednesday Feb 8th
Oddiseehttp://oddiseemusic.blogspot.com/
The Sweater Sethttp://www.thesweaterset.com/
Cornel West Theoryhttp://thecornelwesttheory.com/
Lucky Dubhttp://luckydub.com/
Acmehttp://123acme.com/
The Jolley Brothershttp://natejolley.com/music
More Humanshttp://morehumans.bandcamp.com/
Liftoffhttp://fortknox.bandcamp.com/album/sunday-morning-airplay

PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES
Please Visit – http://www.listenlocalfirst.com


LISTEN LOCAL FIRST FEBRUARY PANEL & LIVE SHOWCASE

Thursday February 9th at The Dunes (1402 Meridian Pl NW)

Co-Sponsored by:
DC Hip Hop Project
Capital Bop
FortKnoxRecordings
Words Beats & Life
SHAM DC
Think Local First DC

PANEL DISCUSSION 7pm – 8pm

Black Broadway: The Roots of DC Hip Hop
Live DC Hip Hop Project Podcast recorded from The Dunes

Moderators: James Benson and Kokayi – DC Hip Hop Project

Panelists:
W. Ellington Felton – singer/songwriter/actor/poet
Luke Stewart – Editor of Capital Bop
Stacy Brooks – Blues Musician
DJ Alizay
DJ RBI 

LIVE SHOWCASE – 8:30 – 11:00pm

NAPPY RIDDEMhttp://fortknoxrecordings.com/artists/nappy-riddem/
CORNEL WEST THEORYhttp://thecornelwesttheory.com/
+Special Guests!!!


FIRST LISTEN: Lightfoot’s “Scarlet Sails” EP on the Pink Line Project

MEDIA ALERT

Listen Local First and The Pink Line Project have teamed together to support and promote DC’s talented local music scene!  Creating alternate avenues for music exploration and local music promotion is crucial to cultivating a thriving cultural community!

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On Monday January 23rd music fan’s everywhere can hear Lightfoot’s FULL “Scarlet Sails” EP in its entirety on the Pink Line Project website.  The ONLY place to hear the brand new 6 Track EP in its entirety up until January 27th is (HERE)

Lightfoot’s front woman Jessica Louise Dye is a product of the great American Southwest. A child of the valley of the sun now living inWashingtonDC, she pulls inspiration from scorching heat waves, summer drought and breathtaking sunsets into her writing. Influences of her desert upbringing can be heard in repetitive rhythms and unique instrumentation such as rain sticks and rattles. However, Dye was not always destined to be a musician. She fell into music by pure necessity. Honorably discharged from the Air Force, abandoned by her lover and forced to live out of her car for several months, Dye sought the creative process of music as a distraction that would become her salvation.

Lightfoot recently returned from a six week European tour, have played such showcases as SXSW, CMJ, REEPERBAHN, BIMAFEST and have shared the stage with acts like Lenka, Lights, Julia Nunes and Nicole Atkins.

LIGHTFOOT EP RELEASE SHOW

Friday January 27th

BlackCatDC– 9pm

w/ Loose Lips (last show), Ugly Purple Sweater, and Paperhaus

$10

LIGHTFOOT SPECIAL OFFER

Download the “Scarlet Sails” EP (here)

PLUS

Attend the EP release show (buy ticket here)  

=

Get a FREE 7” Vinyl Record of the EP (offer limited to first 100)

LISTENING PARTY

Special Salon Contra Listening Party with Lightfoot!

Tuesday January 24th 7-9pm

@Pink Line Project HQ

RSVP to info@pinklineproject.com – space limited

ABOUT Pink Line Project and Listen Local First

The Pink Line Project consolidates information about everything cool and smart in the DC arts and culture scene into one place for anyone looking for something different to do that’ll make your life richer and more interesting.

Listen Local First is a local music initiative campaign launched by Think Local First (TLF), a non-profit organization, working with independent business, consumers and policymakers to grow a sustainable, local economy in DC.

The LLF initiative is devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene.  LLF seeks to partner with local musicians, local arts organizations, local venues and locally owned businesses to create performance opportunities and new avenues for local music exploration. LLF’s mission is not genre specific.  In order to promote the true cultural depth of DC’s music scene LLF would seek to equally represent all local genres, from folk to funk.