Things to Do

5 Great Jazz Nights in Washington

Upcoming performances you won’t want to miss.

Image via Shutterstock.

When Westminster Presbyterian Church was founded in DC in the 19th century to help the marginalized, one of its main causes was jazz music. Though the music was considered profane by the mainstream church community, Westminster made it an important part of day-to-day activities, earning the nickname “the jazz church.” Today, Westminster celebrates its commitment to the form by hosting weekly performances. “We must never underestimate the power of the lively arts in shaping and defining communities; engaging all in dialogue and re-visioning our core values,” its website proclaims. It’s not alone in this commitment to the power of jazz music; read on for details on notable upcoming performances at some of DC’s jazz hotspots.

Jazz Night in DC

Westminster Presbyterian Church

400 I St., SW; 202-484-7700

Performances are every Friday evening from 6 to 9. This week’s performance features the Herb Scott Jazz Ensemble; as a bonus, Saturday from noon to 8 is the annual DC Jazz Preservation Festival, with food and plenty of live music.

Cost: $5

Bohemian Caverns

2001 11th St., NW; 202-299-0800

In business for more than eight decades, this local mainstay has hosted such notables as Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Don’t miss the 17-piece Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra’s performances every Monday. 

Cost: $10

Twins Jazz

1344 U St., NW; 202-234-0072

This popular performance hall opens its stage to performers of all ages and skill levels, from student musicians to well-regarded out-of-town performers. Don’t miss local jazz trumpet phenom Thad Wilson, who takes the stage Friday and Saturday. 

Cost: $15

Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club

7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 240-330-4500 

Open since 1938, this music and supper club recently underwent an $8 million renovation. Head there Saturday to check out the new digs and see all-female DC band Be’la Don, who describe their sound as “sensual crank.” 

Cost: $20

Blues Alley

1073 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-4141

Entry to this Georgetown spot isn’t cheap, but it offers the chance to see some big-name acts. Thursday brings acclaimed jazz vocalist Rachelle Ferrell, who shows off her six-and-change-octave voice and “whistle register.” 

Cost: $60

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