by Carol F. Stoel
Whether you’ll be on your way home from work, or just looking for a change of pace and an opportunity to mingle with others, Van Ness will be the jazziest place to be a week from Thursday.
UDC’s famed JAZZAlive program joins the Van Ness Vision Committee and Acacia Bistro in kicking off the first Music at Van Ness event on Thursday, November 13th from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
UDC’s Jazztet will perform jazz in a variety of flavors outside Acacia Bistro at 4340 Connecticut Avenue at Yuma St., NW. The restaurant will offer drinks and snacks and special “Jazzaritas” at happy hour prices to mark the beginning of the series. If the weather is bad, the event will move inside Acacia.
Allyn Johnson, the director of UDC’s Jazz Studies program and the “Dean of DC jazz piano,” has put together a stellar JAZZtet for the kickoff of Music at Van Ness:
Legendary bassist Steve Novosel is a cornerstone of the Washington, DC jazz scene. An educator and mentor to generations of bass players, Novosel has taught in programs throughout the area and has been on the Music Program faculty at the University of the District of Columbia since 1989.
Novosel has played and recorded with Andrew White, Roland Kirk, Stanley Cowell, David “Fathead” Newman, Eddie Harris and Shirley Horn. He has toured with Red Norvo, Tal Farlow, Al Grey and Larry Willis and has performed with a list of jazz greats that includes Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Harry “Sweets” Edison, James Moody, Archie Shepp and Blue Mitchell. Always in great demand as an accompanist for singers, he has played with everyone from Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway to Anita O’Day, Roberta Flack, Betty Carter and Shirley Horn.
The soulful tenor saxophonist and UDC jazz studies major, Jordon Dixon was born in from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and grew up in a very musical family. After 11 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps as a Marine Musician, he moved to the Washington DC area to play and study music at UDC with (in his own words) “some of the best instructors on the globe.”
Jazz guitarist and composer Pete Muldoon has performed both nationally and internationally. Muldoon studied with Calvin Jones, Steve Novosel, and Allyn Johnson at the University of the District of Colombia while completing his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and later went on to receive the Master of Music degree at Howard University. Muldoon currently teaches privately and at UDC.
UDC Jazz studies and music education major Jon Lewis is a multi-talented percussionist from Washington, DC. Jon performs with both the UDC Jazz and Gospel Music Ensembles and with groups throughout and area.. His father Gregory Lewis is a choral director and teacher in the D.C. Public Schools and a graduate of the UDC Music Program.