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DC Jazz Loft: Janel Leppin + Brian Settles

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Two of D.C.’s greatest improvisers are bringing their groups to the loft next week: cellist Janel Leppin and saxophonist Brian Settles.

Like last time, things get going at 7 p.m. at Rhizome DC, right off the Takoma Metro stop. There are no tickets — just donations collected at the door, 100 percent of which go to the performing artists. The event is all-ages.

And all musicians who come out are encouraged to bring their instruments; the night will end in an open jam, and anything can happen at the loft.


Settles and Leppin will each lead bands — then they’ll combine their ensembles in a series of rotating exchanges.

If you’re familiar with CapitalBop, you’re familiar with these two. By now they’re widely known as important voices on their respective instruments, not only in D.C. but increasingly internationally.

Leppin is one of the District’s finest bandleaders, harnessing a nuanced sensibility for both composition and improvisation that produces restless, complex sonic textures ranging from lush and beautiful to sharp and arresting. She’s widely respected in the DMV for her work leading her ensemble Volcanic Ash, and as half of the power duo Janel and Anthony (with her husband, guitarist Anthony Pirog).

Settles brings the same innovative bent to the jazz realm with his intense, deeply resonant sound on the tenor saxophone — a style that is at once heavenly and terrestrial, fey but familiar. He’s a member of internationally renowned ensembles led by Jonathan Finlayson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara and others.

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Death Cafe