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Jason Moran at Bohemian Caverns, Washington, D.C.

A post-Monk competition gig at the historic club on Sept. 11

Jason Moran

Despite Washington, D.C.’s rich jazz history, the District often gets overlooked by big-name jazz artists when booking their tour dates. D.C. has benefited from such events as D.C. Jazz Fest and the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, each of which brings big names to town. This year’s Monk Competition, a showcase for some of the best young jazz pianists on the scene, brought luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Ellis Marsalis, Jason Moran and many others to Washington, each of whom performed at the 25th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center on September 12.

Moran decided to make the most of his visit by booking two sets at Bohemian Caverns with his trio on the evening of September 11, after a long day of judging the semi-finals. If Moran was tired from his judging duties, he didn’t show it at the gig, leading his trio through sets that engaged influences as disparate as Gladys Knight, Ghostface Killah and the LINES Ballet of San Francisco.

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