Wow, wasn’t I just here? Yep, I was. Three weeks ago, we were in DC at the Kennedy Center with the esteemed Liz Longley, her achingly beautiful songs, and her achingly beautiful band. Now I’m back, with five jazz players, set to do a radio broadcast, and play four shows.
The Roy Guzman Quintet will be all over Washington and the airwaves the next few days, as part of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. Guitarist Roy Guzman, a native of Cupey, Puerto Rico, is the recipient of Berklee’s Jimi Hendrix Award, and the Billboard Endowed Scholarship, and he is already a semifinalist in this year’s Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition. The boy has mucho fretboard skeels.
The other members of the group are among the very finest players at Berklee. Mark Whitfield, Jr. is the drummer, Greg Chaplin the bassist. On the horns, Michael Sachs, the alto, and Billy Buss on pterodactyl trumpet. Billy has the added, upcoming distinction of having been selected for the next class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, which is something like the Mercury 7 astronaut program for jazz musicians.
If you like searching, post-bop jazz, Roy and the guys may already have your drink mixed.
Thursday, they’ll be on heard on Sirius/XM Radio at about 4:30 pm, on their Real Jazz channel. That’s channel 70 on XM, and 72 on Sirius receivers. The show will be recorded earlier that morning at Sirius/XM’s Washington studios, under the harmolodic eyes and ears of Real Jazz’s Mark Ruffin, and Jack MacInnis.
Jack runs the Sirius/XM Performance Theater, their completely spectacular recording studio. I’ve had the incredible good fortune to bring nine Berklee bands now to record in this room for broadcast, from bluegrass to salsa, jazz to country. Every time it’s been a delight. Jack’s a Berklee MP&E alumnus, and so naturally his ability paradigm is la mega.
The band will be heard next on Thursday evening at 6:00 pm, on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and later on that night they’ll be playing two sets ( 9 and 11) at the nightclub Busboys & Poets, 14th and V Streets, NW. This is gonna be a very full day!
On Friday, the band goes back to Busboys at 14th and V, for a 9:00 pm set. And, on Saturday, the group plays the other District Busboys & Poets, at 5th and K Streets, NW, again at 9:00 pm.
And on Sunday, we’ll all return to Boston.