It was nearly 100 degrees outside, but it was all cool at Alice\’s Jazz and Culture Society (AJACS). Alice’s is a not-for-profit jazz club in the Brookland neighborhood. All ages are welcome. That was apparent last Thursday evening featuring a free evening of jazz for children and adults. Alice\’s is located at 2813 12th Street NE where DeAndrey Howard opened things up with a warm welcome to the audience, especially to the children who are in for quite a treat.
Njeri Takes the A Train at Alice\’s
It\’s impossible to relay the experience in words alone but one of the highlights of the evening was the piano playing of a young lady the audience would get to know as Njeri.I\’m not sure how many people knew what to expect when she was invited to the stage. I do know by the time she was done we are all mesmerized. It was in a soft whisper she relayed to DeAndrey the song she selected. He turned to the band and announced Duke Ellington\’s classic \”Take the A Train\”.
For a moment I was reminded of a scene from the movie \”What Happened, Miss Simone?\” where Nina Simone talks about playing piano at such a young age. You can\’t help but feel that there are great things in store for this young talent. Watching her play alongside these seasoned jazz musicians with such poise was remarkable.
But, that wasn\’t the only treat of the evening. Benjamin Sands, Jr., saxophonist, taught a group of parents and children a short song that he used as part of the melody of a song he and the band performed. The children were even asked to improvise when called on. Above all, was the incredible music emanating from this small jewel on 12th Street. Maybe this rendition of Watermelon Man might persuade you to stop by one evening and enjoy the cool sounds coming from Alice\’s.