>> Ben Allison is an incredibly underrated bassist who is certainly deserving of wider recognition. Catch him as he leads his group tonight at the Atlas Performing Arts Center as part of its ongoing jazz series. 8 p.m. $15-$25.
>> Bassist Steve Novosel is a legend within the local jazz community, and has played with luminaries such as Billy Eckstine, Shirley Horn, Roberta Flack, Sonny Rollins and a host of others. Tonight, radio personality Rusty Hassan will host a discussion with Novosel at UDC’s Recital Hall (Performing Arts – Bldg. 46-West). 7 p.m. Free.
>> Kurtis Adams currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. He has also shared the stage with a number of jazz greats. Adams will be playing 8 and 10 p.m. sets tonight at Twins Jazz. $10 + $10 food/drink minimum.
>> CapitalBop‘s avant-garde music editor and bassist Luke Stewart will be participating in an evening of solo bass performances along with Thomas Helton and Britt Powell on Thursday. The show takes place on Thursday at the Back Alley Theater. 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show. $5-$10.
>> Strathmore continues its excellent Discover Ellington festival with a number of fantastic shows in the coming days. On Thursday, pianist Robert Glasper presents a solo program titled Mostly Ellington. 7:30 p.m. $30.
>> It’s President’s Day weekend, which means its time for the third iteration of the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, an annual event under the direction of local saxophonist Paul Carr. We’ll have a full preview up tomorrow, but the event begins on Friday so check out the festival web site for schedule and ticketing information.
>> Celebrated vocalist Dianne Reeves will be playing 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. sets on Friday at the Kennedy Center‘s Terrace Theater. Both shows are sold out, but it’s worth contacting the box office for last minute availability.
>> Discover Ellington continues with two shows on Friday. Bassist Karine Chapdelaine and pianist Bob Sykes take on the Duke Ellington/Jimmy Blanton improvisations note for note, and then will take the music in their own directions. 7 p.m. in Strathmore‘s Education Center. $20. At the Music Center, vocalist Brian Stokes Mitchell, Helen Hayes-winner Julia Nixon and D.C. tap sensations, The Manzari Brothers, will join the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra as it plays selections from Duke’s musicals, including Sophisticated Ladies, Play On and the rarely-heard Queenie Pie. 8 p.m. $39-$79.
>> Trumpeter Chris Botti first gained recognition playing with the likes of Sting and Paul Simon. His lush tone and crossover appeal now make him one of the top selling jazz artists in the world. On Friday, he will perform an 8 p.m. show at the Kennedy Center, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society. $20-$85.
>> Dwayne Adell is an up-and-coming area pianist who will be leading his trio on Friday at Bohemian Caverns. 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. sets. $15.
>> HR-57 hosts regulars Antonio Parker (Friday) and Saltman-Knowles (Saturday). 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. $15.
>> Strathmore CEO Eliot Pfanstiehl hosts a 7 p.m. panelon Saturday at the Mansion at Strathmore as part of Discover Ellington. This precedes a concert of Latin arrangements of Ellington classics by the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, directed by Arturo O’Farrill, with 10-time Grammy-winner Paquito D’Rivera. 8 p.m. in the Music Center. $29-$69.
>> The Kronos Quartet is among classical music’s most innovative ensembles, and ie currently artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. On Saturday, the group will partner with Alim Qasimov, a celebrated performer of Azerbaijani mugham music. 8 p.m. $9-$45.
>> David Taylor is considered among the world’s finest trombonists. Taylor started his playing career as a member of Leopold Stowkowski’s American Symphony Orchestra, and appearing with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez. He has also recorded with Duke Ellington, The Rolling Stones, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Taylor will lead a group through 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. sets on Saturday at Bohemian Caverns. $20.
>> Discover Ellington‘s final musical event takes place on Sunday afternoon, as a number of special guests and the Morgan State University Choir join the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra to perform Duke Ellington’s “sacred concerts.” These were three gospel-influenced programs that Ellington wrote in his later years and recorded with handpicked musicians. 4 p.m. $30-$59. If all of that doesn’t satiate your appetite for Duke’s music, consider celebrating the President’s Day Holiday with the family at the Mansion at Strathmore for its Ellington open house. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
>> Transparent Productions presents Tim Berne‘s Snake Oil on Sunday at Bohemian Caverns. The group blends lush instrumentation with electronic rhythms for a sound that is hypnotic, yet bordering on avant-garde. 7 and 9 p.m. sets. $15. Stay tuned for a full preview.
>> Saxophonist Marshall Keys has long been an important voice in the local scene. He will be at Blues Alley on Tuesday for 8 and 10 p.m. sets. $18 + $12.50 minimum/surcharge.
>> The Akoma Drummers The Akoma Drummers is a diverse group of drummers, percussionists, singers and dancers led by local percussionist Kristen Arant and Ghanaian master drummer Michael Kweku Owusu. The ensemble will be performing at the Bossa Bistro & Lounge on Tuesday. 8:30 p.m. $5.