Live at the Fairgrounds

In the heart of D.C.

Saturday, August 24 2 - 10 pm

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Tickets + Info



Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013
2-10 p.m.
The Fairgrounds


The artists will perform at the following times:

2:30 – Tarus Mateen
3:15 – Kris Funn & Corner Store
4:15 – Todd Marcus Quartet
5:15 – Christie Dashiell Quartet
6:15 – Donvonte McCoy Quartet, Feat. Heidi Martin
7:15 – The Funk Ark
8:30 – Rafiq Bhatia

Music from DJ Rich “The Unknown” Patterson between all sets.


Introducing D.C.’s first jazz and wine festival! Come relax at the Fairgrounds, a beautiful outdoor venue across the street from Nationals Park, sample dozens of world-class wines, and experience the latest sounds in modern jazz.

The event runs all the way from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., with live music throughout from groups like Rafiq Bhatia, an electric/acoustic guitar whiz who hails from Brooklyn and has been praised by the New York Times, Pitchfork and The Fader; the Funk Ark, an Afrobeat dance ensemble from D.C.; Donvonte McCoy, an innovative trumpeter who blends go-go and funk with jazz, and who will appear with the stellar vocalist Heidi Martin; Todd Marcus, a Baltimorean clarinetist whose latest album made NPR’s top-10-of-2012 list; and more.

Tickets are available at a range of price points. Some of them include wine tastings, and VIP access, while others will just get you in to hear the music.

Ticket prices
$30 – Music only
$55 – Jazz & wine (incl. eight wine-tasting tickets)
$110 – VIP (eight wine-tasting tickets plus VIP seating)

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The New Vintage Fest brings together the absolute best talents from the many corners of D.C.’s jazz and improvised music world.

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Rafiq Bhatia

Just two winters ago, American composer and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia (rah-FEEK BAH-tia) found himself trudging through the snow to the front door of Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, Iceland for the first time. He and his producer and musical accomplice Alexander Overington travelled across the Atlantic to work with Valgeir Sigurðsson, who they sought out on account of his predilection for exposing the new within the known.

As the secret weapon in crafting Björk’s Vespertine and Medulla, and, more recently, as co-producer of Feist’s Metals, Sigurðsson knows a thing or two about constructing ornately detailed and highly original sonic universes. Yet, after spending a week helping to realize Bhatia’s combination of driving, glitch-infused beats, blistering improvisation, and expansive production, Sigurðsson remarks that their time together “felt like learning a new language.”

Since making the move to Brooklyn in 2010, Bhatia has “wasted no time grabbing wider attention” (Time Out New York), performing in and out of town with his co-conspirators Jeremy Viner (woodwinds), Jackson Hill (bass), and Alex Ritz (drums). Yet, the most exciting part of Bhatia’s endeavors are the recordings that he and his collaborators silently worked to perfect for two years. Last fall, they debuted this new sound via two spectacularly received releases on the Rest Assured imprint: the Strata EP and Yes It Will LP. The New York Times weighed in: “This intrepid young guitarist has an arresting and stylish new album … that reflects a contemporary roil of interests: streamlined post-bop, super-articulate jazz-rock, texture-haunted electronics, chilled-out chamber music.”

The Strata EP is a manifesto; a primer in the “new language” that Sigurðsson refers to. The first half features two expansively produced originals (“Sunshower” and “Greenhouse”) propelled by woozy, nod-inducing beats, wall-of-sound orchestrations, and anthemic melodies. On “Statements,” a cameo verse from Anti-Pop Consortium’s High Priest weaves through a maze of constantly shifting trap beats, processed woodwinds, clustered strings, and guitar harmonics. The EP closes with a rendition of Flying Lotus’ “Pickled!”, which reimagines the stacked synthesizers of the original with tiers of processed acoustic sounds. For most bands, attempting a FlyLo cover would be an exercise in futility, but Bhatia and his collaborators use each section of the original as a point of departure into exciting and unexplored territory.

Bhatia’s debut LP, Yes It Will, is one for the crate diggers of today. It’s an album for the album adherents, the champions of the LP format; the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Explosive improvisations are elevated by layers of overdubs and processing to create a lush and highly detailed musical statement. The vast yet intricate, ship-in-a-bottle production of tracks like “Open Spaces; Open Minds” and “Once” is juxtaposed against rawer cuts like “Annihilator Gators,” which features instrumental explorations and sound design that carefully emulate the technical quirks of 60′s Impulse! live recordings. After six originals, the album closes with a cathartic instrumental rework of Sam Cooke’s civil-rights focused classic, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Special guests Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart, two of Bhatia’s closest musical mentors, deliver standout performances alongside members of the experimental chamber ensembles ICE and JACK, all grounded by the well-oiled machine formed by Bhatia and his bandmates. All of this is framed in a rhythmic lexicon that reconciles Aphex Twin, Madlib, and Elvin Jones. High Priest proclaims, “this is the type of joint that can exist in both beat and jazz canons successfully.”

The first generation American son of East African Indian immigrants, Bhatia was born and raised in North Carolina. As a child, he would sit in front of the radio for hours with a blank cassette ready, waiting to bootleg the latest singles from emcees like The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Bhatia picked up the violin and learned to play it by ear at age six, later switching to guitar. Coming of age in the South in the aftermath of 9/11, Bhatia began to notice a conspicuous absence of people who looked like himself in the arts, and started to see music as a way to represent. College was a blur of performance residencies, recording experiments, and late-night listening sessions with Hill, Ritz, and Overington; groundwork for the vision realized on these releases.

Drawing on and responding to several streams of information – cultural, musical, and generational – the Strata EP and Yes It Will LP represent the culmination of Bhatia’s experiences to date. This is an outpouring of new ideas for a new generation of listeners who hear a common thread in the music of John Coltrane and Flying Lotus, Steve Reich and Tyondai Braxton, Jimi Hendrix and Colin Stetson. Clearly, Bhatia’s music is not a recombination of genres; rather, it’s the sound of a breadth of experiences and influences filtered through a unique perspective: an entirely new beast.


The Funk Ark

“A strong frontrunner in the resurgence of the Afrobeat genre.” – OkayPlayer

This DC-based band has toured nationally over the past year, sharing bills with Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band and Grupo Fantasma, as well as Thievery Corporation, Trombone Shorty, Chuck Brown, Keller Williams, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, STS9, Santigold, and more. The Funk Ark reached #1 at college radio in markets on both coasts and enjoyed significant success at CMJ 200 and CMJ World, in addition to strong showings at KCRW, KALX, and NPR, plus coverage from Relix, Billboard, and major-market media coast to coast.

“Nothing like following up an auspicious debut with a new set that defies sophomore slump. Mixing up a rocket fuel of Afrobeat and funk, this is a killer, uncut dose of pure bomb.” – Midwest Record

“Bringing it and taking listeners on a global funk journey that will have you melting into the dancefloor.” – Giant Step

“Funky swagger and soul that is as unforgettable as it is unique.” – Inside World Music

In under a year, The Funk Ark made their debut with ESL Music (“From the Rooftops,” produced by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation), toured both coasts, then cranked out an even tighter follow up album for ESL (“High Noon,” produced Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma). This world funk ensemble has established itself as a force both in the studio and through their high-octane live performances, garnering a reputation as purveyors of gritty, soulful Afrobeat and big band funk.

The DC-based band has toured nationally over the past year, sharing bills with Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band and Grupo Fantasma, as well as Thievery Corporation, Trombone Shorty, Chuck Brown, Keller Williams, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, STS9, Santigold, and more. The Funk Ark reached #1 at college radio in markets on both coasts and enjoyed significant success at CMJ 200 and CMJ World, in addition to strong showings at KCRW, KALX, and NPR, plus coverage from Relix, Billboard, and major-market media coast to coast.

Bandleader Will Rast is responsible for keyboard parts on the most recent Thievery Corporation release (“Culture of Fear”), and has performed with Mya, GZA, Ocote Soul Sounds, Federico Aubele, Brownout, and more.

Donvonte McCoy

Donvonte McCoy feat. Heidi Martin

Donvonte McCoy is, simply put, one of today’s finest jazz trumpet players. His sound is powerful and tender, gentle and funky. As a sideman, he has performed with many great artists such as Lionel Hampton and Curtis Fuller. Donvonte is also gaining wider recognition as a bandleader; the Donvonte McCoy Quintet, a post-modern ensemble that maintains its roots in jazz but also draws heavily from funk and go-go, is a mainstay of D.C.’s highly popular Eighteenth Street Lounge nightclub. There, McCoy has developed a new, danceable sound that appeals to music lovers from all over the world.

McCoy appears at the New Vintage Fest with a quartet, plus special guest Heidi Martin — also a prominent songwriter who is considered one of D.C. jazz’s most energizing talents. Martin, a vocalist, has developed a close rapport with McCoy over the past few years, often appearing with him at Eighteenth Street Lounge.

Photograph courtesy Timothy Forbes Photography.

todd marcus

Todd Marcus

Bass clarinetist and composer Todd Marcus is one of the few jazz artists worldwide to focus exclusively on use of the bass clarinet as a primary soloing instrument.

While use of bass clarinet in jazz typically tends to lean heavily towards avant-garde and free-jazz styles, Marcus’ playing presents the instrument with a modern straight-ahead jazz approach. His music swings hard with both fiery and introspective intensity but also maintains a strong lyrical sensibility.

Based in Baltimore, MD, Marcus actively leads small ensembles such as the Todd Marcus Quartet, Trio, and Duo as well as his nonet, The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, which features his compositions and arrangements for six horns, piano, bass, and drums. His latest album, Inheritance, with the quartet, earned a spot on NPR Music’s Top 10 Recordings of 2012 list.

Self-taught in jazz theory and composition, Marcus’ compositions draw largely on straight-ahead jazz and classical influences but over recent years have also increasingly explored the Middle-Eastern sounds from his Egyptian-American heritage. His work includes international performances, clinics, and radio play and he has worked with other jazz artists such as Bennie Maupin, Don Byron, Larry Willis, Odean Pope, Tim Warfield, Sean Jones, George Colligan, Orrin Evans, Joel Frahm, Xavier Davis, Mike Formanek, and Gary Thomas.

Marcus was also a featured guest at the 1st World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, Holland where his work was recognized for both his compositions and unique solo voice. Marcus balances his music career by running Newborn Holistic Ministries, a nonprofit addressing poverty related issues in his Baltimore, Maryland neighborhood. The organization runs an art program providing children and adults with alternatives to drugs and violence in the community, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addiction and homelessness, and has achieved significant community revitalization by renovating abandoned buildings and vacant lots.


Christie Dashiell

Christie N. Dashiell is a jazz/contemporary vocalist from Greenville, NC. She occupied the screens of= millions throughout the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, as the lead vocalist in Afro Blue, Howard University’s a capella group.

As a solo artist Dashiell’s voice grabs you, it’s soft and it’s assured, and she fronts an excellent four-piece band that updates jazz with hip-hop and funk rhythms.

Dashiell was born in Washington, DC, and keeps a strong foothold in the city. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center (where she was part of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency in 2010) and the Lincoln Theatre in DC. She’s a recipient of the 2011 Downbeat Magazine Best College Graduate Jazz Vocalist, and 2008 Outstanding Soloist award, in the students’ jazz vocal category. Dashiell has performed alongside Fred Hammond, Smokey Robinson, Boney James, Geri Allen, Vanessa Rubin, Nneena Freelon, Carmen Lundy, and Mary Stallings.


Tarus Mateen

California born, Tarus Mateen, entered his professional career at age 12, making a three week tour of Jamaica West Indies. He opened for such greats as Freddie McGregor and Judy Mowatt. During the following three years, he continued performing in the states in the west coast areas. The bassist also did studio sessions for some of California’s early rappers.

With an early start in his career, upon graduation he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Morehouse College, majoring in Music. Hitting that scene by storm, he began working the local club circuit, playing a variety of styles on electric and upright bass. In 1987, Tarus was a guest of Reggae stars Sly & Robbie, where he performed on upright bass as a solist – doing what he does, giving life to music.

His career sky rocketed when he moved to New York in the late 1988 to land a one and a half year gig with legend be-bop singer, Betty Carter. Touring with Ms. Carter and recording a grammy nominated CD in Europe and Asia gave Tarus Mateen phenominal road travelling experience.

As a bassist, Tarus’ demand placed him with Terance Blanchard, whom he worked with and recorded the Malcom X original score and the grammy nominated Malcom X jazz suite. He also laid the bass tracks for the scoring of Sugar Hill. Tarus recently recorded with and produced a track for the daughter of Diana Ross, Rhonda Ross.

Look for Tarus musical productions and arrangements on the soulful album entitled “All You Need” for vocalist “Jaha” to be released this Summer.

More of Tarus’s credentials embody recording bass lines for the upcoming Outkast and Toni Braxton albums, The remix to Speech’s, “Loke Marvin Gaye Said” and the gold selling Goodie Mob single “Cell Therapy”. Tarus is the bassist for the Goodie Mob who toured the US twice extensively with tfe Roots, the Fugees, De La Soul and Fishbone around the nation.


Kris Funn & Corner Store

Kristopher Funn was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He began playing the trumpet at age four and took up the double bass at age 14 upon entering high school. Through the instruction of his father, Charles Funn, Kristopher performed his first professional bass gig the same year he began learning the instrument. Other early accomplishments included winning the “unsung hero” at the Fish Middleton jazz competition at the East Coast Jazz festival also in the first year of instruction. At age 18, Kristopher attended Howard University to study Computer Science while also performing in the Howard University Jazz Ensemble for two years.

After graduating with an honors degree in computer science, Kristopher decided to pursue a career as a professional jazz musician, performing in several venues in the Baltimore Washington metropolitan areas. At age 23, Kristopher began touring internationally with alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett. Since then, he has traveled to every major jazz festival in the world touching six continents performing with artists including Bruce Williams, Nicholas Payton, Pharoah Sanders, Jeff Majors, Jeff Lorber, and many others. Kristopher has appeared on several recordings including the Christian Scott albums, “Yesterday You Said Tomorrow”  and Christian aTunde Adjuah on the Concord Jazz label. He continues to perform professionally in the Washington D.C. area while touring with the Christian Scott Quintet.

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