PICKS: It’s Jazz Week in RVA

Highlights include Charles Owens Trio and Grammy-winning pianist Dave Kikoski at Black Iris and Allegories Quartet at Orbital.


If the COVID era resulted in a drought of live music, the second week of June is a monsoon. Starting with the Sunday night concert of Bon Iver and Bonnie Light Horseman at the Virginia Credit Union Sunday night, every day offers at least one event worth considering.

Monday, Curt Sydnor’s “Four Folia concert series at Northside’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church gets an oxymoronic fifth event with the appearance of Adam Schatz. The saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Ladyland leader is taking a day out of the band’s tour for a solo appearance. Keyboardist Sydnor with Bio Ritmo’s Rei Alvarez open the show.

Four Folia with Ladyland (solo) and Curt Sydnor is at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Monday June 13 at 7:30. A $15 donation is suggested. Masks are required.

Tuesday, Brian Jones continues his Spacebomb house concert series with sets from Michael Hawkin’s killer Brotherhood band, featuring James “Saxsmo” Gates, Billy Williams, and Dr. Weldon Hill. Jones’ lineup includes longtime collaborators J.C. Kuhl, bassist Adam Hopkins, and guitarist Alan Parker. For those who want a classy drink before, Cameron Ralston and Daniel Clarke’s early gig at Quirk is still going on through the month of June.

The Spacebomb House concert, with Brian Jones and the Brotherhood, is Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Spacebomb at 106 South Robinson. Tickets start at $10 for students, $20 general admission. Masks and proof of vaccine or negative test required.

Wednesday offers a major highlight with an appearance of Grammy-winning, internationally renowned pianist Dave Kikoski with the Charles Owens Trio at Black Iris. It’s a rare chance to see one of the top improvisational players on the NYC scene –with over 150 album credits and nearly two dozen as a leader. Kikoski won a 2011 Grammy with the Mingus Big Band for the album, “Live at the Jazz Standard.” If there is only one event to go to this week, this is probably it. Joining Owens will be Devonne Harris on drums and Andrew Jay Randazzo on bass.

Dave Kikoski with Charles Owens at Black Iris has doors at 8 p.m. and music at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door.

Thursday at Orbital Music Gallery, Michael McNeill’s Brooklyn-based Allegories Quartet brings lyrical expression with the unconventional lineup of pianist Michael McNeill, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, trumpeter Dave Ballou, and vibraphonist/percussionist Shelly Purdy. It’s a chance to see them early. The band is on its first tour, ranging from here to Detroit before recording in Baltimore. RVA trumpeter and electronic wind instrument (EWI) virtuoso Victor Haskins opens with a solo looping set.

Michael McNeill’s Allegories Quartet plays the Orbital Music Gallery at 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. Tickets are $10.

Keyboardist Cory Henry rounds out the week at Friday Cheers. First known as the very competent pianist with the genre-defying Snarky Puppy collective, he’s had a very successful solo career leading a state-of-the-art soul funk ensemble. Portsmouth native ‘psychedelic disco” singer songwriter Shormey opens [see our feature out tomorrow].

Friday Cheers gates open for Corey Henry with Shomey (see Style feature story this week) at 6 p.m. Shomey goes on at 6:30 p.m. and Henry at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door. Children 12 & under are free.