Art Works Podcast: Capital Bop
In this week's podcast, we go behind-the-scenes with Capital Bop. Writer Gio Russonello and musician Luke Stewart were used to seeing each another at one or another of Washington, DC's many jazz clubs. The problem was, despite the excellent and varied music performed throughout the city, they weren't seeing too many other people in the audience, especially young people like themselves. So these two enterprising mid-20-somethings took action. They decided to shine a spotlight on the great music made in DC by local musicians.
In 2010, they launched a website, CapitalBop.com. Simply put, Capital Bop is an online clearinghouse that includes a calendar of all the jazz going on in Washington, a comprehensive list of DC clubs---complete with maps, profiles, and essentials about pricing and food---a catalog of local jazz musicians with their contact info, and articles and multimedia resources on DC jazz. It was basically one-stop shopping for the city's jazz scene, and proved extraordinarily useful for people already interested in the music. But, Russonello and Stewart were also concerned that jazz didn't seem to be on the radar of more youthful music-lovers. They wanted to attract new and younger listeners to live jazz shows.
To that end, they began the DC Jazz Loft. The DC Jazz Loft produces monthly musical performances across the entire jazz spectrum in small, off-beat venues: no cover charge, no bouncer, no drinks, no tables, no chairs. Just music, and a chance for the audience to interact with the musicians. The performances were such an instant success that for the past two years Capital Bop has been presenting The DC Jazz Loft Series as part of the annual DC Jazz Fest.