So, you know back when you were in junior high, and you thought it’d be the coolest if you could just get away from your little suburb and go to some loft in Washington Square and be with people as cool as you are? People who really cared about the music? People who didn’t care if they had the latest Keds or most rad pencil keeper? Yeah, me too!
OK, now that you’ve grown up and are pretty cool yourself, you probably don’t long for the smoky dim light and dissonant chords of a jazz loft. Or…do you?
Look no further than the Red Door, the most sketched-out, most awesome performance area I’ve yet come across. Of course it’s dark when you get there (who listens to real live jazz during the day?), so you can squint to make sure you have the right place. That’s it, it’s a red door. In an alley. In a desolate part of Chinatown.
You’re mostly there already, if you can make yourself do all that when most people are home making their lunches for the week. Shut the door behind you, a sign on which reads something like, “Hey dummy, don’t take drinks outside–there are COPS!” Turn to gaze straight up the almost antique iron circular staircase. Mount this, clutching the hand rail as you do.
Walk down a narrow hallway on the second floor filled with mannequin parts and instrument cases. Enter The Loft.
There is usually a $10 contribution requested, and for the space and the stellar music you’re sure to hear, it’s a deal. The last time I visited I was treated to a one-woman performance of such stunning virtuosity that I forgot when I’d arrived or how long I’d been there–I was hooked. Quite the opposite of other concerts; you know, the ones where everyone is taking blurry pictures with their iPhones and throwing light all over your mellow.
But you must go now! Sadly, friends, the Red Door will be hosting its last performance (gasp! yes, I’m afraid it’s true) on Sunday, January 21st, at 7:00pm. It’s guaranteed to be a blowout, so come out if you’ve never come before, and return for the memories and the music if you have.
If you fall in love with live DC jazz, you can continue the affair with the help of Capital Bop, the District’s very own source for all things jazz. They list shows everywhere from Bohemian Caverns to Twins to Blues Alley.
Any visitors to H Street’s new HR-57 location? Hit up the Comments.