Sunday, April 11, 2010

Djesben at Adams-Morgan's Bossa

For a long time I was curious about the World-Groove-Jazz group Djesben (“JESS-ben”) where Wanchuk's friend Christian sings and plays Appalachian dulcimer. Tonight they performed at Bossa Bistro and Lounge in Adams-Morgan at 7:30pm, so I walked up there when it was a little past 7pm. I had not been to Bossa before nor had I attended such kinds of performances (I mean, non-classical ones), so I was not sure how the whole thing was going to work out. Fortunately, I saw Christian right at the entrance; we chatted a bit, and then I went inside, ordered a glass of red wine, and started looking for a table. The venue was small, and it was not very crowded but almost all tables close to the stage were occupied. I found a good seat though. The atmosphere was very casual; and the people, friendly. I usually have great difficulties talking to people I don't know but to my great surprise this time I found myself easily chatting with my neighbors.

The show began, and it was very enjoyable.
Djesben is a trio of multi-instrumentalists whose diverse backgrounds guarantee to delight with a variety of styles: jazz standards, bebop and bossa nova, as well as original tunes influenced by music from around the globe. The instruments of Djesben are not those of the typical jazz trio
Topher Dunne plays the Chapman Stick, a 10-string tapping instrument with the range of a piano.
Katy Gaughan plays a battery of percussion centered around her conga drums, the tall, wide-bellied hand drums of Latin music.
Christian Crowley plays the dulcimer, a small stringed instrument from the Appalachian mountains that can be strummed like a guitar or bowed like a violin.
All three have been known to sing, usually led by the dulcet tones of Mr. Crowley. Other instruments played by Djesben members in concert settings have included violin, viola, accordion, harp, guitar, bass, pennywhistle, hammer dulcimer, and some double Stick work.
By 7:30pm the club was full of people, and everyone was enthusiastic and appreciative. Check out their future performances:

After Djessben's performance I walked over the Duke Ellington bridge to the Woodley Park-Zoo station and took the metro home. It was a long and productive day.

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