a coincidence, and all that jazz

C. sent out an email Friday afternoon.

“A friend of mine is performing…something new…music…And U St. shenanigans can follow.”

His coworker from Sen. Sabenow’s office was singing in a jazz band in an upstairs lounge in the Ethiopian restaurant Almaz that evening at 12th and U streets NW. U Street is designated as a historic hub where jazz greats like Duke Ellington used to play.

I haven’t seen jazz in, well, years. So I agreed.

About an hour later that afternoon, my coworker said, “Did you hear [editor] is playing jazz in his band tonight? [Another reporter] is going.”

“Where?” (I hadn’t heard.)

“Somewhere on U St.”


Turns out, it was the same place.

Two jazz bands. My boss, who plays the piano in the newly-formed The Little Falls Jazz Quartet (this was his first performance there). C.’s coworker, who is the singer in a duet that played songs like the Eagles’ “Desperado.” Playing one after the other. Neither know the other.

I met S. there, beating C., and we staked out seats on the cushy bench in the dimly-lit lounge near the stage, drank beers and watched my boss play the piano and announce the next songs in a low voice. He saw me, and after the band finished playing and they packed up their instruments and song sheets, he came over.

“Thanks for coming!” he said quite enthusiastically and with a hint of surprise.

I should have said, “Oh of course, I wanted to support you!”

Instead, in my Midwestern honesty, I said, “You’ll never believe…it was such a coincidence…”

(Stupid, stupid!)

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