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Posted at 3:05 PM ET, 03/23/2007

Jazzy Hotels

By Fritz Hahn

Toward the end of yesterday's Got Plans? chat, a reader from Southwest Washington had a "quick question":

"I went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel two weeks ago for after-dinner drinks. We were in the lobby area and they were playing music. Any other hotel that has the same kinda vibe? How's Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City?"

I've also enjoyed cocktails in the Mandarin Oriental's bar while listening to the piano/bass duos that perform during the week and the vocal jazz quartets on Fridays and Saturdays. (My wallet, however, has qualms about $13 cocktails.) You're right on the money with the Ritz. Though the downtown, Pentagon City and Tysons Corner hotels all offer live music in their lounges, I'm particularly fond of the music in Pentagon City on Friday nights, when the Satin Doll Trio performs. Torchy singer Patrice Ferris knows her way around Julie London and Peggy Lee ballads, and the piano-bass format works well in the small room. When the fire's going, it is very romantic.

I recommend the cozy, sofa-filled drawing room at the Tabard Inn frequently, but I never get tired of suggesting people stop by on Sundays to hear bassist Victor Dvoskin, who rules the room whether solo or with an acoustic guitarist. Grab a drink from the bar for the perfect way to wind down the weekend.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 23, 2007; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Having been to many of the places to hear jazz (mentioned in the previous post), I am curious about the comment on the $13 cocktails -- while the Mandarin offers their special "jazz martinis," they have an extensive bar menu offering traditional far/regular cocktails, wines by the glass, as well as soft drinks all with a price range below $13 -- comparable to the Four Seasons and the Ritz. I have sat listening to the jazz vocal quartets at the Mandarin drinking sparkling water -- there is no cover or music charge.

All that aside, to borrow from the Visa Card advertisements -- listening to the vocalizations of Sharon Carter, recent Oxnard Gold Medal winner at the American Traditions Competition this past week in Savannah -- "PRICELESS!" The music and vocalists (Chris Grass on piano, with bass and drums, vocalists -- especially Sharon Clark and Felicia Carter -- hearing Felicia sing is wonderful, watching her sing is even better), the Mandarin Empress Lounge staff, a wide range of libations to select from, all make for an enjoyable setting and some of DC's best weekend jazz.

Posted by: Ann | April 1, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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