Capital Jazz Band is a collaborative of DC’s finest jazz musicians both young and old.  The DC Music Entertainment  & Grabielismo Productions signature band is DC’s most versatile jazz band specializing in jazz from dixieland to swing/bigband, straight ahead to latin and traditional to modern.  Rotating members of the band include senior jazz professionals in the area to the youngest and freshest musicians found in the clubs on U Street and DC’s hottest jazz spots.  The end result, a band of deep sizzling talent that delivers music ranging from traditional sounds to the most cutting edge.

The Capital Jazz Band is proud to release it’s first CD entitled “Add A Beat!”.  True to it’s vision of blending the seasoned with the modern-day,  Capital Jazz Band’s CD “Add A Beat!” brings together the original music of DC native  Sam Glenn with the hottest young talent that DC has to offer.  The album features eight original tracks written by Sam & Kathy Glenn and arranged by Sam and Pablo Grabiel as well as two standards, My One and Only Love and Stella By Starlight.  In their debut album the Capital Jazz Band features the talent of Sam Glenn, Pablo Grabiel, Eric Wheeler, Nathan Jolley, Noble Jolley, Josh Carr, Justin Parrot & Lena Seikaly.

Please see individual bios below:

Sam Glenn (clarinet, flute, tenor sax): Sam Glenn spent his early years as a professional musician in the Arlington, VA, DC area. Sam earned a Bachelor of  Music at Eastman School of Music, then continued sharpening his musical chops for three years with the Bob Cross Orchestra at the (Omni) Shoreham Hotel playing for various entertainers such as Milton Berle, Robert Goulet, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Gordon and Sheila MacRae, Carol Channing, Liberace, Ted Lewis, and Pearl Bailey.  Sam met and married Kathy after relocating to Los Angeles. They soon began writing songs and scripts which led to producing books for children and working in the printing industry. Today, Sam teaches Mental Fitness and Music Appreciation in addition to performing regularly with many of the finest musicians in the Los Angeles area.

Pablo Grabiel (Guitar): Pablo Grabiel’s love of music was nurtured from childhood where music played a prominent role in all family activities—from toy round-ups to holiday celebrations and summer camping trips. However, he discovered the healing power of music while teaching himself the guitar during a rough patch in his late teens.

Pablo graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Business from UCLA. It was during his first job out of college, working as a Behavior Analyst for families with developmentally disabled children, that he began to incorporate the therapeutic values of music into his work with special needs populations. He began studying music in earnest at Moorpark College and privately with Washington DC legend Sam Glenn and other legends such as John Pissano. Pablo also began to play regularly for the Joe Vento Big Band at this time.

In 2004, Pablo moved to Washington DC and created Grabielismo Productions, a full-service music and entertainment company.  During the company’s launch he continued his role as Director of Activities at Fairfax Nursing Center where he used music on a daily basis with the residence to entertain as well as to stimulate memory.  In 2005 Pablo began classes in Jazz Studies at the University of the District of Columbia.

Today Pablo and the talented members that is Grabielismo Productions and DC Music Entertainment can be found performing and producing music with the region’s best professional musicians throughout the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas.

Pablo lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife, Danielle, an environmental activist and law student and their daughter Estela Luz.

Nathan Jolley (Drums):  Nathan Jolley, is a professional Jazz Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Songwriter, Arranger, and Producer from Washington DC.  Nathan received his B.M. in Jazz Studies/Jazz Percussion from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University with a 3.6 GPA.  Nathan  began playing the drums at the age of two.  His parents discovered his gift when it was time to prepare dinner for the family, and Nathan was in his room playing on pots and pans. Nathan Jolley’s enthusiasm  about the  drums hasn’t changed.  Home schooled through the Cedar Brook Academy, Nathan graduated in 2005 as an honor student.  After graduation he was offered a full scholarship to the prestigious, Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory. The youngest of seven,  Nathan grew up in a musical family.  Nathans greatest influence is his father,the late Noble Jolley, Sr.,  reknowned jazz guitarist, and composer, who earned the first degree in Jazz Studies at Howard University in 1977.   Nathan has performed with the Peabody Conservatory Lab Band, the Washington Jazz Arts Institute Orchestra, and the Wes Group. Nathan also performs with his brother Noble Jr.,in the Jolley Twins Group. Nathan has opened for John Legend, Ron Carter, James Moody, and McCoy Tyner, he’s performed with Antonio Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Eric Lewis, Gary Thomas, Cynda Williams from Spike lee’s “Mo Better Blues” and Malcolm Jamal Warner from the “Cosby Show.”  He was invited by Rufus Reid to study at Ravinia Jazz Festival in Chicago,IL,  and was also invited to study with Christian McBride, at the Aspen Snow Mass Summer Jazz Camp in Aspen, Colorado.  Nathans C.D. credits include: The Wes Groups “A Jazz Mass” and their latest release “Ancestors;” “American University Jazz Christmas;”  Rebel Youth Shine Compilation Album; Fred Foss’ “Lessons From The Masters, and Rashida Jolley’s Love Is Not A Game.”  He has toured in Cuba, St Lucia, Anguilla, and Bonaire. He has also performed at the East Coast Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Lincoln Theater,  Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia, and the Blue Note In New York, to name a few.  Nathan has received critical acclaim for his stellar performances.  Evan Haga from Jazz Times Magazine wrote,”Nathan is an equally confident and expressive player whose performance was a display of youthful athleticism; he buoyed and bounced around the kit with an elasticity that matched the shifting dynamics of his drumming. It was explosive musicianship that deserved a bountiful audience.”

Beside playing music Nathan has a love for sports, and has even had the chance to play a game of basketball with Wynton Marsalis.   Nathan continues an active career in producing, composing, and performing. Nathans’ dreams are to fulfill his purpose in life, and to fulfill his God’s given gifts.

Noble Jolley (Piano):  Noble Jolley, Jr. jazz pianist, composer, producer and arranger from Washington, DC., exhibited musical ability at a young age.  Noble received his B.M. in Jazz Studies from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University with a 3.8 GPA.  An inquisitive child, Noble taught himself to play harmonica when he was 3, followed shortly with the accordion. His formal music training began at the age of 5 when he studied viola at the renowned DC Youth Orchestra Program, and where he began studying trumpet at the age of 8.  During this time, Noble would sit at the piano creating what his mother called “Gershwin-like melodies.” Noble fell in love with the piano, and eventually began taking formal piano lessons, while receiving theory lessons from his father. Noble’s father was the late jazz guitarist, Noble Jolley, Sr., who earned the first degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University in 1977. Noble Jr. soon became inspired by the jazz influence of his father.  In 2000, Noble began to play and study jazz trumpet and piano with the Fred Foss Youth Jazz Orchestra, while also playing and studying classical trumpet at the DC Youth Orchestra Program. He performed with the Fred Foss Youth Jazz Orchestra at the 2000 Havana Jazz Festival in Havana Cuba at the age of 13; and for the next few years, at the East Coast Jazz Festival, the American University Blues & Jazz Festival, and the Maryland Youth Jazz Festival.  He also received a scholarship to study jazz piano and music theory at the Levine School of Music. Noble was nominated to Who’s Who Among America’s High School Students in 2004/2005. Noble was home schooled through Cedar Brook Academy. While in the 12th Grade, Noble was a guest member of the Howard University Jazz Orchestra, where he also took a few courses in the Jazz Department.

After graduating from high school as an honor student in 2005, Noble received a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in 2005/2006. A consistent Dean’s List Honor student with a 3.7 GPA at the Peabody Conservatory, Noble received an invitation to become Peabody Conservatory’s first exchange student when he was selected for admittance to The Paris Conservatory in 2007. At the Paris Conservatory, Noble studied jazz and classical piano under Herve Sellin – – to much acclaim. Noble was nominated to the National Dean’s in 2005/2006, and currently holds the Rose and Leon J. Neiburger Memorial Scholarship and the William and Dorothy Nerenberg Endowed Scholarship in Piano.

Noble has performed with the Peabody Conservatory Jazz Lab Band, the Peabody Conservatory Latin Jazz Band, the Peabody Jazz Orchestra, and the Washington Jazz Arts Institute Orchestra. Noble performs with his own jazz group, the Noble Jolley Group, with his twin brother, Nathan Jolley, jazz percussionist, as the Jolley Twins, and with his sister, R&B harpist/singer Rashida Jolley. He has opened in concerts that featured Ron Carter, James Moody, John Legend, and Gary Bartz, to name a few. Noble was selected by Rufus Reid to be a participant in the Ravinia Jazz Festival in Chicago, IL in June 2006. He has performed at the BET Jazz Festival in Antigua, St. Lucia, Anguilla, and Bonaire.  Jazz Times Magazine’s (March 2007) Concert Review of the BET Jazz Festival in Antigua (2007)  noted “Noble …was fiercely talented and full of promise. Pianist Noble packs a Tyner-ish wallop and his solos shone a real knack for textural drama.” He has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Theater Concert Hall in Washington, DC, Blues Alley in Washington, DC; the Blue Note in New York City; the Zanzibar Blue, in Philadelphia; HR 57 in Washington, DC; and Twins Jazz Club in Washington, DC. Noble has performed with his father, the late jazz guitarist Noble Jolley, Sr., Gary Thomas, Nasar Abadey, Davey Yarborough, Wes Anderson, Rufus Reed, Esther Williams, Heidi Martin, The WES Group, Cynda Williams from Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues,” and Malcolm Jamal Warner from the “The Cosby Show.” Recently, Noble taught jazz piano to young people at the Be Community Summer Camp in Anguilla. He performs at numerous clubs, restaurants, churches museums, private parties, senior centers, and youth centers. Noble also plays, composes and produces Gospel and R&B music. Noble’s recordings include Face 2 Face – Jolley Twins – 2003 (Co-producer, Composer, Piano); Lessons From the Masters – Fred Foss Youth Jazz Orchestra – 2000 (trumpet); Ancestors- The Wes Group – 2006; and Love Is Not A Game – Rashida Jolley – 2004 – (Producer, Composer).

Eric Wheeler (Upright Bass):  “Eric Wheeler is a Washington, DC native and has been studying string bass for 17 years. He began studying classical music at the age of nine at the DC Youth Orchestra Program in Washington, DC. At age thirteen he was accepted into the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, where he began to study jazz music. At Ellington, he had the opportunity to travel to places such as Canada, France, England, and Germany. This greatly influenced Eric to pursue a career in music. While attending Howard University as a music major, he worked professionally in the DC metro area as a jazz and classical musician. Eric received both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Howard University as of May 2006. Since then he has performed with notable jazz artist such as Stephon Harris, Tim Warfield, Cyrus Chestnut, and Roy Hargrove. He has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Lincoln Theatre, Wolf Trap, and the Strathmore Music Center, all located in the DC area. He also performs quite frequently at Ortleibs Jazz in Philadelphia, PA and the infamous Zinc Bar located New York City, NY. In addition to playing at numerous jazz clubs and performing arts centers on the east coast, Eric has also performed at major jazz festivals in the US and abroad. In September 2007 he performed with famous trumpeter Eddie Henderson at the Jenkintown Jazz Festival in Jenkintown, Pa, and in November of 2007 with Saxophonist Mike Phillips at the Tranqulity Jazz Festival in Anguilla, BWI. In August of 2008 Eric performed with pianist Eric Lewis at the world renown Charlie Parker Festival held in New York, NY. Eric also performs a wide variety of music and has appeared on several R&B, gospel, and classical recordings. Presently Eric works as a full time musician and educator in the DC metro area.”

Joshua Carr (Alto Saxophone):  Joshua Carr began his professional career as a jazz saxophone player after earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Temple University.  In the following summer, Joshua began making himself a regular at DC’s local jazz jam sessions.  After getting to know some of DC’s most talented musicians, Joshua began to perform at some of the DC areas top venues.    Some of these included Bohemian Caverns, the 219 Club (Alexandria, VA), U-Topia, and Jojo’s jazz lounge.  Joshua began working as a leader of successful jazz groups, as well as a side-man.  This dual-identity made Joshua a more versatile artist, and allowed him to learn some of the demanding repertoire that was being performed in the DC area.  Some of the musicians
that Joshua performed with from 2003-2006 include Clyde Adams, Corcoran Holt, Rick Whitehead, John Ozment, John Lee, and Ben Williams. In 2006, Joshua entered into Howard University’s Masters in Music Program.  Throughout this period, Joshua continued to perform frequently at Venues such as The Islander, Twins Jazz, Jojo’s Jazz Lounge, and U-Topia.  The bulk of his time, however, was dedicated to performing within the Howard music program.  Joshua performed in Howard’s most premiere ensembles, such as Howard’s legendary Jazz Big Band, and equally legendary “Jazztet”.  In the summer of 2007, Joshua toured Japan with the HU big band, which has since recorded 2 albums!! Under the tutelage of Charlie Young, and Dr. Fred Irby III, Joshua’s musical growth steered him in his current path, and he continues to perform frequently.  Some of his latest performances have taken place at HR-57, U-Topia’s Jazz Lounge, Nema’s Jazz Lounge, The Adam’s Morgan Festival, and many other venues… Joshua is also the Director of The Academy of the Holy Cross’ Jazz ensemble, as well as a respected private instructor.

Justin Parrott (Upright Bass featured on the track “Moonlight and You”): Justin Parrott was born and raised in Alexandria Virginia.  Throughout the years Justin has played with many groups from Reggae to funk, latin and Jazz.  Justin now studies at the University of District Columbia where he plays in the UDC big band while continuing to be one of the most saught out bass players in the DC area.

Lena Seikaly (Vocals featured on the track “Moonlight and You”): Lena Seikaly is a fresh new voice on the national jazz scene from the Washington D.C. area. Having received compliments and praise from the likes of Curtis Fuller, Nathan Davis, Robert Glasper, Christian McBride, John Eaton, Roberta Gambarini and Carmen Lundy, her sound is inspired directly by the great jazz vocalists, mixed with an interpretive ingenuity reminiscent of legendary improvisers Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. She was a participant at the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., a prestigious program open to young performer-composers of jazz – there, she studied closely with greats Curtis Fuller, Winard Harper, George Cables, Nathan Davis, Carmen Lundy and Chip Jackson. She was also a 2005 participant at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass program directed by Christian McBride, where she studied closely with McBride and his band, vocalist Nnenna Freelon and Loren Schoenberg. She has also been selected to be a Strathmore artist in-residence for the 2009-2010 season at Bethesda, Maryland’s renowned Strathmore Music Center. Lena has had the pleasure of singing with many contemporary jazz greats in her career thus far, including Christian McBride, John Eaton, and Eddie Locke. As a featured vocalist with six ensembles in and around D.C., including her own trio, quartet and quintet, she has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), the Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland), several jazz venues in France during a month-long tour, the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (CA), and various local festivals.  Lena has appeared at local venues such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Strathmore Mansion, Twins Jazz, Blues Alley, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, the Atlas Theater, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and has been featured on D.C.’s jazz radio station, WPFW 89.3. Professionally, she served as the vocal jazz instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts during the 2008-09 school year, and is currently a private jazz and classical voice instructor in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

As an accomplished composer and arranger in various styles of jazz, Lena released her first solo album, “Written in the Stars,” in February 2009. Doug Ramsey, acclaimed jazz critic and winner of the 2008 lifetime achievement award for jazz journalism, had nothing but praise for the album in his Arts Journal weblog, Rifftides. He writes:

“Ms. Seikaly sings with a rich mezzo-soprano voice, using intonation, timbre and control that reflect her classical training. Her phrasing, feeling and improvisatory leanings come from an understanding of jazz values. She makes the unconventional, even daring, decision to open her debut album by scatting her way into “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.” Musicianship and her sense of proportion make the track, and the CD, a success. Ms. Seikaly… [scats] with a musician’s grasp of harmony, not merely straining to be hip.”