It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifelong jazz fan or new to the genre – you’ll find music that will wow you at the DC Jazz Festival. Running June 9 – 18, the Festival is bringing 300 different artists to the District for nine days of music.
You can see GRAMMY winners, up-and-comers and local artists at over 40 different venues. Many of the venues are part of the festival because of the “Jazz in the ‘Hoods” initiative presented by Events DC. This partnership with local clubs, restaurants, hotels and galleries brings artists to a mix of venues in twenty-one different neighborhoods across the city. Innovative and boundary-breaking, “Jazz in the ‘Hoods” is a central part of the Festival’s roots and a powerful force for getting jazz music to the masses.
Below is a round-up of can’t miss shows for jazz-lovers.
University of the District of Columbia / JazzAlive
DCJazzPrix is a national competition now in its second year that recognizes the finest rising jazz band talent from across the U.S. The winning band will be honored with a $15,000 award and will receive a powerful professional development opportunity and visibility through a year-long association with the DC Jazz Festival. Free entry.
June 16 - 18
Events DC Presents: DC JazzFest at The Yards
The Yards Park
Expect the unexpected at this three-day “blowout” presented by Events DC. JazzFest at the Yards gives jazz fans an opportunity to enjoy music while lounging around the lovely green space at the Capitol Riverfront with scenic venues overlooking the Anacostia River. This event begins with a free concert on Friday, June 16 at 5:00 pm featuring two stellar vocalists: Lori Williams and Nigerian-British man of song, Ola Onabule. Artists scheduled to perform at ticketed events on Saturday, June 17 include GRAMMY-winners Robert Glasper Experiment and the perennial poll-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett; as well as rising star Kandace Springs. Sunday, June 18 promises more spectacular music on the waterfront. Featured artists include people’s choice and GRAMMY-winning vocalist Gregory Porter, the innovative hip-hop group Black Violin, the 2016 DCJazzPrix winning band the New Century Jazz Quintet and renowned Korean pianist Youngjoo Song.
The Kennedy Center
Bass-ically Yours: TrioVera
The members of TrioVera bring their lyrical style to interpretations of material from a range of composers, from Jerome Kern to Richie Bierach. They’ll also perform several original compositions.
Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H Street, NE)
Slavic Soul Party: Duke Ellington's Far East Suite
This New York-based band offers “fiery Balkan brass, throbbing funk grooves and Roma (Gypsy) accordion wizardry.” Danceable and grooveable, their rendition of Ellington’s opus honors the spirit of the original while adding a splash of BalkanSoulGypsyFunk flavor.
The Kennedy Center
Bass-ically Yours: Kristopher Funn
Born and raised in Baltimore, Kristopher Funn started playing the trumpet at age four and took up the double bass at age 14. After earning an honors degree in computer science, Funn decided to become an professional jazz musician. His band “The Corner Store” reminds him of his childhood — the corner store does not always have what you need, but they sure do have things you find yourself guilty of wanting from time to time.
Having so many Jazz musicians in and around the city is an exciting opportunity for DC residents and visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of jazz music. The affordability of some shows (totally free!), expertise of artists and grooving atmosphere make the events totally worth checking out. To learn more, visit dcjazzfest.org.
As the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC leverages the beauty, history and diversity of the most powerful city in the world to attract and promote a variety of events, resulting in amazing experiences. Events DC is a proud partner in the production of the DC Jazz Festival. To stay on top of what’s happening in the District, link up with Events DC on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or visit http://www.eventsdc.com.