DCJF Music Education Program

DCJF Music Education Program

The DC Jazz Festival Music Education Program provides free and low-cost education programs to over 2,500 DC Public and Charter School students, teachers, and their families, especially in underserved communities; and serves 4,800 through Jazz ’n Families Fun Days, a prelude to our annual festival. From early childhood through to adult learners, the DCJF Education Program engages and enhances the lives of a vast demographic of DC Metro-area community members with robust and comprehensive programming. The DC Jazz Festival is a recipient of the 2018 Wells Fargo Cultural Excellence Grant based on our fundamental ground work with DC Jazz Bops! and the 2018 DC Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Creative Industries–presenting great concerts and high-quality music education programs throughout the DC area.


Jazzin' AfterSchool

In partnership with Sitar Arts Center, Jazzin’ AfterSchool provides year-round weekly instrument training and jazz history sessions for Sitar music students. Each semester, students enrolled in the course are joined by upwards of 80 other Sitar music students for a lively masterclass session focusing exclusively on jazz performance, history, and appreciation. A core group of students performs in a culminating concert at Sitar Arts Center for their peers, teachers, and families and also, are featured each year in an exceptional performance at the DC Jazz Festival’s Jazz 'N Family Fun Days event. Seasoned jazz bassist and Associate Professor of Bass and Jazz Combo Director at The George Washington University, Herman Burney, leads Jazzin’ AfterSchool.

Jazzin' In School

Jazzin' InSchool is the newest addition to the DC Jazz Festival Music Education programs and will introduce DC elementary school students to the rich legacy and culture of jazz. Jazzin’ InSchool includes a music appreciation component with insightful jazz history trivia, and an interactive, beginner’s approach to learning improvisation. Students examine jazz’s societal relevance and its connection to significant musical and historical milestones. From field hollers and Dizzy Gillespie to Stevie Wonder and contemporary music, students are guided on a musical journey of jazz and blues. In partnership with Tyler Elementary School and Bishop Walker School for BoysJazzin' InSchool is presented weekly.

For more information, call toll free at 855-332-7767

DC JazzBops!

DC Jazz Bops!, the DC Jazz Festival’s early childhood education program, uses jazz-inspired books, storytelling and interactive lessons to teach our community’s youngest learners about music and promote an early interest in reading. Using a collection of award-winning literature, we share stories about the joy of jazz, the lives of jazz legends, and the origins of jazz as an art form in an accessible and child-friendly environment. Books include accompanying CDs or playlists allowing young readers to sing, dance, and explore long after class is over. DC Jazz Bops! offers children and caregivers opportunities to explore jazz as a tool to educate and express themselves together.


The DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) proudly presents our Meet-the-Artist Series. Throughout the year, the festival offers the DCJF community opportunities to meet our artistic talents and engage with them through an exclusive Q&A session. Started in 2013, the series is organized by the DC Jazz Festival’s own Artistic Director, Willard Jenkins. We invite you to review our Meet-the-Artist archive to see some of our previous features or to reach out to learn more. 

Artist-In-Residence Program

The DC Jazz Festival recently launched our Artist-In-Residence Program to provide our community with valuable perspective and insight from a bevy of world-renowned artists who will use their collective experiences to inform and enrich our programming. We are beyond honored to announce that the presiding DCJF Artist-In-Residence is none other than the multi-talented Terri Lynne Carrington. Read more about her accoloades and what she brings to the program through the header above.