About DCJF

Since 2004, the DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) organization has provided enriching and entertaining jazz performances and programs that introduce students and adults from all walks of life to jazz; our nation’s singular original art form. DCJF presents a selection of the jazz genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists and provides enhanced exposure for the rich treasure trove of musicians from the Washington, DC area. Throughout the year, DCJF nourishes the community with free music education programs that extend our reach into underserved communities and enhance the quality of life for DC public and charter school students.


The mission of the DC Jazz Festival (DCJF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is to:

  • Present internationally world-renowned and emerging artists in celebration of jazz; 

  • Unify diverse communities and enable connections between artists and audience year-round;

  • Advance jazz and music education by providing exciting, adventurous and diverse musical experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds in the greater DC area as well as out-of-town visitors;

  • Provide performance opportunities for DC-based jazz musicians; and

  • Highlight DC as a major and vibrant center for jazz; and as a premier cultural destination

Our signature programs are the annual DCJazzFestTM, presented annually since 2004; the year-round DCJF Music Education Program, established in 2008; the Charles Fishman Embassy Series, established in 2012; and DCJazzPrixTMestablished in 2015.

A copy of our 990 for the 2015 fiscal year can be found here.


DCJF's goals are to:

  • To present exciting, adventurous and diverse programming for all ages and backgrounds

  • To create exceptional festival experiences

  • To provide free, innovative music education programming for children and adults

  • To honor the District’s rich legacy of jazz

  • To develop year-round, multi-year dynamic partnerships

  • To highlight DC JazzFest as a premier destination for jazz

  • To ensure organizational sustainability alongside artistic excellence


The DCJF Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year, as part of its mission, the DC Jazz Festival honors jazz greats for their lifetime contributions to jazz and humanity. The DCJF Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed to an individual who serves as a model representative for jazz and has dedicated his/her life to jazz as an art form, an education tool, and a unifying force.

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The DCJF John Conyers, Jr. Jazz Advocacy Award

Each year, as part of its mission, the DC Jazz Festival honors jazz greats for their lifetime contributions to jazz and humanity. The DCJF John Conyers, Jr. Jazz Advocacy Award recognizes individuals and organizations for their devotion and commitment to jazz and the recipients’ efforts to ensure its rightful place in America’s history.

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