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DC Jazz Festival Presents Annual Awards at the Embassy of Japan and The Hamilton Live

Release Date
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sadao Watanabe and The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to be Honored

WASHINGTON – June 17, 2014 – The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) Board of Directors today announced that it will present its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to world-renowned Japanese saxophonist Sadao Watanabe, and its 2014 John Conyers Jr. Jazz Advocacy Award to The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation during its 10th anniversary celebration. The DCJF honors jazz greats for their lifetime contributions to jazz and humanity each year.

The annual DCJF Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed, at a concert during the annual festival, to an individual who serves as a model representative for jazz and has dedicated his or her life to jazz as an art form, an education tool, and a unifying force. Past awardees include Roy Haynes, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Eddie Palmieri, James Moody, Ellis Marsalis, George Wein, Buck Hill, Clark Terry, Hank Jones, Dr. Billy Taylor and Dave Brubeck.

The annual DCJF Jazz Advocacy Award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has actively supported jazz and the DCJF. The award is named in honor of Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), a champion of jazz who introduced the unanimously passed bill HR-57 in 1987 that declared jazz a “rare and valuable American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated.”

The Cafritz Foundation and Sadao Watanabe will be awarded June 23 at the VIP Opening Reception at the Embassy of Japan, as well as on June 21 at the prelude event kicking off Jazz at the Hamilton Live featuring the Roy Hargrove Quintet. Tickets for The Hamilton Live event are available for purchase at 7:30 p.m. here and at 10:30 p.m. here.

“The Embassy of Japan is pleased and honored to host the DC Jazz Festival’s Opening Reception,” said Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae. “Japan now has one of the biggest and fastest growing jazz scenes in the world, and many Japanese jazz artists are bringing fresh perspectives and stunning new techniques to the world of jazz in the U.S.”

“We are pleased to honor world-class saxophonist Sadao Watanabe with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contributions to the jazz community,” said Michael Sonnenreich, DCJF Chairman. “We are also proud to recognize The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation with our Jazz Advocacy Award. We are extremely grateful for their unwavering support to the DCJF and our mission.”

Renaissance Hotels is the official hotel sponsor of the 2014 DCJF. For travel discount information, visit

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About the DC Jazz Festival: With more than 125 performances in nearly 60 venues, the DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) is one of the largest music festivals in the country. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the DCJF has experienced spectacular year-by-year growth, and celebrated its landmark 11th anniversary this year. As the fastest-growing jazz festival in the U.S., the DCJF celebrates America’s unique original art form during this international event that attracts jazz lovers from around the world to the nation’s capital. The DCJF also presents year-round programs with performances featuring local, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The DCJF's mission is to promote music, particularly jazz, education programs and actively support community outreach to expand and diversify its audience of jazz enthusiasts. The 2015 DCJF will take place June 10-16. For more information about the DCJF and upcoming programs, visit

The DC Jazz Festival® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit service organization. The DC Jazz Festival is sponsored, in part, with major grants from the Government of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, Mayor; and, in part, by major grants from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Mayo Charitable Foundation, NEA Foundation, CrossCurrents Foundation, New Music USA, and with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; and by the City Fund, administered by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. ©2015 DC Jazz Festival. All rights reserved.

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