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DC Jazz Festival Set to Officially Launch This Week

Release Date
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - JUNE 7, 2017 - The DC Jazz Festival is mere days away from welcoming a cornucopia of locally, nationally, and internationally acclaimed artists into a vast array of venues around the nation's capital, offering live entertainment from June 9-18. The festival hit the ground running this past weekend at its hugely popular unofficial kickoff event: Jazz 'n Families Fun Days at The Phillips Collection.

Some of the most legendary names in jazz will be featured on our stages during the festival's 10-day run, including Pat Metheny, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper Experiment, Lalah Hathaway, The Kenny Garrett Quintet, Jacob Collier, Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Ron Carter-Russell Malone Duo, Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, Chano Domínguez, and Black Violin to name just a few. Recognized as the country's fastest growing and most robust citywide festival, this year The DC Jazz Festival aims to "discover the unexpected," while highlighting jazz music as an international language.

Here are just some of the highlights:

Events DC Presents: DC JazzFest at the Yards (June 16-18):


The sounds of jazz and jazz-informed resonances will fill the summer air for a fourth year as the festival returns to the boardwalk at Yards Park, in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, for an outdoor showcase. The acclaimed artists previously announced include: two-time GRAMMY winner and music prodigy Jacob Collier; singer, songwriter, and pianist Kandace Springs; the GRAMMY award winning Robert Glasper Experiment; DC singer/songwriter Lori Williams; winners of the inaugural (2016) DCJazzPrix young band competition New Century Jazz Quintet; British-Nigerian singer/songwriter Ola Onabulé; emerging vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, the exceptional Korean pianist-composer Youngjoo Song Septet, and two-time GRAMMY winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album, perennial crowd-pleasing storyteller Gregory Porter.

"Our big weekend at Yards Park, including a free evening with Nigerian-British vocalist Ola Onabulé and DC's own songbird Lori Williams, is simply not to be missed, with multiple performances on the beautiful Capitol Riverfront," said DC Jazz Festival Artistic Director Willard Jenkins.


6/16, 5:00 -- 10:00 pm: Ola Onabulè, Lori Williams. Free.

6/17, 2:00 - 10:00 pm: Robert Glasper Experiment, Kenny Garrett Quintet, Kandace Springs, Jacob Collier, New Century Jazz Quintet. Tickets. Children under nine free.

6/18, 2:00 - 9:30 pm: Gregory Porter, Black Violin, Youngjoo Song Septet, Sarah Elizabeth Charles. Tickets. Children under nine free.

Address: 355 Water St SE. Tickets available through


A Night at the Kennedy Center: An Evening with Pat Metheny (June 12, 7:30 pm):

Winner of 20 GRAMMY awards in 12 different categories, guitar legend Pat Metheny will make his debut appearance at the DC Jazz Festival accompanied by his long-time drummer and composer of the Oscar-nominated Birdman score, Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and British pianist Gwilym Simcock.

Address: 2700 F St NW. Tickets available through Kennedy Center Box Office.

Jazz in the 'Hoods Presented by Events DC (June 9-18):

This series unites DC in a city-wide partnership, presenting a mix of local and nationally-recognized artists attracting large, varied audiences of DC residents and tourists in a celebration of jazz in our nation's capital. Jazz in the 'Hoods brings a mix of free and ticketed jazz performances to over 21 neighborhoods covering all four quadrants of the city throughout the duration of the festival. Tickets are still available for Juno Award-winning saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, her kinetic, all-woman Afro-Cuban band, performing on June 10, 8pm, at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. A recipient of Canada's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada, Ms. Bunnett's concert is part of the Embassy of Canada's celebration of our northern neighbor's 150th anniversary of independence.

Address: 600 I St NW. Tickets available through Sixth & I Box Office.

"I'm frequently asked what I consider the 'don't miss' events of our festival; and my general, entirely politic, response is 'all of it!'" said Jenkins. "But if pinned down I would gracefully demure and here are the programs not to be missed: Saturday, June 10 is probably the hardest; but don't dare miss Jane Bunnett & Maqueque at Sixth & I. And here's more for your listening pleasure..."

Jazz in the 'Hoods events include the CapitalBop D.C. Jazz Loft Series featuring innovative, boundary-breaking and beyond-jazz artists, including the brilliant guitarist Mary Halvorsen's Octet, and the wonderful harpist Brandee Younger. Jazz in the 'Hoods Presented by Events DC is a major feature of the DC Jazz Festival which partners with local clubs, restaurants, hotels and galleries in celebration of jazz in our nation's capital. Performances will also be held at Twins Jazz, Gallery O/H, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Atlas Performing Arts, Sixth & I, NYU DC, the Fridge, the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington DC, Former Residence of the Ambassador of Spain, UDC/Jazz Alive, Alice's Jazz and Cultural Society, Logan Fringe Arts Space, The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speakeasy, Rhumba Cafe, East of the River, Kreeger Museum, the Hill Center, Franklin Park, Howard Theatre, Yards Park, Tropicalia, National Museum of American History, and other venues across DC. Visit the DC Jazz Festival website to see full Jazz in the 'Hoods schedule.

DC JazzFest at the Howard Theatre (June 9-13):

The festival will return to the historic Howard Theatre for three nights of dynamic performances, including its opening ceremony featuring GRAMMY award-winning Lalah Hathaway. With 25-years of success, Hathaway's performance will combine the sound of traditional jazz with a modern touch. Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band will take the stage with Ron Carter and Russell Malone Duo for a jazz legends double feature performance. Japanese pianist and composer Hiromi joined by Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda will prove jazz as an international language as they offer a performance fusing together their two rich cultures.

Address: 620 T St NW. Schedule:

6/9, 8:30 pm: Lalah Hathaway. SOLD OUT

6/10, 7:00 pm: Jazz Legends Double Feature: Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band & Ron Carter and Russell Malone Duo. Tickets available through

6/13, 8:00 pm: Hiromi & Edmar Castañeda. Tickets available through

The 2017 DC JazzFest will be held June 9-18. For more information about the DC Jazz Festival and a complete schedule of events, visit

About DC Jazz Festival®(DCJF): With more than 125 performances in 40+ venues across the city, The DC JazzFest 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. As the fastest-growing jazz festival in the U.S., the DC JazzFest 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 2017 DC JazzFest will take place June 9-18. For more information about the DCJF and its activities, visit

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