DC JazzFest

17th Annual DC JazzFest - September 1-5, 2021

                           DC JazzFest at The Wharf - District Pier

The 2021 DC JazzFest will take place from September 1-5, with 20+ concerts, interviews and exclusive events featuring international superstars and homegrown talent. Our signature event, DC JazzFest at The Wharf will take place September 4-5, over Labor Day Weekend, as a hybrid of in-person and livestream performances to a worldwide audience. This tentpole weekend will occur at the District Wharf, a waterfront destination with restaurants, shops, and stunning views. Due to the ongoing pandemic, DCJF decided to postpone this year’s festival to September as a celebration of all things jazz in DC.

The largest jazz festival in the nation’s capital, the 17th Annual DC JazzFest will feature a robust lineup of performers – from local legends to NEA Jazz Masters – with concerts citywide. Festival experiences will include in-person and live stream performances, up-close-and-personal “Meet the Artist” conversations, and the DCJazzPrix international jazz band competition Finals live at Union Stage.

“While we are still in the middle of a challenging time, DC JazzFest is working closely with our DC partners to deliver a safe, world-class festival featuring great music for the jazz enthusiast and casual fan alike,” says DCJF Executive Director, Sunny Sumter. “The well-being of our patrons, artists and festival production team is a top priority and the move from June to September will support a safe festival experience for all.”

2021 Lineup:

The lineup for the 17th Annual DC JazzFest features an eclectic and diverse cast of Grammy winners, burgeoning jazz superstars and a slew of DC's finest local talent. There will be something for everyone at this year's festival, we look forward to this immersive “jazz takeover” of DC in September!*

This year’s 2021 DC JazzFest Lineup includes:

Regina Carter ● Maria Schneider Orchestra ● The Spanish Harlem Orchestra ● Orrin Evans Presents “Terreno Comum” ● Lakecia Benjamin Presents: "Pursuance" ● Cyrus Chestnut ● Allyn Johnson ● Afro Blue ● Jenny Scheinman ● Laurin Talese ● Immanuel Wilkins ● The String Queens ● Carr/Keys ● The Michael Bowie Trio ● The EJB Quartet (Reigning DCJazzPrix Champions) ● Ernest Turner Trio ● Vox Sambou ● Chuck Redd ● More TBA!

Plus two special presentations:

1) Celebrating Billy Taylor’s Centennial 

2) A Grand Night for Strings: From Stuff Smith to Jean Luc Ponty

For any press inquiries or requests for further information, please contact Lydia Liebman, DC Jazz Festival's publicist, at lydia@lydialiebmanpromotions.com

*Schedule of events including performance dates and times TBA. With vaccine doses increasingly available, we are hopeful about celebrating all things jazz in DC over Labor Day weekend. DC Leadership has championed a more cautious approach to reopening the city. The DC Jazz Festival is working closely with local authorities as we approach the planning of the 2021 DC JazzFest. A hybrid model of in-person festival experiences and live streaming virtually to audience will allow us to follow public safety protocols.*



2020 DC JazzFest:

Relive all your favorite 2020 DC JazzFest moments on our YouTube Channel:


View other special content from the 2020 edition of the festival like behind-the-scenes webisodes or meet-the-artist interviews on Gather by EventsDC.

Gather by Events DC

As part of the upcoming 17th Annual DC JazzFest, we will host the 7th Edition of the DCJazzPrix Finals, our annual international jazz band competition. Last year's DCJazzPrix was held on Sunday, September 27th. The EJB Quartet took home the winning prize of $15,000. Watch their winning performance below:

DCJazzPrix Replay

2020 DCJazzPrix Winners: The EJB Quartet

The EJB Quartet - PC: Antonio Diggs

Be sure to visit the DC Jazz Festival Merchandise Store where we have all of our official DCJF merch!!


Please consider making a donation to the DC Jazz Festival Education Program while you watch so we can continue to provide enriching and entertaining educational opportunities to students, teachers and their families across DC.



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