DC Jazz Festival Finale Celebrates Great Masters of Jazz

March 27, 2019

DC Jazz Festival Finale Celebrates Great Masters of Jazz

Tributes honoring Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn and Roy Hargrove, 

Plus Randy Weston, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts



WASHINGTON, DC – March 27, 2019 – DC Jazz Festival (DCJF), with the only city-wide jazz festival in the mid-Atlantic region, today announced two unparalleled concerts in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as part of DC JazzFest presented by Events DC. DCJF’s Great Masters of Jazz, will honor the lifetime achievements of Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, and Roy Hargrove on June 16; and Celebrating Randy Weston,on June 9, will provide a showcase for piano mastery in recognition of Randy Weston. 


Tickets for both shows go on sale March 29 at 10:00 am. On March 29, For Great Masters of Jazz,click here.  For Celebrating Randy Weston, click here.


Great Masters of Jazz, the final party of the 15thAnniversary DC JazzFest presented by Events DC, will be a musical celebration of the life and work of the iconic legend Quincy Jones; the highly influential song stylist Nancy Wilson; the trailblazing trumpeter-bandleader Roy Hargrove, and DC’s own peerless pianist-vocalist Shirley Horn, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Featured performers and presenters include the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Patti Austin, Justin Kauflin, Adam Clayton Powell III, Congressman John Lewis, Angela Stribbling, Sharón Clark, and a raft of very special guests to be announced.


The DC Jazz Festival will bestow its annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to Quincy Jones and DC saxophonist-educator Fred Foss in recognition of their stellar contributions to jazz music. Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include: Chucho Valdes, Nasar Abadey, Billy Hart, Sadao Watanabe, Roy Haynes, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, James Moody, Ellis Marsalis, George Wein, Buck Hill, Hank Jones, Clark Terry, Billy Taylor, and Dave Brubeck.  


Celebrating Randy Weston will feature stellar pianists Marc Cary and Rodney Kendrick joined by three members of Weston’s acclaimed African Rhythms band: bassist Alex Blake, saxophonist TK Blue, and African percussionist Neil Clarke. Randy Weston, who passed away on September 1, 2018, was an extraordinary pianist and distinctive composer revered around the world for his intersection between jazz and African music. Held in the Family Theater, the evening will be a musical dialogue among pianists.


“I had the distinct honor of co-writing Randy Weston’s autobiography, African Rhythms, and can guarantee the evening will be a joyous celebration of his rich, peerless artistry,” said DC JazzFest Artistic Director Willard Jenkins. “This concert will be a musical dialogue between three pianists and three of his longtime band members who idolized Weston and were indelibly influenced by his musical quest and his deep reverence for our collective African roots.” 


Cary and Kendrick both display the powerful influence of Randy Weston on their respective piano styles. Cary, a graduate from DC’s  renowned Duke Ellington School of the Arts, has graced bandstands from Dizzy Gillespie and Arthur Taylor, to notable stints as pianist-music director for the great vocal stylists Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln. Philadelphia native Kendrick, who cites Randy Weston and Sun Ra as his greatest influences, produced a piano duo record with Weston titled Thank Youin 2004, for Verve Records.  Kendrick has worked with such leaders as James Brown and George Clinton, and toured with jazz masters Clark Terry, and Abbey Lincoln. Bassist Alex Blake, whose astounding bass playing technique Randy Weston first spotted on the bandstand with Dizzy Gillespie, began working with Weston in the late 1970s. Saxophonist TK Blue served as Weston’s music director for 38 years, and percussionist Neil Clarke spent over 25 years as a member of Weston’s African Rhythms, lending the band his distinctive hand drumming and percussion gifts. 


DC Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the ‘Hoods presented by Events DC (June 7-16) returns to the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for sevenfree performances, at 6 p.m., with  the series The Nat Cole Tradition: Singing Pianists, celebrating the centennial of the late, great vocalist Nat “King” Cole, whose storied career began as a singing pianist. This seven-concert series will include the piano and singing artistry of Kelly Green, Amy K. Bormet, Trent Cokley, Noa Fort, Barry Gurley, Micah Smith, Allison Crockett, and Eric Byrd and their respective bands. 


As the largest and most diverse music festival in the nation’s capital, DC JazzFest reaches more than 110,000 visitors of all ages each June with performances at The Wharf, The Anthem, the Kennedy Center, UDC/Jazz Alive, City Winery, The Hamilton Live, Mr. Henry’s, Sotto, Twins Jazz, Kreeger Museum, Franklin Square and a myriad of area clubs, galleries, places of worship, college & universities and restaurants.  


All ticket sales information may be found at dcjazzfest.org.




DC JazzFest at The Wharf Presented by Events DC (June 14-16) featuring four main stages. Artists will include: Snarky Puppy, Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Michael Franks, Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers & Gregory Hutchinson, Joey Alexander Trio, Ralph Peterson & GenNext Big Band (honoring the Art Blakey Centennial), Sean Jones Dizzy Spellz, DCJazzPrix winning band Cornerstore, Tarus Mateen & Beyond Genre, and an international stage featuring guitarist Olli Soikkeli (Finland), saxophonist Evan Harris (Australia), Girls In Airports (Denmark), Witness Matlou Trio (South Africa), with more talent to be announced. Concerts on the District and Transit Piers are free to the public. Concerts at The Anthem are ticketed. Snarky Puppy  (José James opening) on sale now here. Jon Batiste & Stay Human (Brass-A-Holics, opening) on sale here


Great Masters of Jazz at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall(June 16) and Celebrating Randy Weston, in the Family Theater (June 9), as well as free Millennium Stage concerts that are part of Jazz in the 'Hoods. This year's Millennium Stage series June 9-16, The Nat King Cole Legacy, will feature singing piano players in the Cole tradition. Tickets for both shows go on sale March 29 at 10:00 am. On March 29, for Great Masters of Jazz,click here.  For Celebrating Randy Weston, click here.


Jazz in the 'Hoods Presented by Events DC (June 6-16). Jazz takes over the District in 20+ neighborhoods with presentations curated by Jazz in the ‘Hoods partners including the Hamilton Live and City Winery. Artists and schedule to be announced soon.


Jazz 'n Families Fun Days(Prelude Weekend, June 1-2). In partnership with The Phillips Collection, the Jazz 'n Families Fun Day weekend celebrates jazz and the visual arts with performances by more than a dozen regional artists and rising star ensembles. Artists and schedule to be announced soon.


For more information about the 2019 DC Jazz Fest presented by Events DC, including concert updates and ticketing information, stay connected to the DC Jazz festival at dcjazzfest.org.


ABOUT THE DC JAZZ FESTIVAL:DC Jazz Festival presents world-renowned and emerging artists in celebration of jazz; unifies diverse communities; advances jazz and music education with exciting and adventurous musical experiences; shines the spotlight on DC-based musicians; and     highlights DC as a premier cultural destination. Our signature programs are the annual DC JazzFest, now in its 15th year, with 150 performances in 40 venues including our tribute concerts in partnership with The Kennedy Center; Jazz in the 'Hoods with citywide partnerships in 20+ neighborhoods; DC JazzFest at The Wharf, our marquee weekend with free outdoor stages and The Anthem; the year-round DCJF Education in partnership with DC public and charter schools, and arts centers; the Charles Fishman Artist Embassy Series honoring our founder; and DCJazzPrix, an international band competition. The DC Jazz Festival won the 2018 DC Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. In 2015, The New York Timesnamed DC JazzFest one of “50 Essential Summer Festivals.” For more information, visit dcjazzfest.org.

ABOUT KENNEDY CENTER JAZZ:Kennedy Center Jazz, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jason Moran, presents legendary artists who have helped shape the art form, artists who are emerging on the jazz scene, and innovative multidisciplinary projects throughout the year. The KC Jazz Club, launched in 2002 and dubbed “the future of the jazz nightclub” by JazzTimes, hosts many of these artists in an intimate setting; while the Crossroads Club, launched in 2012, is a nightclub dance venue. Annual Kennedy Center jazz events include the professional development residency program for young artists, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead; NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, the Kennedy Center holiday tradition shared by millions around the country via broadcast on NPR; and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, created in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor (Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, 1994–2010). The Center co-produces the annual NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concerts, celebrating iconic figures in the music. For more information, please visit kennedy-center.org.


Keep up with the DCJF:

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The DC Jazz Festival®, a 501(c)(3) non-profit service organization, and its 2019 current programs are made possible, in part, with major grants from the Government of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, Mayor; with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment; the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; and, in part, by major grants from the Galena-Yorktown Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Gillon Family Charitable Fund, Wells Fargo Foundation, The NEA Foundation, Venable Foundation, The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and The Reva & David Logan Foundation. ©2019 DC Jazz Festival. All rights reserved.


Presenting Sponsor: Events DC

Platinum Sponsors: The Washington Post, LCG, Inc, Sage Communications, The District Wharf