The DC Jazz Festival has named Willard Jenkins as its new artistic director, effective Jan. 5, 2015. The writer, producer, educator, and arts administrator has focused heavily on jazz throughout the course of his long and varied career.
Willard Jenkins has long been an important voice in D.C. jazz in the most literal sense—he's a longtime announcing talent on jazz radio station WPFW. He's also been a major contributor to jazz journalism and arts presentation, as a consultant to both the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival and the Smithsonian Institution. (His influence extends beyond the District, too: He's taught at Kent State University, is the coauthor of pianist Randy Weston's autobiography African Rhythms, and until earlier this year, was also artistic director of the Tri-C JazzFest in Cleveland.)
The DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) today announced that noted independent arts consultant, producer and journalist-author Willard Jenkins has been named Artistic Director of the DCJF, and will assume his new role on January 5, 2015.
The DC Jazz Festival is dedicated to showcasing the wealth of great artists based in our community. This year’s festival will feature popular local artists including saxophonist Marshall Keys and the swinging, honeyed vocal tones of Sharón Clark.
New York ensemble Snarky Puppy, NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera and Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding are among the headliners scheduled to perform at the 2015 DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) in Washington, D.C., on June 10–16.
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The fastest growing jazz festival in the U.S., the DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF), will celebrate its landmark 10th anniversary June 24-29 with a diverse selection of renowned and emerging artists performing in exceptional venues across the nation’s capital. Locally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists confirmed for the 2014 DCJF include dual Grammy nominee Gregory Porter, Trombone Shorty, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Cyrus Chestnut, The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience, Grammy nominee Snarky Puppy and The Brass-A-Holics, among numerous other outstanding artists.