DC Jazz Festival 2020: Washington DC

Enjoy Some of the Region's Best Jazz Performances

Aerial View of Washington, D.C.

Cameron Davidson

The DC Jazz Festival is an annual event that features more than 175 jazz performances at concert venues and clubs throughout Washington, DC. The festival presents major jazz artists from around the world and introduces emerging artists. Celebrating musical styles from Bebop and Blues to Swing, Soul, Latin and World music, the DC Jazz festival includes performances at several museums, clubs, restaurants, and hotels.

In 2019, the festival ran June 7 - 16.

The Kennedy Center reflected in the Potomac River, Washington D.C.
Carol M. Highsmith / Getty Images

Highlights of the 2017 DC Jazz Festival

  • June 6, 2019 - Opening Ceremony at the residence of the Ambassador of Denmark, starring Stefon Harris & Blackout and Sharón Clark. 
  • June 9, 2019. A Night at the Kennedy Center with Vijay Iyer, Marc Cary, Rodney Kendrick, Alex Blake, T.K. Blue, and Neil Clarke. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Also, CapitalBop's futures at the DC Jazz Fest was June 8, 2019. This event at the Sandlot included Georgia Anne Muldrow, Justin Brown's NYEUSI, MIles Okazaki, Brent Birckhead, Angel Bat Dawid, and Jamal Moore.
  • June 7-16, 2019 - Jazz in the ‘Hoods is a partnership with local clubs, restaurants, hotels, galleries and community centers in Washington DC including more than 40 venues with performances in 21 neighborhoods around the city. The annual series attracts a large, diverse audience and showcases many exceptional local jazz groups at venues like Twins Jazz, Dance Place, Gallery O/H, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Sixth & I, the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, Embassy of Italy, UDC/Jazz Alive, Alice's Jazz and Cultural Society, Logan Fringe Arts Space, The Alex, Rhumba Cafe, and Mr. Henry's, & others.
  • Prelude Event, June 1-2, 2019- Jazz ‘n’ Families Fun Days - In partnership with the Phillips Collection, returns again to celebrate the synergy between jazz and the visual arts with performances in the Phillips Collection’s music room and auditorium by more than a dozen regional artists and youth ensembles. The two-day free event will feature storytelling and an instrument petting zoo.

Past DC Jazz Festival Performers

Pat Metheny w/ Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh & Gwilym Simcock, Lalah Hathaway, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper Experiment, The Kenny Garrett Quintet, Jacob Collier, Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Ron Carter-Russell Malone Duo, Black Violin, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, Mary Halvorson Octet, Hiromi & Edmar Castañeda Duo, Kandace Springs, Chano Domínguez, Ola Onabulé, New Century Jazz Quintet, Sarah Elizabeth Charles & SCOPE, Princess Mhoon Dance Project, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Lori Williams, The Trio of Bill Cole, Sun Ra Arkestra, Michael Thomas Quintet, Nasar Abadey with Allyn Johnson and the UDC JAZZtet, Youngjoo Song Septet, James King Band, Tommy Cecil/Billy Hart/Emmet Cohen, Herman Burney's Ministerial Alliance, Kris Funn's CornerStore, Amy Shook and the SR5tet, Trio Vera w/Victor Dvoskin, Cowboys and Frenchmen, Anthony Nelson Quartet, Miho Hazama with the Brad Linde Expanded Ensemble: MONK at 100, Lena Seikaly, Alison Crockett, Irene Jalenti,Tim Whalen Septet, Debora Petrina, Janelle Gill, Rick Alberico Quartet, Cesar Orozco & Kamarata Jazz, Jeff Antonik & The Jazz Update, Lennie Robinson & Mad Curious,Pepe Gonzalez Ensemble: Jazz From a African-Latin Perspective, Warren Wolf/Kris Funn Duo: Exploring Monk & Other Interesting Music, Charles Rahmat Woods Duo: Mystical Monk, The Tiya Ade' Ensemble: Remembering Lady Ella, Freddie Dunn Ensemble: Birks Works: The Music of Dizzy Gillespie, Hope Udobi Ensemble: Mad Monk, Donato Soviero Trio, John Lee Trio, Herb Scott Quartet, Reginald Cyntje Group, Leigh Pilzer & Friends, Jo-Go Project, Kendall Isadore, Slavic Soul Party: Duke Ellington's Far East Suite, David Schulman + Quiet Life Motel, Donvonte McCoy Quartet, Marshall Keys, Harlem Gospel Choir, Aaron Myers, Rochelle Rice, Brandee Younger, Christie Dashiell, Origem, and Brian Settles..

History of the DC Jazz Festival

The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival was created in 2004 to present major jazz artists and celebrate the history of music in Washington DC. After years of success, in 2010 the event was re-branded and named the DC Jazz Festival to highlight the national and international impact of jazz in the nation’s capital. The event is produced by Festivals DC, an organization to develop cultural and educational programs in Washington, DC. The DCJF presents year-round programs with performances featuring local, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists that promote music integration in school curricula, and actively support community outreach to expand and diversify its audience of jazz enthusiasts. The DC Jazz Festival is sponsored in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
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