Washington Performing Arts hosts its 2019 annual Gala & Auction on March 30, 2019 at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW). Tickets begin at $750; Young Sponsor tickets (for guests 40 and under) start at $200. Tables start at $15,000.
This year’s Gala, “Sizzle & Swing,” is a grand celebration of the art of jazz, from the classic big-band era to today’s up-to-the-minute expressions, fitting perfectly with Washington Performing Arts’ stellar spring lineup of jazz programming from Chucho Valdés and Cécile McLorin Salvant to an all-star tribute to Glenn Miller.
Gala performers include:
- Vocalists Veronica Swift (familiar to Washington Performing Arts audiences through her work with Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis) and Stephen Scott Wormley (an alumnus of the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir, recently seen in the D.C. area as one of the stars of Signature Theatre’s The Scottsboro Boys);
- Mars Urban Arts Initiative Ensemble-in-Residence DuPont Brass;
- The Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir under the direction of Michele Fowlin; and
- The Sizzle & Swing Band
Gala guests will also be treated to a special preview of a newly commissioned transcription of a big band chart by Hazel Scott, the luminary American pianist, cultural icon, and civil rights advocate. This premiere anticipates Washington Performing Arts’ commemoration of Scott’s 100th birthday in 2020.
The Gala kicks off at 6:30 pm with cocktails and the Silent Auction, sponsored by Urban Winery, with the dinner and performance program starting at 8:00 pm. Stage, television, and film actress Tamara Tunie serves as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The Afterparty Speakeasy with DJ Dimmy is co-sponsored by Daimler and the Washington Performing Arts Junior Board.
“Washington Performing Arts has a long legacy of presenting both emerging and leading jazz musicians and amplifying jazz as a vital American art form,” said Washington Performing Arts President and CEO Jenny Bilfield. “Whether it is through our Capital Jazz program in partnership with D.C. Public Schools, master classes with artists like Cécile McLorin Salvant, or commissions by Wynton Marsalis and now this new arrangement of a Hazel Scott chart, Washington Performing Arts remains committed to spotlighting this vibrant genre in every dimension of our programs, onstage and off.”
All proceeds raised at the Annual Gala and Auction will support Washington Performing Arts’ arts education initiatives. These include Capital Arts Partnerships and the Embassy Adoption Program (both in partnership with the DC Public Schools); In-School Artist Residencies; the Washington Performing Arts Men, Women, and Children of the Gospel Choirs; master classes and lectures; and stipends for professional development teachers and Washington Performing Arts teaching artists.
The 2019 Gala Co-Chairs are Lyn & Barry Chasen and Tom Gallagher & Barbara Myers. The Junior Board Gala Chairs are Rebecca Allen, Cassidy Grunninger, and Wesley Thomas. The Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee Gala Chair is Denise Rollins, and the Women’s Committee Silent Auction Chair is Njambi. The Gala Committee comprises Paul Ashe, C. Wallace DeWitt, Adam Farra, Jay and Robin Hammer, Susan Hepner, Jordan Hepner and Nina Damato, Margaret Hurwitz, Angela C.Y. King, Grace Lin, Christina Co Mather and Gary Mather, Haley Morrison, Michelle Nelson, Ami Scott and Lucius Outlaw, Jan and Marike Paulsson, Kerrien Suarez, Ebony Thomas, Lindsey Woody, and The Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee.
For more information about Washington Performing Arts and the Annual Gala and Auction, visit.