DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) — the only city-wide jazz festival in the mid-Atlantic region — is a Capital area tradition. Now in its 15th year, with 150 performances in 40 venues, it solidifies some 100,000+ people’s love of jazz music (or introduces them to the genre), and shines the spotlight on DC as a City of Jazz.
A cornucopia of free concerts (!!) complement DCJF’s lineup of ticketed signature events. These free experiences also bring together local jazz talents alongside an international roster, and are performed at in- and outdoor venues across DC.
It all starts with 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 during a weekend of fun for the whole family… with jazz plus arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, and DC Jazz Bops! storytelling for young children.
The DC Jazz Festival and The Kennedy Center continue the fun with Celebrating Randy Weston in the Kennedy Center Family Theater (June 9) featuring Marc Cary, Vijay Iyer, Rodney Kendrick, Alex Blake, TK Blue, and Neil Clarke; and Great Masters of Jazz in The Kennedy Center Concert Hall (June 16), celebrating the life and work of Quincy Jones, Roy Hargrove, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, and Fred Foss, which will be hosted by Nick Cannon.
Jazz in the ‘Hoods presented by Events DC (June 7-16) takes over the District in 22+ neighborhoods literally all over DC. So get out there! Explore! And enjoy great music! Free shows citywide include: Shannon Gunn & The Bullettes at National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (June 7, 5:00PM); Chuck Brown Band at Gateway DC Pavilion in Congress Heights (June 7: 6:00PM); East River JazzFest Kickoff in Anacostia, the heart of the District at the Big Chair (June 8: 1-7:00PM); Jordan Dixon Quartet, UDC Recital Hall in Van Ness (June 10, 7:00PM); Dante Pope and After Five Experience at Franklin Park (@downtownDCBID) Downtown (June 13,12:30PM); Elijah Jamal Balbed Jazz Ensemble, Kreeger Museum in Wesley Heights (June 15, 12:00PM); DCJazzPrix Finals at Pearl Street Warehouse in the Southwest Waterfront (June 15, 2:00PM).
The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage: Nat “King” Cole Centennial Series (June 9-16, 6:00PM) DC JazzFest’s annual Millennium Stage series honors the centennial of the great Nat “King” Cole with eight evenings of singer-pianists in the Cole tradition, including: Kelly Green Trio (June 9); Amy K. Bormet (June 10); Trent Cokely (June 11); Noah Fort Quartet (June 12); Barry Gurley Trio (June 13); Micah Smith (June 14); Allison Crockett (June 15); and Eric Byrd Trio (June 16).