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DC Jazz Festival Set To Take Over The Wharf This Summer

March 6, 2020

The DC Jazz Festival (DCJF), hosts of the only city-wide jazz celebration in the mid-Atlantic region, proudly announces an extraordinary set of artists for its' DC JazzFest presented by Events DC finale weekend. DC JazzFest at The Wharf performances run Saturday, June 20 thru Sunday, June 21 and include four featured stages, three free stages, and one ticketed indoor stage, all on the beautiful riverfront grounds of The Wharf, DC's hottest new dining & entertainment hub.

Remarkable performances include poll-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett Quintet; the extraordinary Eubanks-Evans-Experience, featuring former Tonight Show bandleader guitarist Kevin Eubanks and prolific pianist-bandleader Orrin Evans; Alto Saxophone Summit: Bird Lives (featuring the alto madness of saxophonists Antonio Hart, Donald Harrison, and T.K. Blue with the Janelle Gill Trio); drummer-composer Matt Wilson's Honey and Salt (music inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg); the explosive Afro-Cuban jazz & folkloric sounds of percussionist Pedrito Martinez Group; and a bevy of brilliant emerging artists like saxophonist Lakecia Benjamins Pursuance (honoring the John & Alice Coltrane legacy); flutist Jamie Baum & Short Stories; the remarkable pianist Matthew Whitaker (featured on CBS 60 Minutes); and 7th annual Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition winning vocalist Laurin Talese. DC JazzFest at The Wharf will also honor one of the grand sounds of jazz history, the large ensemble or big band tradition courtesy of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, which will perform Duke Ellington's "New Orleans Suite", and the Washington Renaissance Orchestra.

The District is home to a vibrant community of foreign embassies, many of which DC JazzFest partners with year-round. DC JazzFest will once again highlight its 'International Jazz' stage which will include master musicians such as pianist Dado Moroni (Italy), trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti (Switzerland), saxophonist Allison Au Quartet (Canada), and fast emerging artists Shabaka and The Ancestors (UK).

"Events DC is proud to continue our partnership of DC JazzFest at The Wharf," said Gregory A. O'Dell, president and chief executive officer. "As the presenting sponsor, Events DC looks forward to activating our city and neighborhoods with great music and shining a spotlight on Washington, DC as not only a thriving music capital but a global cultural destination."

Following the week-long city-wide festival, finale weekend festivities include two days of (ticketed) programming at Union Stage, including performances by Alto Saxophone Summit: Bird Lives, in homage to the centennial birth year of the pioneering alto saxophonist and one of the fathers of modern jazz, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker; and the Finals of the 2020 DCJazzPrix emerging bands competition. Also, don't miss a special next generation stage for (free) youth ensemble performances throughout the weekend.

Finally, celebrate Dad in a grand way this Father's Day at the 'DC JazzFest presented by Events DC' finale (Sunday, June 21) with a performance by one of the greatest contemporary jazz artists of all time [soon to be announced]; a surprise not to be missed!

Discounted pre-sale tickets for the DC JazzFest at The Anthem available now through March 12:00am EST.

For more information about DC JazzFest 2020, including performance dates and ticketing information, visit

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