Listen to the Lineup: The DC Jazz Festival

Jon Batiste is one of the headliners for the 15th annual DC Jazz Festival, taking place June 7-16 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Courtesy the artist)

The DC Jazz Festival has always been one of the marquee events of the summer festival season, but this year’s fest is gearing up to be bigger and better than ever. That’s because 2019 marks the DC Jazz Festival’s 15th anniversary, and they’ll be celebrating this milestone in grand fashion: with more than 100 bands playing in more than 40 venues across the district. That’s not to mention the festival’s Jazz at the Wharf series, which brings highly anticipated shows from some of the best talents in jazz to D.C.’s latest arts venue, Anthem; or the festival’s signature Jazz in the ‘Hoods series, which books nationally touring artists in  local clubs, restaurants, hotels, galleries, places of worship and performing arts spaces across the city. It all goes down June 7-16, but in case you just can’t wait to get the party started, this playlist is for you.

After all, this year’s lineup is also cause for celebration. Headliners include Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste; pop-jazz supergroup Snarky Puppy; vocal sensation Cécile McLorin Salvant; saxophone icon Joshua Redman; soulful singer José James; piano wunderkind Joey Alexander; trumpeter Sean Jones; and many more.

The bans Snarky Puppy will also perform at the 2019 DC Jazz Festival (Photo: Courtesy the artist)

The festival will also host a pair of tributes to jazz legends past and present. The fest’s Great Legends of Jazz concert celebrates the legacies of Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn and Roy Hargrove with performances by The Roy Hargrove Big Band, pianist Justin Kauflin, vocalist Patti Austin and Sharón Clark and others. Additionally, the band Blackout, led by vibraphone master Stefon Harris, will perform for the festival’s opening reception on June 6 at the Danish Ambassador’s Residence. Other highlights include a tribute to the late pianist Randy Weston featuring keyboardists Marc Cary and Rodney Kendrick, bassist Alex Blake, saxophonist T.K. Blue and percussionist Neil Clarke, all of whom had personal ties to the Weston.

Presenting exciting, adventurous and diverse programming for all ages and backgrounds has been part of the DC Jazz Festival’s mission since its founding. To that end, they’ll be offering free, innovative music education programming for children and adults throughout the fest, all geared toward highlighting Washington D.C.’s rich legacy of jazz. For more info on the festival’s full lineup and educational offerings, visit the DC Jazz Festival website. In the meantime, listen to the playlist below to acquaint yourself with the artists who will soon be gracing its many stages.

Listen on: qobuz

It’s Alright (Why You Gotta)
Jon Batiste
Social Music

Snarky Puppy

Wild is Love 
Cécile McLorin Salvant
The Window

Use Me
José James
Lean On Me

Come What May
Joshua Redman Quartet
Come What May

Mambo For Roy
Roy Hargrove Big Band

How High The Moon
Patti Austin
For Ella

Justin Kauflin
Coming Home

Speak Low
Sharon Clark
Do It Again – My Tribute To Shirley Horn

The Idea Of A Tree
Michael Franks
The Music In My Head

Joey Alexander

I’m A Fool To Want You
Terri Lyne Carrington, Chaka Khan
The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL

Stefon Harris & Blackout
Sonic Creed

7th Avenue North
Marc Cary
Rhodes Ahead Vol. 2

The New World Is Ordered
Rodney Kendrick
The Secrets Of

Now Is The Time
The Alex Blake Quintet Live!
Now Is The Time (feat. Pharoah Sanders)

Parisian Memoir
T.K. Blue

Anat Cohen, Jason Lindner, Joe Martin, Daniel Freedman

Backgammon (Live)
Ralph Peterson, Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis
Triangular III

I Don’t Give a Damn Blues
Sean Jones Quartet
Im·pro·vise Never Before Seen

Vital Transformation
Georgia Anne Muldrow

Lesson 1: Dance
Justin Brown, Mark Shim, Jason Lindner, Burniss Earl Travis II

Miles Okazaki

Feel It (Live)
Word on the Street (Live)

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