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.
[caption id="attachment_16982" align="alignleft" width="1024"] The bans Snarky Puppy will also perform at the 2019 DC Jazz Festival (Photo: Courtesy the artist)[/caption]
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.