On Monday, September 28th, the DC Jazz Festival wrapped up its all-virtual edition of the DC JazzFest. Over the course of five days, music lovers from all over the world tuned in to watch some of jazz’s biggest stars stream live from our Nation’s Capital. For the first time in its history, the DC JazzFest became an all-out global event, as viewers tuned in from all over the world. Over 200,000 viewers from Panama, Italy, Luxembourg, France, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, England, Colombia, Switzerland, South Africa and the United States tuned in to watch the festivities for free on Fans.com and on the DCJF Facebook. Other exclusive webisodes and interviews from the festival are available to watch on Gather by EventsDC. The 16th Annual DC JazzFest was a free event, with the option to donate to the DCJF Music Education Program. Donations are still being accepted.
“DC JazzFest is an essential contributor to the cultural diversity of our nation’s capital,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC. “We’re fortunate to have this global presentation and signature DC event as we highlight the city as a major and vibrant center for jazz to potential visitors all over the world.”
The 16th Annual DC JazzFest featured an expansive lineup made up of international jazz headliners and homegrown talent. The performers at this years’ festival included Danilo Pérez Trio with Ben Street & Adam Cruzz, Frédéric Yonnet and The Band With No Name, Matthew Whitaker Quartet, Baby Rose, Marc Cary Band, Allyn Johnson and Sonic Sanctuary, Ben Williams, Dado Moroni, Nasar Abadey Trio, Herb Scott, Maimouna Youssef, Jack Kilby & The Front Line, Cecily, The Chuck Brown Band, Christie Dashiell, Heart of the Ghost, Giveton Gelin Quintet, Allison Au, ¡FIASCO! and Heidi Martin. The riveting performances took place at venues across the city with Frédéric Yonnet’s “Park Up” closing performance on Monday evening a highlight. The festival can be rewatched in its entirety via the DC Jazz Festival YouTube channel.
The 2020 DCJazzPrix™, the annual international jazz band competition held during the festival, took place on Sunday, September 27th. We are proud to announce that The EJB Quartet took home the grand prize of $15,000; a yearlong association with the DC JazzFest to assist in professional development; a main stage performance at next years’ festival and a future NYC showcase performance opportunity at Tribeca Performing Arts Center. “We are elated to have won the DCJazzPrix! After 5 years together as a band, this is the EJB Quartet's biggest accomplishment,” said saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed, leader of the EJB Quartet. “As a band we are excited for these next steps and a year-long partnership with the DC Jazz Festival!” The DCJazzPrix™ prize is made possible by the generous support of Conrad Kenley, The Leonard and Elaine Silverstein Foundation and the Galena-Yorktown Foundation.
As the longtime executive director of the DC Jazz Festival, Sunny Sumter has guided the festival through over a decade of growth, turning it into one of the country’s leading music festivals. That was already a hefty task. But this year, her job got even more complicated when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Read the full article here.
The world’s a very small place during lockdown. On one hand, we’re severely restricted with where we can (and can’t) go. On the other, the virtual DC Jazz Festival is as accessible to people in Southern California as it is to jazz-heads in Washington DC itself. Read the full article here.