A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Board of Directors

Michael R. Sonnenreich, Chairman
Chairman and CEO
Kikaku America International

Conrad D. Kenley, Vice Chair and Treasurer
President & CEO
LCG Systems, LCG Inc.

Marcia V. Mayo, Secretary
Senior Advisor and Director, Special Projects
ART in Embassies Program
U.S. Department of State

Ronald D. Abramson
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Claude Bailey
Partner Venable, LLP

John J. Deschauer, Jr.
Squire Patton Boggs, LLP

Abby Fenton
Director of Community Relations
ABC7/WJLA-TV & News Channel 8

Elliott Ferguson
President & CEO
Destination DC

Charles Fishman
DC Jazz Festival

Roberta Flack
Grammy Award-winning Artist
Founder, Roberta Flack School of Music

Michelle I. Galler
TTR Sotheby’s International Real Estate

Peter M. Gillon
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

David Gorodetski
COO and Executive Creative Director
Sage Communications

Julian Anthony Haywood
Founder & Principal
FORGE Federal Affairs, LLC

Erik A. Moses
Senior Vice-President and Managing Director
Sports and Entertainment Division
Events DC

Harriet Sanford
President & CEO
The NEA Foundation

Roger B. Schagrin
Schagrin Associates

Sunny Sumter, ex-officio
Executive Director
DC Jazz Festival

Deborah Veney
Vice President
Government Affairs and Communications
The Education Trust

Carmencita Whonder
Founder and CEO
Of Whonder

Christine Zebrowski
Member of the Firm
Outside GC LLC

Media Contact:
Kerry Lynn Bohen for DCJF, 703.533.4823

DC Jazz Festival Names Arts Luminary
Willard Jenkins as Artistic Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 3, 2014 — The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) today announced that noted independent arts consultant, producer and journalist-author Willard Jenkins has been named Artistic Director of the DCJF, and will assume his new role on January 5, 2015.

“Willard Jenkins stood apart from a quality field of candidates with his breadth of knowledge and experience as an arts administrator, focused on jazz,” said Michael Sonnenreich, outgoing Chairman of the DCJF. “He is the first Artistic Director we have hired for the DC Jazz Festival, and we are confident his incomparable background, his knowledge and his passion for jazz provide the artistic leadership necessary to continue our mission.”

Jenkins has served in many capacities within the arts, media and academic industries as a consultant, arts administrator, artistic director, writer, journalist, broadcaster, educator and oral historian. The Ohio native has served as artistic director of the Tri-C JazzFest (Cleveland, OH), the Beantown Jazz Festival (Boston, MA), Tribeca Performing Arts Center (New York, NY), and as artistic consultant to the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (MD), 651Arts (Brooklyn, NY), Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall (New York, NY) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC).

As a jazz educator, he has taught history courses at Kent State and Cleveland State Universities. He served as executive director for the National Jazz Service Organization and administrator at the Great Lakes Arts Alliance. As an administrator for Arts Midwest, he developed the nation’s first regional jazz service program and more recently coordinated the NEA Jazz Masters Live grant program. An experienced broadcaster currently programming at WPFW in the District, Jenkins has also served as program host-producer at WWOZ (New Orleans), BET Jazz, KFAI (Minneapolis), and WKSU (Kent State). He has written documentary scripts for both National Public Radio and BET Jazz.

A skilled interviewer, Jenkins has conducted in-depth oral history interviews for the Smithsonian Institution, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and the Weeksville Heritage Center. He is the author of the 2010 book African Rhythms, the autobiography of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston. In addition, he continues to be a prolific and sought-after writer and journalist, having contributed chapters to several books, written a series of how-to technical assistance books for the jazz community, and contributed articles to numerous local, national and international publications.

In hiring Jenkins, the DC Jazz Festival also acknowledges founder and longtime artistic director Charles Fishman, a Grammy Award-winner who was honored by the Humanities Council of DC in 2012. Fishman conceived the DCJF over a decade ago as a platform to showcase our nation’s singular original art form and the rich history and vibrancy of jazz in Washington, D.C. The Festival premiered in 2005, and with Fishman at the helm, quickly garnered widespread acclaim within the global jazz community and recognition as one of the finest jazz festivals in the country.

Jenkins acknowledged Fishman’s role, saying, “First and foremost, I greatly admire Charlie Fishman, particularly for his fortitude and perseverance in developing the DC Jazz Festival. It was very much needed in this community, but Charlie is the one who took the initiative and made it happen. I join the ranks of those who will always be grateful to Charlie for having taken that step.”

Among Fishman’s many accomplishments with the Festival, he produced some of its greatest concerts with The Kennedy Center, including original programs such as Jazz Meets the Classics and a tribute to Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the famed family, with his sons, Dr. Billy Taylor and Harry Connick, Jr. Under his leadership, the Festival also brought jazz to The National Mall and created the highly popular Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days and Jazz in the ‘Hoods.

The Charles Fishman Young Artist Program, a series that shines the spotlight on young professional jazz artists, is named in honor of Fishman’s invaluable contribution to the Festival over the past decade.

For more information about the DCJF visit

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About the DC Jazz Festival: With more than 125 performances in nearly 60 venues, the DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) is one of the largest music festivals in the country. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the DCJF has experienced spectacular year-by-year growth, and celebrated its landmark 10th anniversary this year. As the fastest-growing jazz festival in the U.S., the DCJF celebrates America’s unique original art form during this international event that attracts jazz lovers from around the world to the nation’s capital. The DCJF also presents year-round programs with performances featuring local, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The DCJF’s mission is to promote music, particularly jazz, education programs and actively support community outreach to expand and diversify its audience of jazz enthusiasts. The 2015 DCJF will take place June 10-16. For more information about the DCJF and upcoming programs, visit DC Jazz Festival®, a 501(c)(3) non-profit service organization, is sponsored in part by a major grant from the Government of the District of Columbia, Vincent C. Gray, Mayor; and, in part, by major grants from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; the City Fund, administered by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. ©2014 DC Jazz Festival. All rights reserved.


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