WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 – The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) has just concluded an extraordinary 17th anniversary celebration, welcoming a plethora of locally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, as well as a wide range of jazz enthusiasts, to the nation’s capital for five days of live entertainment and humanities programs. There were a number of unforgettable moments with great masters, rising stars and emerging artists alike, from the sold-out opening ceremony to the rousing closing night dance party celebration, the 2021 DC JazzFest was marked by stellar performances across the broad stylistic spectrum of jazz and its tributaries.
The DC region’s largest and most distinct music festival, DC JazzFest is recognized by The New York Times as one of America’s great festivals, and by the JazzTimes Critic’s Poll for excellence. After a pandemic-enforced 2020 hiatus from live, in-person programming, the 2021 DC Jazz Fest opened its doors and gates to energized crowds thirsting for up-close access to musicians and the joyous sense of community that has become a DCJF hallmark. From September 1-5, DC JazzFest fans were thrilled to once again congregate amongst DC’s many venues – safely and with all due health protocols – to experience world-class jazz.
During five unprecedented days and nights, the 17th Annual DC JazzFest featured 24 shows at 10 venues with 40 artists – adding up to one exceptional festival. According to District Wharf house counts, DC JazzFest at The Wharf attracted more than 38,000 attendees, the second busiest weekend of 2021, just after July 4th.
Here are a few of the many highlights:
DC JazzFest at The Wharf:
- Two amazing days across three stages at The Wharf offered a diverse menu of artistry from across the globe including: Regina Carter; Maria Schneider Orchestra; John Scofield; Spanish Harlem Orchestra; Orrin Evans; Pedrito Martinez Group; Cyrus Chestnut; Allyn Johnson; Jenny Scheinman; Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro; award-winning vocal ensemble Afro Blue; fast emerging artists Lakecia Benjamin, Laurin Talese, LetterOne RISING STARS Jazz Award winner Immanuel Wilkins, Ernest Turner Trio, EJB Quartet and The String Queens; and DMV favorites CarrKeys, Chuck Redd Quartet, and Michael Bowie Trio
- Two exclusive DCJF productions including A Grand Night for Strings (with Regina Carter, Jenny Scheinman, The String Queens and Michael Bowie Trio) and Celebrating Billy Taylor’s Centennial (with Cyrus Chestnut, Allyn Johnson, Afro Blue, and Dr. Taylor’s rhythm section: Winard Harper and Chip Jackson)
- The launch of the wildly popular DC JazzFest After Party on District Pier at The Wharf with world-renowned entertainer D-Nice
- A full weekend of stimulating and informative artist interviews, conversations and panel discussions at our Meet the Artist Tent at The Wharf.
- DCJF’s Opening Ceremony at the House of Sweden featuring the marvelous saxophonist Joshua Redman and the scintillating Swedish vocalist Sirintip Phasuk
- A heartfelt tribute to the late DC multi-instrumentalist Andrew White at Westminster Church by his longtime rhythm section: Grammy-nominated pianist and Blackbyrds founding member Kevin Toney, bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Keith Killgo, with guest saxmen Antonio Parker and Marcus Strickland
- The wide-ranging Shaun Martin Trio at The Hamilton Live
- DC’s own brilliant pianist Janelle Gill at the stunning Kreeger Museum
- DC’s ever-swinging social activist, saxophonist Herb Scott, at Capitol Hill’s traditional place for jazz, Mr. Henry’s
- Emerging saxophonist Langston Hughes ll at the renowned Phillips Collection in its centennial year.
DCJF continues to grow exponentially in both scope and international prominence, so fans are encouraged to make plans now for the 2022 DC JazzFest, currently scheduled for June 15-19, 2022.
For a link to download select photos from the 2021 DC JazzFest with photographer credits, please click here.
Stay connected to the DC Jazz Festival at www.dcjazzfest.org.