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Nine-Day Jazz in D.C. Program Coming to the Capital

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Artistic Director for Jazz, Dr. Billy Taylor (pictured), will draw upon his experiences growing up and performing in Washington, D.C. to curate a nine-day celebration highlighting D.C.’s influence on the development of jazz, from the early 1900s to 1968. Both free and ticketed performances include music composed or made famous by many jazz artists associated with the city, such as Duke Ellington and Dr. Billy Taylor. Through music, these concerts also follow the cultural mapping of the city’s historic entertainment district for African Americans whose main stem, the U Street corridor, was once known as “Black Broadway.” Each Millennium Stage performance represents a specific point in the timeline of some of D.C.’s most storied and historic venues.

Ticketed events include:

•Frank Wess Quintet, Friday, November 21, 2008, 7:30 & 9:30pm KC Jazz Club, $25

•Nnenna Freelon & Harolyn Blackwell in Ellington Voices: Classical to Jazz,

Saturday, November 22, 2008, 7:30pm Terrace Theater, $45

•The Jazz Ambassadors of the U.S. Army Field Band with the NSO Pops, Marvin Hamlisch, Principal Pops Conductor; Friday, November 28, 2008 at 1:30 & 8 pm;

Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 8 pm Concert Hall, $20-$85

Performance Plus events include:

•”Living Jazz in DC with Dr. Billy Taylor & Frank Wess,” Saturday,

November 22, 2008, 4 pm KC Jazz Club, $15

•”Duke Ellington’s Washington: Film & Discussion,” Sunday, November 23, 2008,

4pm, KC Jazz Club, $15

Free Millennium Stage events (6 pm) include:

•Friday, November 21, 2008

“Jelly Roll in DC: from The Jungle Inn to The Library of Congress” with up-and-coming jazz pianist Aaron Diehl

•Saturday, November 22, 2008

“From True Reformer Hall to the Cotton Club: Ellington’s Formative Years” with the New Washingtonians 18-piece big band directed by saxophonist Davey Yarborough and featuring vocalist Esther Williams.

•Sunday, November 23, 2008

“Dr. Billy Taylor’s Big Band Book” 10-piece ensemble JAM On U All-Stars, led by musical director/conductor Charlie Young.

•Monday, November 24, 3008

“The Howard Theatre: Washington’s Great Black Way” Bobby Felder’s Capitol All-Stars Jazz Ensemble with Dick Smith.

•Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“The Last Night at The Lincoln Colonnade” with noted big band Howard University Jazz Ensemble and leading D.C. vocalist Sharon Clark.

•Wednesday, November 26, 2008

“Offbeat/Little Harlem: Bebop Taught Here (7th and T, NW)” Saxophonists George Botts, Paul Carr and Fred Foss, with pianist Bob Butta, bassist James King, and drummer Winard Harper.

•Thursday, November 27, 2008 (special 90 minute show)

“Abarts/The Hollywood: Hard Bop Heaven (9th St, NW)” featuring the Larry Willis Trio with guest Buck Hill, plus Jacques “The Saxman” Johnson and Friends featuring Dr. Bill Clark.

•Friday, November 28, 2008

“Bohemian Caverns: From The JFK Quintet To The In Crowd (U St., NW).” Hip D.C. quintet The Young Lions exhibit the vibrancy of U. St.’s revitalized club scene.

•Saturday, November 29, 2008

“The Showboat: Charlie Byrd’s Classical Chamber Hot” featuring Buck Hill, trombonist Bobby Felder, pianist Dick Morgan, bassist Carroll Dashiell, drummer Tony Martucci, and guitarist Nate Najar.

For more information, visit Kennedy Center.

Originally Published