The Kennedy Center’s international jazz career development program has announced the participants of the 21st annual Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program. The two-week residency includes training in performance, composing, and career development. Led by Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, the Jazz Ahead program identifies outstanding artists and composers in their teens to age 25, and brings them together under the tutelage of experienced instructors who coach and counsel them.
A total of 24 musicians from the United States, Sweden, Germany, Israel, France, Venezuela, and South Africa were selected by a competitive audition process. Joining Moran to lead the residency are six jazz artists who were mentored by the late Betty Carter: saxophonist Casey Benjamin, vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater, percussionist Greg Hutchinson, pianist Peter Martin, trumpeter Marcus Printup, and bassist Christopher Thomas. The 2019 program culminates in three separate concerts on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, June 6–8, at 6 p.m., in which the graduates will perform original compositions. The free performances are open to the public and will be broadcast live on the Kennedy Center website.