Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Jazz on Tap for the Kennedy Center’s REACH Festival

The 16-day celebration will focus on jazz on September 8

The REACH Opening Festival will celebrate a new performance space at the Kennedy Center in September. (photo: Richard Barnes)
The REACH Opening Festival will celebrate a new performance space at the Kennedy Center in September. (photo: Richard Barnes)

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will mark its first expansion on September 7-22 with the REACH Opening Festival, featuring more than 1,000 artists, 500 free events, and one day spotlighting jazz.

The free festival celebrates the opening of the REACH, a living theater where diverse art forms collide to break down the boundaries between audience and art.

Designed by architect Steven Holl as a home for non-traditional programming with an emphasis on active participation and access, the informal spaces of the new expansion draw visitors into the creative process and inspire new connections and collaborations between creators of multiple genres and disciplines, according to center officials.

The REACH Opening Festival features themed days with programs ranging from master classes and workshops to participatory performances, interactive installations, hands-on learning activities, DJ sets and dance parties.

September 8, the second day of the 16-day multi-genre festival, will feature jazz performances, as Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran has curated a day devoted to this quintessential American art form.

The day will feature a mainstage performance by pianist Moran and his trio the Bandwagon, with special guest star Kelala, a singer/songwriter known for R&B that draws on U.K. club sounds; a tap performance and workshop from the Emmy-nominated Syncopated Ladies; a full-body workout to live jazz accompaniment from Sidebarre DC; and a jazz and meditation dervice from San Francisco’s historic Saint John Coltrane Church.


In Studio K, harpist Brandee Younger salutes her muse, Alice Coltrane, and the River Pavilion will host an a cappella concert from Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The day culminates on the mainstage with an immersive 3-D multimedia spectacle by Flying Lotus, the Grammy-nominated grandnephew of Alice and John Coltrane.

Local and national headliners on other days include Arrested Development, De La Soul, Kronos Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, The Second City, Thievery Corporation, Debbie Allen, Yalitza Aparicio, Bootsy Collins, Renée Fleming, Judah Friedlander, Robert Glasper, Angélique Kidjo, Alan Menken, Tiler Peck, Carrie Mae Weems, Mo Willems, and Dan Zanes.

All REACH Opening Festival events are free; timed-entry passes are required for entry. Patrons can obtain free passes by phone at 202-467-4600, or in person at the Kennedy Center box office.


For more information on the REACH Opening Day Festival, click here.