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DC Jazz Festival
DCJF has added The Wharf as the culminating festival destination in 2018. One of the District’s most historic areas, the Southwest Waterfront is home to the longest continually operating open-air fish market, and with the recent area renaissance, this vibrant riverfront community has become DC’s newest hotspot, transformed into a premier waterfront destination. The Wharf offers a distinct urban experience, with dining, entertainment, retail, artistic layout and four different piers. It is the ideal setting for a fully immersive DC JazzFest festival experience.
Headlining artist Leslie Odom Jr. is a multi-talented actor, dancer and singer, with two jazz albums and a plethora of awards and credits to his name. He gained international fame and acclaim for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the Broadway juggernaut, Hamilton, winning the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album as a principal vocalist. He will perform at The Anthem on June 16. Joining Odom Jr. at The Anthem is R+R=Now, a jazz supergroup formed in late 2017 by the brilliant team of legendary pianist Robert Glasper and multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and Kendrick Lamar producer and rapper Terrace Martin, and is comprised of trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Justin Tyson and beatboxer Taylor McFerrin (son of Bobby McFerrin). R+R=NOW stands for Reflect+Respond=NOW, and Glasper has said the name was inspired by the late singer Nina Simone, who said an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.
The pairing of Cuban piano maestros Chucho Valdés & Gonzalo Rubalcaba promises an electric night of virtuoso performances at the Kennedy Center, from two generations of the great Afro-Cuban tradition. Separated by 20 years, both men hail originally from Havana, from musical families.
“Events DC is honored to continue our partnership with DC Jazz Festival, in support of its critically acclaimed DC JazzFest, as well as Jazz in the ‘Hoods presented by Events DC and the Charles Fishman Embassy Series,” said Erik A. Moses, senior vice president and managing director of sports, entertainment, and special events at Events DC. “This festival’s extensive lineup of jazz and jazz-extension musicians is an essential contributor to the cultural diversity of our nation’s capital and we are proud to have continually supported this remarkable celebration for more than a decade.”