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DC Jazz Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

Regina Carter, Orrin Evans, Lakecia Benjamin, and the Maria Schneider and Spanish Harlem Orchestras headline the September event

Regina Carter
Regina Carter performing at the 2018 PDX Jazz Festival (photo: Mark Sheldon)

The DC Jazz Festival, which this year will take place September 1-5—on both a delayed and an abbreviated schedule—has announced its full 2021 lineup.

The 17th edition of the DCJF will feature more than 20 performances, interviews, and events. Its headliners include Regina Carter, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Orrin Evans’ Terreno Comum, and Lakecia Benjamin’s Pursuance.

Other performers will include Cyrus Chestnut, Allyn Johnson, Afro Blue, Jenny Scheinman, Laurin Talese, Immanuel Wilkins, the String Queens, Carr/Keys, the Ernest Turner Trio, Vox Sambou, Chuck Redd, and 2020 DCJazzPrix winner the Elijah Jamal Balbed Quartet.

The DCJF will also feature two special presentations—“Celebrating Billy Taylor’s Centennial,” marking the 100th birthday of the pianist, educator, and Washington, D.C. native; and “A Grand Night for Strings: From Stuff Smith to Jean-Luc Ponty.”

In addition, the festival will present its signature “JazzFest at the Wharf” programming over Labor Day weekend (September 4–5) from the District Wharf on DC’s Southwest Waterfront. The event will feature a combination of in-person and livestreamed performances. Also, the Wharf’s Union Stage will host the finals of the 2021 DCJazzPrix, the festival’s annual competition for small jazz bands.

More information on the 2021 DC Jazz Festival can be found at