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DC JazzFest Adds Cassandra Wilson, Kenny Garrett, and Joshua Redman

The 15th edition of the festival celebrates America’s original art form starting June 7

Cassandra Wilson, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, April 2015 (photo: Mark Robbins)

Vocalist Cassandra Wilson, alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman have joined the lineup for the DC Jazz Festival’s closing concert set for Sunday, June 16 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Now celebrating 15 years as the mid-Atlantic’s only citywide jazz festival, the weeklong DC JazzFest presented by Events DC kicks off on June 7 at venues throughout the District of Columbia and continues through June 16.

The closing concert will feature tributes to NEA Jazz Masters Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, and Shirley Horn, plus the DC-based saxophonist Fred Foss. Buy tickets for Great Masters of Jazz here.

Hosted by Nick Cannon, the evening will feature the Roy Hargrove Big Band without its namesake, who passed away in 2018 at 49 years old, vocal stylist Patti Austin, pianist (and Quincy Jones protégé) Justin Kauflin, vocalist Sharón Clark, the Chris Grasso Trio, vocalist Roberta Gambarini, and the Princess Mhoon Dance Project.

For a complete DC JazzFest lineup, click here.

The evening will also feature remarks and observations from scholar/activist Adam Clayton Powell III and television personalities Leon Harris, Angela Stribling, and Paxton Baker, plus the festival’s executive director Sunny Sumter and artistic director (and JazzTimes contributor) Willard Jenkins.

“I can think of no more apropos way to close out our 15th-anniversary DC JazzFest than with an evening recognizing jazz mastery,” Sumter said in a statement. “This evening will bring an unprecedented roster of talent to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to honor some of the peerless masters of the art form.”

The festival will feature more than 150 performances in over 40 venues. For more information about the 2019 DC JazzFest, including concert updates and ticketing information, visit