From June 8 to June 17, the DC Jazz Festival will present a wide variety of jazz performances throughout Washington, D.C., making use of 40-plus venues in 22 neighborhoods. And the festival’s organizers have further good news: a significant percentage of those performances will be free of charge.
The biggest free events are scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17. On Saturday, jazz fans can see and hear more than 15 acts on four stages, including trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Brazilian pianist-composer Ivan Lins, bassist Ben Williams (the festival’s artist-in-residence this year) and the AMP Trio with vocalist—and winner of the 2017 DC JazzPrix young bands competition—Tahira Clayton.
At the fest’s District Pier and Transit Pier Stages on Sunday, the theme will be jazz as an international language. Italian trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, harmonica virtuoso Grégoire Maret (from Switzerland), harpist Edmar Castañeda (Colombia), the Danish band Hess Is More, Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, Korea’s Jihye Lee Orchestra and 12-year-old Bolivian keyboardist José André are among the artists featured.
Other free events include a four-concert series at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage focusing on jazz families, including spouses and siblings (June 11-16); the Jazz in the ’Hoods mini-festival, which presents seven concerts at various venues across the District; and three outdoor concerts at three separate locations on June 14, 15 and 16.
This is all in addition to the DC JazzFest’s many ticketed events, including performances by Leslie Odom Jr., Robert Glasper, Maceo Parker, Chucho Valdés with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Frédéric Yonnet with Maimouna Youssef, Patricia Barber, Pharoah Sanders, the Bad Plus, Tia Fuller, Raúl Midón, Delfeayo Marsalis, Regina Carter, Terence Blanchard and Allan Harris, to name just a few.