Kennedy Center Announces 2010-2011 Season of Jazz Concerts & Events

Performing arts center in Washington DC to host festivals, education programs and concerts at various venues

Ramsey Lewis
Kurt Elling
Cyrus Chestnut

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Talk about planning ahead. In a special press conference and reception, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recently announced its concert schedule for the 2010-2011 season and jazz continues to be a big part of the mix at that prestigious cultural arts institution in Washington, D.C.

Among the major events coming to that venue are: A Piano Jazz Christmas (December 11, 2010); A Jazz New Year’s Even (December 31, 2010); Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program (April 4-15, 2011); The 16th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival (May 19-21, 2011). In addition, on November 14, 2011, Ramsey Lewis will present Proclamation of Hope, a major work dedicated to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, in honor of his 200th birthday. Inspired by the events and people from Lincoln’s life, Lewis’ piece is composed for wind ensemble, rhythm section and voice.

And in between those special events are performances in the Concert Hall, Terrace Theater and KC Jazz Club by a broad cross-section of notable jazz artists, including: Jimmy & Tootie Heath, Christian McBride, Nnenna Freelon, Cyrus Chestnut, Kurt Elling, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Roy Hargrove, Randy Weston and many others.

The season is also broken up into various themed sections, including: Beyond Category Series, Louis Armstrong Legacy Singers Series, The Art Tatum Piano Panorama Series, KC Jazz Club and the Discovery Series at the KC Jazz Club (spotlighting emerging artists). Dr. Billy Taylor is the artistic director of Jazz at the Kennedy Center and Kevin Struthers is the man behind the scenes booking the talent and making sure the trains run on time.

Here is the complete schedule of events for the entire season at the Kennedy Center:

Sept. 24, 2010: KC Jazz Club Magos Herrera

Oct. 8, 2010: KC Jazz Club Karen Briggs

Oct. 9, 2010: Terrace Theater Christian McBride , Brian Blade

Oct. 15-16, 2010: KC Jazz Club Alan Harris, Carla Cook, René Marie

Oct. 22, 2010: KC Jazz Club Sharel Cassity

Oct. 23, 2010: Terrace Theater Geri Allen, Patrice Rushen

Oct. 29, 2010: KC Jazz Club Jimmy and Tootie Heath

Oct. 30, 2010: KC Jazz Club Kevin Mahogany

Nov. 5, 2010: Terrace Theater Anat Cohen

Nov. 6, 2010: KC Jazz Club All for One

Nov. 12, 2010: KC Jazz Club Jeremy Pelt

Nov. 14, 2010: Concert Hall Ramsey Lewis

Nov. 19, 2010: KC Jazz Club Cyrus Chestnut

Nov. 20, 2010: Terrace Theater Kurt Elling

Dec. 3, 2010: Terrace Theater Roberta Gambarini, James Moody

Dec. 11, 2010: Terrace Theater NPR’s Jazz Piano Christmas

Dec. 17, 2010: Terrace Theater Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Dec. 31, 2010: Terrace Theater Jon Faddis, Nnenna Freelon

Jan. 8, 2011: Terrace Theater Roy Hargrove Quintet

March 4, 2011: KC Jazz Club Sunny Jain and Red Baraat

March 11, 2011: KC Jazz Club Indo-Pak Coalition

April 2, 2011: Terrace Theater Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner

April 8, 2011: KC Jazz Club Javon Jackson and Friends

April 9, 2011: Terrace Theater Randy Weston

April 15, 2011: KC Jazz Club Ben Williams

April 16, 2011: KC Jazz Club Eldar

May 6, 2011: KC Jazz Club Marcus Strickland

May 7, 2011: KC Jazz Club Yotam Silberstein, Roy Assaf

May 19-21, 2011 Terrace Theater Women in Jazz Festival