Music From Legends and New Expertise on the 2023 DC Jazz Pageant

With performances from 5 Nationwide Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters, up-close-and-personal “Meet the Artist” conversations, and the music of widespread Grammy-winning artists Gregory Porter and Samara Pleasure, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, D.C. was the place to be for jazz.

The New York-based trio New Jazz Underground won the JazzPrix at DC JazzFest. Presenting the $15,000 check was (from left) Aaron Myers, executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, a festival sponsor, with trio members saxophonist Abdias Armenteros, bassist Sebastian Rios and drummer TJ Reddick. (Ja’Mon Jackson/The Washington Informer)
The New York-based trio New Jazz Underground gained the JazzPrix at DC JazzFest. Presenting the $15,000 verify was (from left) Aaron Myers, government director of the DC Fee on the Arts and Humanities, a pageant sponsor, with trio members saxophonist Abdias Armenteros, bassist Sebastian Rios and drummer TJ Reddick. (Ja’Mon Jackson/The Washington Informer)

DC Jazz Pageant (DCJF) is a corporation providing year-round appreciation and help of jazz, nonetheless there may be the DC JazzFest, this 12 months held Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, which is held yearly at a number of venues round D.C., together with the piers on the Southwest Wharf. 

A World Affair

In line with a world view of jazz, this 12 months’s pageant opening night time live performance and reception was on the Home of Sweden, a venue on the Embassy of Sweden. Performers had been the Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio from Iceland and D.C.’s personal The String Queens. 

On Saturday, attendees had been entertained by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble on the District Pier stage. 

On Sunday, Etienne Charles took audiences to his native Trinidad along with his group Creole Soul. NEA Jazz Grasp bassist Dave Holland from Nice Britain performed a hard-driving set on Sunday, Sept. 3, with drummer Eric Harland and guitarist Kevin Eubanks, former Tonight Present bandleader. 

Expertise is the Greatest Instructor 

DCJF took a brand new strategy to staging performances and showcasing artists that spanned a number of generations. The “Generations Sequence” was curated by pianist Orrin Evans, DCJF’s artist-in-residence. 

On Aug. 31, 5 generations of pianists carried out at Enviornment Stage after which participated in a talkback session led by Sonny Sumter, president and CEO of DCJF. Veteran pianists George Cables, Benny Inexperienced, and Evans had been joined by rising pianists Shamie Royston and Hope Udobi. Every pianist, who’re additionally composers, performed three songs accompanied by the rhythm part with Kris Funn on bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums. 

The Era Sequence will proceed within the fall with one other part of jazz.

“This night was actually particular for me as a result of I acquired to see all these younger folks,” stated Cables. “I can see the way forward for this household isn’t in any hazard. It’s nice, and I’m blessed to be part of this household.” 

Competitors Options Up and Coming Artists 

Three bands competed for a $15,000 prize within the DC JazzPrix Finals held at Union Stage on Saturday, Sept. 2. The bands had been Birckhead from Baltimore, Ember from Brooklyn, New York, and New Jazz Underground from New York, New York. A panel of judges picked New Jazz Underground as this 12 months’s winner. 

Juilliard classmates, New Jazz Underground, consists of saxophonist Abdias Armenteros, bassist Sebastian Rios, and drummer TJ Reddick. 

Profitable $15,000 was monumental for the trio.

“This permits us to do our first official file,” bassist Rios stated. “We’ve a YouTube channel that has been completed by DIY (do it your self). We’ll now take what we now have to a different degree.

So as to add to the competitors, Government Director of the DC Fee on Arts and Humanities Aaron Myers hosted the DC JazzPrix. Throughout set modifications, Myers stored the viewers engaged along with his nice humor, piano abilities and singing. 

Transferring to a Completely different Stage 

Vibraphonist Warren Wolf took the viewers to high school along with his Saturday, Sept. 2 night session, “Historical past of the Vibes.” 

He started by stating his instrument isn’t a xylophone however a vibraphone. 

Wolf and his group ran by way of the listing of vibraphonists by performing songs recorded by every artist on the listing. That listing featured Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Cal Tjader, Gary Burton, and Roy Ayers.

“I wished to inform folks slightly extra about my instrument. Many have solely heard of Lionel or Roy Ayers,” stated Wolf, who teaches on the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the San Francisco Conservatory.

Award-winning pianist, composer and music director Mark G. Meadows, well-known within the D.C. space for his work with Signature Theatre and Strathmore, carried out picks from his forthcoming album “Solely Time.” 

He additionally introduced that he shall be part of the Broadway manufacturing of “The Outsiders” primarily based on the 1983 film of the identical identify.

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