Washington DC has deeply rooted jazz history and significance. From Georgetown’s famed Blues Alley hosting the likes of jazz greats like Ellington, Coltrane, and Miles. To the Bohemian Caverns own Jelly Roll Morton and so many greats. DC’s own 13th Annual DC Jazz Festival highlighted a week of remarkable performances by jazz greats along with new and emerging jazz talents making the annual festival a mainstay in the city and one to rival other city jazz festivals around the world!
The festival is a week long showcase of talented jazz performances all throughout the city and opened with an intimate set from the always soulful Lalah Hathaway at the historic Howard Theatre. Performances throughout the week included Pat Metheny, Ron Carter, the Sun Ra Arkestra among many others at various venues as Tropicalia in Adams Morgan to The Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, Embassy of Italy and the National Museum of American History just to name a few. The DC Jazz Festival provided jazz throughout the city with an array of talent and insuring sets!
Urban Heat Advisory was able to take in the DC JazzPrix Finals held at University of the District of Columbia. The festival event highlights emerging young jazz artists in competition for a $15K grand prize. This year’s winning group, AMP Trio featuring vocalist Tahira Clayton, gave an awe-inspiring performance. Tahira’s soulful voice is amazingly interwoven into the melodies of the trio which itself is full of talent. Jazz group SULA delivered a great performance as well featuring jazz vocalist Michael Mayo and pianist Cali O’Doherty. Opening the competition was the Ernest Turner Trio.
Rounding out the DC Jazz Fest is a 3-day concert at Yards Park on the Anacostia waterfront. Urban Heat Advisory attended the Saturday show which featured jazz great saxophonist Kenny Garrett, multi-talented jazz pianist Robert Glasper Experiment, amazingly talented one man jazz band Jacob Collier, Kandace Springs, and last years DC Jazz Prix winners New Century Quintet. This show was amazing! Bringing out the true jazz community and providing historic performances placing DC back on the map again as a major jazz hosting city.
– Jamaal Bailey (UHA)