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DC Jazz Festival

DC Jazz Festival - Summer music festival with free concerts in Washington, DC

10 Reasons to Attend the Virtual DC JazzFest This September

Expect epic performances, international jazz and celebrations of history from Sept. 24-28

One of DC’s most exciting annual events, the DC JazzFest, will be entirely virtual across five days this September. The 16th edition of this beloved tradition will celebrate the sounds, stories and personalities that make this uniquely American art form sing and swing across its wealth of performances – all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. We’ve laid out 10 reasons to enjoy the event below.


The talent on display is outstanding

This lineup includes a range of styles and performers to hook music fans of all stripes. International, national, regional and local artists will all show off their skills on the virtual stage.


Every event is free to watch

All 20+ performances, interviews and discussions held during the 16th annual DC JazzFest will be available to watch free of charge at or on the DC Jazz Festival Facebook page, and make sure to check out the other special content happening on Gather by EventsDC.


Revel in the DC jazz scene from anywhere in the world

Some of DC’s best jazz artists will perform during the festival. Don’t miss electric performances from Allyn Johnson and Sonic Sanctuary, Ben Williams, Christie Dashiell, Heart of the Ghost, Nasar Abadey and the legendary Chuck Brown Band, which masterfully mixes homegrown genre, go-go, with jazz.


Get a front row seat to the virtual performance of a cultural ambassador

Danilo Pérez is a UNESCO Artist for Peace, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a Cultural Ambassador for Panama. He’ll perform on the JazzFest’s Global Stage with Ben Street and Adam Cruz as part of a power trio on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m.


Discover new and emerging artists

DC JazzFest always features both established jazz musicians and rising stars set to determine the course of the genre in the coming years. This year, keep an eye out for performances from the next wave of jazz stars, a list that includes Baby Rose, !FIASCO!, Cecily, Heart of a Ghost and many more.


Check out Drive-in Jazz

Park-Up DC hosted by Events DC has been safely bringing the community together at RFK Campus Lot 5 for weekend film screenings since July. In support of DC JazzFest, the event will host the Sept. 28 performance by Frederic Yonnet and the Band with No Name on a 45-foot HD LED digital screen, complete with high quality sound that you can tune into directly through your car’s FM stereo. The event, which will begin at 8 p.m., is free with advance registration and you can pre-order delivery of delicious food from local food trucks on-site before getting to your parking spot.


Groove to sounds from around the globe

Put your finger on the pulse of jazz. DC JazzFest showcases an exceptional array of globally renowned masters and emerging artists from across the jazz spectrum and well beyond, including genres like the blues, swing, Latin and much more. The festival takes pride in presenting artists from as far away as Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the UK and Panama.


You will have the chance to engage with artists

DC JazzFest will offer exclusive Q&A and engagement opportunities with artists throughout the festival’s run. Stay tuned to the festival’s website for more information.


Vote for your favorite artist in the DCJazzPrix

The DCJazzPrix is an annual competition that brings together standout talent from around the world for a night of unforgettable performances. A panel of expert judges will select five bands to perform in the DCJazzPrix Finals on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Union Stage at 3 p.m., with the winner determined by you. To the victor goes a $15,000 cash prize.


Celebrate an American art form

The United States Congress officially proclaimed jazz a “National Treasure” in 1987. Diehard fans of the genre likely wondered, “What took you so long?” This fall, you can immerse yourself in this classic American art form like never before. Savor these shows from home and begin your own journey into one of the most creative and rewarding musical genres in world history.

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