The Chuck Brown Band (Courtesy of
The Chuck Brown Band (Courtesy of

DC Jazz Festival, the only citywide jazz festival in the mid-Atlantic region, announced that famed entertainer Nick Cannon will host “Great Masters of Jazz” on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

The event will close out the latest installment of the popular jazz festival.

With support from Events DC and co-presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, “Great Masters of Jazz” will celebrate the life and work of legendary producer Quincy Jones, trailblazing trumpeter-bandleader Roy Hargrove, late singing legend Nancy Wilson and D.C.’s own peerless pianist-vocalist Shirley Horn and saxophonist-educator Fred Foss.

Featured performers and presenters include the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Patti Austin, Kenny Garrett, Justin Kauflin, Adam Clayton Powell III, Angela Stribling, Paxton Baker, Sharón Clark, Princess Mhoon Dance Project and other special guests.

Cannon will host the Kennedy Center event, the finale of the 10-day festival.

“Nick Cannon is the perfect addition to Great Masters of Jazz,” said Sunny Sumter, the festival’s executive director. “Our 15th Anniversary finale promises to be chock full of fantastic music tributes and surprise guests honoring iconic jazz legends who have influenced music of all genres.”

Jones and Foss will receive The DC Jazz Festival’s lifetime achievement award in recognition of their stellar contributions to jazz music, Sumter said.

The festival hit the ground running earlier this month at its hugely popular “Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days at The Phillips Collection,” which serves as its unofficial kickoff event.

Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Snarky Puppy, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers, Joshua Redman Quartet, Michael Franks, Joey Alexander Trio, Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science and Ethiopian keyboard and accordion star Hailu Mergia (a D.C.-based airport taxi driver when not on tour) count as just some of the luminaries who helped to highlight the 10-day festival.

Recognized by the 2019 JazzTimes magazine Critic’s Poll for excellence, as the largest and most distinct music festival in the region, the DC JazzFest presented by Events DC reaches more than 100,000 visitors of all ages each year.

“I’m frequently asked what I consider the ‘don’t-miss’ events of our festival, and my general response is, ‘All of it,’” said DC Jazz Festival Artistic Director Willard Jenkins.

An essential component of the DC JazzFest remains “Jazz in the ‘Hoods,” which spotlights the District as a vibrant cultural capital.

“Jazz in the ‘Hoods” brings a stunning array of music — from the traditional to the avant-garde — in all quadrants of the nation’s capital, with performances at more than 20 neighborhood venues.

“As the official convention and sports authority for Washington, D.C., we are proud to continue as presenting sponsor of DC JazzFest where D.C.’s deep-rooted  jazz history will take center stage,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “This annual citywide celebration brings residents and visitors of D.C. together to experience some of the best jazz in all corners of our city, at intimate spaces and non-traditional venues that reflect our culturally-diverse nation’s capital.”

On Monday, June 10, The Peter Brown Project will hit the Anacostia Playhouse (East River Jazz), at 2020 Shannon Place in Southeast, while an 8 p.m. Jam Session will take place at Mr. Henry’s, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Also on Monday, June 10, Jordon Dixon, Allyn Johnson, Herman Burney, Carroll V. Dashiell III and JS Williams will perform at the University of the District of Columbia’s Performing Arts Building in Northwest.

Also at 8 p.m. Monday, June 10, Elliot Hughes and Brad Linde Big Ol’ CD Release Performance will take place at H Street in Northeast.

Performances will continue throughout the week in Georgetown; Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives and Acacia Food and Wine on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest; Foggy Bottom; Wild Days at the Rooftop at Eaton DC Hotel at 1201 K Street in Northwest; Franklin Park at 13th and I Street in Northwest; and other locations.

For a complete lineup and schedule, go to

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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