District Jazz

DISTRICT JAZZ

Rebellion and Respect: Kennedy Center Celebrates Blue Note's 75th Anniversary

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Blue Note Record's significance to modern music is as inarguable as its story is remarkable. Over its 75 year lifespan the label has recorded many of jazz's defining artists, its evolution tracing the trajectory of America's most significant musical form from its beginnings to its present day diverse manifestations. It is therefore especially auspicious that the celebration of its 75th anniversary took place at the Kennedy Center just as the center welcomes experimentalist Jason Moran as its now long-term artistic director, fulfilling a commitment to the musical form begun by the groundbreaking Billy Taylor when he established a ...

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2013 Thelonious Monk Institute Competition

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The saxophone is the most iconic of jazz instruments. Its image is all that is needed to invoke the music's essence, its history intimately entangled with the cultural arc of American music and urban culture. Its masters are the most recognized outside jazz circles and its sound most closely identified with the art form. To many, jazz is defined by the sax and the sax defined by jazz. For that reason, it was fitting that this year's Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Saxophone Competition divested itself of much of its hallmark pageantry, opting instead for a paired back ...

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2013 DC Jazz Festival: Washington, DC, June 5-15, 2013

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2013 DC Jazz FestivalWashington, DCJune 5-15, 2013Every summer, the DC Jazz Festival shines a spotlight on Washington, D.C.'s expanding music scene, having grown in parallel with the increased number of jazz clubs, venues, and musicians the nation's capital now harbors. The relationship has been mutually reinforcing. The festival created a national brand and, especially in its early years, harnessed the support of major sponsors and city officials behind the mission of celebrating D.C's jazz legacy. In turn, the clubs' bookings and ties to local musicians kept the festival's lineup full and energized.Now ...

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Washington, D.C. Reclaims its Role as a Jazz Destination

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"Music is a powerful thing...fresh air for your life. You need jazz to breathe. It's just like oxygen." --Jimmy “Junebug" Jackson Oxygen for the Ears: Living Jazz Oxygen for the Ears is a 2012 award-winning documentary film depicting the vibrancy of the jazz scene in the nation's capital. Made in three years by German-born astrophysicist Stefan Immler, the 94-minute documentary shows the city's key role in the past, present and future of jazz and is gaining attention for the filmmaker and his adopted city. The film was selected for 16 film ...

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Akua Allrich at the Howard Theater

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Local star Akua Allrich continued her rapid rise this month performing music from her latest album Uniquely Standard (Self Produced, 2012) at the historic Howard Theater on Washington, DC's U Street.An accomplished vocalist whose vibrant performances and inviting stage presence have built a loyal following and propelled her to the forefront of Washington, DC's main jazz venues, Allrich's rise in many ways parallels the resurgence of Washington, DC as a major jazz city, making her debut at the recently reopened Howard Theater both a fitting and symbolically resonant accomplishment.Just five years ago, Allrich was only beginning ...

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Anat Cohen at Kennedy Center Jazz Club

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Anat Cohen has received no shortage of accolades of late and her rise is a testament to her stunning capacities on clarinet and saxophone. She is no stranger to Washington, DC audiences either, packing clubs and concert halls from Bohemian Caverns to the Sixth and I Synagogue. Most recently, Cohen filled the Kennedy Center's Jazz Club, where she helped highlight the modernistic trajectory that pianist Jason Moran is charting for the Center's jazz program as its new artistic director.Featuring works from her latest release, Claroscuro (Anzic, 2012), Cohen's performance was no less superb than previous outings, compelling both ...

DISTRICT JAZZ

2012 Thelonious Monk International Drums Competition

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It can never be said that the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz does anything halfway. Held annually at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, this year's competition and gala concert was ambitious and extravagant--equal parts a celebration of jazz drumming, a salute to women's past and present contributions to the art form, and a promotion for the Institute's many programs.Lasting well over two hours, the event unfolded like a beautifully orchestrated tapas banquet. The feast covered not only a wide range of musical styles, but also explored, through the speeches and awards, the Monk Institute's multifaceted programs and ...



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