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D.C. Jazz Loft Series to Showcase National Stars & Local Talent in June


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The D.C. Jazz Loft Series, a collaboration between the DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) and CapitalBop, will return to the Festival this year with performances from some of the nation’s most influential, boundary-pushing artists. Part of the Festival’s Jazz in the ‘Hoods program presented by Events DC, the three-day series is expanding to include a final, daylong Jazz Loft MegaFest on June 9.

The D.C. Jazz Loft Series again will showcase edgy artists who engage the Festival’s younger, musically inquisitive audiences. Innovative nationally-known artists include Marc Cary’s Cosmic Indigenous; Tarbaby, featuring Orrin Evans, Nasheet Waits and Eric Revis; and the Todd Marcus Nonet. The Jazz Loft MegaFest will feature four bands, a screening of the film Icons Among Us, an interdisciplinary presentation on jazz and hip-hop, food and drink presented by the Taste of DC, and more.

“We’re making the case that jazz isn’t stuffy music that you have to sit down and listen to without moving, and it never has been,” said Giovanni Russonello, editor-in-chief of CapitalBop.com. “At the Jazz Loft MegaFest, the culmination of this year’s series, we’re creating a multimedia marketplace of music, food and art.”

Now in its second year, the D.C. Jazz Loft Series grew out of CapitalBop’s successful monthly D.C. Jazz Loft shows, which have highlighted a variety of District-area talent at local hotspots since December 2010. Originally inspired by the popular late-night musician hangouts at Manhattan lofts in the bebop and free-jazz eras, D.C. Jazz Loft concerts draw diverse audiences to appreciate and enjoy the breadth and vitality of Washington’s exciting, expanding jazz scene. After last year’s D.C. Jazz Loft Series, DownBeat magazine wrote: “It brought a much-needed cool factor … [and] attracted multi-generational, multi-racial crowds.”

Local performers at the D.C. Jazz Loft Series include Christie Dashiell, the lead vocalist who wowed audiences as a member of Afro-Blue on NBC’s The Sing-Off last year; bassist Kris Funn, who has toured with Kenny Garrett and is a member of the Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Quintet; emerging saxiphonist Elijah Jamal Balbed and experimental drummer Lenny Robinson.

The series is a feature component of the DC Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the ’Hoods program presented by Events DC, which offers numerous performances in museums, clubs, restaurants, hotels, and galleries across the city. The annual program attracts a large and diverse audience and showcases many DC-based jazz groups at venues such as Bohemian Caverns, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Gallery O on H, among others.

“CapitalBop’s influence in the D.C. jazz scene makes them an integral component of the Festival,” said DC Jazz Festival Executive Producer Charles Fishman. “The D.C. Jazz Loft Series has a down-to-earth vibe that reaches a diverse audience and attracts new fans to local venues to experience exciting jazz performances.”

Series Lineup:

Friday, June 1 - The Dunes (1402 Meridian Pl. NW) 9:00pm: Christie Dashiell Quartet; 10:30pm & 12:00am: Todd Marcus Nonet

Saturday, June 2 - The Fridge (516 8th St. SE) 9:00pm: Kris Funn & Corner Store; 10:30pm & 12:00am Tarbaby

Saturday, June 9 - Taste of DC Loft (629 New York Ave. NW) 3:30pm: Jazz Academy Youth Combo, Directed by Paul Carr; 4:00pm: Screening of Icons Among Us; 5:30pm: Shaolin Jazz: An Interactive Panel on Jazz and Hip-Hop, feat. Kokayi, Dr. Will Smith, Keanna Faircloth, DJ 2-Tone Jones & more; 7:00pm: Elijah Jamal Balbed, Tarus Mateen & Lee Pearson II; 8:30pm: Lenny Robinson’s Mad Curious; 10:00pm & 12:00am: Marc Cary & Cosmic Indigenous

Proud major sponsors and partners of the DC Jazz Festival, to date, include Events DC; ABC 7-TV/WJLA/NewsChannel 8; Patton Boggs LLP; Sage Communications; The Washington Post; Microsoft Corporation, The Phillips Collection; Destination DC; Linda and Michael Sonnenreich; the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; UnitedHealth Group, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park; the Washington City Paper; Verizon; the Mayo Charitable Foundation; LCG Systems; Bacardi USA; Dworbell Inc.; DownBeat; Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck; Amtrak; Metro; and the NEA Foundation, among others.

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