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Fishman Embassy Series

The following is our event listing from past Fishman Embassy Series Events.

The Charles Fishman Embassy Series is made possible by the generous support of Linda and Michael Sonnenreich, the Mayo Charitable Foundation, and Peter Gillon and Lisa Hook.

The Fishman Embassy Series, so named in honor of Charles Fishman, founder of the DC Jazz Festival, is an ongoing presentation of DCJF, at festival time and throughout the year.  This series presents artists from across the globe in partnership with the foreign embassy community in our nation’s capital.  Fostering and producing the Fishman Embassy Series is a classic manifestation of DCJF’s 2016 theme, celebrating “The International Language of Jazz.” 

Though born in the U.S., jazz music has evolved over the last century as a true global music.  In its earliest stages jazz music was the specific province of American artists.  Gradually through the performance of the music around the world, including the robust international network of jazz festivals, and the broad dissemination of jazz education – including learning artists from around the world migrating to the U.S. to study the music – jazz has become a true world music.  Where once almost exclusively U.S.-based or expatriate musicians performed jazz music across the globe, artists around the world now express the jazz esthetic through the lens of their own unique cultures.  The Fishman Embassy Series is a classic example of the worldwide impact of jazz music.

Join Circle of Friends here to be invited to these special international events.

April 30:      DC JazzFest’s Celebration of International Jazz Day in collaboration with SPAIN arts & culture Co-presented by Events DC
                    A Circle of Friends Event 
                    Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain
                    3:00PM Meet the Artist, 4:00PM Concert  

This event was an integral part of DCJF’s contribution to International Jazz Day, which is being observed for the first time in a U.S. city, Washington, DC.   International Jazz Day (IJD), which is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month (April), was initiated by UNESCO, and is produced by the Thelonious Monk Institute, to foster a global celebration of the jazz art form.  DCJF is proud to serve as a partner organization for the 2016 IJD observance.   Complete information on International Jazz Day is available here:   The event was made possible by Events DC and CrossCurrent Foundation.

Artist: The Sebastian Chames Quartet    
Sebastian Chames
 is a pianist who belongs to the new generation of jazz musicians in Spain. He completed his musical training in New York with Barry Harris, Rodney Kendrick, Bruce Barth, Fred Hersch, Bruce Barth. In 2008 he released his first CD as band leader “Primera Toma”. In 2013, his second record “Reconstrucción” featuring an outstanding line up: Jeremy Pelt-trumpet; Justin Robinson-alto saxophone; Dwayne Burno-bass; and Willie Jones III-drum; and in 2015 the third one “Pick Up the Phone” with Jeremy Pelt –trumpet, Greg Tardy-tenor sax, Gerarld Cannon –bass and Willie Jones III -drums.  His CDs all recorded in New York received rave reviews by Spanish specialized press (Diario Abc “..Chames is confirmed as one of the pillars of "New Jazz" made in Spain” Diario el Mundo “Tradition and innovation are joint in the music of Sebastián Chames”. He currently leads his quintet in Spain which constantly plays in bands in clubs and festivals of Europe.


June 3:          Embassy of Portugal in collaboration with the International Club of DC
                       A Circle of Friends Event 
                       6:30PM Reception, 7:30PM Concert 

Artist: The Mario Laginha Trio   
Mário João Laginha dos Santos, piano player and composer, is one of the most creative contemporary Portuguese jazz musicians. He is mostly recognized for his recurrent collaborations with fellow Portuguese jazz singer Maria João, with whom he recorded over a dozen discs and toured Portugal and Europe several times. Other famed collaboration work includes four-handed piano sessions with Bernardo Sassetti and Pedro Burmester.   Mário's early influences include Keith Jarrett.


June 8:         Embassy of France
                      A Circle of Friends Event

                      6:30 PM Reception, 8:00 PM Public Concert 
                      (Ticketed) - made possible by the French American Jazz Exchange Regional Tours Program of  Mid-Atlantic Arts Arts Foundation, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional support provided by CrossCurrents Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities,an agency in supported in part by the National Endowmnet for the Arts

Program: Lafayette Suite featuring Laurent Coq and Walter Smith lll
Laurent Coq began playing the piano at the age of seven.  He studied at the Centre d'informations musicales in Paris, at which time he also played in a trio with bassist Jules Bikôkô bi Njami and drummer Daniel Garcia Bruno, and in a variety of other bands. Coq was awarded a government grant in 1994 to travel to the U.S., where he studied with pianists Bruce Barth, John Hicks and Mulgrew Miller.  Coq's 2011 album Rayuela, co-led with saxophonist Miguel Zenón, was inspired by Julio Cortázar's novel of the same title. The Down Beat reviewer commented that "Rayuela experiments with song structures and the connections between tunes to express emotions and motifs each artist observed by reading the [book]". Walter Smith III (born September 24, 1980) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.  In addition to performing with his own group, Smith is a member of the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet and Eric Harland's Voyager. He regularly plays and records with modern jazz notables including Taylor Eigsti, Christian Scott, Logan Richardson, Kendrick Scott, Aaron Parks, Warren Wolf, and others.  Smith has released four albums as leader: Casually Introducing  (2006), Live In Paris (2009), III (2010), and Still Casual (2014).


June 14 & 15:  Italian Cultural Institute 

June 14:        A Circle of Friends Event (Free - Invitation Only, Registration Required) 
                      7:00PM Concert, 8:15PM Reception

June 15:        7:30PM  Concert (Free- Registration Required) 
                      Tickets available here

Artist: Luca Ciarla  
A creative and surprising violinist, Luca Ciarla easily transcends the boundaries among genres to trace an innovative musical path, a magical acoustic seduction in perfect balance between written compositions and improvisation, traditional and contemporary sounds. He has successfully performed in jazz, classical and world music festivals and concert series in almost 50 countries in the world; from Montreal Jazz Festival to the Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre, from Celtic Connections in Scotland to the Villa-Lobos Festival in Rio de Janeiro, from Melbourne Jazz Festival  to the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Italy. “…one of the most interesting violinists nowadays on the international scene, capable of browsing  around different sounds and genres without ever losing his unmistakable style.” la Repubblica (Italy)


June 16:        Embassy of Japan
                      Japan Information and Culture Center   
                      6:30PM Concert (Ticketed)

Artist: Mika Mimura Group with special guest Warren Wolf
Mika Mimura plays marimba, vibraphone and mallet keyboards. She finished with a Master’s in classical music from The Osaka College of Music in Japan. She studied jazz at The Berklee College of Music. She was a regular member of Rainbow Big Band and Rainbow All Stars. She performed with saxophonist Greg Osby when she was a student. Mika joined the group, “BandA ecLectics”, whose leader, Petros Sakelliou, won first prize at the Thelonious Monk Institute Competition. Then she performed at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.  Mika released her first album “Precious (2009) with two-time Grammy winner Michael League of “Snarky Puppy”. She joined the group “Banda Magda” whose leader is Magda Giannikou. She went on tour in Europe, the US, South America and Japan. Their debut album, “Amour, t’es là?(2013)” was listed on the Top 10 Billboard World Music Chart, NPR’s All Songs Considered, and NPR’s 10 favorite World Music Albums.  She released her own second album “Dreamii (2014)” with Michael League, five-time Grammy winning drummer Mark Walker and the famous jazz vibraphonist, Warren Wolf. Mika performed at the Blue Note & The Japan Foundation presents East meets West at the New York Blue Note Jazz Club with her group. Mika performed at "The 70th Anniversary of World WarⅡ Peace Concert" on board the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.