17th Annual DC JazzFest - September 1-5, 2021


The 2021 DC JazzFest took place from September 1-5, with 20+ concerts, interviews and exclusive events featuring international superstars and homegrown talent. Our signature event, DC JazzFest at The Wharf happened September 4-5, over Labor Day Weekend, as a hybrid of in-person and livestream performances to a worldwide audience. This blockbuster weekend occurred at the District Wharf, a waterfront destination with restaurants, shops, and stunning views. Due to the ongoing pandemic, DCJF decided to postpone this year’s festival to September as a celebration of all things jazz in DC.

2021 Lineup


The lineup for the 17th Annual DC JazzFest featured an eclectic and diverse cast of Grammy winners, burgeoning jazz superstars and a slew of DC's finest talent. There was something for everyone at this immersive “jazz takeover” of DC this past September!

This year’s 2021 DC JazzFest Lineup includes:

Regina Carter ● John Scofield  ●  D-Nice ● Maria Schneider Orchestra ● The Spanish Harlem Orchestra ● Pedrito Martinez Group ● Orrin Evans Presents “Terreno Comum” ● Lakecia Benjamin Presents: "Pursuance" ● Cyrus Chestnut ● Allyn Johnson ● Afro Blue ● Jenny Scheinman ● Laurin Talese ● Immanuel Wilkins Quartet ● The String Queens ● Carr/Keys ● The Michael Bowie Trio ● The EJB Quartet ● Ernest Turner Trio ● Chuck Redd ● More TBA!

Plus these special presentations:

  • A Grand Night for Strings starring Regina Carter and featuring Jenny Scheinman, The String Queens, and The Michael Bowie Trio

  • Celebrating Billy Taylor's Centennial featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Allyn Johnson, Afro Blue, Winard Harper, and Chip Jackson

  • Tribute to the Legendary Saxophonist Andrew White featuring Kevin Toney, Steve Novosel, Keith Killgo, Antonio Parker and special guests

  • The 7th Annual DCJazzPrix Finals: The Giveton Gelin Quintet, Camilla George, and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé

For any press inquiries, festival review pieces or requests for further information, please contact Lydia Liebman, DC Jazz Festival's publicist, at lydia@lydialiebmanpromotions.com.

Wednesday, September 1


Thursday, September 2

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Saturday, September 4

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 A Grand Night for Strings

Starring Regina Carter feat. Jenny Scheinman, The String Queens, and the Michael Bowie Trio 

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Sunday, September 5

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Celebrating Billy Taylor's Centennial

Featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Allyn Johnson, Afro Blue, Winard Harper, and
Chip Jackson

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DCJazzPrix Finals - Sunday, September 5

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DC JazzFest Tickets


Wharf General Admission

This SINGLE DAY PASS grants you STANDING general admission to the DC JazzFest at The Wharf on the date designated on your ticket. This pass is non-transferable/non-refundable. 

Guests will have the option of donating to DCJF while registering for their GA passes, with a suggested donation of $20 per guest. Your contribution will help us continue to serve our community in 2021 and beyond.

Wharf Seated Tickets

This SINGLE DAY TICKET guarantees you a chair in our seated ticket sections

located in front of the stages at both the District and Transit Piers on the date

designated on your ticket. This ticket is non-transferable/non-refundable.


Saturday, September 4


  • Regina Carter (A Grand Night for Strings w/Jenny Scheinman, The String Queens, Michael Bowie Trio)

  • Maria Schneider Orchestra (performing the Pulitzer Prize finalist & Grammy-winning “Data Lords” project)

  • Orrin Evans “Terreno Comum”

  • Lakecia Benjamin Pursuance

  • Pedrito Martinez Group

  • Lauren Talese

  • CarrKeys

  • Ernest Turner Trio


Sunday, September 5


  • John Scofield Trio (w/Steve Swallow)

  • Billy Taylor Centennial (w/Cyrus Chestnut, Allyn Johnson, Afro Blue + Winard Harper/Chip Jackson)

  • Spanish Harlem Orchestra

  • D-Nice

  • Immanuel Wilkins Quartet

  • Marco Pignataro Jazzet

  • EJB Quartet

  • Chuck Redd Quartet

Wharf VIP Club Lounge Passes

This SINGLE DAY VIP PASS guarantees you admission to our VIP Club Lounge, one (1) drink ticket, light fare and a chair in our seated ticket sections located in front of the stages at both the District and Transit Piers on the date designated on your ticket. This VIP pass is non-transferable/non-refundable.


Wharf Cabanas

DC JazzFest Cabanas are back by popular demand! The 2021 DC JazzFest at The Wharf will feature 16 total cabanas overlooking the waterfront at both the District and Transit Piers. Each pier will be lined with private, luxury cabana tents that seat up to six people allowing for the ultimate group experience. DC JazzFest at The Wharf will not only include performances by 16+ jazz artists, but also a Meet the Artist tent for up-close-and-personal conversations with your favorite artists. The cabanas are designed to offer your closest family and friends a private space to host your own special gathering during this year's festival. 

Each cabana comes with:

  • One (1)10x10 tent with 3 side walls

  • Six (6) padded seats

  • One (1) trash can

  • Six (6) accompanying guaranteed seats in front of the stage

Cabana guests will also be able to add beer, wine, and champagne packages--more information about drink packages is forthcoming.

7th Annual DCJazzPrix Finals Live at Union Stage

The 7th annual DCJazzPrix international band competition will take place on Sunday, September 5th at Union Stage during the final day of the DC JazzFest at The Wharf. This year's finalists include The Giveton Gelin Quintet, Camilla George and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé. General admission tickets are now available for purchase, with limited options for seating available on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Click here for more information.

17th Annual DC JazzFest Opening Ceremony

7:30 PM - 9:45 PM | House of Sweden

Opening Ceremony: Located in the heart of historic Georgetown, House of Sweden stands as a Swedish architectural masterpiece on the banks of the Potomac River. Hosting a variety of cultural programs that highlight and introduce noteworthy talent, the building serves as a base for creative cultural dialogue and exchange. House of Sweden partners with DCJF this year to host the annual DC JazzFest Opening Ceremony featuring acclaimed saxophonist, Joshua Redman, with an opening performance by award-winning Swedish singer and composer, Sirintip “Tippan” Phasuk. This is a private event for DC Jazz Festival Circle of Friends members.


To learn more about Circle of Friends support levels, click here or contact Skylar Rea at skylar@dcjazzfest.org


DC JazzFest at the Kreeger

12:30 PM | The Kreeger Museum


Originally the private home of David and Carmen Kreeger, The Kreeger Museum carries on their legacy and commitment to enhance the appreciation of art, architecture, and music. Home to the Kreegers’ personal art collection, the museum has also hosted a number of concerts in its Great Hall. Honoring the spirit of David and Carmen Kreeger and their love of music, The Kreeger Museum is a natural partner to feature the Janelle Gill Quartet for their venue debut as part of the 2021 DC JazzFest. A native Washingtonian, Janelle Gill began her musical career at the age of five and has performed with Oliver Lake, The Blackbyrds, Delfeayo Marsalis, David Murray, and many local artists.


Please note The Kreeger Museum requires all visitors and staff to wear masks and practice social distancing while inside the museum.

Tribute to Andrew White

12:40 PM (For students only) | Howard University College of Fine Arts

As the first black institution of higher learning to offer a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, Howard University is a renowned establishment for the study and performance of jazz. Appropriately, Howard University has partnered with DCJF to pay tribute to one of its and DC’s own—the legendary multi-instrumentalist, Andrew White. White’s skills as a musician earned him recordings and touring gigs with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Otis Redding, and McCoy Tyner, among others. Most notably, White’s meticulous transcriptions of 650 John Coltrane solos (virtually everyone on record) has earned him the moniker “Keeper of Trane”

This tribute will be led by two-time Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, Howard University alum, and Blackbyrds founding member Kevin Toney. He will be joined by bassist Steve Novosel, drummer Keith Killgo, saxophonist Antonio Parker, and special guests. In keeping with the commitment to preserve and perpetuate jazz through instruction and performance, this free “mini-show” education concert reserves seats for Howard University College of Fine Arts Department of Music students.”

Due to Howard University gathering policy, Howard University event is limited to current HU students only.

7:30 PM (Pre-concert dinner served at 6:00 PM) | Westminster Presbyterian Church

Westminster Presbyterian Church has been presenting jazz to a large, diverse audience for twenty years. Cultivation of a family-friendly, cross-cultural atmosphere is central to the realization of Westminster’s jazz ministry’s vision of a Southwest cultural renaissance. Westminster Presbyterian Church partners with DCJF to present the evening segment of the daylong homage to the late multi-instrumentalist, Andrew White. This tribute will be led by two-time Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, Howard University alum, and Blackbyrds founding member Kevin Toney. He will be joined by bassist Steve Novosel, drummer Keith Killgo, saxophonist Antonio Parker, and special guests.


Dinner ticket purchases for this event include a pre-concert dinner at 6:00 PM.

DC JazzFest at The Hamilton Live: An Evening with the Shaun Martin Trio

7:30 PM | The Hamilton Live


Located two blocks from the White House in downtown DC, Hamilton Live is a destination for vibrant music featuring talent that defies convention—much like its namesake, Alexander Hamilton. The Hamilton Live has partnered with DCJF to present pianist-keyboardist, Shaun Martin—well known for his work with Gospel music icon Kirk Franklin, and as a signature member of Snarky Puppy.  In addition, his creative stamp can be heard on projects with such legends as Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Fred Hammond, Kim Burrell, and more.

DC JazzFest at The Phillips Collection

1:00 PM & 4:00 PM | The Phillips Collection

“The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art opened by collector and philanthropist, Duncan Phillips, is housed in a distinctive space in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, The Phillips Collection has long been home to jazz, including being host to some annual DCJF Jazz ‘n Families programs. This year’s activities will feature family-friendly activities, and performances by emerging multi-instrumentalist, Langston Hughes Il and his ensemble. And will feature electric violinist, David Schulman in the Gallery. Family-friendly event.


Though this is a free event, The Phillips Collection observes strict COVID-19 protocols. Registration is required to attend. Showtimes 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Please check back for the registration link and performance times.

Jazz at Mr. Henry's featuring The Herb Scott Quartet

6:00 PM & 9:30 PM | Mr. Henry's

Mr. Henry’s is a Capitol Hill mainstay—a place to relax, meet with friends, soak up the local atmosphere, and enjoy a classic American pub cuisine menu. Located in DC’s historic Capitol Hill neighborhood, Mr. Henry’s is where “music lives on the hill,” and has long been home to good groove jazz music and burgeoning young talents.  Mr. Henry’s partners with DCJF this year to present one of DC’s finest and a true music activist, Herb Scott. A soulful powerhouse on alto saxophone, Herb Scott has performed with the likes of renowned trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, and jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock. He will be featured for two performances at Mr. Henry’s at 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM.

What to know

  • Schedule of events including performance dates/times are subject to change.

  • The only place to register for general admission or purchase official 2021 DC JazzFest tickets is from the DC Jazz Festival Eventbrite page located here. Purchases from a third-party ticketing service could potentially put you at risk of receiving a counterfeit or invalid ticket. DCJF cannot guarantee the authenticity of tickets purchased from these sources and cannot guarantee entry to guests using tickets from third-party sellers. 

  • Taxes and service fees apply to all ticket purchases.

  • All sales are final, non-transferable, and non-refundable.

  • Once you purchase, you will receive an order confirmation email from Eventbrite on behalf of DC Jazz Festival. If you do not see your order confirmation in your inbox, make sure to check your junk/spam folder. If you are having any other technical issues with your order, click Eventbrite Technical Support .

  • For our full list of festival FAQs, please click here.