DCJF Events

We have events for every jazz lover

DC Jazz Festival® proudly presents enriching and entertaining jazz performances, educational workshops and other interactive opportunities throughout the calendar year. Check out our website regularly to learn more about activities.

Our signature event, the DC JazzFest, is happening from August 31 - September 4, 2022, over Labor Day weekend. Click here for more information on what to expect at the 18th Annual DC JazzFest. We will announce our headliners in the spring.


DC JazzFest

DCJF Events Calendar


Year Round Events

Allyn Johnson & Orrin Evans: Meet The Artist On The Bandstand

Thursday, March 17th @ 7:00pm EST, Doors: 6:00pm EST

UDC Theatre of the Arts–46E

4200 Connecticut Avenue NW

FREE & Open to the Public (Registration is required)

*Join us in–person at UDC or watch online via livestream.

Parking is available in the UDC campus parking garage located off of Van Ness St. NW, but please keep in mind that space is limited so guests who are driving are encouraged to arrive early. The UDC Theatre of the Arts is also conveniently located near the Van Ness-UDC metro stop on the red line. Attendees should look for signage upon their arrival to campus that will direct them to the Theatre of the Arts located in Building 46E. For a full map of UDC's campus, click here. For more info about the event and how to navigate UDC's campus upon your arrival, please visit jazzaliveudc.org.


Allyn Johnson invites pianist, composer, bandleader, and DC Jazz Festival's Artist-in-Residence Orrin Evans for an evening of conversation & duo-piano performance, presented by DC Jazz Festival and JAZZAlive.

The program will be livestreamed on the DCJF Facebook page and JAZZAlive's YouTube channel for fans that cannot attend in-person. The program will also be available to stream on UDC JAZZ's and DCJF's YouTube Channels after the event.

This DC Jazz Festival Residency is made possible by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and through a Jazz Road Creative Residencies grant. Jazz Road is a national jazz initiative directed by South Arts and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The residency includes the creation of a big band master class at Howard University Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts’ Howard University Jazz Ensemble from March 15–17, 2022 along with creative partnerships with DC’s vibrant artist community and performances with DC artists.

*UDC COVID-19 protocol: All visitors must show proof of vaccination for admission and wear their masks for the duration of the performance and time on campus.


DCJazzPrix™ International Band Competition

DCJazzPrix is an annual international band competition that provides a unique professional and adjudication platform for emerging bands, outside of the traditional academic and commercial arenas. Unlike other performance-based contests, DCJazzPrix puts the emphasis on the essential interactions between band members and recognizes these relationships as the core pursuit of the jazz aesthetic. Young and emerging jazz bands from around are encouraged to apply for what apsires to be a premier global platform for jazz band's seeking new audiences and exciting career navigation opportunities.

The 2022 DC JazzPrix application is now open at: www.dcjazzfest.org/dcjazzprix-apply

All DCJazzPrix applicants will have their music heard by a prestigious jury of jazz luminaries. Up to three finalist bands will be selected to travel to Washington, DC during the annual DC JazzFest to compete at the DCJazzPrix Finals before an enthusiastic crowd of jazz fans. The winning band will begin a yearlong association with the DC Jazz Festival to include: a $15,000 grand prize, customized business development and career impact services, extensive publicity training, and a highly visible 2022 DC JazzFest engagement with commensurate compensation.

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2021 Winners

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DC Jazz Festival Crowns Sixth Annual DCJazzPrix™ Winners in Unprecedented Tie

Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé finish in an extraordinary tie vote as co-winners of the 6th Annual DCJazzPrix™ on September 5 as part of the recently concluded 17th anniversary DC Jazz Festival. Launched in 2016, DCJazzPrix is the DC Jazz Festival’s international competition created to recognize and support top rising jazz band talent.


Each of the winning bands specialize in electrifying expressions of 21st century jazz. These brilliant young bands were selected following the DCJazzPrix finals, which took place before an enthusiastic, standing-room-only audience at Union Stage as part of DC JazzFest at The Wharf.    


Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé, both based in New York City, competed as two of three DCJazzPrix finalist bands that also included British saxophonist Camilla George’s vibrant quintet. All three bands presented exceptional 20-minute sets, rousing a packed audience to its feet and significantly raising the bar for our judges’ deliberations.


Trumpeter and Nassau, Bahamas native Giveton Gelin was mentored by the great trumpeter Eddie Henderson and the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He leads the Giveton Gelin Quintet, a classic jazz, tradition-based and original composition-fueled acoustic ensemble with piano, bass, drums and saxophone. Self-taught from the age of 10, Gelin studied at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School, and was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead education intensive at the Kennedy Center. His current release is True Design. 


Havana, Cuba-born pianist-keyboardist Dayramir Gonzalez founded Habana enTRANCé in 2004. The ensemble specializes in an infectious brand of Afro-Caribbean jazz expression and includes musicians from Argentina and Chile. Gonzalez’s first professional affiliation came at age 16 with former Irakere member Oscar Valdés’ Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Diákara. He matriculated at the renowned Berklee College of Music and has been mentored by Cuban master pianist-bandleader and DCJF Lifetime Achievement Award winner Chucho Valdés. Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé’s current release is The Grand Concourse (Machat).


“It is exciting to identify and promote the careers of emerging jazz artists committed to the creative and professional development of their very own excellent bands,” said DC Jazz Festival President and CEO Sunny Sumter. “DCJazzPrix is unique in that it recognizes bands over soloists. It allows jazz artists to pause and concentrate on band identity on multiple fronts, increase performance opportunities, and sustain collective output.”


In addition to a $15,000 cash prize, the Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé have earned a year-long association with the DC Jazz Festival for professional development consultation and business support addressing their varied needs, such as publicity, artistic and financial management, booking and touring, audience and social media engagement, grant writing, commissioning of new works, and brand development. Each band also will receive a paid 2022 DC Jazz Festival mainstage engagement.


2022 DCJazzPrix Application Opens in December 2021.

DCJazzPrix program is made possible by the generous support of The Leonard and Elaine Silverstein Family Foundation. The DCJazzPrix award is made possible by the generous support of Conrad Kenley, and the Galena-Yorktown Foundation.


Charles Fishman Embassy Series

Named in honor of the founder of the DC Jazz Festival, the Charles Fishman Embassy Series, presents international artists in partnership with the foreign embassy community in our nation’s capital.

The Charles Fishman Embassy Series is a classic example of the worldwide impact of jazz. Though born in the U.S., jazz music has evolved over the last century as a renowned global music. Gradually through the robust international network of jazz festivals, cultural centers, and the broad dissemination of jazz education–jazz has become the world's music. Artists around the world now express the jazz aesthetic through the lens of their own unique cultures.

Events take place year-round at embassies and performing arts centers around DC.  2022 activities will be announced in the spring. 

The Embassy Series is made possible by the generous support of Linda and Michael Sonnenreich.

Join Circle of Friends here to be on the special guest list for Embassy Series events.

DC Jazz Festival thanks our Embassy Series partners:

Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of France, Italian Cultural Institute,

Embassy of Canada, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of German, House of Sweden, 

Embassy of Luxembourg, Embassy of South Africa, Embassy of India, Embassy of Morocco

Embassy of Australia, Korean Cultural Institute Washington, DC, Embassy of Colombia, 

Embassy of Singapore, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Peru, and the Embassy of Brazil

The Charles Fishman Embassy Series is made possible by the generous support of Linda and Michael Sonnenreich. 

The Omni Shoreham Hotel is the official hotel partner of the Charles Fishman Embassy Series.