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 calendar below to learn more about everything we've got planned for 2021 and beyond!

Our signature event, the DC JazzFest, is happening from September 1-5, 2021 over Labor Day weekend. Click here for more information on what to expect at the 17th Annual DC JazzFest.


DC JazzFest


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Year Round Events Overview

Jazz at the Corner Concert Series

DC Jazz Festival is excited to partner with The Corner at Whitman-Walker to co-present Jazz at The Corner, a concert series of jazz ensembles in performance that will be a part of The Corner's upcoming Stay Alive To Life! festival and exhibition series.


For more information on Jazz on The Corner or any of the other Stay Alive to Life! exhibits, please contact Abby Fenton at afenton@whitman-walker.org.

This project is made possible with funding from Humanities DC.


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.

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.

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

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

Events will announced in the Fall 2021.

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