For this week’s DC Jazz Festival #BlackHistoryMonth feature we proudly highlight one of DC’s biggest jazz advocates, WPFW Program Director Katea Stitt.
“In D.C., there’s no greater champion of the connection between ‘jazz and justice’ than WPFW, a listener-supported station that has kept progressive ideas and Black music in circulation on the D.C. airwaves for almost 50 years.” Says Capital Bop’s Jamie Sandel, “And in recent decades, perhaps no one has been more central to the continued success of WPFW than its program director, Katea Stitt, a lifelong activist for social justice — and a jazz advocate of royal birth (as the daughter of legendary saxophonist Sonny Stitt).”
Stitt has been involved with WPFW since she was 19 years old, working on a first-of-its-kind show called the “Black Brown and Beige Quintet” that featured “five women, five days a week. Every day was a different take on the music.” Since then, she never looked back, helping to lead WPFW to decades of success throughout her involvement with the station.
Katea has always been an ardent and vocal advocate for social justice issues. When speaking with Capital Bop last summer amidst the uncertainty and turmoil that existed in our country, she had a simple question for us all to consider: “How can we get together as a jazz community and support the young people who are in the street?”
Her steadfast commitment to the advancement of jazz music is to be admired, and her work within her community to raise awareness about worthy social justice issues is nothing short of heroic. Stitt is the definition of a leader, and we are honored to be able to draw attention to her work and life story as part of our ongoing #BlackHistoryMonth series.