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DC Jazz Festival Announces Orrin Evans’ Artist Residency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – DECEMBER 21, 2021 – The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) today announces Orrin Evans, prolific pianist-composer-bandleader, will serve as the DC Jazz Festival’s Artist-In-Residence for a 2-year period beginning January 2, 2022.

Orrin Evans’ DCJF residency is part of the Jazz Road Creative Residencies program, a program of South Arts. Jazz Road Creative Residencies is a uniquely artist-centric program that promotes artistic flexibility. “With a Jazz Road Creative Residencies grant, artists are given the flexibility to design and propose their own project with funds of scale that make a difference. We are putting the direction and power directly in the hands of the artists,” said Sara Donnelly, Director of Jazz with South Arts.

A two-time Grammy nominee and Pew Fellow, Orrin Evans has been recognized as one of the most distinctive and inventive pianists of his generation. In a short span of time Evans has earned the titles of pianist, composer, bandleader, teacher, producer and arranger. The New York Times described the pianist as "... a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command", a quality that has undoubtedly assisted in keeping Evans at the forefront of the music scene.

"Making music has always been an essential part of my life but presenting music is also a passion,” said Orrin Evans. “The chance to create and fellowship with the music scene in DC is a welcome one, and I am so excited about the possibilities. My sincere thanks to South Arts and DC Jazz Festival for the opportunity.”

A major component of Evans’ DC Jazz Festival Jazz Road Creative Residency will revolve around highlighting his brilliant Captain Black Big Band. One of the goals of Evans’ residency will be to promote a musical/cultural exchange between DC and Philadelphia. Evans’ Jazz Road Creative Residency will emphasize the historical jazz provenance of the large ensemble, or big band, including the flexible component parts capable of performing as small ensembles. Evans will also conduct a master class as part of DC Jazz Festival Education, and participate in DCJF’s We Get to Talk podcast series with host and DCJF CEO Sunny Sumter.

Evans’ residency will include the creation of a big band master class at Howard University Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts’ Howard University Jazz Ensemble in March 2022. Additionally, he will premiere a new work inspired by his residency experience that will find him engaging in creative partnerships with DC’s vibrant artist community, including cross-discipline engagements. These will include pop-up performances with DC artists throughout Evans’ residency, and the creation of a series of performances outside of the Festival. The Captain Black Big Band, with a very special guest vocalist, will also perform on the main stage of the 2022 DC JazzFest.

Evans attended Rutgers University where he studied with NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron. As a bandleader, he has piloted ensembles ranging from trio to his Captain Black Big Band. He has recorded as a leader for the Criss Cross, Posi-Tone, and Palmetto labels, as well as his own Imani label. More recently, he has recorded for the Smoke Sessions imprint. Recently, he toured and recorded as pianist in the acclaimed trio The Bad Plus. Evans was born in Trenton, New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia in a deeply artistic environment. He is the son of opera singer Frances Gooding and noted playwright Don Evans.

For any press inquiries, please contact Lydia Liebman, DCJF publicist, at

Learn more about the DC Jazz Festival and all of our programs by visiting


ABOUT THE DC JAZZ FESTIVAL: DC Jazz Festival presents world-renowned and emerging artists in celebration of jazz; unifies diverse communities; advances jazz and music education with exciting and adventurous musical experiences; shines the spotlight on DC-based musicians; and highlights DC as a premier cultural destination. Our signature programs are the annual DC JazzFest, DC’s largest jazz festival, recognized as a world-class event; Jazz in the ’Hoods with citywide partnerships in 20+ neighborhoods; DC JazzFest at The Wharf, our marquee weekend with free outdoor stages; the year-round DCJF Education Program in partnership with DC public and charter schools and arts centers; the Charles Fishman Embassy Series honoring our founder; and the DCJazzPrix international band competition. DC Jazz Festival won the DC Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. The New York Times named DC JazzFest one of "50 Essential Summer Festivals."

DCJF Media Contact:

Lydia Liebman, DCJF Publicist

DCJF Contacts:

Sunny Sumter, President and CEO

Matt Singer, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications

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