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DC JazzFest to Host the Generations Series at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater

WASHINGTON, DC – April 20, 2023 – DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) today announces 2023 DC JazzFest programming for its home at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. On Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 7:30pm, DCJF will present the inaugural concert in its new Generations Series, curated by pianist-composer-bandleader Orrin Evans, DCJF’s 2022/2023 Artist-in-Residence. An early inhabitant of the city’s vibrant Southwest Waterfront neighborhood, Arena Stage is conveniently adjacent to The Wharf, home of the annual DC JazzFest’s marquee weekend.

The Generations Series is a rare endeavor to bring together jazz artists from different generations in unique performance partnerships. For this auspicious evening, DCJF has assembled a multi-generational cast of musicians including pianists George Cables, Benny Green and Orrin Evans, with emerging pianists Shamie Royston and Hope Udobi collaborating with the cross-generational rhythm section of drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts and bassist Kris Funn.

“The Mead Center had a new sweet sound with DC Jazz Festival, and the honor of hosting a few of the abundant Festival Events here in SW last summer. I am so looking forward to what Sunny and her team have lined up for us all, as we deepen our connection to this first-class enterprise,” said Arena Stage Executive Producer, Edgar Dobie.

From Mary Lou Williams to Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal to Herbie Hancock, Jaki Byard to Jason Moran, Marian McPartland to Helen Sung, and Cecil Taylor to Christian Sands, the piano trio has been the beating heart of jazz – whether standing alone or as a band’s core rhythm section. “This first concert of the series will bring together some of today’s and tomorrow’s most outstanding jazz pianists to celebrate, share musical stories and exchange ideas through performance and conversation,” said Orrin Evans, DCJF Artist-in-Residence. This inaugural concert will feature the soulful Benny Green, swinging Hope Udobi, lyrical Shamie Royston, master George Cables, and instigator Orrin Evans, accompanied by the all-star, multi-generational rhythm section of Jeff “Tain” Watts and bassist Kris Funn.

The concert will conclude with a post-concert conversation moderated by DCJF President and CEO Sunny Sumter. “We are looking forward to kicking off our Fall Generation Series with pianists from diverse backgrounds,” said DCJF President and CEO Sunny Sumter. “Orrin has assembled an exceptional ensemble that promises to inspire all generations.”

The 2023 DC JazzFest will take place August 30th-September 3rd over Labor Day weekend. With five days of concerts citywide, the 2023 DC JazzFest will celebrate all things jazz in more than 20 venues citywide. DC JazzFest at The Wharf will take place September 2-3, featuring multiple waterfront stages, a September 1st evening at The Anthem, as well as the DCJazzPrix international emerging jazz band competition and other exciting indoor performances at Union Stage.

ABOUT DC JAZZ FESTIVAL: Since 2004, DC Jazz Festival has provided enriching and entertaining jazz performances and programs that introduce students and adults from all walks of life to jazz. DCJF presents a selection of the jazz genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists and provides enhanced exposure for the rich treasure trove of musicians from the Washington, DC area. Throughout the year, DCJF nourishes the community with affordably-priced music education programs that extend outreach into underserved communities and enhance the quality of life for DC public and charter school students. For more information about DCJF and its year-round programs, visit,

ABOUT ARENA STAGE: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.


DCJF Media Contact:

Lydia Liebman, DCJF Publicist

DCJF Contacts:

Sunny Sumter, Executive Producer

Josh Brown, Marketing and Communications Associate

Keep up with DCJF:

· Twitter: @dcjazzfest

· Instagram: @dcjazzfest

· LinkedIn: DC Jazz Festival

· Everything Else:


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