DC Jazz Festival Announces International Jazz Day 2021 Program

Mike Lawson • News • March 30, 2021

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Saxophonist Kenny Garrett and vocalist/pianist Aaron Myers set to perform

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) announced its official International Jazz Day 2021 program which features two prolific artists: saxophonist Kenny Garrett and vocalist/pianist Aaron Myers. The festivities, which occur annually on April 30th, will include Meet-the-Artist interviews with Garrett and Myers conducted by DCJF Executive Director Sunny Sumter and Artistic Director Willard Jenkins. In addition to these captivating conversations, fans will be treated to a performance from each artist. 

Kenny Garrett has enjoyed worldwide success as a saxophonist, bandleader and composer for nearly 30 years. Raised in the Detroit jazz scene of the 1970s, Garrett began performing with Mercer Ellington’s band before he had even finished high school. He went on to perform with Geri Allen and Marcus Belgrave before joining the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Garrett has also shared the stage with Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and Art Blakey, among other jazz greats. His distinct sound has earned him high praise from The New York Times, which called him “one of the most admired alto saxophonists in jazz after Charlie Parker.” Garrett won a Grammy Award for his contribution to the Five Peace Band’s Live album, holding his own in a supergroup that included John McLaughlin, Christian McBride, Vinnie Colaiuta, and the late Chick Corea. 

DC’s own Aaron Myers holds many titles: activist, entrepreneur, veteran, and, most importantly, artist. Following a brief stint in politics working for the Obama campaign, he began advocating for the creation of more performance spaces for DC’s aspiring musicians to share their talents, and served as artist-in-residence at both The Black Fox Lounge and the world-renowned Mr. Henry’s. Myers has long been involved in activism, bringing attention to mental health issues and fighting for LGBTQI+ rights while also serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation. Myers is set to release his fourth studio project, The Pride Album, on April 30th and will perform tracks from the album live for the first time during our International Jazz Day program. 

International Jazz Day goes beyond the musical parameters of jazz by highlighting its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe, and the music’s role in promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, respect and freedom of expression. This annual, worldwide celebration, now in its 10th year, is presented in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz as they seek to “foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.” The DC Jazz Festival aims to use this event and its platform to further this work in our own community and around the globe.  

Fans can tune in to this can’t-miss event on Friday, April 30th at 3 PM EDT on Facebook Live. Visit www.dcjazzfest.org for more details on the program and International Jazz Day. 

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