Jazz and Art for Families, June 4 and 5

The DC Jazz Festival doesn’t officially begin until June 10 (it runs through June 19), but you can get an early start this weekend by heading over to Dupont Circle for the festival’s annual Jazz ’N Families Fun Days at the Phillips Collection.

The event — in which art and jazz mix it up in a virtuoso improvisational event at the city’s venerable private museum — is a free, weekend-long prelude to the festival. It’s where families can gather to listen to live jazz performances while experiencing the Phillips Collection’s world-class art.

Or, as DC Jazz Festival Executive Director Sunny Sumter says: “We’ll have some of the region’s finest artists and rising stars performing in the Music Room to improvised pieces inspired by the Phillips Collection’s intimate galleries, as well as fun-filled activities and a scavenger hunt to introduce children to the rich traditions of jazz and art.”

The Jazz ’N Families Fun Days mesh nicely with the Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk Weekend. Along with performances by more than a dozen regional artists and rising young stars, the event will feature storytelling, an instrument petting zoo, gallery talks and workshops in which visitors can create art of their own, surrounded by works by Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jasper Johns and other modern masters.

Among the performers on Saturday will be the Rob Levit Trio, Lori Williams and Friends, the Mario Laginha Trio (in partnership with the Embassy of Portugal) and the Michael Thomas Quintet on Saturday. Sunday’s lineup includes the WPA Capital Jazz Youth Ensemble, the Howard Franklin Quartet, the Greater U Street Jazz Collective, the BJ Simmons Quartet, the Todd Marcus Quartet, the Noble Jolley Trio and the Eric Byrd Trio. Also on Sunday, there will be two performances of “DC Jazz Bops! Stories and Music with Rochelle Rice.”

Performances are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.


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