DC area residents - this weekend, February 19th through 21st, check out the first annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville, Maryland. The festival, which was formerly known as the East Coast Jazz Festival, was organized by DC star musician and educator, saxophonist Paul Carr (pictured) and his team at the Jazz Academy of Music.
If every city had a Paul Carr, the future of jazz would never be in doubt. I know this because for a brief time, he was my private jazz teacher. In just a few lessons, he made improvisation seem easy and intuitive. Over a decade later, I still remember those lessons!
The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival's schedule features DC pillars such as Carr himself, pianist Allyn Johnson, and drummer Nasar Abadey, as well as internationally renowned performers including Terrell Stafford, Mulgrew Miller, and Bobby Watson. The key feature of this festival however, is the mixing of masterful performances with those by student groups. By giving students such an active role in the program, Carr is ensuring that DC's jazz community remains young and vital.
Visit the festival's website for schedules and ticket information.
Image Courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival