Alexandria will host the 37th Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival on Monday, May 26, beginning at 1 p.m. at Waterfront Park, located at 1A Prince St. The festival features a variety of talented and diverse styles of jazz throughout the day. In case of inclement weather, the festival will be relocated to the Lee Center’s Kauffman Auditorium, located at 1108 Jefferson St, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314. Admission is free.
1 p.m. - The Jazz Festival opens with the U. S. Army Blues, part of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”. The U. S. Army Blues is the Army’s premiere jazz ensemble. This 18 piece ensemble is comprised of exceptional jazz musicians from across the nation, and present jazz music in the big band style from the 1920’s to the present. The Army Blues have performed at prestigious venues such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the famous Birdland jazz club in New York City, and the legendary Blues Alley club in Washington, DC. The musicians of the Army Blues perform regularly at the White House, the Vice President’s Residence, the State Department, and for high-level military protocol and ceremonial events in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
2 p.m. - The event continues with the Latin Fusion sounds of the band Ocho de Bastos. Ocho de Bastos is a Washington, D.C. Metro area Latin band formed in 2009 by a group of young professionals. The band currently plays Spanish songs from the most recognized Latin rock bands as well as their own originals. In a short period of time, the band have become one of the most prominent representative of Latin pop rock in the local scene, as evidenced by their recognition from the major Latino media outlets in the Washington DC Metro area and also by the major media outlets in Puerto Rico.
3 p.m. - Earl Carter featuring Phillip Martin is featured next with smooth jazz. Earl Carter is an international smooth jazz guitarist, composer and producer who have been included among the ranks of contemporary jazz guitar greats such as Norman Brown, George Benson McBride, Chuck Loeb and Earl Klugh. Carter performs regularly at the legendary jazz club Blues Alley and many other historic venues in DC and Maryland. Phillip Martin is a Billboard Saxophonist who has played with the likes of George Benson, Marcus Johnson, Sam Rivers and Kirk Whalum. Martin is a rising star whose powerful, heartfelt melodies are wooing live audiences on stages in the US and internationally.
4 p.m. - The Blue Crescent Syncopators follow with traditional/Dixieland, hot jazz and swing from the 1920’s and 30’s for dancing and/or listening. Spicy and hot! Formed in 2007 as The Blue Crescent Quintette, but now a power quartet, the Blue Crescent Syncopators play from the heart. All the greatest jazz tunes of the 20's and 30's are done up right with some spice and swing.
5 p.m. - Seth Kibel & Bay Jazz Project will conclude the concert. Seth Kibel is one of the Mid-Atlantic's premier woodwind specialists. Working with some of the best bands in klezmer, jazz, swing, and more, and wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region, and beyond. Bay Jazz Project, described as “Energetic, dynamic, and versatile” jazz quartet, performs jazz standards and original music at a variety of venues. Public appearances include Rams Head on Stage, Frederick Festival of the Arts, 49 West, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, and Wine in the Woods at Merriweather Post Pavilion, to name a few.
Waterfront Park features lawn seating and the attendees may bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food, such as barbeque, fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones and funnel cakes are available for purchase, but everyone is welcome to pack a picnic lunch. Pets should be left at home.
Visitors to the historic district are encouraged to walk, bike or take the Metro Yellow or Blue lines to the King Street Station in Old Town and take the King Street Trolley, take DASH or Metro Buses, or park in one of the convenient parking garages or lots. For DASH schedule information, call 703.370.DASH or visit www.dashbus.com. For Metrobus schedule information, call 202.637.7000 or visit www.wmata.com.
Source: City of Alexandria