graphic of jazz players

Discover The Jazz in You

The fourth annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (MAJF) will take place Feb 15 – 18 in Rockville at the Hilton Hotel at 1750 Rockville Pike. The Festival includes amazing jazz performances by top performers and school band competitions. Jazz Master Larry Willis’s group opens Saturday’s night big show, followed by Women in Jazz and Dr. Lonnie Smith.

The MAJF is a reincarnation of the East Coast Jazz Festival, which was a 14 year mainstay in the Washington area until 2007. In 2010, the first MAJF was launched by the Jazz Academy of Music, Inc, a Maryland non-profit organization, whose mission is to advance and preserve jazz music through education and outreach. The MAJF’s three day event has been a huge success, with attendance of over 4,000 jazz lovers each year.

The MAJF showcases local and touring jazz artists of traditional genres. Also, showcased are the gospel and blues genres that are primary influences of jazz music. One of the most important aspects of the festival is the focus on the education of young musicians. Middle and high school, as well as, collegiate level jazz bands perform at the festival. The students also have the opportunity to attend master classes conducted by the touring musicians that are performing at the festival, film screenings covering legacy musicians, and play in open “jam sessions” with musicians. Many are free and open to the public.

The High School Band competition includes 12 high school jazz bands from Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and other mid-atlantic states. The competition takes place in the Atrium Stage beginning Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Montgomery County High Schools competing include Bethesda Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson, and Walt Whitman High Schools.

The High School Jazz Combo competition is new this year and includes 12 high school combos. The competition will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb 15 in the Billy Taylor Room. Local schools competing include Richard Montgomery, Eubie Blake, and Walter Johnson High Schools.

Local schools also performing but not competing during the festival include Robert Frost Middle and Sherwood High Schools.

Visit Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Montgomery Community Media is filming the festival to air on our Montgomery Channel 21.


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