The first night of the virtual D.C. jazz fest kicks off with some strong hometown heros performing before festival headliner Danilo Perez. You can watch the entire DCJF on their Facebook page or fans.com
7:00 PM Ben Williams – Bassist/composer Ben Williams is one of the District’s star ex-pats, often appearing on bandstands with New York City’s elite (think Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, Stefon Harris…the list goes on). Williams’ own sound as a leader is still nascent — he’s recently started iterating on Neo-soul as a vocalist — but all of his music is clearly shaped by the contemporary modern jazz world he plays in, and his facility and confidence on upright and electric basses is impressive.
8:00 PM Cecily – Cecily is a native Washingtonian, the daughter of jazz lovers, and a student of political science, and each of those experiences adds its own influence to her particular brand of contemporary R&B. She favors slow, emotive songs where her delicate soprano has room to explore, and her original songs’ lyrics focus on self-love and appreciation.
9:00 PM Danilo Perez Trio with Ben Street & Adam Cruz – Danilo Perez emerged in the mid-1990s as part of the tail end of the “Young Lions” generation of jazz giants that blossomed with the arrival of Wynton Marsalis on the scene. He made an early mark playing with Dizzy Gillespie before gaining wide renown for his own work as a bandleader, weaving the tones and rhythms of his native Panama into ’90s jazz vernacular. He’s also known for creating sweeping, symphonic and cosmic harmonies as a member of Wayne Shorter’s quartet.
Here he leads a trio to headline the D.C. Jazz Festival.