Strathmore last week announced selections for its coveted artist residency program. A full half of the musicians in its 2019 class are stalwarts of the D.C. jazz scene: gospel- and soul-rooted drummer and vocalist Dante’ Pope, bassist Eliot Seppa and funk-driven tenor saxophonist Trey Sorrells.
Each artist’s residency at the performing arts center lasts one month, and includes two public concerts at the Strathmore Mansion in North Bethesda. Pope’s residency will be in January, Seppa’s in March and Sorrells’s in June. The residency includes other professional development and mentorship opportunities.
Strathmore’s Artist in Residence program was founded in 2005, and has hosted over 80 young performers from the D.C. area, all between their teens and their early 30s. Its alumni include bedrock members of the current jazz scene, including genre-blurring keyboardist Mark G. Meadows and widely acclaimed vocalist Christie Dashiell. Some of 2019’s residency participants have come in contact with the program already, having backed other resident artists on shows at the Mansion.
“After seeing Dante’ Pope and Eliot Seppa in the role of extremely capable side men for many of our past Artists in Residence, I’m delighted that they decided to audition for this year’s class and step into the role of bandleaders,” Billy Scott, the Artist in Residence program director, told CapitalBop in an email.
The residency encourages young artists to present new material. Pope told CapitalBop via email that he plans to tease songs from an album due in February. “As an artist, it is quite validating … to be selected to represent such a great institution,” Pope said via email, adding that he relishes the opportunity to perform “in a setting that is both academic and entertainment-based.”
For further information on the resident artists, and tickets to their concerts, visit strathmore.org.