Events: Jazz musicians take over Takoma

If you want to listen to something besides splashing at the pool or insects buzzing by the grill, the Takoma Park Jazz Festival is on Sunday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival will be on Carroll Avenue and features 12 acts on two stages.  Children and adults are sure to find something that suits their fancy at this impressive event.  Traditional and contemporary music will be present.

The Sophisticated Ladies of Jazz, composed of Nicki Parrott and Bria Skonberg, will be headliners.  Parrott hails from Australia and performed at the prestigious Tribute to Mary Lou Williams event at the Kennedy Center, which was also broadcast on National Public Radio, among other achievements.  Skonberg is equally as accomplished, as she was featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Paralympic Olympic Games in Vancouver.  Her debut album, “So Is The Day,” was released in April of this year.

There will also be Master Jazz Performer Workshops.  Jeff Antoniuk will lead one focusing on the saxophone, an instrument he picked up in seventh grade.  “Of all the uncool instruments, it seemed the least uncool,” he joked.

Antoniuk, a musician and composer, has since appeared at the Kennedy Center at Blues Alley with his quartet, the Jazz Update.  “My main passion is working with adult amateurs who are interested in learning how to play or get better at what they’re doing.”  He has also done presentations at District of Columbia Public Schools for students.

The group plans on performing original compositions for the festival, many from their two previous CDs that received critical acclaim.  “We’re doing the songs with most airplay,” Antoniuk said.  One song is titled “Screwball,” named after his son, Aidan.  “He was five at the time, and it was a loving nickname,” he said.

Another group, 3AM Groove, will also be performing.  Composed entirely of high school students from Wootton High School (with the exception of the guitarist, who is from Richard Montgomery High School), the group is eagerly anticipating their first appearance at JazzFest.

“We’re doing another performance the night before [at a private party],” saxophonist Jonathan Lawson said.  “It’ll be kind of like a run-through for JazzFest.  And everything we’re playing is original—we wrote everything.”

Despite their young two-year history 3AM Groove has managed a long list of gigs.  Among them was their performance at a holiday party for the International Monetary Fund and at the 2010 and 2011 Competition in Math, Science, and Technology for the Siemens Foundation.  “It was really cool,” Lawson said, noting it was his favorite gig so far.

Featured photo: Pied clarinetist Bruce Krohmer leads his cohorts down Carroll Avenue at the 2008 JazzFest. Photo by Julie Wiatt.

About the Author

Jamie Lee
Jamie is a rising senior at the University of Maryland where she is a journalism and English double degree candidate. (She was awarded the "most inspiring future author" superlative in her fourth grade class which spurred her love of the written word and storytelling). In her spare time, she enjoys tennis and swimming.