It’s Takoma Park’s coolest day of the year. JazzFest takes over much of Takoma Old Town this Sunday, June 14.

Even cooler, it is the Takoma Park JazzFest’s 20th anniversary.

Takoma Park’s own Chuck Redd, an internationally acclaimed drummer and vibraphonist, headlines the festival. His swing sounds have been featured on more than 75 recordings and on tour with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Mel Torme.

More than a dozen other groups will perform on two stages.


The 2014 JazzFest. Photo by Eric Bond.

The festival has grown since it’s first years when it was held on “the first rainy Sunday in May,” as JazzFest Secretary Robbi Kimball quipped. Then, the one-stage festival barely filled a corner of Jequie Park – now Belle Ziegler Park – and the crowd numbered in the tens.

This year the festival is in sunnier June – it has been on a sunny day for five years, says Kimball. She expects 3500 attendees.

To celebrate its 20th, JazzFest will bring back some of the most popular performers of the festival’s first two decades. “Whatever your taste in jazz, you’ll find something to love,” said Krohmer.


The 2014 JazzFest. Photo by Eric Bond.

“JazzFest embraces a broad range of styles, both instrument and vocal: bossa nova and samba, swing, R&B and contemporary sounds, vintage sounds from the ‘20s and 30’s – you’ll hear your favorites, and sounds that are new to you, too,” said Krohmer.

Bands include Veronneau, the Hokum JazzTrio, the Nichol Saphos After Hours Duo, the Dave Kline Band, the Arch Thomson Duo, Matt Wigler, the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, the Mary Alouette Quartet, the After Hours Duo, and the acclaimed Takoma Park Middle School Jazz Ensemble.


Brûlée at the Feb. 22, 2015 Jazz Brawl held at the Takoma Busboys and Poets. Photo by Bill Brown.

Takoma Park-based Brûlée, the 2015 Jazz Brawl winner, will be making its JazzFest debut. A JazzFest announcement describes the quintet as “jazz-infused, Americana-marinated, alt-pop.”

Through the festival there will be free drum and guitar workshops at the Olive Lounge. There is also an after-party at Republic restaurant across Carroll Avenue.


The 2014 JazzFest. Photo by Eric Bond.

Carroll Avenue will be closed to accommodate the crowd, two stages and more than 40 vendors including food-trucks and booths. The closure extends from the junction of Carroll, Willow and Eastern Avenues east to Tulip Avenue. One stage will be at Willow Avenue, the other at the city gazebo at the corner of Westmoreland and Carroll Avenues.

The festival is free to attend. The tax-deductible JazzFest is an all-volunteer, community-based organization, supported by state and county arts and humanities councils, the City of Takoma Park, Long & Foster Real Estate, and the Takoma Foundation.


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Takoma Park JazzFest

Sunday, June 14th, 11am-6pm
Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD (between Willow and Tulip Aves).
3 blocks from Takoma metro

Willow Ave Stage

11am: Matt Wigler
12:10pm: Hokum Jazz Trio
1:20pm: Dave Kline Band
2:40pm: Takoma Park Middle School Jazz Ensemble
3:50pm: Brulee
5:00pm: Chuck Redd Salutes the Great Guitars


Gazebo Stage

11am: After Hours Duo
12:10pm: Flutevisions
1:20pm: The Lovejoy Group
2:40pm: Mary Alouette Quartet
3:50pm: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet
5:00pm: Veronneau


Free Guitar Workshops at Olive Lounge, 7006 Carroll Ave

12:30 – 1:20: Nate Najar
1:30 – 2:20: Wayne Wilkinson
2:30 – 3:20: Chuck Redd, drums, brush technique

6:30pm Official after-party at Republic, 6939 Laurel Ave.

About the Author

Bill Brown
Bill Brown moved to Takoma Park in 1982. He has been involved in journalism in one way or another since he co-published an underground high-school newspaper in the late 1960s.