TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE!
SAT 6/24 | NEW SPIRE ARTS Main Stage
Festival headliner and renowned jazz keyboardist/pianist Marcus Johnson has released more than fifteen Billboard charted CDs, and has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Top 20 Contemporary Jazz FLO (For the Love Of) Anthology, which consisted of three distinct CDs — FLO Chill, FLO Romance and FLO Standards – all chart Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously.
Drummer and Author Wes Watkins has carved his place in the musical landscape of the Washington, D.C. area by playing for R&B, Gospel, Rock, Jazz, Neo Soul, Hip- Hop, Blues and legendary Go-Go bands. Born in Baltimore and raised in Severn Md. Watkins, Former Drummer and Musical Director for Grammy Nominated artist Carolyn Malachi, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Walker Redds Project, and his band Got My Own Sound, was inspired by watching and imitating the awe inspiring dexterity of his father’s drum style.
Main Stage MC Jeff Antoniuk served as an adjunct faculty member at Towson University, as a Master Teaching Artist at Washington Performing Arts for 20 years, and as the Artistic Director of inDepth Jazz Clinics, Jazz Band Masterclass, and the Maryland Summer Jazz adult jazz camp. He has published in numerous magazines and with Alfred Publishing, and is an Eastman Saxophones Artist. Antoniuk’s newest project aims for nothing less than to connect and guide the wildly underserved adult amateur jazz community around North America. Through Jazz Teacher Training, Antoniuk is committed to training jazz professionals (players, teachers, professors, recording artists) how to expand and hone their view of education and the music industry. Jeff’s vision is to connect jazz professionals with adult amateurs, and create a blue ocean of mutual opportunity, creativity and rapport.
SAT 6/24 | SKY STAGE
Graham Breedlove Group Jazz Times magazine writes: “Breedlove has chops…and is the leader of a tight, forceful band”. The International Trumpet Guild’s Journal raves, “…one of the most exciting trumpet players on the planet!” Graham’s compositions have been featured on NBC’s Today show, Food Network’s Emeril Live and the Washington Post has called it “…terrific…with luminous, fine-grained autumnal harmonies…”. Currently a trumpet soloist with the Army Blues in Washington, DC, Breedlove has performed with The Saturday Night Live Band, Ray Charles, Ramsey Lewis, Doc Severinsen and Mariah Carey. Breedlove has appeared on over 200 recordings, including back-to-back Grammy winning CDs in 2004 and 2005, and his own CD “Coming Home”, available on iTunes and at Amazon.com.
Dominique Bianco’s vocals have been described as “a sign of life for straight-ahead jazz.” – Thomas Gartman CapitalBop 2022
Dominique Bianco is a renowned jazz vocalist who adds her own distinctive touch to jazz standards, with remarkable virtuosity, innate interpretative abilities, awe-inspiring improvisational skills, and unique melodic original compositions. Currently based in the DC area, by way of Staten Island, New York, “she has garnered comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald and has a voice that is timeless”- Prism Reviews. At age 21 she released her debut record, “I’m All Smiles,” which features Benny Benack III & Elijah Jamal Balbed. The Downbeat Award-winning 22-year-old has been mentioned in publications such as Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, WUSA9, DCNewsNow, Living Local DMV, The Baltimore Sun, WBGO, WPFW, Capital Bop, Parklife DC, The Baltimore Times, and interviewed in Voyage Baltimore Magazine. Dominique was a finalist in the 2022 International Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition and is a 2023 Strathmore Artist in Residence.
SAT 6/24 | 10th WARD DISTILLING CO.
Shawn Dennison has been part of the Frederick music scene for over 40 years. He has played bass across the musical spectrum – jazz, country, gospel, classical, blues, alternative – with multiple stops throughout the continuum. Early childhood exposure to jazz influenced his bass playing style, taking many tasty morsels along the way. Shawn has played, written, and recorded with a multitude of musicians over the years. As he likes to say, “It’s always good to get the call.”
This performance is free to the public.
SUN 6/25 | BAKER PARK BANDSHELL in partnership with Celebrate Frederick
The U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, have been performing the very best of big band jazz for the Navy and the nation for 50 years. Formed in 1969, this 18-member group continues the jazz big band legacy with some of the finest musicians in the world. The Commodores are held in high regard nationwide by concert patrons and critics alike. The list of guest artists that have appeared with the Commodores reads like a who’s who of jazz and popular music: Ray Charles, Branford Marsalis, Clark Terry, Grover Washington Jr., and many others.
This performance is free to the public.