Tag : The Kennedy Center

New Year’s Eve! Queen Esther & The Hot Five at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Grand Foyer Party Washington, DC Join Queen Esther and her coterie of jazz musicians as they celebrate one of the most exciting periods in Billie Holiday’s career – her influential small band recordings from John Hammond’s “sing-swing” sessions of the 1930s. From 1935 – 1939, as the rest of the world waltzed their way through The Great Depression or lindy hopped to big bands, Miss Holiday recorded over 120 sides with some of the best soloists of the decade, including Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Jo Jones, Artie Shaw, Benny Morton and many, many more. It was John Hammond – record producer, civil rights activist, music critic and aristocrat – who co-organized the very first “sing-swing” session in July 1935 with Teddy Wilson as bandleader when Miss Holiday was merely 20 years old. Armed with her new recording contract for Brunswick Records, their task was to record pop tunes in the new “swing” style for the burgeoning jukebox market. With Miss Holiday as instrumentalist on equal footing with the legendary musicians that accompanied her, what they created set the template for jazz vocalists, small combos and swing music, and created an immutable body of work. Let the timeless sounds of Lady Day’s earliest sessions keep you dancing all night long and swing you into the new year! The Hot Five: Jeremy Bacon, piano and MD Patience Higgins, tenor sax Todd Londagin, […]

    Queen Esther & The Blue Crowns at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington, DC Millennium Stage Performance & Simulcast Thursday, September 22nd at 6pm   Queen Esther and her band The Blue Crowns perform a set of Black Americana on one of the premiere stages in the world. The Blue Crowns: Kelvyn Bell, Electric guitar Hilliard Greene, Bass Boo Reiners, Acoustic guita Shirazette Tinnin, Drums The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage features FREE performances at 6pm – 365 days a year, rain or shine.

If you miss us at The Jazz Age Lawn Party, watch our live simulcast at The Kennedy Center! Queen Esther and The Hot Five at The Kennedy Center! Queen Esther Sings Vaudeville Blues Millennium Stage Saturday, June 18th at  6pm To watch the simulcast, click here. The Forever Gershwin After-party! 9:30pm – 11:30pm Both shows are free and open to the public! From the Kennedy Center website: Presented in conjunction with Jason Moran’s Forever Gershwin performance with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center MyTix program and Community Engagement department offer a FREE pre- and post-NSO show 1920s Hot Jazz dance party. Dance along as Queen Esther and her jazz collective The Hot Five pay homage to a bevy of classic blues singers, including Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, and Queen Victoria Spivey. Dance instructors will be on hand to lead the audience in dancing cheek-to-cheek in the Grand Foyer and under the willow trees on the River Terrace for a magical evening that will surely be a night to remember.

Queen Esther performs in Harlem Nights, U Street Lights — May 9th and 10th Presented by two iconic institutions — The Apollo Theater and The Kennedy Center — the historic jazz scenes of Harlem and Washington, DC’s U Street neighborhood are highlighted in an all-star contemporary exploration of the music that has linked these two cities for nearly a century. Curated by pianist and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, with pianist and Music Director Marc Cary, Harlem Nights / U Street Lights brings together an all-star lineup of artists that includes seasoned veterans and up-and-comers from both communities, with contemporary performances celebrating the legacies of key artists from each city (Duke Ellington, Dr. Billy Taylor, Miles Davis) as well as seminal works and movements (swing, bop, and go-go). Harlem resident Jason Moran, virtuoso jazz pianist and composer, is known for awing audiences with his audacity, conviction and breath-taking technique. He’s established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole. This one-night-only exclusive concert celebrates Moran’s deep connections to jazz artists in Harlem and D.C., where he serves as Artistic Advisor for Jazz at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Featuring: Afro Blue, Ben Williams, Bertha Hope, Bill Saxton, Brian Settles, Brianna Thomas, Donvonte McCoy, Federico Gonzalez Peña, Gerald Clayton, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Quick, Lakecia Benjamin, Marc Cary, Mickey Freeman and Queen Esther For artist bios, click here.  The Apollo Theater  May 9th 253 W. 125th St.    Harlem, New York Location: Apollo Mainstage Tickets: $45, […]

Queen Esther and The Hot Five — “live” and online! Queen Esther and The Hot Five gave a stellar performance last week at The Kennedy Center — featuring selections from her (in utero) musical The Billie Holiday Project.  Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can now watch it online. To view their entire set, please click here.